Sawai Gandharva is an annual event of Hindustani music that we Punekars tend to believe is like Woodstock — only held every year with no topless girls. Actually there’s nothing in common between the two besides the wonderful music.

Among the strangest things I read was that Shankar Mahadevan performed at Sawai last week. Strange because Mahadevan is not a pure classical singer. The Sawai audience consists of purists who do not take well to anything that isn’t, well, pure.

Here are two videos of Mahadevan performing at Sawai: One and two. Judge for yourself.

On second thoughts, don’t. Yes it is possible to write a long critique of the performance. But it was enjoyable — which is all that ought to matter. No?


That day, Mahadevan’s performance was followed by Pt. Jasraj. I imagine purists counted it amongst the worst days of their human existence.