Rare classical moments with Chandana Dixit

MM - Chandana Dixit











By Manju Mittal

Ermington suburb in the North West of Sydney came alive on Saturday July 4, 2015 with an evening with Chandana Dixit organised by Vipin Gaindhar. The event was held at Ermington Community Centre. Listening to music depends a lot on the environment in which you experience it. The warmth of an intimate live concert with musicians sitting close as we  listeners sat near  them in an intimate cosy hall,  inspite of the  freezing cold weather outside, was an experience of its kind. Music lovers  were  drawn into the subtle soulful sounds of the music with no sense of separation.

Former Bollywood singer Chandana Dixit is a trained Indian classical singer with a national scholarship in Hindustani classical music amongst many other awards. While studying in college she began singing for “Shukratara” for Shri Arun Date as a female lead and did various shows all over Maharashtra. She was then mentored and introduced by music directors Kalyanji Anandji into playback singing. Chandana started her Bollywood career with super hit song “Goriya chura na mera jiya” from the movie Coolie no1. She won a singing contest that led to a hit song and, ultimately a career singing in more than 40 Hindi  films. She has performed extensively all over the world with top singers, musicians and prominent Bollywood stars. Her subtle command on the grammar of the Raga, the melodic structures the rhythmic disciplines and the distinctive technique of voice with its demands, makes it a pleasant experience for the audience.

All of us have grown up on a steady diet of Bollywood music. Music is a universal language  which  helps  connect to  heritage and  culture. Classical music is a mixture of musical genres of different regions that reflects the diversity of India. It ranges from the pure classical forms of Dhrupad and Khayal to lighter classical forms of Tarana, Tappa, Thumri, Dadra and folk music.

The Show started bang on time. Charming MC Anu Chabbra welcomed the audience with local artists: Shobha Ingleshwar and Rahul Sharma. Evening started with spiritual bhajan “Tum asha vishwas hamare” by Shobha Ingleshwar in  her versatile voice. Young talented local singer Rahul Sharma, surprised and delighted the audience when he sang “Maula mere maula ankhe teri kitni haseen”. Nishant played guitar and entertained the audience with his beautiful song

The  concert was divided into two sections – first part featured pure classical songs and second dedicated to hit songs from Bollywood films. The moment Chandana Dixit stepped on the stage she captivated her audience with her heart warming smile. It was insurmountable when she sang ghazal “Aaj jane ki zid na karo” with an exquisite mixture of classical music. With each song number she played on the instrument Swar Mandal  and engaged and captivated  the audience who were totally mesmerised . It was an emotional moment when she sang “Babul jiya mora ghabraye”, she also recited the poem written by Girija Vyas as it touched everyones’ heart. Chandana also included songs from Bollywood such as “Saans mein teri saans mili”, “Chhor de sari duniya kisi ke liye”, “Tum aaye to aaya mujhe yaad”, “Tinka tinka zara zara” and many more.

Her performance not only took music lovers of pure classical music down the memory lane but also she left audience asking for more. I left with a euphoria deep within, a feeling that I had witnessed something really remarkable and  magical. As I closed my eyes  her voice of amazing depth and  intoxicating  music still playing in my ears. I feel repentant for those unfortunate ones who  missed out on such a marvellous concert.

Whole event was conducted gracefully by emcee Anu Chabbra. I was impressed by Anu’s poetic creative interludes, a compere of  uncanny ability in  keeping the audience engaged. Another highlight of the event was food stall from Honest Restaurant Northmead. It served delicious  Pao Bhaji and Biryani at reasonable price with complimentary soft drinks.

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I caught up with Chandana Dixit during the mehfil, when she said, “I moved to U.S.A with my husband in 2002 to start a family and pursue new creative projects. We added our connection to the industry over there and interest groups of all backgrounds, not only just Indians and Indian Americans who are interested in Bollywood”. She added that she is looking forward t0 and excited about her upcoming project ”˜Raga to Rock’. When asked what her message is to our readers, she smiled and  replied, “I would like to thank all my listeners for all the love and affection  they have showered on me.”

I must say artists of Chandana’s ilk are rare and are ever more rare to drop in on our shores. Vipin Gaindhar and Rama Shah brought Chandana and thus gave Sydney a fantastic classical concert with  lucky few who attended rare classical moments with Chandana Dixit. And I was one of them.














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