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Pt Mallikarjun Mansur

2010 happens to be the birth centenary of Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur, the great maestro of Atrauli-Jaipur gharana who was born in Dharwad. A musician by name Nilkantha Buwa heard the young Mansur on stage and told his brother: “Give this lad to me. I shall make him a musician. His genius should not be wasted in theatre companies.” At 21, Mansur cut his first album with HMV (Ragas Gaud Malhar and Adana). He then went under the tutelage of Manji Khan and later Burji Khan, both sons of Alladiya Khan.

Manji Khan taught him how to visualize the whole configuration of a raga and how to move in different tempi within the time cycle, so that raga, tala, laya became one and inseparable. A single raga was taught over days, but each day, each time, it assumed a new birth, a new form. The same raga, the same composition, the same set of notes, but there was no repetition, no staleness, no feeling of it being a stereotyped reproduction.

“Once I began learning from him, my personality underwent a change. I felt there was nothing other than music for me. Here was nectar for a thirsty man”, Pandit Mansur later recalls.

Pandit Mansur would often sing at the top of his voice at railway stations, bus stops, airports, betel shops – completely oblivious to his surroundings. Those who met him never failed to wonder at his combination of eminence and humility. He did not care to be the center of attraction.  He rarely referred to his triumphs.

There was always a special intensity to his singing, a special urgency and earnestness in his treatment of melody. Each time he sang with a new creative impulse, and in each rendering there were several surprises.

Pandit  Mansur  was honoured with three prestigious civilian awards – Padma Shri in 1970, Padma Bhushan in 1976 and Padma Vibhushan in 1992.

Raag Nat Bihag:

Yaman Kalyan

Shuddh Nat

Excellent videos on Pt Mansur by Shyam Benegal:

Unusual Concerts Episode- 1

Unusual Concerts Episode- 2

Article source : dharwad.com

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