The 58-old-year Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav, religiously followed by the adult and elderly enthusiasts of classical music, has found new patrons in children. Take the case of four-year-old Vedant Marulkar who has been attending the fest with his parents for the past three years.
Asked what brings him to the musical extravaganza, Vedant said, "I love listening to the music. My mother has been brining me here since I was a toddler. May be this is why I have started taking interest in it. I am also taking lessons in classical music and have started playing the harmonium."
Gulab Wadhwan(R) has been attending the festival for over 20 years
Vedant is not the case in isolation. Of late, parents have been bringing their children to the fest, as they believe if the kids are exposed to classical music at an early age, they will develop an ear for music. Seema Marulkar, Vedant's mother, says, "He has given his pratham exam of harmonium classes. I always wanted him to learn music. I think being in the presence of these maestros would encourage him."
Vedant Marulkar, the young lad who loves classical music. Pics/M Fahim
If kids like Vedant are growing up listening to soulful songs of these maestros, people like Gualb Wadhawani (80), who have been attending the fest for over 20 years, have grown older enjoying the artistes' immaculate
performance. "I have never missed the Sawai fest. I have grown up with the music and the artistes. I consider myself lucky to have done so."
Asked about the void created by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi's demise, Wadhawani, with his eyes welling up, said, "I feel like I was his shadow. I am really sad that he isn't here this year, he will be fondly remembered."
Maestros at their best
Day II of the fest was graced by immaculate performances. The first performance was that of Pandit
Ronu Majumdar on the flute followed by debutante artiste Mahesh Kale who is also the disciple of the maestro Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki. Shaila Datar performed third followed by Kadri Gopinath on saxophone and finally culminating into arguably the most awaited performance by Dr Balmurarikrishnan who was playing at the festival after a prolonged gap of several years.