It was one of those evenings alone and I had been working from home the entire day. I was supposed to be at a musical event but work kept me busy. This had ensured that I could not make it to the event at all. Feeling highly demotivated, since I had been looking forward to the event, I decided to create my own mini event at home. I have collection of classical songs that I have built up over the years and which I am very proud of. I also have a large collection of lounge music, Buddha Bar mostly.

I loaded my entire collection of classical and lounge music onto a mixer and let shuffle take charge. Before I started off, I picked up my trusted Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve, added some ice and soda and put the music on! It has rightly Poster-1been told, music is an enchantress and can seduce you away to mystical lands unknown. But once you are there, you would never want to come back.

This is exactly what happened to me. It was the evening, a Friday evening to be precise, and the music was reaching its high note. With that, the flavors of TGR were only doing the trick to get me to the mystical lands faster. The woody aroma from the triple maturing, the effortless roll under my tongue. It was all so very alluring. Not wanting to be back so soon, I kept the flow of TGR into my glass steady and the music at a high note!

Zakir Hussain and Ustad Allah Rakkha Khan saheb’s jugalbandi has always been top notch. They have always entertained me. On the other hand, Rahul Sharma’s western influenced santoor vadan has its own uniqueness. All masters of their own art. The music, the musicians, the scotch and the connoisseur.

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Kotak Mahindra Bank has been long associated with exemplary musical tastes since long. This association goes back to the year 2008 when it first collaborated on ‘Dakshinayan’, a 1 day music festival featuring stalwarts from the Carnatic Music Fraternity. In 2009 they worked to create ‘Rhythm & Dance’, an event which was held during the Infinite India conference for all RE & PE investors at the Taj Lands End.
In 2011, they came up with the Splendor of Masters for the first time. This featured Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, ace Harpist Gwyneth Wentink from Netherlands and accomplished Saxophonist George Brooks from USA. This was held in Mumbai (Nehru Centre) and New Delhi (India Habitat Centre). In 2012, they featured Ustad Shujaat Khan (Sitar- Hindustani) with Vidwan Vikku Vinayakram (Ghatam – Carnatic) Ganesh-Kumaresh (Violin – Carnatic) and George Brooks (Saxophone -Jazz & Newage). This was held in Mumbai (Nehru Centre) and Bangalore (Chowdiah Memorial).
In 2013 they created a unique combination of artists, a unique dance presentation by – Madhavi Mudgal (Odissi) & Alarmel Valli (Bharatnatyam) followed by Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Mohan Veena), Mohamad Farghaly (Oud), Hamada Farghaly (Qanoon) and Rakesh Chaurasia (Flute) with interesting percussions.
This year keeping with the tradition of featuring the best, they created an ensemble that was brilliant in content and unparalleled in artistic synergy featuring Ustad Shujaat Khan (Sitar & Vocals – Hindustani) with Prasanna (Guitar- Carnatic & Western), Phil Mathurano from New York (Drums), Selvaganesh (Kanjira), and Abhishek Raghuram (Carnatic Vocals) and other percussionists.
Each artist was a master of his true worth. Every moment, every minute was not only scintillating but electrifying. So much so that, the crowd continued to cheer and egg on the artists to continue without a break. The peak of the event happened to be when Selvaganesh decided to put his skills to display. He not only recreated a rustic musical and magical world, he also imitated almost every musical instrument that plays with a high bass. Not a single instrument was spared. Amazing experience I must say.
The jugalbandi between Abhishek and Prasanna was another thing to look out for. Truly, both are prodigies in their own self! Mesmerized, the crowd went begging for more. So much so that, during the break, most of them were still glued to their seats!
Although the event was kicked off with Ustad Shujaat Khan playing the sitar, it was not until after the break when all artists donned the stage together that his true worth was brought forth! Truly, this was the closest I could get to Indian music. I now realize why our elders keep telling us that the music in movies is not really worth and up to the mark. It is because they have heard the real music all their lives!
I surely wish Kotak Mahindra Bank comes up with such an event soon so that I can relive the magic. BTW, I am going to be the first in queue when the music CD for this event is brought out! For nuts, I would not want to let go of such a marvelous gem!