Mischievous, romantic, youthful, mysterious, playful yet the protector of all, Krishna remains one of the most popular Gods of Hindu mythology, with references of him and his greatness being found in different parts of the country. From North India to Rajasthan, Gujarat and the south, numerous devotees have sung innumerable songs in his praise. “Krishna is the most omnipresent God,” says singer Shankar Mahadevan who will be singing songs in his praise at a concert titled Shyam Rang tomorrow at the NCPA.
All round appeal
“Since he has been worshipped in different parts of the country, there are songs in different forms and styles of music that are devoted to him. I want to present these diverse forms of music. There are popular Thumris on Krishna and several bhajans; there is mention of Krishna even in Sufi poetry,” reveals Mahadevan, who feels that Krishna is a very vast subject. “I wanted to look at Krishna as a person who is omnipresent,” adds the singer.
For Mahadevan, Krishna has been someone he has been associated with since he was a kid: “In Carnatic music, many songs have references to him and his stories. Purandaradasa (one of the most prominent composers of Carnatic music) has sung many songs in praise of Krishna and Krishna bhajans were part of my growing up years. I also visited the Hare Rama Hare Krishna temple, a lot,” he says adding, “At every stage of life, you can connect with Krishna. He was a warrior, a romantic, a playful child and a lot more. He is truly an inspiration for every Indian.”
Not just bhajans
Apart from bhajans, Mahadevan will also be singing some contemporary songs in praise of Krishna. “I have collaborated with a Jazz guitarist for one of the songs. It will be more of a modern day song. My younger son is singing a song on Krishna as a child. There are bhajans, Rajasthani music, a flute recital and a lot more at the concert. The music will cover many different genres,” he adds.
When quizzed about his favourite Krishna song, he replies, “There is a beautiful Krishna bhajan by Tara Devi. I sing that with just a Tanpura and no other instruments. It sounds beautiful.” Mahadevan will present a few new compositions as well: “We will go on stage and gauging the audience will present our music.”