Raaga Based Song of the Day #15

Raaga Based Song of the Day: Beqasi hadd se jab guzar jaaye…
Raag Desh and Khammaj, Tal Dadra.

We have completed fourteen days of Raaga Based Songs of the Day. Our first post in the series was titled ‘Raaga Based Song Of The Day #1’ and the song was a Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar song from the 1970 Shakti Samanta movie Pagla Kahin Ka: Tum mujhe youn bhula na paoge. It is in Raag Jhinjhoti, Tal Kaherava.

Our fourteenth post or the last post was titled Raaga Based Song Of The Day #14′ and the song was a Mohammad Rafi song from the 1960 Nanabhai Bhatt movie Laal Qila: Lagta hi nahin hai dil mera. It is in Raag Kalyan and no Tal since it is an Alap.

This blog has a number of posts on Raaga based songs in Hindi movies titled similarly; for example: ‘The Best Raaga Based Songs in Hindi Movies – Raaga Jaijaivanti’.

Every month, on my music and song group on Facebook: ‘Yaad Kiya Dil Ne’, I conduct a Fest on a theme. It lasts for two days. Participants can put up three songs per day on the theme. This month’s theme is (the June Fest is going on now; today is the first day) Koi. I conduct and judge. And at the same time, after everyone puts up his/her posts, I put up my posts as a participant, but, out of contest.

My today’s Raaga Based Song is my first entry in today’s Fest. Here goes:

Unlike all of you, I can’t prepare my descriptions in advance. The idea is to give you all first chance to put up your posts that may include several of the posts that I would have short-listed for myself. And then, after all of you have posted, I can do so.

I have been continuously listening to and commenting on your posts for the last about six hours and more. This post is inspired by Suman Saxena having put up an OP Nayyar song: Babuji dheere chalna.

They said, with adequate justification, that OP Nayyar didn’t know much about Raagas and the like. They say that it would have come as a surprise to him that many of his songs are very well aligned with Raagas; particularly what appears to be his favourite: Raag Pilu or Peelu.

This one is not very well aligned. It appears to be a mix between Desh or Des and Khammaj. The latter you understand very well since recently I gave you a bandish in it for the Bimal Roy movie Parakh: O’ sajana, barkha bahaar aayi.

Desh, as the name suggests, is a Raaga that is often used for the patriotic fervour such as Vande Mataram. Many of Rabindra Nath Tagore songs (Rabindrasangeet) have been composed in Desh. It is a Raaga that should normally be played during the first quarter of the night. That’s exactly the time when men used to visit courtesans.

In this movie Ashok Kumar (Amar), when he visits Kashmir meets Padmini (Kalpana), falls in love with her and makes her painting. Later she vanishes. Ashok Kumar then starts liking Ragini (Asha Devi) and is ready to propose to her, However, now Kalpana resurfaces in a dance in a theatre. Asha backs out and Amar is ready to marry Kalpana. This is the time when Kalpana’s own brother Ifteqaar (Johar) reveals the sordid details about her being a courtesan.

In Hindi films, except in one or two movies, heroines don’t become courtesans out of choice; eg, in Adaalat and Mamta, Nargis and Suchitra Sen were forced into it due to destitution. Various song opportunities arise because of this and the producers and directors go laughing all the way to the bank.

None of the producers and directors would venture into areas wherein women could take up, in their poverty, professions other than prostitution. Mehboob Khan showed the way with Mother India but the others are merely stereotypes (the same stereotypes, as I mentioned to Sumedha Nair, about Julie‘s Christian father who would be a drunkard (though kind-hearted)).

(Pic courtesy: Hindilinks4u)

The 1960 RK Rakhan movie Kalpana was as much of a stereotype. Then, why am I giving you this song?

For several reasons. One of the foremost is that a ‘A gentleman is half a lady’ and I am not ashamed of my being a gentleman who would be sensitive towards ladies. This song (not the movie) brings out those pathos (karuna) that I have long associated with Indian women: exploited, made to feel small, and having to choose between wretched life and still more wretched death (Koi ai dil jiye ke mar jaaye).

At one time, I used to regularly borrow Marilyn Ravi‘s magazines Femina to read and was shocked to read that Femina touted itself as the magazine: ‘For women of substance’. I have actually seen my mother and her sisters and many other women in our family and I would say these are the ones with substance. These are the ones who won’t give up. We had nothing when my dad died (since he had taken loans to start a project after retirement that never came) and you should have seen my mother, a living copy of Mother India, battling against all odds to make the best of life.

I myself am Sunbyanyname, being my mother’s son. I look at positives. I too don’t look at choice between wretched life and wretched death. I look at life beyond pain (I wrote this when I was in my late teens):


Don’t love me, O’ sweet, when we meet,
For there is less
Glee in achieving than in yearning.
From here it’s alluring,
The scent of your tress;
I get my joys in burning,
In pining, in longing
And in sorrow,
And waiting for each tomorrow.

I don’t want to strangle my dreams to death,
You, alone, sit in my dream castle
On an island in a grieving river;
And far below
In a dark dungeon I am thrown.
I reach out my hands without catching ye,
Ye outside smile at me.
And, lo! I wish not my hands were free.

