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Shujaat Khan serves a scintillating sitar fare
Shujaat Khan gave an enchantingly delightful sitar concert on November 15 for the Hindu Friday Review November Festival. Disciple and son of maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan, Shujaat Khan was at his demonstrative best while playing the Khayal in Raag Yamani. The gayaki style was out in a revealing way. This raag takes both madhyams. The shuddha madhyam, however, is applied differently from raag Yaman Kalyan.

Shujaat Khan went out on an expedition and explored the raga in its myriad forms for close to an hour before presenting the composition that he had learnt from Ustad Amir Khan - "Naagar Nand Mukuta Par" - in teental. The composition, he said, was written by an old saint. It was more than hundred years old, he added. As his wont, he started singing the composition even as he played the sitar. There was complete harmony between the voice and instrument. The vocalization of the instrument was simply superb. And, it revealed the perfectionist-sitarist in Shujaat Khan.

He held a complete sway over the instrument as he let his fingers glide up and down the octaves to produce some scintillating tans while exploring the intricate nuances of the raga with his remarkable playing-technique. With his on and off singing, he brought out the beauty of lyrics. The tabla artistes - Arunangshu Choudary and Sankar Debnath - played with combative skill, making the concert richer and livelier. It was a terrific music from Shujaat Khan. Yamani came to an end with a brisk and awe-inspiring Jod and Jhala. Shujaat Khan improvised on raag Tilak Kamod for a brief while and later on sang the verses of Kabir and Hazrat Amir Kusroo in Raag Kamaj. He sang "Ab Kaise Gauna" with utmost expression to the lilting lyrics.He took the doha of Kabir as "Duk mein sumiran sab kare suk mein kare na koi," bringing out the nice verses of the poetry with his voice jelling well with the instrument he played. He later sang "Pattha Bola Vruksh Se," a philosophical verse, and a few others. As the audience was expecting more, he suddenly ended the concert. It was an evening to cherish for those who braved the rains and made it to his concert.