It is not everyday that you expect to watch and listen to sitar maestros like Rais Khan, especially that now his domicile is on the other side of our national border. It is not everyday that you expect to watch the nimble hands which played to the memorable tunes of legendary music directors like Madan Mohan and Naushad for so many great Hindi movies of yesteryear.
But there he was, in person, at the G D Birla Sabhagar in Calcutta on 17th November 2012 for a show organized by Sangeet Ashram, in front of a huge audience that turned up to watch and listen to him.
After a glowing tribute by Sangeet Ashram director Shri Vijay Kichlu, he opened the show with raaga Sundar Kalyan (which contains glimpses of several Kalyan thaat raagas like Yaman, Kamod, Chhayanat, Nand, etc). The alaap and the gat in vilambit teentaal were a pleasure to listen to for his incomparable gayaki ang style. After he switched to drut teentaal, we were pleasantly surprised to find that though feeble with age, his hands still retain occasional flashes of the brilliance of fast taankari without any loss of note definitions, which he was renowned for.
He concluded his repertoire with a dhun on kaharwa taal based on a ghazal.
He was competently accompanied by his son Farhan Khan on sitar. The accompaniment on tabla by Shri Subhankar Banerjee was brilliant and was much praised by Rais Khan throughout the show.
We wish Khansahab a long life and wish his son makes his name as illustrious as his father’s.
PS: Sorry that this report is much delayed – our admin eloped with Niku’da and got lost in the jungles of Chhattisgarh…