Raag Puriya Kalyan combines elements of the late-night raga Puriya in the lower tetra chord with the joyous elements of Kalyan in the upper tetra chord. The glory of Puriya Kalyan’s manifestation lies in the judicious allotment of weightage assigned to both Puriya and Kalyan during its implementation. Puriya is mildly haunting while Kalyan brings contrasting shades of resplendence.
In this recital, pioneering vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty creates a vivid imagery in a mind-numbing presentation of Puriya Kalyan that combines poise, power, delicacy and majesty all bundled neatly in a regal bouquet of the Patiala gharana.
Chakraborty’s concerts offer a dense concoction of pure notes, intricate embellishments and masterful techniques. However, this one stands out with the added supremacy of the Patiala stylisation. Her consummate underpinning of expressions with strong, Patiala vocalisation - a predominantly masculine style - is testimony to her spiritual evolution along a musical path that requires not just powerful lungs but also strong determination and focus.
“In hybrid ragas as Puriya Kalyan, the balancing of flavours is crucial. However, every day is a unique journey for the artist and so the proportion of blend is different on each day and yields different results for every performance,” adds Chakraborty. According to her, Puriya is possessed with the subtle and dark obsession of an addictive potion. Through the alap, she creates moments of anticipation in the Puriya-phrases, releasing the suppressed microtones of komal Re (flat 2nd) into the tonal sentences. She dispels the ‘darkness’ of Puriya with a sparkling teevra Ma (sharp 4th) of the Kalyan ang, making the moment bloom in all its glory.
The slower composition is set to a cycle of 12-beats in Ektaal. Satyajit Talwalkar’s beguiling thekas stretch out the repose created by Chakraborty’s unhurried execution. Ajay Joglekar stores the passivity and blaze of the raga in the melodic structure and responds to Chakraborty’s triggers with beautifully woven phrases.
The faster tempo composition is set to a 16-beat cycle of Teental. Chakraborty handles the melodic elaborations with sargams in indulgent movements. She embellishes the vowels with demanding gamaks and complex trills plunging deep into the lowest octave with as much ease as she touches the highest octave. The swaggering gait of the faster composition emerges fully with a witty handling of the laya by Chakraborty and Talwalkar.
If a quick comparison of Chakraborty’s past performances is made with this recital, one might see a marked difference. Her past performances speak of an individual style whereas this one pushes the boundaries with dare, mature stillness and measured flamboyance on equal notes.
Kaushiki Chakraborty (Patiala khayal)
Satyajit Talwalkar (tabla)
Ajay Joglekar (harmonium)
Keertan Rehal & Kiruthika Balakrishnan (tanpuras)
Raag Puriya, Thaat: Marwa, Samay: late night