In 2006, Darbar presented Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty in an exclusive evening in his semi-classical avatar – a gamut consisting of numerous forms in which the stalwart has deep knowledge, experience and authority. In this video, he performs a Krishna bhajan through which, he pays his tribute to Bhai Gurmit Singh Ji Virdee (1937-2005). The Darbar festival was started in 2006 in the memory of Bhai Gurmit Singh Ji Virdee – a phenomenon who sowed the seeds of Indian Musical Heritage in the UK and spurred its growth, popularity and continuance.
‘Banke Bihari Ko Hamaro Pranam,’ is a hymn dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is based on Mishra Bhairavi. The term ‘Banke Bihari’ is eponymous with Krishna and carries an interesting analogy about the lord’s appearance. ‘Banke’ literally translates to ‘bent’ and in this context, it refers to the three places where Lord Krishna’s body is distinctly arched when he plays the flute – the neck cocked to the right side, the hip bent towards the left and his feet crossed with each other, balancing his gait with the right feet on its toes and bent in the ankle. Lord Krishna has a thousand forms or avatars but it is this common posture that gives him away. The word ‘Bihari’ means one who is filled with supreme happiness.
Pandit Chakraborty is accompanied by Pandit Subhankar Banerjee in this recital – a stunning and one of world’s best tabla players whom we lost to COVID in 2021. Banerjee’s blithe support and potent texturing of bols and thekas are inextricably woven with Pandit Chakraborty’s sparkling melodic extensions.
Chiranjib Chakraborty, who is also a disciple of Pandit Chakraborty, proves his worth with a commendable support on the harmonium.
Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty (khayal)
Chiranjib Chakraborty (harmonium)
Subhankar Banerjee (tabla)
Kaviraj Singh (tanpura)