Recalling his enthusiasm and love for life, Shubha Mudgal dedicated her performance at the Saptak Music Festival on Sunday to the late Ashok Purohit, architect, bon vivant, music connoisseur and a pioneer of Gujarat’s multiplex industry. Ms Mudgal recalled the times she had stayed at Purohit’s house and performed at the City Pulse multiplex campus at Gandhinagar. “Later, when he fell ill and was bedridden, I visited him and found he had stuck up a notice behind his bed saying “Don’t ask me about my health. I’m fine”. Ashok was ill for a long time and he was tired of people asking him about his health.”
Speaking at the event, former Gujarat bureaucrat Vijay Ranchan recalled Ashok Purohit learning to play the violin as a young man: “For the most part, he remained a kaan-sen rasther than a Tansen. He was a great patron of the arts in Ahmedabad and his City Pulse complex was the venue for some of the finest baithaks,” he said.
At the well-attended show at LD Arts College, Ms Mudgal chose to perform Raag Bihar. “This was the Raag I had performed the first time I came to the Saptak Festival many years ago. I am returning to the same Raag because this in a new beginning.” Ms Mudgal was accompanied by Aneesh Pradhan on table and Sudhir Nayak on the harmonium.
This was preceded by a sarangi concert by the father-son duo of Ustad Moinuddin Khan and Momin Khan, with Akram Khan on the tabla. Ustad Moinuddin sprang a surprise by extending his performance by an additional ten minutes, singing a thumri The first performance of the Saptak evening session was a vocal concert by Viraj Amar, accompanied by Hemant Joshi on the tabla, Shishir Bhatt on the harmonium and Allarakha Kalawant on the sarangi.
Being a Sunday, there was special morning session featuring a vocal recital by Niraj and Vikas Parikh, with Pravin Shinde on the tabla, Akas Joshi on the harmonium and Vanraj Shastri on the sarangi.This was followed by a sarod-violin by Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar and Mysore Manjunath. They were accompanied by Ojas Adhiya on the tabla and Patri Satish Kumar on the mridangam.and the concert was dedicated to Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in his 100th anniversary year.
Ashok and Veena were close friends. In last 20 years attended so many concert in city pulse. Great music lover, warm and generous couple I have still had to come across. Music was his life!