Saadhana Sur Sang by CICMH: Where ‘Sur’ Reigned Supreme


By Sasi Raghavan

HOUSTON: Saadhana Sur Sang, a concert series organized by Center for Indian Classical Music of Houston (CICMH), featured a magical evening of melody and strings, on May 6, at Sri Ashtalakshmi Temple. It was woven around a unique concept, never heard of before, brainchild of the founder and President of CICMH, the Mewati Maestro Pandit Suman Ghosh. There were no announcements through spoken words to stand between the musicians and the audience, only “Sur” spoke, duly supported by truly creative visuals projected on the screen. Where words are left off, music begins; proving once again that the language of music by itself is a complete form of the most intense communication.

The program started with the auspicious ringing of a bell, so apt for a venue where Devi Maa presents herself in 8 different forms. Disciples of Pandit Suman Ghosh presented an invocational Shlok, Govinda Damodar Ashtakam, composed by the living legend and Pandit Ghosh’s Guru, the one and only Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj-Ji.


Following this spiritual treat woven around the intricacies of Raag Nat Bhairav, by the Singers from the celebrated Gurukul, Saadhana Pariwar, was a melodious, scintillating Sitar Recital by one of the most promising youngsters, Shakir Khan, son and worthy follower of the legendary Sitarist Ustad Shahid Parvez. Shakir Khan presented Raag Charukeshi, ably supported on the tabla by Hindole Majumdar, elaborating on the uplifting yet serene melody of the raag beautifully, and instilling peace and calm in the hearts of the listeners. He concluded his segment with a priceless traditional composition on raag Pilu, leaving the audience in a celestial trance.

The final segment of the program was a vocal duet by Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra, sons of Pandit Rajan Mishra-Ji of the legendary singing-duo Pandit Rajan-Sajan Mishra. The youngsters presented a variety of Raags, interestingly all with the suffix ‘Shree’, beginning with the difficult and intense raag Shree – a connoisseur’s delight. Just as the calm sea gathers momentum in the wind, the brothers elevated the mood of the audience with great skill, improvisation and harmony, their voices complementing each other. They were ably accompanied by Hindole Majumdar on the tabla and Anirban Chakrabarty on the Harmonium. Their fascinating rendering of the rare Raag Malashree, followed by a detailed portrayal of evergreen Raag Puriya Dhanashri, ended with a beautiful bhajan composed by their father, kept the audience spellbound.

The artists were full of praise for the discerning and appreciative audience, especially the young disciples of the Saadhana Pariwar Gurukul who sat on the floor, right in front of the stage for the entire duration, with rapt attention, appreciating every nuance of even the most difficult raags.

The theme of this edition Sur Sang was ‘Illustrious sons of Legendary Fathers’. As Pandit Ghosh said in his vote of thanks at the end, the evening left one and all elated that these musicians were true torch-bearers of the musical tradition established by their Legendary fathers.

Saadhana Sur Sang 2017 was truly a magnificent meeting point of music, musicians and music lovers in the Greater Houston Area, as was ensured by the dedicated Core Team of music-worshippers at the CICMH, who set a newer standard of all-round precision, with attention to every minute detail, in staging the concert.