Raaga Based Song Of The Day #50

Raaga Based Song of the Day: O basanti pavan paagal…
Raag Basant Mukhari, Tal Kaherava

We have completed forty-nine 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 forty-ninth post was titled ‘Raaga Based Song Of The Day #49’ and the song was a Lata Mangeshkar song from the 1963 T Prakash Rao movie Bahurani: Balma anadi man bhaaye.  It is in Raag Hemant, Tal Kaherava.

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 Bhairavi – Part III‘.

In the last forty-nine days of sharing Raaga based songs of the day, I have given you songs based on Raag Jhinjhoti, Gara, Bhimpalasi, Madhuvanti, Shivaranjani, Bihag, Pahadi, Sarang, Pilu, Bhairavi, Khammaj, Charukesi, Kalyan or Yaman, Desh, Malgunji, Kirwani, Kedar, Bageshri, Megh Malhar, Bhupali, Ahir Bhairav, Malkaush, Adana, Kafi, Rageshri, Jaunpuri, Tilang, Janasammohini, Chayanat, Shuddha Kalyan, Gaur Sarang, Jogiya, Asavari, Maru Bihag, Durga, Lalit, Puria Dhanashri, Bhinna Sahdja, Sohani, Multani, Patdeep, Jaijaiwanti, Tilak Kamod and Hemant. The only two raag that has been repeated so far are Pahadi, the raaga of my home place in the Himalayas, and Maru Bihag.

Today, I give you a song in Raag Basant Mukhari, Tal Kaherava.

However, first, lets take up the value added learning of today. Today, we shall learn about Dilruba or Esraj.

At various points of time in the present series, I have told you about the Sikh Gurus’ contribution towards Indian Classical Music and on the 15th day (Please read: Raaga Based Song Of The Day #15‘; also, this was the last occasion when I gave you a song pictured on Padmini: Beqasi hadd se jab guzr jaaye, which you would recall is in Raag Khammaj, Tal Dadra, an exceedingly beautiful composition by OP Nayyar), I told you about the raagas contained in Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs. I also told you that Raag Jaijaivanti was composed by the ninth Guru of the Sikhs: Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur.

(Sri Guru Gobind Singh playing Taus. Pic courtesy: Sikhmusic.com)

Dilruba (literally Robber of the Heart) was created by the tenth Guru of the Sikhs: Sri Guru Gobind Singh. It was meant to replace the heaviers instrument Taus that was created by the sixth Guru: Guru Hargobind. A lighter instrument was required so as to enable it to be carried on the horseback by the marching Sikh army under Guru Gobind Singh.

In this itself you can see the transformation of the Sikhs, who were erstwhile intellectuals (Sikh literally means one who is learning/training) and music lovers into martial people when a war was forced on them by the mughals by perpetrating atrocities on the Hindus. This history is in sharp contrast to other music lovers, eg, Nawab Wajid Ali Khan, who accepted slavery lying down.

(Pic courtesy: Sword and Dilruba by Valerie Kaur)

Esraj is a more modern variant of the Dilruba that was created by the Namdharis. It has been recently adopted into Rabindra Sangeet by musicians from Bengal. One of the notable Bengalis who was fond of Esraj was the famous scientist Satyendra Nath Bose. Dilruba was played by The Beatles with their song ‘Within You Without You’. One of the modern day exponents of Dilruba/Esraj is AR Rahman. Composer SD Batish also used to play Dilruba.

Please enjoy a video (collection of photos) of Pattie (George Harrison’s former wife) with the Dilruba when The Beatles visited Rishikesh on her birthday on 17th Mar 1968:

(Pic courtesy: Wikipedia)

Dilruba or Esraj (there are variations between the two) is a sitar like necked instrument with 20 heavy metal frets. Dilruba player kneels whilst Dilruba is rested between the knees (it can be rested on the knee itself) or on the floor in front of the player. The neck of Dilruba is rested on the left shoulder. It is played with a bow (Gaz) with the other hand moving along the strings above the frets.

As I mentioned, today’s song is composed in Raag Basant Mukhari, Tal Kaherava.

