SAN JOSE, CA: In salubrious Spring weather, music lovers of SF Bay Area assembled at the newly built beautiful temple of Lord Venkatesh of Tirupathi, popularly known as Balaji Temple. At the request of temple authorities, Sangeet Dhwani organized its first Hindustani classical musical event inviting SF Bay area classical vocalist, Smt. Rujul Pathak, who gave a spell-binding performance, accompanied by popular Harmonium Maestro Vivek Datar, and Tabla Wizard Satish Tare, a senior disciple of Pt. Swapan Choudhary. Tare is the recipient of a prestigious “Gandharva Award” from an International Agency “AAPNA” Washington, USA.
Rujul Pathak was a child prodigy. She could render melodious tunes of classical Raags at the tender age of seven from her own father, Abhijit Pathak, a Sitarist. She later started learning from Pt Phulchand Pawar and subsequently developed professional skills from her principal Guru Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan of Agra Atrauli Gharana, at the renowned Saptak School of classical music, Ahmedabad.
During the last 20 years, Rujul has made rapid strides in riding high with her melodious voice and mature musical outlook. Her concerts have been described as being an “aesthetic treat”, with her specialization in the Agra Gharana styled traditional “khayal gayaki” and she is equally at ease with other genres like Thumris and Bhajans. She is the recipient of several Indian National Awards like “Surmani ” and the Pandit Omkarnath Thakur award.
Currently, she is based in Fremont City, California recording traditional compositions and teaching kids. Youtube videos of her classical bandishes have gained immense popularity and over 170K global views. She composes music collaborating with bass guitarists, saxophonists, pianists, and drummers to create “world class music videos”
At the Balaji concert, Rujul presented some traditional bandishes in pure Hindustani classical tradition combining with Bhajans, Thumris and Dadra compositions adding the light classical flavor. She started with Raga “Shuddha Sarang” which is an afternoon melody, presenting the traditional Agra Gharana bandish – “Ab Mori Baat, Maan le Piharava” combining with it, Raag Tarana in a faster pace.
At the request of the audience, she presented Raga Puriya Dhanashree, an evening melody. In this raga she did some “Nom Tom Aalap”, which is the hallmark of the difficult “Dhrupad Style of Agra Gharana.
The music loving audience expressed their admiration through thunderous applause.
The two Bandishes presented in this raga-were “Payaliya Jhankaar and Tori Jay Jay Kartaar”, in Ektaal. In the Temple considering a good number of devotees, Rujul included in her performance a Marathi Abhang having shades of Maru Behag and Yaman “Vithoba Chala Mandirat”. She concluded her Thumri in Khammaj followed by a couple of bhajans in Raags Kirwani and Yaman Kalyan.
The audience termed this evening as a Musical Extravaganza. The Chief Priest of the Temple Swami Narayanand Ji expressed his joy listening to the devotional melodies presented by Rujul praying for Lord Rama and Krishna and blessed the three highly skilled artists offering them with fruits and silk shawls. He had special appreciation for Pradeep Joshi of Sangeet Dhwani for organizing such an amazing Musical Evening and requested him to support the temple, bringing more of top notch vocalists and musicians to perform at the temple in the coming months.
The temple volunteers did a great job in spreading the message of this musical journey, and helped in the decorations of the stage. Dilipbhai Shah handled the sound system, to the full satisfaction of the artists.
India Post News Service