Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Surprise Outing - Zakir Hussain In Concert In Goa

Vidyuth got this idea. He had seen an advertisement for a concert at Panjim Gymkhana, a few minutes away from where we were staying. The concert had Zakir Hussain playing with Edger Myers, Bela Fleck and Rakesh Chaurasia. Sponsored by the Navhind Times which was celebrating its 50th anniversary, the concert was set to start at 7 p.m. We took a chance and headed to the venue hoping to get some tickets or passes and guess what, entry was free. Now, that was something.

The Panjim Gymkhana is set right on the banks of the Mandovi river and has tall casuarina trees (I think) surrounding it from all around. It is a scenic location and the perfect place for a concert of this proportion. I recall fond memories of playing on this ground in the Arlem Trophy in 1984 where we, the Wills Willowers team, a young side, held a start studded Tata Steel side till the last over. Tata Steel then had Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri (just back from winning the Champion of Champions Trophy in Australia), Kiran More, Milind Gunjal. Raju Kulkarni, Balwinder Sandhu and others. That was a long time ago.

Back to the present now. People started trickling in and we found ourselves a couple of chairs at a place that offered a decent view without getting crowded in. The Governor of Goa arrived on time and the concert took off. It was a beautiful experience listening to the maestros play - Zakir Hussain was magical on the tabla, Edgar Myers a double Grammy winner in the recent Grammys on the double bass, Bela Fleck on the banjo and the young Rakesh Chaurasia on the flute. I closed my eyes and let the sounds, the music, permeate me. It took me all over, to the deserts and the seas, the mountains and the plains, as the music swept through me, rising and falling, receding and flooding.

The evening was pure magic. Thanks Vidyuth, Navhind Times and Panjim Gymkhana for bringing together such a lovely experience.

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