I have really no explanation why I recall certain songs at a given point in time. Sometimes there may be a connect with the thoughts of the previous (or the same) day or some conversation with someone at home or at work, or on some group but that is by no means the only trigger. The song I woke up with today just popped up in the middle of the night. I had talked to the hospital around 235 am last night and as I was falling asleep, I remembered the song. I thought I should write it down somewhere so I would dwell on it later, but I was asleep in a flash – 40 years’ training in clinical medicine allows me the privilege of being able to sleep immediately and is undoubtedly something that most practicing cardiologists develop (or are naturally blessed with) retaining their sanity and being able to savour the shuteye they get to the maximum extent possible.
The song is from a movie Sant Gyaneshwar (the purist Maharashtrian in me would naturally object to the name of the best known name in this state to being spelt thus, a true Marathi speaker would always say DNYANESHWAR) . The movie was made in the mid 60s, didn’t fare that well at the box office although the music made huge waves. One song made it to #3 on the Binaca/ Cibaca Geetmala for the year- Jyot Se Jyot Jagaate Chalo , it was also nominated for Filmfare Awards of the year for its lyrics and also as the best Song of the year. Laxmikant Pyarelal composed the music. This song is my favourite from the entire set of wonderful melodies.
The movie had Shahu Modak in the role of the Saint revered by Maharashtra. A spiritual giant who overcame the extreme difficulty of the circumstances forced upon him and achieved dizzying feats in ( very sadly,) a very short lifespan. He wrote stupendous works while still a teenager that are awe inspiring due to the insight that would be impossible to imagine in anyone even three times the age. Although the Dnyaneshwari is based on the Bhagavadgeeta, it is impossible to imagine a teenager having so much understanding of the original Sanskrit text, the insights into life and then being able to relate the one to the other and write such a rich and profound commentary that has immortalised itself in the mindspace of common people, and spiritual/ theosophical/ religious scholars to the extent it has. Every reading unfailingly gives a new insight, a new interpretation to even the most opaque of minds that never fails to amaze me. My mother did her M A on the text and I am sure her understanding of the text would be so very different from the thousands of others who have studied and interpreted it in their own journeys and even more different from the millions who continue to read it everyday. It remains the oldest surviving literary work in Marathi language essentially in a largely unaltered form.
Surekha is the actress on whom the song is filmed. Much of the filming of the movie was carried out in and around Alandi. An interesting story about the most well known (and popular) of its songs: While shooting for the film in Alandi , Laxmikant Pyarelal decided to visit the holy Temple. Laxmikant decided to visit it in the queue for ordinary devotees rather then in VIP line. While in the queue the two heard an old lady murmuring a tune, noted it down and composed the song Jyot Se Jyot Jagaate Chalo. Divinity can manifest itself in the unlikeliest of places and one could get really inspired from anyone/ anything.
Latadidi has sung the wonderful song written by Pandit Bharat Vyas and composed in a beautiful raag Shivranjani. Shivranjani is another extremely melodious raag that is common to both Hindustani Classical and Carnatic Music, is similar to Bhoopali but with the difference in just a single note: Shivranjani has Komal gandhaar instead of Shuddha gandhaar in Bhoopali. The raag is an audav- audav raag with only 5 notes in the aaroha and avaroha and belongs to the Kaafi thaat. Usually a raag performed late nights (usually around midnight), I just cannot forget Pandit Shivkumar Sharma’s Shivranjani. Gives me goosebumps still, having heard it first in the MLT of our college in the 70s… As pacific a raag as one can get, it makes me introspective and emotional every single time. Shivkumar Sharma is the God of Santoor, and actually took to the instrument after some years as a vocalist and even as a great Tabla Player – winning national competitions in the latter role. He is singularly responsible for making the changes in an instrument that was commonly used in Kashmir Folk Music and turning it into one for Hindustani Classical Music . Panditji has said that it was his father who decided that he should play the Santoor and that he never thought he would be choosing it when he started learning music. What a happy decision. Listen to this clip and get carried away in the torrent of notes. Feels like getting soaked in a gushing mountain stream, Panditji’s skill and innovative style truly defined the possibilities with the instrument that would be impossible for anyone else to better.
भोर भए नित सूरज उगे साँझ पड़े ढल जाए
ऐसे ही मोरी आस बँधे बँध-बँध कर मिट जाए
ख़बर मोरी ना लीनी रे बहुत दिन बीते
बीते रे बहुत दिन बीते
गोकुल की ये गलियाँ रोएँ
मधुबन की ये कलियाँ रोएँ
यमुना रोए राधा रोए
रसवंती रंगरलियाँ रोएँ
हाय रोए-रोए मेरे दो नैना भए रीते
बहुत दिन बीते …
सपने में तो दरस दिखा दे कुछ धीरज बँध जाए -२
सपना भी तो किस विधि आए जब निंदिया नहीं आए
हाय रोए-रोए मेरे दो नैना भए रीते
बहुत दिन बीते …
Stay safe, folks, stay happy and away from the Wuhan Virus and take the jab. Any vaccine is better than the disease….