Raag Jhinjhoti exudes a folksy charm. It expands best in the lower and middle octaves with happy, vibrant strides. Debasmita Bhattacharya chooses Jhinjhoti for her sarod recital at the Darbar Festival 2017. The forebearers of this stringed lute weighing almost 10 kilograms (22 lbs) is a largely a male dominated sphere. As a talented and one of the few emerging female exponents of this instrument, Bhattacharya has made an exception.
She comes from an assured lineage. She has learned from her father Debashish Bhattacharya, an exponent of the Senia Shahjahanpur gharana and then Late Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta, the eminent sarodist from Kolkata, India.
In this recital, she plays alap, jod and jhalla in Jhinjhoti followed by two compositions – one set to madhyalay Teental and the other to drut Teental. She concludes her recital with a light and captivating piece in Mishra Bhairavi.
Bhattacharya’s alap or introduction develops steadily, revealing the significance of Ga (3rd) in Jhinjhoti. Combining subtle elements of pathos and reflection, she pauses at Ga in the descending phrases. She ascends the octave, bringing back a happy focus to the same note with a slightly intricate application, layering her presentation with varying emotions. She introduces the jod with an unhurried pace, punctuating it with long, appealing glides. She draws upon the swiftness and balance between her right and left hands to display intricate tantrakari (instrumental nuances) and a harmonious jhalla.
Bhattacharya handles Jhinjhoti with caution, containing enough to keep it within its bounds and liberating enough to let its parent scale Khamaj flow into it.
Gurdain Rayatt gives laudable tabla accompaniment with flashes of tayyari and combination of subtle and powerful bols calibrated to the flow of melody. Bhattacharya’s concluding Mishra Bhairavi is controlled and restive in the alap. She soaks the piece with poignance and devotion while Rayatt captures the lilt of this composition in Dadra with energy and confidence.
Debasmita Bhattacharya (sarod)
Gurdain Rayatt (tabla)
Raag: Jhinjhoti, Thaat: Khamaaj, Samay: night
Raag Mishra Bhairavi, Samay: early morning