The 2nd of November 2012 marked a special date: the ‘Masters of Percussion’ concert featuring ustad Zakir Hussain on tabla, Dilshad Khan on sarangi, Niladri Kumar on sitar, Sridar Parthasarathy on mridangam, and T.H.V. Umashankar on gatham at the Dutch Tropentheater, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It was brilliant.
Out of the Ocean’s deep waters of joy
Developed a stillness enfolding the soul
Born out of silence, transforming by sound
She flows like the rivers when rainfall abounds.
So fertile her nature; her bosom so sweet
Gracefulness blessing who touches her feet
Her beauty leaves spellbound, her music enchants
The chimes at her ankles evoking a trance
Hail Sarasvati, you mistress of tune!
Worshipped for ages through heat and monsoon
You’ve granted us music, enticed us in art
Inspired creation, provide it, in part
It happened one evening, one magical night
While moon started waning, and stars were alight
That people came over from far and away
To witness a concert of spirited play
The taal of the tabla, the ghatam, mridangam
Inviting, responding, conspiring as one
Alluring each other to miss out just some –
Sarangi and sitar encircling their sam
Ustad Allarakha, your soul rests in peace!
Your guidance ignited what you have achieved
The humblest of many, a son of your breed
A student-like Master whose hands reign in beat
So fragile his stature; so awesome his might
Unequalled in legend, in stories so bright
From dha-ti‘s to dhins, and tins, at their height
Exceeding the speed of the bumble bee’s flight
Enthralled and amazed by that wonderful sight
We witnessed with earfuls a union of minds
Each of these musicians a treasure of kind
Their ragas a beacon of musical light
They’re blessed to their blood, pulsating inside;
True sons of Sarasvati.