"Music cannot be divided. It always unites transcending all boundaries," Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan said here as he along with Pakistani singer Ghulam Ali and other artistes mesmerised the audience at a music festival held in the unique setting of the famous Sankatmochan temple.
It was an endearing show of cultural bonhomie at the ‘Sangeet Samaroh’ as music flowed till the early hours of this morning. Amjad Ali Khan said that he was fortunate enough to perform at this annual music festival of the Sankatmochan temple for the past several years and "seek blessings from Lord Hanuman".
"Music is a universal language that transcends all boundaries and bonds people from all corners of the world. It has no caste or religion. Despite partition of India and Pakistan, our music is still called the Indian classical? music worldwide," said Amjad Ali Khan who performed along with his sons Amaan and Ayaan late last night.
Echoing the views, Ustad Ghulam Ali, who became the first Pakistani artiste to perform at the festival, said that it was "an honour for him to seek blessings of Lord Hanuman".
Ghulam Ali expressed the hope that the music festival would help bridge the gap between India and Pakistan.
In tune with the settings, Amjad Ali Khan enthralled the music lovers with the rendition of ‘bhajans’ including Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye and concluded his performance with his creation ‘Gandhi Raag’.
"We do not come here in the courtyard of the famous temple to give our performance, but we come here to seek blessings of Lord Hanuman," he said, adding that "every musician has a wish to perform at least once in their lifetime at this pious place and seek the blessings of Lord Hanumanji."
The artiste said, "Border divides India and Pakistan.
People have been separated, but music can not be divided. It always reunites?people of the two nations." .
"Language sometimes creates barriers but ‘swar’ always unites us transcending all boundaries," Amjad Ali Khan said.
"The seven musical notes Sa Re Ga Ma Pa cannot be divided on any basis.
As air and water cannot be divided, the same way music cannot be divided. There is only one music…which we still today call as the Indian classical music worldwide," he said.
Ustad Ghulam Ali serenaded those present with semi-classical ghazals like ‘Dil mein ek lahar’, ‘Chupke Chupke raat din’ and ‘Hungama hai ko Barpana’.
Wishing that he could be present at the festival, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is a Member of Parliament from Varanasi constituency, had regretted that he was unable to attend the event due to his busy schedule and was hopeful that he will be among the audience in the future.
"I do wish I get the opportunity to attend such a programme in the future where so many well known artistes will be enchanting the audience," Modi had said in a series of tweets on Tuesday.
"I must share that I have heard Ghulam Ali Sahab in the past & that too in person," he said.
The five-day-long?festival between April 8-12 has been extended for one more day as more musicians have expressed their desire to perform at the Sankatmochan temple premises, said Vishwambhar Nath Mishra, the temple Mahant (head priest).
The evening started with Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj casting his spell over the audience. It was followed by a flute recital by Hariprasad Chaurasia.
Vocalist Pandit Vishwanth rendered Raag Madhav Kauns.
He ended the recital with a Bhajan of poet-saint Tulsi Das.
The Mahant said it was a historic event aimed at promoting the Indian classical music worldwide.