The Legacy Continues

On the stage, Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra's music becomes one. Their perfectly layered khayals carry the legacy of the Banarasi gharana. Their movements, just like their voices, work in perfect harmony, each complementing the other's style, yet retaining their individuality.

Pune has been a witness to this mesmerising performance many times, but to mark the 60th year of the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Festival, the city will witness the maestros performing with their next generation, for the first time. "We have performed with my sons all over the world, including at Albert Hall, London and the Lincon Centre in the US. But performing in Pune, in front of such a knowledgeable audience gives me great happiness," says Pandit Rajan.

Pandit Rajan (61) and Sajan (66) were born and brought up in Varanasi and received their musical training from their grandfather, Bade Ram Das Ji Mishra, father Hanuman Prasad Mishra, and uncle, the sarangi virtuoso, Gopal Prasad Mishra. Pandit Rajan's sons, Ritesh (37) and Rajnish (35) belong to the sixth generation of the Banarasi gharana's legacy.

Ritesh and Rajnish, along with their academics, have been learning music since their birth with sounds of tanpura, sarangi, tabla and the voices of forefathers vibrating in their home and surroundings. Gifted with a pleasing voice and sensibility for musical notes, they toiled through the strenuous music sessions over the years. With focus on performance, the brothers' knowledge of Indian ragas is immense, and they perform the khayals, tappas and tarana bhajans, among others.

Talking about their upcoming performance, Pandit Rajan says that they do not like to give a studied performance. "We have to be inspired to give the particular performance at the particular place. We do not decide beforehand what we will be singing. We see what the previous performer has done, look at the audience and their mood and decide. One has to use a performer's intuition while dealing with the live audience," he explains.

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