The last aalap


By Sukant Deepak
New Delhi, Aug 18 |
It was a long journey for the six-year-old who, on his way to school stopped the moment Begum Akhtar’s ghazal ‘Deewana banana hai to deewana bana de’ wafted from a small shop. They say everything changed for that little boy in that pause. The one who the world would later know as Pandit Jasraj — someone who let go of strict geometrical precision by bringing an element of devotional singing to Khayal.

Not shying away from incorporating elements from other gharanas, he summoned to spaces a peculiar spiritual content and consciousness — that otherworldly aspect every musician forever strives for. Remember ‘Shyam Bina’? The love, the longing, the searching, the wait, the feeling of disappearing into oneself, and that final ‘escape’… Krishna must have stood still somewhere today, if only to acknowledge the passing away of Pt. Jasraj who died of cardiac arrest at his home in the US on Monday.

He was 90, but would still stop to admire a musical note, to say gracious things that would make a musician’s day. And yes, he seldom missed a game of international cricket or hockey whenever India played.

During a long illustrious career spanning eight decades, the maestro, who was initiated into vocal training at the age of 14, later trained as a tabla accompanist under his elder brother Pandit Pratap Narayan. He trained as a classical vocalist with Pandit Maniram, and later with Jaiwant Singh Waghela, Gulam Qadir KhanAand Swami Vallabhas Damulji to give his first solo concert at the age of 22 in Nepal.

A specialist in Haveli Sangeet, who also created ‘Jasrangi Jugalbandi’, the maestro, who belonged to the Mewati gharana is remembered by contemporaries and juniors not just as an artiste who never shied away from reinventing himself, but also an individual who had reached a stage where it was tough to differentiate between the man from his art.

Sarod virtuoso, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is convinced that Pt. Jasraj’s death marks the end of a golden era of music. “I shared so many festivals with Jasraj bhai right from the sixties. He effortlessly gave a unique dimension to vocal music and was someone who surpassed his own time. He was the last of the golden era of Indian classical vocalists which included Ustad Bade Ghulaam Ali Khan Saheb, Ustad Amir Khan Saheb Pt. Bhimsen Joshi and Pt. Kumar Gandharva. Mewati Gharana came to limelight thanks to his genius. It has been a great personal loss to me.”

Recalling that over the last decade, they must have performed during the same evening in about 50 concerts, sitar player, Ustad Shujaat Khan, who was recently part of HCL Digital Concerts, smiles, “I would always tell him it was awkward for me to play post his performance considering he was much senior, but he would always brush that off. His passing away is not just a personal but also a national loss. I have been remembering green room conversations, our travels and concerts ever since I heard the news. The man was in a place of his own. I can never forget an early morning concert by him in Delhi a few years back. You know, people ask if you have experienced God — that day the Bhairav Raga surely made me realise what music could do to a human being’s emotions.”

Remembering the time when Pt. Jasraj taught her classical renditions, singer Asha Bhosle says, “A childlike enthusiasm never left him. Being in his presence was always a blessing. The moments were so blissful. His demise is an irreparable loss to the world of music. I have lost my elder brother today.”

A few years back, tabla player Bickram Ghosh met him at an airport. As always, Pt. Jasraj was carrying his swarmandal. Ghosh offered to carry it for him. “But I am quite comfortable. After all, this is a part of my body,” the maestro said with a straight face.

“Pt. Jasraj represented the time when Indian classical music shone at its brightest. Post independence, there was a huge struggle to establish an identity — what was India? Culture always leads the map, and classical music was the shining star. Single-handedly, he took the vocal genre to unbelievable heights. His value system of sadhna is unparalleled. Also, remember that our music is not pedestrian, but lofty. That loftiness needs to be communicated through the personality too — and he lived up in that department too.”

Speaking to IANS from the US, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan feels that just like the loss of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, and now Pt. Jasraj’s demise is a huge loss not just for his audience, but the music fraternity too. “I have loads of memories associated with him. As a kid, he encouraged and pushed me no end. He was forever there to help and support. You become an ‘ustad’ or ‘pandit’ in the real sense when a senior addresses you like that — he was the first to give me that honour.”

Writer Madhur Kapila, who wrote a book on him recalls attending concerts and staying with him and his family for weeks. “An extremely warm person with not even a hint of arrogance, I still remember a trip to Benaras when he sang early morning at one of the ghats. The whole experience stunned me into silence. He was drowned in his own voice. Everything and everyone seemed to have paused in that moment. Perhaps that is what real art does to us, make us quiet deep inside.”

(Sukant Deepak can be contacted at

Source: IANS

Sponsors Posts

Teamology Softech And Media Makes PR Affordable for SMEs In India

Teamology Softech And Media Makes PR Affordable for SMEs In India

Don’t have enough funds to spend on your business or do u have very limited amount of money for your business PR? No worries when Teamology make affordable PR for your business and brand. Teamology Softech And Media Services Pvt Ltd are a high term Digital PR, Information Technology, Digital Marketing and Brand Consulting firm in India.

How to transform your small business into a big business?

Every startups face many challenges, but none as uncertain or life-threatening as the struggle to remain cash positive. In enhancement, new companies have to pay thousands a month in team salaries, office-leasing fees, raw materials, and other continuous operational costs all while struggling to secure enough funds to stay afloat.

Mr. Gulrez Alam, a young entrepreneur and Managing Director at Teamology Softech and Media Services Pvt. Ltd. He is also a co-founder of a leading educational Sarkari Naukri Information portal in India shares his experience where he felt extremely helpless to promote his own site as it’s not possible for young entrepreneurs to invest huge amount in their PR activities for SMEs.  Caught in this dire financial balancing act, most entrepreneurs end up abandoning investments they come to view as unnecessary, such as marketing and advertising. Yet the cruel irony is that neglecting marketing altogether smothers a business’s growth, leaving it less revenue to collect and forcing it into an even more definitive budget.

So after his personal experience where he wasn’t able to do his PR and advertisement of the webportal.  Mr. Gulrez Alam along with Mr. Badshah Ansari who is now a technical director of Teamology softech and Media services Pvt.Ltd  decided to startup a business venture where their company Teamology Softech and Media Services Pvt. Ltd  provides offer of  100% Guaranteed Digital PR over the world. They are also running ads and manage social media account of many happy clients. They Boost your social media Engagement apparently. They have a dedicated team who are expert In SEO Services.

The teamology Providing Backlink, Page Optimization, Schema Markup, On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, and many more. They also Offers Website and App Development Services. Custom Web development, Design according to SEO Algorithm. Teamology has a Team of Experts Writer, who writes the article for many reputed organizations like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Buzzfeed, and many Indian news websites.

Teamology Team consists of more than 30 Marketers, Writers, and Managers. The Main Motto of Teamology is to provide best PR service and also sssured that client’s project would deliver on time. Teamology  Supports Small and medium Startups to provide excellent service at the best price. Teamology has joined the gap between startups, SMEs, individuals, and mainstream media affordable to every enterprise. it included mainstream media in the press announcement field. Teamology have directly affiliated with 100+ online news channels in linguistics.

At present Teamology has 160+ clients, their have 100+ publications in total and approximately 10k satisfied and happy clients.  Their Mission is to helps in Branding, Digital Marketing, E-Commerce, and Design to grow Startups & Brands to meet Consumer’s needs and develop world-class skills & abilities. According to the founder of Teamology, Their  main goal is to help customers return on their investment, improve their operational performance, deliver their products and services more effectively & efficiently, and grow their businesses in existing & new markets.

They help By engaging with the customers and their teams to strengthen digital marketing, E-Commerce, and brand management skills to build a consumer-centric design.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here