I shall wait…wait till the pains are so much,
That they burn themselves in their own scars,
The waters of grieving river’d calm down,
The cell would break its own bars.
Then you and I’ll live away from town,
In a small hut by a joyous brook.
We’d work, we’d eat, we’d play the deep
Game of love,
And thus at last we’d sleep.

In my poems there is often a final silver-lining; but then, I am only half a lady. Kalpana was a complete woman and she had it up to her head, the grieving water, that is.

Suman Saxena, I know you are surprised with my choice of OP Nayyar song, so different from ones that one is used to: enchanting, romantic and refreshing. It is in Tal Dadra and I know that in my daily Raaga based posts, I have told you adequately about the Tal.

Who wrote these lyrics that are so full of despondency? Jawed Akhtar’s father Jaan Nisar Akhtar.

What else is dear to me in the song. Well, Padmini’s emoting with her eyes is better than both Nargis and Suchitra Sen. She was an accomplished dancer and for her emoting with eyes would be a honed skill. Even at that, I would use the word outstanding to describe her facial expressions especially eyes.

Before I give you the song, here is the value-added learning of the day. It is about the List of Raagas (Raagmala) in my favourite book: Sri Guru Granth Sahib:

List of Raagas mentioned in the Guru Granth Sahib
(Source: indian classical music)

S. No. Name of Raaga Order in Guru Granth Sahib Page Range
1 Asa 4 347 to 489
2 Bairari 13 719 to 721
3 Basant 25 1168 to 1197
4 Bhairon 24 1125 to 1168
5 Bihagara 7 537 to 557
6 Bilaval 16 795 to 859
7 Devagandhari 6 527 to 537
8 Dhanasari 10 660 to 696
9 Gauri 3 151 to 347
10 Gond 17 859 to 876
11 Gujari 5 489 to 527
12 Jaijaivanti 31 1352 to 1353
13 Jaitshree 11 696 to 711
14 Kalyan 29 1319 to 1327
15 Kahnra 28 1294 to 1319
16 Kedara 23 1118 to 1125
17 Maajh 2 94 to 151
18 Malhar 27 1254 to 1294
19 Mali Gaura 20 984 to 989
20 Maru 21 989 to 1107
21 Nat Narayan 19 975 to 984
22 Prabhati 30 1327 to 1352
23 Ramkali 18 876 to 975
24 Sarang 26 1197 to 1254
25 Shree 1 14 to 94
26 Sorath 9 595 to 660
27 Suhi 15 728 to 795
28 Tilang 14 721 to 728
29 Todi 12 711 to 719
30 Tukhari 22 1107 to 1118
31 Vadahans 8 557 to 595

Please enjoy Asha Bhosle sing the lyrics of Jaan Nisar Akhtar and composition of OP Nayyar (in a cross between Des and Khammaj and in Tal Dadra) in the 1960 movie Kalpana, the song pictured on Padmini in the title role: Beqasi hadd se jab guzar jaaye…..

beqasii had se jab guzar jaa_e
ko_ii ai dil ji_e ki mar jaa_e

zindagii se kaho dulahan ban ke -2
aaj to do gha.Dii sa.Nvar jaa_e
ko_ii ai dil …

unako jii bhar ke dekh lene de -2
dil kii dha.Dakan zaraa Thahar jaa_e
ko_ii ai dil …

ham hai.n apanii jaan ke dushman -2
kyo.n ye iljaam unake sar jaa_e
ko_ii ai dil …

mere naGamo.n se unakaa dil na dukhe -2
Gam nahii.n mujhape jo guzar jaa_e
ko_ii ai dil …

We have intended to learn about Raaga based music whilst we entertain ourselves with Raaga based songs. So, lets, once again, take stock of our collective learning so far:

  1. On the first day we learnt about the Raaga system devised by Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande, which is the prevalent system in Hindustani Classical Music and based on ten Thaats.
  2. On the second day we learnt about Tal or Taal.
  3. On the third day we learnt about characteristics of Raagas that included Swar, Jati, Thaat, Arohana and Avarohana, Vadi, Samvadi and Pakad.
  4. On the fourth day, we learnt about Sargam.
  5. On the fifth day, we learnt about notations used in Indian classical music or simply Swar Lipi.
  6. On the sixth day, we learnt about the Ras (sentiments) that Raagas evoke.
  7. On the seventh day, we learnt about various types of Swar: Shuddha, Achal, Vikrut, Komal and Teevra.
  8. On the eighth day, we learnt the parts of a composition in Indian Classical Music.
  9. On the ninth day, we learnt the names of some of the popular instruments used in Indian Classical Music.
  10. On the tenth day, we learnt about the sources of names of Raagas.
  11. On the eleventh day, we learnt about why Bhairavi is the first raag to be taught to beginners and also why it is the last in a performance.
  12. On the twelfth day, we learnt about Khammaj Thaat.
  13. On the thirteenth day, we learnt about Tal Punjabi Theka or Sitarkhani.
  14. On the fourteenth day, we learnt about Alap.
  15. And today, on the fifteenth day, we learnt about List of Raagas (Raagmala) in my favourite book: Sri Guru Granth Sahib.

There is much more still to be learnt and enjoyed.

Please stay tuned!

© 2017, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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