Pt. Kashinath Bodas (1935-1995)
Pt. Bodas was a rare combination of superb performing vocalist, composer, and a devoted teacher of the art of Hindustani classical music.
“Kashinath’s father, the late Pt. Shankar Shripad Bodas, was a disciple of the late Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. He was one of those chosen disciples to whom Pandit Ji entrusted this lifelong mission of propagating Hindustani classical music and Shankar Shripad Bodas ably headed the Kanpur branch of this activity.
Kashinath was at the beginning attracted to the tabla which he soon mastered, thereby aquiring a full understanding of of the intricate rhythms associated with our musical heritage, Turning later to vocal music, in his formative period Kashinath not only received intensive training in the traditional Gwalior style of singing from his father, but he also had the benefit of guidance from Pt. Laxmanrao Bodas, his uncle, who was also a disciple of Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Pt. Balwantrai Bhatt of Banaras and Pt. Prahladrao Ganoo of Bombay. Thus Kashinath developed into a vocalist in the Gwalior style rendering with equal ease forms varied as the khayal, the tarana and the bhajan
But what really modernized Kashinath’s outlook toward music is his association with Pt. Kumar Gandharva. Guidance from Pt. Kumar Gandarva has had a deep influence on Kashinath’s style.” (The Wonder of Nad and Swara| Rhythm House Records|1995)
Bodas ji taught many students. Among them are some of the budding artists of today; namely, Ranjani Ramachandran, Rachna Bodas, Sushma Bajpai and Manu Srivastava. Perhaps the best-known today is his younger sister Smt. Veena Sahasrabuddhe.
Smt. Padma Talwalkar
“Gifted and blessed with deep spiritual leanings from her very childhood, Padmatai fondly recalls singing every evening in a temple from the tender age of four, unmindful of the throng of devotees crowding around her. Encouraged by her parents to do so, she feels that even today when she performs in front of packed audiences, she sings for Him, the Almighty, offering her music both as a homage and in gratitude for the benevolence He has showered upon her. This sense of sincere devotion extends to her Gurus and also other senior musicians who have, in one way or another, influenced and inspired her musical thinking, notable amongst those being Ustad Amir Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Pandit Kumar Gandharva.
Simple and unassuming in her living she, however, is very clear about her individual concept of what constitutes good music – the emphasis being on ‘swara’ (notes) and laya (tempo). Correctly and lovingly approached notes and a keen, internalized sense of tempo and rhythmic cycles (taala) are a must for music to be effective, she emphasizes. Her love for the accuracy and sanctity of notes she attributes to her first Guru, Pt. Pimpalkhare of the Gwalior Gharana, and the latter to her training under the late Shreemati Mogubai Kurdikar of the Jaipur Gharana. From Pandit Gajanan Bua Joshi she imbibed elements of the forceful and majestic Gwalior Gharana. She also gratefully acknowledges her musical debt to Shreemati Kishori Amonkar whose musical influences remain with her even today.
While mastery on swara and laya are undoubtedly the basic qualities of good music, there is something that goes beyond swara and laya, that distinguishes the “truly great” from the “good.” In her own words, when the artiste approaches the art with a feeling of total surrender and achieves an egoless state, the music happens of its own, as if it is flowing from some divine source.
Padmatai has received “seena-ba-seena” taleem in the Gwalior as well as Jaipur styles, and has imbibed the best from these styles, and yet created a style of her own which comes across in every alaap, in every musical phrase, and every taan in her presentation. Her music is devoid of gimmickry and acrobatics, yet the moment she closes her eyes and sings the first Shadja in her performance, she connects with the listener and draws him into her world.” (www.padmatalwalkar.com)