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The Bandish Divide

Group Exhibition: Vidyarthi Vishesh 2011, by student artists; graphics and still-life paintings, at Pradarshak, Khar (W), till July 16 from 11 am to 7 pm. Call 9820460587 Solo Exhibition: Encounters a Sequel by Radhika Verma, at Cymroza Art Gallery, till July 23, 11 am to 7 pm. Call 9833698982 Group Exhibition: Anecdotes by various artists, at Sakshi Gallery, Colaba till July 30. Call 66103424 Group exhibition: Ehsaas by specially able-ed and artistic students by Jagrut, at Navinbhai Thakkar Hall, Ville Parle (E), on July 16 and 17, 11 am to 6 pm. Call 9820217402 Solo exhibition: Weaving dreams by Wahida Ahmed at Jehangir Hirji Gallery, Kala Ghoda, till July 19, 11 am to 7 pm. Call 9854050051 Group Exhibition: at Moksh Art Gallery, Fort, till July 18, from 1 pm to 11 pm. Call 9324016017 Group Exhibition: The feminine form at Jamaat, Colaba, till July 15, at 11 am. Call 66387272 Group Exhibition: By various
artists at Mokash Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, from 1 pm to 11 pm, till July 18. Call 9324016017

Solo exhibition: Luminarium: A Prelude by Sheba Chhachhi, at Volte Gallery, Colaba, till August 1, 11.30 to 7 pm. Call 22041220 Group Exhibition: Artists Centres 12th Exhibition including art, photography, calligraphy and music, at Kalaghoda, Colaba, till July 30. Call 66350776

music | dance | workshop

Learn to make breads like chelsea buns, dinner rolls, party rolls, whole wheat, etc. at Vile Parle, on July 14 and 15. Call 26206232

Classic breads workshop:

Decorative cupcakes: Learn to make decorative cupcakes, from 2pm to 5pm. Call 9322022550 Health camp: Stress reliever
and wellness health programme at Dadar, Chembur and Thane, till July 16, from 11 am to 2 pm. Call 24385888 or visit

Seminar for deaf students:

Free career guidance for deaf students who have passed SSC Exam, at Pragati School, Dadar (W). Call 25217284, 24134488

day workshop, at 10 am, in Thane (W). Call 9869681850

Phad Painting workshop: One Blueberry Trails: Kayakking,

river crossing, a night trail and staying on the riverside, on the Kundalika river, on July 16 and 17. Call 9820925721

Liqueur chocolates: Learn to make liqueur with homemade liqueur like irish cream, etc. at Bandra. Call 9819673854 Health, healing, happiness workshop: By the authors of the book The 20-20-20-20 Formula For Success, including

Discover how to enhance your beauty with a personal basic make up lesson, by Prerna Sainani. Call 9820114496

Basic make up workshop:

Reiki level 1, on July 16 and 17. Call 9820302492

Meta medicine from August 1 to 3 . Call 9930898116

Wellness and Healing workshop: Heal the self and others with

here are vocalists who believe in the bandish and vocalists who don't. We heard one of each kind on the first day of NCPA's three-day festival, "Bandish". Ustad Raja Miyan of the Agra gharana was the believer and Ustad Rashid Khan of the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana, the non-believer. The believer sings a bandish with full conviction, giving every word its due weightage in literal and musical terms. The words of a bandish are not necessarily wonderful poetry. As a matter of fact, they seldom are. What makes a bandish sublime is the three-way relationship it establishes between words, the rhythmic cycle and the melody. For example, in one bandish, Raja Miyan sang of the stereotypical saas-nanad combo as the lifelong enemies of the nayika. By changing stress and vocal modulation, he gave us three variations of the nayika with the same words-one who was fearful, then angry, then resigned to her fate. When you see how a beautiful bandish enriches a khayal, you wonder why some vocalists like Ustad Rashid Khan neglect to draw on its potential. With no amount of hard, concentrated listening could I make out the words of his bandish in Megh. Only the first two words of the mukhada (the refrain with which a singer comes to the sama), were enunciated-- "Piya nahin" What this piya was not doing was lost in mumbled sounds. Later, someone who knew the bandish, told me the first line"Piya nahin aaye, baadal bijlee tapke." One could only imagine what a believer in bandish would have done with the sound of the word "tapake" and the emotional charge of the words "baadal" and "bijlee". A bandish is to the khayal what a skeleton is to the human body. Without it, the body of the khayal becomes an amorphous mass of melodic sound without structure or definition. It wasn't by some musical whim or folly that the forefathers of the khayal form attached so much importance to the bandish. It was for them the seed, the storehouse of all the musical ideas with which a raga could be explored. No wonder there are some great stories in musical lore about bandishes. One such story is recounted by Pandit Kapileshwari in his richly informative and highly readable biography of Abdul Karim Khan. In those days," says the author, "a race to assume pen names and compose bandishes was on." The two brothers Ghulam Maulvi Khan and Hussain Ali Khan who were in the employ of Asaf-UdDaula, the Nawab of Oudh, composed many bandishes under the names of "Sabras" and "Hingarang" respectively. Once Hingarang was asked by a rival how many bandishes he possessed and in how many ragas. Hingarang snapped back that he was not a collector of bandishes like some upstart imposter, and proceeded to compose ten bandishes in Malkauns on the spot in one baithak.

When you see how a bandish enriches a khayal, you wonder why some vocalists toss it aside so lightly. Bandish is to the khayal what the skeleton is to the body

Ustad Rashid Khan

Back then, bandishes were like prized possessions. Gharana gurus guarded them jealously as private property which could even be pawned or given away in dowry. The other side of hoarding was stealing. If your gharana gurus had been miserly in parting with their store of bandishes, disciples ended up with just the asthai (first lines that formed the refrain), and no antaras (stanzas). Believers in the bandish then begged, borrowed or stole what they could find. Non-believers made a virtue of their shortcoming-- "We don't bother with antaras." The number of bandishes a singer possessed in any one raga was, till recently, considered a criterion by which to judge her/his worth. The music scholar-singer Wamanrao Deshpande writes in his memoirs that Pandit Bhimsen Joshi turned cold towards him after years of friendship, because he had said in an interview that Bhimsen was a great singer but not a "singers' singer". Explaining what he had meant by the remark, Deshpande says, "A singers' singer is one who has a large stock of bandishes. Why should he have a large stock of bandishes? Because bandishes help the singer to understand how to embellish musical notes to bring out the form and beauty of a raga." Today, with thousands of recordings available to listeners and singers alike, there's no question of hoarding bandishes. Even so, the bandishes that have come to singers as gharana gems, shine with a unique lustre. Raja Miyan's rendering of six such gems was a taste of what he could do with them in fully developed expositions of the ragas.