Melodious morning….

I have always wondered and am amazed at the closeness to the human vocal range that a Sarangi can achieve. My father-in-law’s first cousin Bhargav Gune was utterly devoted to the instrument and the calloused and deeply grooved fingers on his left hand were witness to the years of his effort with the instrument that is such a difficult one to master. Sadly, as a result, not too many daredevils spend a lifetime romancing it. But those who do, make it worth the effort for us who get entranced and mesmerized by the bitter sweet notes of the instrument, the expert Sarangiya is able to follow every change, every nuance of the principal artiste, usually a vocalist. AIR and DD had in the past used the Sarangi in the solo form (without even a tabla or taanpura to accompany it) whenever a period of national mourning was declared after some senescent fat cat kicked the bucket. At such times, people would be relieved that the leech had burst due to overeating but the GOI would force us to mourn by playing Sarangi for hours on end, interspersed by news (sans even the recognisable signature tunes). Our sorrow was completed by the blanking out of every semblance of entertainment. This was the fake first family’s diktat, no doubt and definitely imbued the nation with the most profound sorrow.

Here is an example of how a good Sarangi player can embellish a vocal performance. Sarangi with say a Bharatratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi would never sound the same as a singer singing something slower in tempo and steeped in melancholia and introspection. I have chosen a ghazal by Khansaheb to illustrate this.

Adeeb Saharanpuri wrote the amazing ghazal, Ustad Sultan Khan is on the Sarangi, with Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan on the tabla and Kamran Hasan on the Harmonium. Khansaheb is on song in this masterly magical rendition. I am including the lyrics and the import of the four अश’आर that convey to us. Any Indian language is better to convey the meaning of urdu poetry. The richness of emotions can just not be conveyed through English to the same extent

इक ख़लिश को हासिल-ए-उम्र-ए-रवाँ रहने दिया, जान कर हम ने उन्हें नामेहरबाँ रहने दिया, कितनी दीवारों के साये हाथ फैलाते रहे, इश्क़ ने लेकिन हमें बेख़्वानमाँ रहने दिया।
इंसान कितनी भी आरज़ू करे पर उसे उसकी हर चाहत का प्रतिकार मिले ये कहाँ मुमकिन है ? इसलिए ग़ज़ल के मतले में अदीब कहते हैं कि वो हम पर मेहरबान ना भी हुए तो क्या, दिल में उसके प्रेम की जो मीठी आँच जल रही है वही उनकी ज़िदगी का हासिल है। ये भी नहीं कि ज़िदगी अकेलेपन में गुजरी। कितने लोग तो आए जिन्होंने अपने मोहब्बत के साये में मेरे मन को सुकून पहुँचाने की कोशिश की पर ये उसके इश्क़ का ही असर था कि मेरे दिल की कोठरियाँ उजाड़ ही रहीं। वहाँ किसी और को बसाना मेरे लिए गवारा नहीं हुआ।
अपने अपने हौसले अपनी तलब की बात है, चुन लिया हमने उन्हें सारा ज़हाँ रहने दिया, ये भी क्या जीने में जीना है बग़ैर उन के “अदीब”, शम्मा गुल कर दी गई बाक़ी धुआँ रहने दिया
अदीब अगले शेर मे कहते हैं कि लोग मुझ पर हँसते हैं कि सारी दुनिया को छोड़कर मुझे ऐसे शख्स से दिल लगाने की क्या पड़ी थी जो मेरा कभी ना हो सका। वो क्या समझें मेरे हौसले को, मेरी पसंद को ..
पर मक़ते में शायर का हौसला पस्त होता दिखता है जब वो उदासी की चादर ओढ़ कहते हैं कि उसके बगैर जीना बुझी हुई शमा के धुएँ के साथ जीने जैसा है। आख़िर उसकी यादों के सहारे कोई कब तक जी सकता है? एक बार गायी उनकी इसी ग़ज़ल में और एक शेर भी है:

आरजू-ए- क़र्ब भी बख्शी दिलों को इश्क़ ने, फ़ासला भी मेरे उनके दर्मियाँ रहने दिया

Another live rendition by Khansaheb has a different sets of instruments accompanying him, the same ghazal, with flute and a set of keyboards but the sheer richness of feeling and depth of emotion is lacking (despite this being a more elaborate exposition) as the Sarangi is missing. Check this out for yourself..

Stay safe, folks, stay healthy and happy. Do take the jab even if you get one of the greater than 1 billionth given in India to counter the Chinese malevolence.

By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

4 replies on “Melodious morning….”

Very captivating write up indeed, sometimes the sounds emanating from the Sarangi matches human cries and other expressions to such an extent, that they sound eerily real.
The lambast of the fake melodrama on our single channel TVs then, also very appropriate. Lamenting the days of entertainment lost for every insignificant mourning.
And Mehdi Hassan saab actually cultivated our interest in ghazals. Period.

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