Prasad, accompanied by Akshay Naresh, who came down specifically for this event, started the evening with a wonderful rendition of Raag Puriya Kalyan, the sombre alaap that he transgressed the audience into a meditative mood. He followed it with yet another beautiful rendition of Raag Durga, apt for the Diwali evening. Prasad ended his part of the evening with Raag Shivaranjani. The tabla of Sri. Ravi Gutala did the talking to provided the fireworks needed to light up the evening.
The mood set by Prasad-Ji was elevated to yet another level for Dheemtanites with the release of their first "RAMRANG - VOL1", a Tribute to the legendary Pt. Ramashreya Jha, by none other than the Thri-Murthies of Bay Area Hindustani circles, Sri. Nachiketa Sharma, Sri. Ravi Gutala, and Sri. Vivek Datar.
With the release of CD out of the way, Sri. Nachiketa topped off the evening beginning with the very first composition of Ramrang in Raag Hamsadwani "Kal Na Parey", followed it with yet another classic in Raag Chayabihaag. Though Diwali had set in, Nachiketa's next rendition of the Ramrang's Magnum Opus(As put by Nachiketa) was the Raagmaala, an ode to Goddess Saraswathi, taking us back 10 days into Dasara. This masterpiece a amalgam of 23 raags, is beaded such that the name of Raag is intertwined into the lines of song and with each word carefully positioned to deliver a ode the Goddess. Nachiketa's devotion and his passion for Ramrang, is clearly evident when this rendition of the Raagmala is heard. Nachiketa ended the evening, with Dheemtanites anxious for more, with yet another jewel of Ramrang in Raag Bilaskhani Todi, a composition in the praise of Goddess Durga.
It would be unfair to just say that Sri. Ravi and Sri. Vivek provided excellent support, They indeed were the part of the whole that made the listening intensely pleasurable. The chemistry between the three artists has to be seen to be believed, when they get onto the stage it seems like it is one person performing. It has been the delight of Dheemtanites and Bay Area to watch the three perform on stage. HATS OFF!!! to trio who make it seem effortless to render such a wonderful yet complicated piece of music on stage. The recordings posted and the CD is a testament to the same.
With that note, Dheemtana celebrated its third birthday, of course, with a lavish dinner provided by the Dheemtanites, still swimming in the Raagmala and Bilaskhani Todi. Thanks to all the volunteers the event was a complete success and once again thanks to the Bay Area Gurus specially for being a backbone to the organization and encouraging us to go further, of course none of this would be possible without the active support of Dheemtanites. Three Cheers to Dheemtana!! HIP HIP HURRAY!!
The website has been updated with all the recordings, under Events->2009->Baithak 14.
The RAMRANG Vol-1 CD is available as of now at the RAAGA MUSIC STORE, 1016, E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA - 94087. Please go ahead and pick a copy of the CD. It is also available to be ordered on the Web for non Bay Area residents.