Kalildas Festival – Girija Devi

It was absolutely divine listening to this 76 year old lady sing and make audience crave for more. “I am learning for the past seventy years, I can sing at least for 70 hours” (sattar saal ka riaz hai, sattar ghante to ga hi sakti hoon) she replies to the shouts of “aur sunaiye” “aur sunaiye” from audience.

Ably accompanied by Anuradha pal, the lady tabla player who accompanied Ustad Shahid Parvez, Gaan-tapswini Girija Devi ji started the concert with Rag Jog, going into aalap’s that floored the audience. In between the performance she shared her knowledge and belief’s with the audience – Laya maya hai jo har kalakar ko uksati hai aur main bhee is se baach nahi paati hoon, main bhee taan leti hoon aur tab main solah saal ki bacchi ban jaati hoon“.

She enthralled the audience by rendition of tappa ”miyan nazar nahi aanda way“ followed by a thumri set in mishra Desh ”more saiyan bulawe aadhi raat.

Girija Devi has spent many years in researching Thumri and it shows every time she performs one. Coupled with good lyrics Thumari sounds more interesting and it is like a dream come true when swar gets suitable words she told the eager audience.

Thumri followed kajri which discribed purush birah in sawan instead of the traditional stree birah – Ghir aaye kaari badriya, radhe bin laage na mora jiya“

On audience requests she sung a chaiti , a jhoola and a hori and ended her performance with a thumari bhajan composed in Bhairwi

Earlier back stage, when i took her photo, she said, ”kheench rahi ho to bhejna zaroor“ and she autographed on one of her CDs which I was carrying. One of her deciples gave me her calcutta address to which I am sending the prints of the concert photographs.

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