Hariprasad Chaurasia enthralls Karachiites

Hariprasad Chaurasia enthralls Karachiites Karachi: It was an evening to remember for the music lovers of Karachi as they immersed themselves into the tunes of India's acclaimed flute maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia who performed for the people of Pakistan in a rare concert here.

The master musician's concert was the highlight of the celebrations of India's 63rd Republic Day yesterday as the notes of bansuri filled the air and Chaurasia made sure he much enthralled the audience.

Just how much the people enjoyed the concert was evident from the way they flocked to fete the Indian High Commission officials and members of the Indian Council for Cultural relations after the concert.

The maestro, accompanied on stage by Shri Bhawani Prasad Kathak (pakhavaj), Shri Samar Saha (tabla), Shri Sunil Bhagwan Avachat (bansuri) and Sushree Nayanashree Pushpanjali Chaurasia (tanpura), commenced the concert with raga Maru Bihag.

He later presented a composition in nine-matra (madh taal), which is reckoned a tough, rare beat cycle for a soul-stirring rendition. He also produced a bandish in raga Bhopali, leaving the audience spell bound.

The music lovers were in for another treat when Chaurasia graciously asked his fans if they wanted to hear more, and obliged an audience member's request for a thumri.

Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal told the audience that the maestro was invited for the concert because India and Pakistan shared the common tradition of music which knew no boundaries.

He pointed out that genres like ghazal and qawwali were listened to with fondness on both sides of the border.

Besdies on the cultural sphere, more Indian presence is due this year at the Karachi Literature festival that opens on February 11. Organisers of the festival have invited noted Indian writer and critic, Shobha De for a session.

On the first day of the festival, De, along with English author-playwright Hanif Kureshi and Scottish author William Dalrymple will engage in conversations with the audience.