samarpan 1in

By Sasi Raghavan

HOUSTON: Samarpan – a Bhajan Festival, held on March 28,featured about 90 chosen disciples of Pandit Suman Ghosh in 70 solo and 2 group performances making it perhaps, the first of its kind in this field. The Festival, conceptualized and directed by Pandit Ghosh under the banner of the Center for Indian Classical Music of Houston (CICMH), was dedicated to the late Shri Anil Kumar-ji, founder and executive director of Samskriti, and was graced by his wife, Dr. Rathna Kumar-ji, the celebrated Dance maestro.

Every aspect of the event bore the stamp of the impeccable organizing skills of CICMH and the Gurukul- Saadhana Pariwar. The stage for the performers, an altar for the Musical Grand-Gurus of the performers, and another altar dedicated to Shri Anil Kumar-ji, created a befitting devotional mood for the event. The MCs, Smt. Sucheta Roy and Shri Ram Seetharam, introduced the performers, 5 to 65 years of age, who presented bhajans in various ragas and emotions, with the blessings and support from by their own Guru on the Harmonium. The common thread of spiritually surrendering oneself to the higher form of God, Guru and Music, “Samarpan”, held the music connoisseurs and the casual listeners alike in silent contemplation throughout the afternoon.

During the break, Pandit Ghosh shared his thoughts behind the concept of the event and invited Dr. Rathna Kumar-ji to say a few words. Rathna-ji was deeply touched by the respectful gesture by Pandit Ghosh and the Saadhana Pariwar, of dedicating the event as a tribute to her late husband. She also mentioned that it was one of the best decisions of Shri Anil Kumar-ji and herself to bring Pandit Ghosh to Houston. Smt. Archna Tripati, a director of CICMH, expressed gratitude on behalf of all disciples for countless hours of Guruji’s Taalim and unconditional support. The evening ended with a scrumptious dinner from Madras Pavilion.

The first quarter of 2015 has seen Pandit Ghosh offering exemplary musical treats on three different occasions. The Bhajan Festival comes right on the heels of two scintillating performances by Pandit Ghosh. Basant Utsav, a concert of Springtime Ragas on Feb 28, at the Ashtalakshmi Temple had witnessed a fascinating portrayal of complex and delicate springtime ragas like Basant, Khamaj Bahar, Basant Bahar, Bhairav Bahar and others. In the season opener for Indian Music Society of Houston on March 14, 2015, he captivated the audience, yet again, with his own compositions in the rare raag, Rasik Priya in the beginning and transcending into the lovely Tilak Kamod, Hamsadhwani, Kaunsi Kanada and Kirwani. The knock-out performance, further enriched by Pandit Shantilal Shah’s superb accompaniment on the Tabla and Shri. Sammer Kotasthane’s soulful harmonium-playing, left the audience yearning for more. This past weekend (April 11), Pandit-ji was also featured in the popular radio program, Open Forum, in a 2 hour long talk show. Houston is blessed to have a versatile and accomplished vocalist and a Guru, a rare combination, rolled into one person, as Pandit Suman Ghosh – committed and devoted to the growth of his disciples and enrichment of the community through unique efforts, commendable vision and amazing all-round musicianship.