Raaga Based Song Of The Day #60

Raaga Based Song of the Day: Chalo chalen mitwa in oonchi neechi raahon mein….
Raag Gawati, Tal Kaherava

Finally, our fifty-first raaga today: Raag Gawati, Gavati or Gavti. As you listen to the freshness of the song, you would be straightway reminded of Raag Pahadi’s songs, particularly: Tere mere honthon pe meethe meethe heet mitwa. But, we shall come to that later.

We have completed fifty-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 fifty-ninth post or the last post was titled Raaga Based Song Of The Day #59 and the song was a Talat Mehmood song from the 1950 Shaheed Lateef movie Arzoo starring Dilip Kumar, Kamini Kaushal and Shashikala: Ai dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal jahan koi na ho. It is in Raag Adana, 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 II‘.

In the last fifty-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, Mand, 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, Hemant, Basant Mukhari, Gujri Todi, Kalavati, Hamir, Bhatiyar and Gawati. The only five raagas that have been repeated so far are Pahadi, the raaga of my home place in the Himalayas, Maru Bihag, Raag Kirwani, Jhinjhoti and Bhairavi. That makes a total of 51 raagas so far. Today, I am repeating Raag Adana.

Today, I give you a duet sung by Udit Narayan and Kavita Subramaniam on the lyrics of Majrooh Sultanpuri and on a composition by Anil Biswas. As I said, it is in  Raag Gawati, Tal Kaherava.

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

In Hindustani Classical Music notes are often sung in the vowel “Aa” in the form of alaap or taan etc. Therefore when notes are sung in vowel “Aa” it ia called Aakaar.

Now here, we have a major difference between singing normally and singing in Hindustani classical music. Most people are used to singing songs with lyrics, which contain both consonants and vowels. Consonants play the role of stabilizing the voice and helping it transition from one note to another, so it is much easier to sing tunefully when you use consonants. Take the consonants out, and suddenly you are left without a crutch, the notes seem to merge into each other and become blurry. The challenge is to train your voice to sing each note with precision and clarity without the consonants. Serious students must eventually practice singing in all of the pure vowel sounds – a (the schwa sound), ā, i, u, e and o, as well as the nasal consonants n and m, because the voice behaves differently with different vowels. Some notes are harder to hit with certain vowels.

One of the reasons it is important to learn to sing clearly in aakaar is because when you are singing rapid note patterns at dizzying speeds, a pure vowel sound is all there is time for. You cannot afford the luxury of consonants and lyrics at those speeds. Another reason is that Hindustani classical music requires the artist to improvise melody, and singing in aakaar allows the artist to focus on and freely explore melody. Apart from all this, there is the very important fact that melody can be experienced at its purest when no distractions in the form of lyrics are present.

I am sure, next time you listen to a vocalist of Hindustani classical music, you will understand the melody and its bhaav better by the sheer pleasure of listening rather than having to concentrate on lyrics.

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

There is some discussion about whether Raag Gawati belongs to Khammaj or Kafi Thaat. It is because Raag Bheem is also called Raag Gawati. My study shows that some distinguish the two by adding to the latter a vivadi komal gandhar in the tar saptaka. However, this Bheem is not the same as that of the Kafi thaat.

Gawati, you must have already guessed, is a rare raga (Gaoti, Gawoti, Gavati, and Gavti are some of the ways in which it is called). Until about 18 years no Hindi song was ever composed in it. Why only in Hindi movies, even though it is a gem of a raag, it wasn’t very popular with the musicians.  Some sitarists such as Vilayat Khan, Imrat Khan, Nishat Khan, Shahid Parvez and Wajahat Khan and some rare vocalists made use of the raag.

There are many such gems in Indian Ragaas, forgotten and nearly extinct. And then you have a maestro like AR Rahman who revives them. The other day, we saw how well he handled Raag Bhatiyar, another rare raag.

Love for Gawati is like acquiring the taste for, say, olives; slowly it grows on you. But, you still have no idea why you like it. Another thing about Gawati is that like Pahadi it is a happy raag. However, it can also convey some of the saddest and rueful feelings.

Its Jati is Audhav-Sampurna Vakra. It is normally to be sung or performed in the third prahar of the day, that is in the afternoon.

Some of the songs composed in this raaga are: Baat meri suniye to zara (2003 movie Kuchh Na Kaho), Ek saathi aur bhi tha (2003 movie LOC Kargil), and Kariye Na (1999 movie Taal). Hence, as you can make out, it is only recently that this raag found its way into Hindi films songs.

(Poster courtesy: hindilinks4u.to)

The song Chalo chalen mitwa in oonchi neechi raahon mein is from the 2001 S Shankar movie Nayak: The Real Hero starring Anil Kapoor and Rani Mukerji.

The song was penned by Anand Bakshi and composed by AR Rahman, reused all the songs except “Mudhalvane” song, from the original film Mudhalvan. It was sung by Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthy.

Please enjoy in Raag Gawati, Tal Kaherava: Chalo chalen mitwa in oonchi neechi raahon mein….