Basant Mukhari belongs to Bhairav Thaat in Bhatkhande’s system of raagas (Some feel it may just belong to Bhairavi Thaat). Its Jati is Sampoorna-Sampoorna, ie, all seven notes in Aaroha and Avaroha; Rishabh, Dhaivat and Nishad are Komal. Rest all are  Shuddha Swars. The raag is normally to be sung on the second prahar of the day (that is, 9 AM to Noon).

The raag Basant Mukhari (or Vasant Mukhari) is widely acknowledged as the Hindustani adaptation of the Carnatic raag Vakulabharanam. In the past too, I have given you raagas that have been adapted into Hindustani music from Carnatic and other sources. In this particular case, a raaga called Hijaz, of Persian origin, is believed to be the original raaga from which Basant Mukhari came into being, through the efforts of Acharya SN Ratanjankar, the founder principal of the Maris College of Music in Lucknow.

Some of the popular songs composed in this raaga are: Chalo sajna jahan tak ghata chale (Tal Kaherava), Dekho bijli dole (Tal Tintal), and Vaada karle sajna (Tal Kaherava).

Today’s song is from the 1960 Radhu Karmakar movie Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai starring Raj Kapoor, Padmini and Pran. I saw the movie when I was just a boy. We used to have, in our colony in the town of Mandi in Himachal, movies screened every week on a portable screen in open-air by the Block Development people. I remember having seen this and a number of other movies including V Shantaram’s Do Aankhen Barha Haath. There were nine songs in the movie. All but one were penned by Shailendra. The one song penned by Hasrat Jaipuri was O maine pyar kiya:

1. “Mera Naam Raju” Mukesh
2. “Kya Hua, Yeh Mujhe Kya Hua” Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle
3. “Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai” Mukesh
4. “Ho Maine Pyar Kiya” Lata Mangeshkar
5. “Hum Bhi Hain, Tum Bhi Ho” Geeta Dutt, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh
6. “Begaane Shaadi Mein Abdullah Diwana” Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh
7. “O Basanti, Pawan Pagal” Lata Mangeshkar
8. “Pyar Kar Le” Mukesh
9. “Aa Ab Laut Chalen” Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar

Such are the powers ofd retention of a young impressionable mind that after five and half decades I still remember the story of the movie:

Raj Kapoor played Raju in the movie, an orphan and a singer (he sang a song in the movie to that effect: Mera naam Raju, gharana anaam). He, of course, has high values, which gradually unfold in the movie. To start with he helps a badly wounded man who turns out to be the Sardar of a band of dacoits. One day, he is kidnapped by the same gang, who erroneously think of him as a policeman in disguise. However, when the Sardar sees him, he takes good care of him to repay him for having saved his life earlier. Sardar has a daughter Kamoo (Padmini) who falls in love with Raju.

Whereas Sardar and his gang are good dacoits (taking from the rich to give to poor), one of the gang: Raka (Pran) is actually evil. He murders the Sardar and takes over the gang. What is more, he has eyes for Kammo too. Hence, Raju decides to inform the police. It is only later that he comes to know that the police, in their devious ways, are even worse than the bandits.

In this song Padmini is trying to stop Raju from leaving them.

The movie won the National Film Award for Best Movie as well as Filmfare Award. Raj Kapoor won Filmfare Best Actor Award.

The team of Shailendra and Shankar Jaikishan have given us delightful songs; and since the word basant occurs both in mukhada of the song as well as in the raaga, some of their best are in the 1956 movie Basant Bahar. The movie has, what I have called, the second best song sung by Lata: Jaa jaa re jaa balamwa (Raag Jhinjhoti, Tal Tintal) (Please read: ‘My Favourite Five Songs Of Lata Mangeshkar’).

Please enjoy Lata Mangeshkar sing a composition of Shankar Jaikishan Raag Basant Mukhari, Tal Kaherava, on the lyrics of Shailendra: O basanti pavan paagal….

