Kumar Gandharva – The Innovative Genius

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And to be in that state of creation is bliss” says J. Krishnamurti. Most likely this is the reason a real artist is so keen about being revolutionary. Kumar Gandharva was such an artiste whose artistic genius enthralled the music lovers for a interval of greater than six many years. His experiments and improvements not solely enriched the Raga Sangeet but additionally revived Bhakti Sangeet and explored the fields of folks music.


Born on eighth April, 1924 in Sulebhavi close to Belgaum within the state of Karnataka, Shivputra Siddramaiyya Komkali was gifted with an uncommon expertise at childhood. On the age of seven he might reproduce the renderings of the masters of classical music like Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Ustad Faiyaz Khan and Pt. Vazebua with unbelievable perfection. He was affectionately nicknamed as Kumar Gandharva( the celestial singer), the title which was to shine with the brilliance of the complete moon within the sky of Hindustani classical music.

Although Kumar’s debut album containing Ragas Durga(“Sakhi Mori Run Jhun“) and Bhairavi(“Shyam Sundar Man Mohan“) was launched when he was solely 9, but the eleventh 12 months of his life proved to be an awesome success. In 1935 first he carried out within the All India Convention of Music at Allahabad in entrance of a giant choose viewers of Pundits and musicologists together with Aftab-e-Mausiqui Ustad Faiyaz Khan and the well-known playback singer Kundan Lal Sehgal. Extremely impressed Sehgal invited him to Kolkata to carry out in a music convention. In Kolkata the younger lad sang a thumri “Piya Bin Nahin Avat Chain” in raga Jhinjhoti and nearly held the viewers spell-certain together with his outstanding perfection and management. Later in 1936 he preformed in Jinnah Corridor of Mumbai and the live performance was once more profitable. Subsequent day The Instances of India and different newspapers had been crammed together with his reward and acknowledged him as “a future genius”.


Kumar Gandharva discovered his guru and mentor in Prof. B. R. Deodhar, a doyen of the Gwalior Gharana and a disciple of Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. Below his tutelage Kumar not solely learnt varied intricacies of Khayal gayaki and different genres of Hindustani music, but additionally grew to become an unbiased thinker on music. At Prof. Deodhar’s music faculty he loved the privilege of assembly doyens of assorted Gharanas of classical music together with Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Sinde Khan and Pt. Rajabhaiya Poonchhwale and listening to them.

On 24 April, 1947 he bought married to a really stunning lady Bhanumati Kans. A postgraduate from St. Xavier Faculty of Mumbai, Bhanumati herself was a classical vocalist and remained the inspiration behind Kumar’s improvements. However she didn’t know that quickly she must take the entire duty of the household on her younger shoulders. Simply after 5 months of their marriage her husband was identified to have lung tuberculosis. The household shifted to Dewas in Madhya Pradesh for Kumar ji’s remedy. Bhanumati began working as Headmistress in a college.

It was showing that the profession of Kumar Gandharva had come to an finish. He needed to undergo a really sophisticated lung surgical procedure. However he returned to the world of music in 1952 with a really distinctive fashion of gayaki which was very a lot his personal and a deep perception in music which he had developed from his research of folks music of Malwa throughout his compelled confinement to mattress attributable to sickness. He joined classical music again to its roots of folks music and enriched each.


Kumar Gandharva is thought to be a insurgent of Hindustani classical music. However his riot spirit impressed him to experiment and discover the sector of music. As a substitute of following the crushed path he most popular to find new paths within the discipline of performing music. Although he all the time got here on the stage with a brand new set of bandishes, but his displays of outdated bandishes had been equally refreshing and enchanting. Additionally he created many new ragas together with Malvati, Ahimohini, Gauri Basant, Lankeshree, Lagan Gandhar, Sanjari, Madhwa, Madhsurja, Saheli Todi, Chaiti Bhoop, Sohni Bhatiyar, Durga Kedar and Bhavmat Bhairav. In 1969 he paid his homage to Mahatma Gandhi with Gandhi Malhar when the Nation was celebrating the Delivery Centenary of the latter.

In 1961 his beloved spouse Bhanu handed away. It was an awesome shock to him. Later he married to Vasundhara Shrikhande. She was herself a classical vocalist and contributed selflessly in all improvements of her husband. In 1965 the primary quantity of the guide ‘Anoop Raag Vilas’ containing 136 compositions in 107 outdated fashionable ragas, 17 his personal and 12 complicated ragas, was revealed. Kumar devoted this to Bhanumati.

In 1966 he got here out with a complete live performance on the theme of the wet season-Geet Varsha. It was an unprecedented occasion within the realm of classical music of the interval. He introduced this programme with as many as 18 compositions together with khayals, thumris, tappas and bhajans. Then adopted Triveni(1967), Mala Umajlele Bal Gandharva(1968), Geet Hemant (1968), Thumri Tappa Tarana(1969), Malwa ki Lok Dhunen(1970), Geet Basant (1971), Tambe Geet Rajani(1973), Tulsi Ek Darshan(1973), Rituraj Mehfil(1976), Gaudmalhar Darshan(1976), Tukaram Ek Darshan(1976), Surdas Ek Darshan and Hori Darshan.

He introduced particular concert events, each dedicated to his exposition of a selected raga like Malkauns, Bageshree or Hameer. Typically he confirmed totally different sides of a single raga with as many as 5 – 6 bandishes-conventional in addition to his personal. For him a raga is as dynamic as a dwelling being and has totally different incarnations at totally different occasions.

Maybe Kumar ji was at his greatest when singing devotional songs, particularly Nirguni Bhajans. He introduced bhajans of nice saints like Kabir, Meera, Surdas, Tulsidas, Gorakhnath and Shivguru with unmatched ability in bringing out their meanings and creating an exalted devotional atmosphere. Nirguni Bhajans whether or not it was “Sunta hai Guru Gyani” and “Ud jayega hans akela” of Kabir or “Bhola man jane amar meri kaya” of Gorakhnath will all the time stay all time favorite amongst his followers.

Kumar Gandhrva was conferred with many awards together with Sangeet Natak Akdademi Award, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. Maybe he was the one musician in whom folks from different fields of arts equivalent to writers, poets, sculptors, photographers, painters and actors took a lot curiosity. This nice musician died on 12 January, 1992 abandoning his spouse, one son and one daughter. His son Mukul Shivputra and his daughter Kalapini Komkali are well-known classical singers and his grand-son Bhuvnesh Komkali has began performing in concert events and is a promising classical vocalist who can lead the sunshine of this timeless custom of creativity and innovation in music.

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