L to R : Pt.Sanjoy Bandopadhyay, rabbi Eduardo, Jon Barlow
2012 was about to end, it was a cold December morning. I received a phone call from my dear Jon. Jon Barlow is a kind of an omnipresent person in the Hindusthani music scenario. He can be seen anywhere in India or different parts of the globe… be it Kolkata, Dharwad, Goa, Mumbai, Paris or Sydney. This senior gurubhai wanted me to give a performance. He offered two dates to choose from, one was the 1st January night or the 2nd . I was free on the 2nd and choose to play on this day. Later I found out that the concert would be at Dupli’s residence [Dr. Kingshook Biswas] and I became even happier.
I reached the mathematician’s den in the evening and pleased to discover many close friends and some serious musicians assembled to listen to the music. Prabhu Edouard, the tabla maestro from Paris, was already there. Jon had already told me that Prabhu would provide me with the tabla support. I started with Sajgiri followed by a Madhya laya gat in Anandi-Kalyan. The audience request came for Kirwani. So, that became the next item. I remembered that I last played the raga at Swami Haridas Sangeet Sammelan in Bombay long back in 1976. When I finished Kirwani it was about 10 at night. The audiences wanted more so we decided to sit again after dinner! The famous Bablu, who has been serving Jon for the last 30 years [or longer?] cooked for us a tasty dinner. Babui was with me. Babui has become quite a notable sarod player [Saugata Roy Chaudhury] and regularly performing in venerable venues in Europe. We were discussing on what can be the next raga. Suddenly it clicked… why not try ‘Vilayatkhani Kanada’?… He liked the idea very much and became quite excited. I never seriously tried this raga and did not have the opportunity to even listen to Ustad Vilayat Khan excepting a glimpse for say 5 mins. So I plunged into Vilayatkhani Kanada.
I had a tiny voice recorder with me. It was not a very good one. I could not position the microphone nicely. so many details are lost.. still I thought it is not too bad an idea to put it before you.. although a scratchy recording. I hope you, as a connoisseur will fill the gaps…