The Guru has always been the source of knowledge and wisdom in the oral tradition that prevailed in ancient India from the time of the Vedasand Upanishads. The Guru Shishya Parampara or the tradition of transmission of knowledge from the Guru or mentor to the Shishya or disciple is followed in our classical arts till date. Guru-Purnima is celebrated to honour the Guru who is considered not just the provider of information, but also the transmitter of knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next.

Pt Arvind Parikh, the dedicated disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan, has been an equally devoted Guru, who has passionately carried forward this great lineage of the Itawa Imdadkhani Gharana to the next generation. After the day-long hectic schedule of looking after his business at the office; he spends the evenings training his students on a regular basis. He charges no fees from any of his students coming from different parts of the country and abroad to learn instrumental or vocal music.

T h e disciples of Pt. Arvind Parikh from India and abroad celebrate Guru Purnima as an expression of their gratitude for their benevolent Guru. The two-day festival is an annual event held in different cities of India. After being held in Kolhapur, Vadodara, Nagpur and Bangalore in the previous years; Guru Purnima was held this year at the Ranga-Swar Sabhagar chavan Centre, Mumbai on 8 and 9 July. More than 30 disciples of Pt. Arvind Parikh offered their musical tribute to their mentor on this occasion.

Inaugurating the two-day festival Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar fondly remembered Ustad Vilayat Khan who had given him many of his compositions and ragas like ‘Saanjh Saravali’. He also praised Pt. Arvind Parikh and congratulated his disciples for having received the grace of such an erudite Guru with profound knowledge and humbly shared the fact that even he seeks his guidance when in doubt about any raga. The recorded message of Ustad Vilayat Khan wishing Pt. Arvind Parikh on his 75th birthday, wondering “more than half the time of our lives we have spent together, establishing the example of an ideal relationship between a Guru and his Shagird(disciple)”; and the fact that Pt. Arvind Parikh has been awarded the rare distinction of being a Fellow of the Sangeet Natak Akademi this year and he would complete 90 years of his fruitful life; made the occasion more momentous and meaningful.

The Guru Purnima Utsav opened with the auspicious Shehnai. The sonorous strains of Bilaskhani Todi by Hasan Haider Khan from Kolkata made a melodious impact from the very beginning. The introductory Alap was followed with a composition in medium tempo Teentala, gradually catching speed to the culminating Jhala that maintained the melodious musicality till the end. Bhushan Parchure provided him the perfect accompaniment on Tabla.

The Alhaiya Bilawal on Surbahar by Ashwin Dalvi from Jaipur was treated with devotional fervour through the meditative AlapJod and Jhala; justifying the dignified grace of the deep-sounding instrument that has become a rare treat in the concert circuits these days. The vocal recital (raga Patdeep) by Harpreet Hasrat, the melodious Jhinjhoti on sitar by Nishita Tambe, Yaman by young Danish Khan, Pilu by Varad Bhosle, Brindavani Sarang by Amrita More, Madhukauns by Amrita Kulkarni, Marwaby Jnanesh Amladi and Puriya by Rafat Khan Niyazi were the other remarkable performances.

Rajiv Janardan gave an exquisite exposition of Gunji-Kauns; a melodious raga created by Pt. Arvind Parikh with a judicious blend of Malgunji and Malkauns. The detailed Alap-Jod-Jhala was followed by a couple of compositions in slow Jhaptala and Drut Teentala respectively. Rajiv’s command over the instrument helped him convey his fertile imagination maintaining the significant characteristics of the raga. Anutosh Deogharia gave him commendable support on Tabla.

Maheboob Nadeem from the U.K. and Ramprapann Bhattacharya were some of the senior students who won the hearts of the audience bytheir Yaman and Shuddha Kalyan respectively. Tushar Bhatia played a melodious Thumri styleKafi with sprinkling of Shivaranjani, set to slow Deepchandi Theka. Apart from Sitar, Shubhasha Mishra played Bhimpalasi on Violin and Sharada Mushti played raga Desh on Rudra Veena which is an instrument of endangered species.

Apart from the sizable audience on both the days, the two-day festival was also witnessed by renowned musicians like Ustad Shahid Parvez who also offered his tribute to Ustad Vilayat Khan and praised Pt. Arvind Bhai for his invaluable contribution as a Guru to the propagation of the Gharana and its specific style. Then there was Pt. Dhruv Ghosh, the renowned Sarangi player and an erudite musicologist, who unfortunately passed away the next day.