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Chandrashekhar Mahajan


Shri Chandrashekhar Mahajan is a classical musician following Agra and Gwalior gharanas (traditions) of Hindustani classical vocal music. He has treasured and has been a dedicated follower the Khayal system of the Indian music since his introduction to the music field as a beginner in 1984; at his age of 22. Since then he hasn’t once wavered from his loyalty towards Khayal to this date.

In his quest of music, Shri Chandrashekhar Mahajan was blessed by receiving tutelage from some of the remarkable musicians. In his early years, he learnt from late Pt. Ram Mate, late Pt. Mohanrao Karve and a celebrated vocalist of the date, Padmashree Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar.

Further, he received extensive taleem for 8 years from late Pt. Laxman Vitthal alias Nanabua Phadke (Gwalior gharana), 23 years from (late) Pt. Shrikrishna Sawalaram alias Babanrao Haldankar (a doyen of Agra gharana and a beacon of raaga-sangeet) and from Pt. Vivek Joshi since 1997. Pt. Joshi is an authority over Gwalior, Agra and Manarang traditions percolated through his father late Pt. Murlidhar alias Bhau Joshi(disciple of late Pt.Krishnarao Shankar Pandit, late Pt. Rajabhaiya Poochhwale and late Pt. B R Deodhar) and guru late Pt. Pandloskarbua (disciple of late Pt. Ratanjankar of Bhatkhande tradition).

All these taleems were in continuation at the same period of time for many years. Shri Mahajan still continues to learn from Pt. Vivek Joshi who, in addition to being a highly learned and revered authority of raga sangeet, happens to be a highly respected tabla player and guru; having acquired tabla vidya of Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow and Farukhabad gharanas from Pt. Arvind Mulgaonkar(who himself is a highly learned and respected tabla guru and disciple of late ustad Amir Hussain Khan saheb, late ustad Thirakua Khan saheb and late ustad Atta Hussain Khan saheb).

Today, after more than three decades in music, Shri Chandrashekhar Mahajan practices a blend of Agra and Gwalior gharanas. His gayakee comprises anwat (rare or complex) ragas sung in Agra (and Jaipoor) gharanas, in addition to a number of the aam (commonly known but not all sung to this date) ragas like Yaman, Bhairav or Bilawal. Due to his very long association with his gurus, the listeners experience equal ease in his elaboration of both
aam and anwat ragas he sings. However he prefers the aam ragas over the anwat ones, as the latter ones have a restricted domain of imagination when compared to the former ones.

Shri Mahajan has performed at number of places like Mumbai, Satara, Ahmednagar, Ambad (Jalana district), Miraj, Madgaon (Goa), Aundh (Satara district) and in numerous private concerts held in Pune, his native place. He has also provided vocal accompaniment to late Pt. Haldankar in many concerts. Moreover, he also was once privileged to have sung a jugalbandi with his guru at Pune.

Shri Chandrashekhar Mahajan believes in abiding by the purity of the raaga-sangeet and has always tried to pull himself up to its mark by relentlessly pursuing the old-school aspects of the raaga-sangeet. These aspects, to his conviction, are not easy to come across for an average music student and can be open only through the seena-ba-seena(direct) taleem (grooming) received from a stalwart sculpted from one or more musical lineages,usually known as gharanas.

An important old-school aspect is to practice shruties in singing wherever applicable, rather than mere 12 notes; the latter not being able to express the raaga-bhaava correctly. There are many such aspects which make the olden Indian Khayal style different and somewhat difficult but to Shri Mahajan’s opinion, aesthetically superior. As Shri Mahajan has received his taleem from a number of stalwarts mentioned above, he is keen upon following these aspects to enrich the aesthetic values of his music.

Apart from giving a few recitals, Shri Chandrashekhar Mahajan also teaches music and has been writing upon its peripheral subjects. He is also working upon theory of aesthetics of raaga-sangeet, which he intends to put forth in the form of a book.