Wow !!! I never in my dreams thought that I could watch them live ! As Begum Parveen Sulthana said that the last time she and Ust. Dilshad Khan had come to perform in Kerala it was 20 years back when I must have been a tiny little foetus in my mother's womb! When they entered the open hall at the Kanakunnu Palace everyone started applauding out of respect. The commenced with Raag Yaman . They both sang a vilambit Khayal and a Dhrut Khayal followed by my favourite tarana in Raag Hamsadhwani composed by the Ustad himself.
The Open air concert was filled with claps when she sang it in ,what I feel is the 'echo' style. Here, a taan is sung in normal heavy voice and is imitated as it's own echo. I will speak to my Guruji and ask him if there is a definite term for such a kind of singing. So please excuse me if I have used a wrong term as such. Ustad Dilshad sang the right opposite of an echo. He produced the echo effect first and then sang it in the heavy tone. Mashallah!
Third presentation was in a rare raag known as 'Maluha Maand'. As Parveenji was explaining about the raag, Ustad interrupted by saying it's the marriage of a woman and a man. He then winked at her and the place was filled with mild laughter as though mocking him for teasing her at a serious discussion point. Such a jovial person. My mom was saying that a Guru should also have a jovial, fun loving side to enhance a student's relationship with the Guru. Ustad said that Maluha is a raag which has the features similiar to that of a man. Very dominant, bold ans strong. Whereas, Maand is more frivolous in nature and has a little bit of mischief! So the marriage/ combination of the raaga is 'Maluha Maand'. A beautiful Tarana in the same raag was also performed and there was this one line which was sung in persian language. At the end of the presentation of the raag the Ustad mentioned that tarana happens to mean 'love song' in Persian language. And that it is extremely important to incorporate atleast one line of the language in the tarana instead of only 'tabala bols'.
Soon after their second performance Pt. Ramesh Narayan felicitated them and the concert was also enlightened by the presence of carnatic vocalists, Mrs. Binni Krishnakumar and Mr. Krishnakumar and famous Cine Music Director, M. Jayachandran.
The concert was closed with two Meera bhajans. One of them was in Raag Misra Bhairavi! Beautifully rendered and Parveen Sulthanaji has always been my favourite female classical vocalist in Hindustani. I am glad I could be a part of this Festival.