Song of Surrender

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Vasundhara Komkali is no more

By Shrinkhla Sahai

The town of Dewas in Madhya Pradesh, which emerged as a musical capital for Hindustani classical rasikas, stands silent today. Renowned vocalist and guru- Vasundhara Komkali passed away on 29 July, 2015, after a brief illness. Affectionately called ‘Vasundhara Tai’ by the music community, the octogenarian was the wife and disciple of the legendary Kumar Gandharva and a true embodiment of his musical legacy.

Born as Vasundhara Shrikhande in Jamshedpur, she was barely a teenager when she first met Kumar Gandharva at the All India Music Conference in Calcutta. Fascinated by his gayaki she requested him to teach her and he asked her to join him at Bombay. This did not happen immediately. She was training with Kalipada Banerjee and was already an established musician by the time she arrived in Mumbai much later, in 1946. Kumar Gandharva directed her to receive taalim from the Gwalior gharana stalwart Prof BR Deodhar, who had also mentored him. Later, she became a devoted disciple of Kumar Gandharva and they married in 1962. Her music became transformed as she profoundly imbibed the musical ideology and technique and the spiritual intensity of the maestro’s style.

For her substantial contribution to music Vasundhara Komkali was honoured with a number of awards, including the Padma Shri in 2006 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2009.

Ms Komkali is survived by her daughter Kalapini Komkali, a respected vocalist in the same genre.

No comments:

Post a Comment