Posted by: havishm | February 19, 2008

An Evening with Classical Sangeet : A First Hand View

Students of IILM organized a SPIC MACAY program at the Gurgaon campus on 15th February. SPIC MACAY stands for Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth. It seeks to conserve and promote an awareness of the rich and heterogeneous cultural tapestry amongst the youth of this country.
We had an enchanting evening of Indian Classical Music with Ustad Wasiffuddin Dagar (Vocal Dhrupad). Ustad Wasiffudin Dagar is a world renowned classical singer and have given performances internationally. His ancestry consists of singers and for over 25 generations they have been a part of a heritage called the ‘dagar’ ancestry. He was accompanied by ‘tablas’ and a French lady and a Japanese gentleman as aides. To start off the event, PGP students presented bouquets to all of them.
Ustad Wasiffudin Dagar

Most of the students, about a 100 of them – had no prior exposure to classical music (including me); so we were all a little bemused and a little impatient for the event to start. There were also several faculty members present. Ustad Dagar greeted us all very candidly and we were all a little taken – aback. We expected (here I am taking the liberty for speaking on behalf of all students) classical singers to be real fussy and not small – talkers. We expected that Ustad Dagar too would just complete the program and leave. So all of us were obviously very surprised and excited at the opportunity to interact with him – and interact we did !! He started of by asking all of us about the exposure we have had to classical music (which was very little mind you). Whilst he was doing his ‘riyaaz’, he explained the whole process behind the ’sur’ and ‘taal’ and how classical sangeet is not just a random sequence of syllables but something which actually has a lot of technique and pattern (and obviously loads and loads of practice). Ustad Dagar kept us all busy by making us clap to the ‘tabla’ sounds. Some of us caught up to it quickly (it was difficult mind you) while others (like me) were a little slow to understand. But nonetheless we all were deeply engrossed in it (and by the closure of the event I got pretty well too) !!Ustad Dagar then gave us a myriad of recitals, but every 10 minutes or so, he would talk to us and explain us the meaning and the pattern behind everything. The evening finished off with the sun setting down – and it was a perfect ending to a memorable evening.The dean, Prof. Naushad Mullick and all of us thanked Ustad Dagar for introducing us to classical music in such an exciting way and wished him luck for the rest of his tour [SPIC MACAY would be organising over 200 such events across the months of January to April].

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