O basa.ntI pavan pAgal, nA jA re nA jA, roko koI
O basa.ntI …

Ban ke patthar ham pa.De the, sUnI sUnI rAh me.n
JI uThe ham jab se terI, bA.nh AI bA.nh me.n
Bah uThe naino.n ke kAjal, nA jA re nA jA, roko koI
O basa.ntI …

YAd kar tUne kahA thA, pyAr se sa.nsAr hai
Ham jo hAre dil kI bAjI, ye terI hI hAr hai
Sun ye kyA kahatI hai pAyal, nA jA re nA jA, roko koI
O basa.ntI …

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. On the fifteenth day, we learnt about List of Raagas (Raagmala) in my favourite book: Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
  16. On the sixteenth day, we learnt about tips for raaga identification.
  17. On the seventeenth day, we learnt the basics of Gharana system.
  18. On the eighteenth day, we learnt about Filmi Sangeet.
  19. On the nineteenth day, we learnt about the commonest Tal in Raagas: Tintal.
  20. On the twentieth day, we learnt about the Kafi Thaat.
  21. On the twenty-first day, we learnt a little more in detail about the classification of Raagas.
  22. On the twenty-second day, we learnt the essential differences between Bhairavi and Bhairav.
  23. On the twenty-third day, we learnt a little more in detail about the Jati or Jaati of a raaga.
  24. On the twenty-fourth day, we learnt details of Thaat Bilawal, the most basic thaat in the Bhatkhande’s system of raagas.
  25. On the twenty-fifth day, we learnt about Tintal.
  26. On the twenty-sixth day, we learnt in detail about the Raaga – Samay linkage.
  27. On the twenty-seventh day, we learnt about Lehar.
  28. On the twenty-eighth day, we learnt about the history of the Hindustani Music.
  29. On the twenty-ninth day, we learnt about Dhrupad.
  30. On the thirtieth day, we learnt about Rupaktal that I was introduced to, a few months back, by my friend Anand Desai.
  31. On the thirty-first day, we learnt about Khayal.
  32. On the thirty-second day, we learnt about Thumri.
  33. On the thirty-third day, we learnt about Tappa.
  34. On the thirty-fourth day, we learnt about Tarana.
  35. On the thirty-fifth day, we learnt about Tal Dipchandi (Moghali).
  36. On the thirty-sixth day, we learnt about Tabla.
  37. On the thirty-seventh day, we learnt about Kirtan.
  38. On the thirty-eighth day, we learnt about Pakhawaj.
  39. On the thirty-ninth day, we learnt about Hori.
  40. On the fortieth day, we learnt about Dadra.
  41. On the forty-first day, we learnt about Kajri.
  42. On the forty-second day, we learnt about Chaiti.
  43. On the forty-third day, we learnt about Sarangi.
  44. On the forty-fourth day, we learnt about Shehnai.
  45. On the forty-fifth day, we learnt about Sarod.
  46. On the forty-sixth day, we learnt about Bansuri.
  47. On the forty-seventh day, we learnt about Ektal and Tanpura.
  48. On the forty-eighth day, we learnt about Veena.
  49. On the forty-ninth day, we repeated our learning of Veena with a small excitement added.
  50. And today, on the fiftieth day, we learnt about Dilruba/Esraj.

There is much more still to be learnt and enjoyed.

Please stay tuned!

© 2017, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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  1. Marvellous. Song is one of top bests by LM. Went through the entire description and found each phraise invaluable. It can be wonderful resource to the students of music. Would like to know , whether the musical notes in the song are that of Dilruba created by the great son of great father Guru Teg Bahadur whoy says :

    “One who is not perturbed by misfortune, who is beyond comfort, attachment and fear, who considers gold and dust alike. Who is neither swayed by slander or praise, and shuns greed, attachments and arrogance. Who is indifferent to ecstasy and tragedy, is not affected by honors or humiliations. Who renounces expectations, greed, and is neither attached to the worldliness, nor lets senses and anger affect him. In such a person resides God. That being, blessed by Guru’s grace, understands this way. O Nanak, (S)he merges with the creator, like water with water”— Ninth Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, Rag Sorath, Ang 633