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Eight Prahar is a unique introduction to Hindustani classical music

Dear EDM, House music lover. Today, you can step out and do the one thing that you have probably never done your entire life — stay up till 1.30 am listening to a concert of... (wait for it)... Indian classical music.

The artistes performing in the second session are Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee (in pic), Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande, Amaan Ali Khan, Pt. Rajan Mishra and Pt. Sajan Mishra
The artistes performing in the second session are Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee (in pic), Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande, Amaan Ali Khan, Pt. Rajan Mishra and Pt. Sajan Mishra

If you are remotely connected with this traditional form of music, you will be aware that raags are defined by certain prahars of the day, each divided into three hours each. And, today, at Shanmukhananda Hall there’s a concert that started at 6 am that
continues past midnight, allowing rarely heard ragas a platform.

“It really is a selfish venture,” says Durga Jasraj, daughter of Pandit Jasraj, renowned classical music vocalist and doyen of the Mewati Gharana. I was telling my father that it’s been ages that I heard a variety of ragas and he said I should help myself.” So, two years ago, Durga, founder and director of Art and Artistes, started putting together 8 prahar a concert in which 24 ragas would be sung in 19 hours — even though the Sion venue is a closed space, a performance can continue till only 1.30 pm — along with Shashi Vyas of Pancham Nishad and the Shanmukhananda Sabha.

Just as dubstep was introduced to the average Indian via Bollywood (as was EDM etc), most melodious Bollywood tunes are based on traditional ragas — did you know, for instance, that Aaj Ki Raat from Don is based on raga Jog? Neither did this writer. And, Durga puts us at ease when she says, “It’s Greek and Latin to most people. Even me. I don’t want the audience to necessarily come here for an education. I want them to come to enjoy the ragas and be entertained.” So, get up, attend a concert with a difference.

Where: Shanmukhananda Hall, behind Gandhi Market, Comrade Harbanslal Marg, Sion
When: 4.30 pm
Entry: Rs 400 – Rs 2,000
Call: 24078888

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