Caring for the listeners – human side of Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar

Last week, I had an opportunity to attend Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar‘s music program once more, this time organised by Maharashtra Mandal Singapore. Listening to him on the stage takes you way above the world of music. His explanations and providing the context of the song or poem makes you truly enjoy the whole experience. He is a gifted singer and composer. Despite remaining very selective about the songs and poems he has made the world of music rich through his 60 years of contribution. He has received many awards not just from the government but from the public, peers and Shankaracharya.

This time I discovered one more noble quality in him as a human being.

It so happened that the program was to start at 5 pm, but it started at 6.10pm. This was not enough, the microphone was found to be not working the moment Panditji started talking. It was such an embarrassment. Then the interval + the sponsor felicitation took almost 40 min and as per the rules of the auditorium Panditji had to stop the program just when it was reaching its peak. This was robbing of music lovers the joy of listening to Panditji.

What I liked in the whole process was Panditji’s attitude. He expressed his grief not just at the state of the organisers, but also the fact that listeners did not get enough value from the program. He showed the sensitivity that not many artist show these days. Mostly the artist are concerned about the fees, stay, travel etc. But caring about the music lovers and thinking from their point of view is the ultimate sign of a great performer and great human being. I salute Panditji for this.

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