Pt Ramakant Gundecha : His love of nature and life

Ramakant Gundecha

Pt Ramakant Gundecha, the younger one of the famous Dhrupad Gharana vocalists Gundecha Brothers, passed away in Bhopal last Friday at the age of 57. He is survived by his wife and a son. Both brothers learnt intricacies of the complex Dhrupad Gayaki of great meditative and spiritual value from the legendary brothers Zia Fariduddin Dagar and Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. It is an irreparable loss to the music world. Ramakantji had a special connection with the art world of Ahmedabad.

Kumudini Lakhia (Kadamb) and Manjuben Mehta (Saptak) are one in acknowledging that with diligence and dedication the two brothers took Dhrupad to international audiences. “It’s a difficult slow-paced style of music to perform on,’ Kumudini Lakhia, who has employed their recital to Kathak in her students’ performance, observes. “They trained many students from abroad as well at their Gurukul,” she adds. She recalls Ramakantji’s exceptionally good personal qualities. “With personal care, they have maintained a garden full of beautiful flowers at their place. It reflects their love of nature and of life.” The whole joint family, including his two brothers (Akhilesh is a Pakhawaj player), sister, mother and children will miss him.

With pride and gratitude Manjuben remembers that the brothers have performed at Saptak every year during the last twenty years. “They revived public interest in Dhrupad and made it internationally famous, too,’ she points out.” “Their elegant Gurukul with nearly a hundred rooms,” she says, “has taught students from countries like France and Germany.” Ramakantji, she adds, “was a nice human being, modest and full of affection.”

Mallika Sarabhai (Darpana) has a fond memory of Astad Deboo’s contemporary dance performance to Gundecha Brothers’ meditative Dhrupad around fifteen years ago. Dr Monika Shah cherishes the memory that the two unassuming Dhrupad exponents, the late Pt Ramakant Gundecha and Pt Umakant Gundecha, graced the Lokaarpan ceremony of a book in her series Sangeet Aaradhana in English with their presence.

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