TheCalmDev (Dev J Haldar)

ravings, rantings and ramblings

The Left Hand

I was transfixed watching the left hand. It was almost like he was creating music with it.

He would pluck the notes from thin air with his left hand. His left hand assumed different roles and stances as it recounted a tale of music and mastery.

Sometimes, the left hand air-punched like a sportsman victorious. Sometimes, the left hand looked to the heavens in hope; sometimes in a sage-like manner. Sometimes, the left hand plucked the notes like a tea-planter plucks tea leaves. Sometimes, the left hand swooped like a bird of prey; sometimes like a dolphin diving up and out of the water.

Sometimes, the left hand quivered like the earth quakes. Sometimes, the left hand hung mid-air commanding his disciples to fill in the backing vocals. Sometimes, the left hand pinched the air to highlight the musical syllable. Sometimes, the left hand, held onto an imaginary cord as if to control the kite; slowly letting more height to the kite. Sometimes, the left hand just rested beside his now-frail body. Sometimes, the left hand ebbed like a babbling stream. Sometimes, the left hand swirled like a cosmic dance. Sometimes, the left hand joined the other, in gratitude, when the audience erupted in claps.

Pandit Jasraj brought succour and soul to the dry sand-land here. Now-frail in structure, this octogenarian still packs a huge punch when he performs. Hours rolled into the other as he went from one song to the other, one raga to the other. He started with Raga Jaijaiwanti and moved on to a bhajan in Raga Kaafi; followed by a soul-stirring bandish in Raga Malhar, Panditji took the entire audience with him from the emotions of one raga to the other.

His voice, still rumbles like the skies, still sings like the wind. His voice bored into the depths and then soared  to the skies. He showed us what a true master looks like. Humble yet holds his own. Unassuming yet authoritative. How he admonished his nephew, musically while challenging him to follow his notes and smiled and nodded his head when he outdid him. Panditji created sheer magic.

I kept looking at his left hand. Mesmerised. In a trance.

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