Chalo chale.n mitavaa in uu.Nchii-niichii raaho.n me.n
(Let’s walk, O lover!, on these paths high and low)

Terii pyaarii-pyaarii baa.Nho.n me.n kahii.n ham kho jaaye.n
(In your lovely arms, let’s get lost somewhere)

Kabhii nii.nd se jaage.n ham kabhii phir so jaaye.n
(Sometime we wake up from the sleep, sometime we fall asleep again)

Chalo chale.n mitavaa in uu.Nchii-niichii raaho.n me.n
Terii pyaarii-pyaarii baa.Nho.n me.n kahii.n ham kho jaaye.n
Kabhii nii.nd se jaage.n ham kabhii phir so jaaye.n

Laaj kii rekhaa mai.n paar kar aa_ii
(I have come having crossed the boundary of shyness)

Kuchh bhii kahe ab ko_ii mai.n to pyaar kar aa_ii
(Whatever anyone might say, I have fallen in love)

Ye abhii nahii.n hogaa to kabhii nahii.n hogaa
(If it is not done now, it will never happen)

Aa mere sajan kar le milan
(Come, O my lover, let’s become one)

KaaT khaaye naa haay-haay ye prem-bichhu_aa
(May the scorpion of love not bite us)

Chalo chale.n mitavaa in uu.Nchii-niichii raaho.n me.n
Terii pyaarii-pyaarii baa.Nho.n me.n kahii.n ham kho jaaye.n
Kabhii nii.nd se jaage.n ham kabhii phir so jaaye.n

Aa tujhe apanii palako.n pe mai.n biThaa ke le chalataa huu.N
(Come, let me carry you you on my eyelids)

Chal tujhe saarii duniyaa se mai.n chhupaa ke le chalataa huu.N
(Come, let me carry you keeping you hidden from the entire world)

Mai.n tere piichhe huu.N paa.Nv ke niiche huu.N
(I am behind you, I am below you feet)

Nain bhii miiche huu.N sun o saiyyaa.n re le baiyyaa.n
(I have also kept my eyes closed, listen, o lover, hold my arms)

Ye abhii nahii.n hogaa to kabhii nahii.n hogaa
Aa mere sajan kar le milan
KaaT khaaye naa haay-haay ye prem-bichhu_aa

Chalo chale.n mitavaa in uu.Nchii-niichii raaho.n me.n
Terii pyaarii-pyaarii baa.Nho.n me.n kahii.n ham kho jaaye.n
Kabhii nii.nd se jaage.n ham kabhii phir so jaaye.n

Aag dil me.n lag jaatii hai nii.nd ab kisako aatii hai
(A fire spreads in the heart, who is able to get sleep now)

Nii.nd aane se pahale hii yaad terii aa jaatii hai
(Your memories storm me even before I am able to sleep)

Chaa.Nd diipak baatii sab hamaare saathii
(The moon, the lamp, the burning thread giving light, all these are our companions)

Pyaar ke baaraatii kal paraso.n se nahii.n, baraso.n se
(All these are the allies in marital procession for years, not from a day or two ago)

Ye abhii nahii.n hogaa to kabhii nahii.n hogaa
Aa mere sajan kar le milan
KaaT khaaye naa haay-haay ye prem-bichhu_aa

Chalo chale.n mitavaa in uu.Nchii-niichii raaho.n me.n
Terii pyaarii-pyaarii baa.Nho.n me.n kahii.n ham kho jaaye.n
Kabhii nii.nd se jaage.n ham kabhii phir so jaaye.n

Laaj kii rekhaa mai.n paar kar aa_ii
Kuchh bhii kahe ab ko_ii mai.n to pyaar kar aa_ii
Ye abhii nahii.n hogaa to kabhii nahii.n hogaa
Aa mere sajan kar le milan
KaaT khaaye naa haay-haay ye prem-bichhu_aa

Chalo chale.n mitavaa in uu.Nchii-niichii raaho.n me.n
Terii pyaarii-pyaarii baa.Nho.n me.n kahii.n ham kho jaaye.n
Kabhii nii.nd se jaage.n ham kabhii phir so jaaye.n

o ho o o o o ho o o o -2
o ho o o o o ho o o o

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. On the fiftieth day, we learnt about Dilruba/Esraj.
  51. On the fifty-first day, we learnt about Jaltarang.
  52. On the fifty-second day we learnt about Qawwali.
  53. On the fifty-third day, we learnt about Sitar.
  54. On the fifty-fourth day, we learnt about Surbahar.
  55. On the fifty-fifth day, we learnt about Harmonium.
  56. On the fifty-sixth day, we learnt about Santoor.
  57. On the fifty-seventh day, we learnt about Swarmandal.
  58. On the fifty-eighth day, we learnt about the Shruti Box.
  59. On the fifty-ninth day, we learnt about Alankar.
  60. And today, on the sixtieth day, we learnt about singing in Aakaar.

There is much more still to be learnt and enjoyed.

Please stay tuned!

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