Devotional melodies Introspective melodies Lata Mangeshkar Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

Always on my mind, on my breath….

Today, 26th October is the 85th birthday of the youngest sibling of the most famous and dominant musical family in the country. Each of them has had varying degrees of involvement and made music an inseparable part of their lives, enriching our lives in turn, and of a billion Indians as well. I just cannot think of growing up without the amazing body of work of this family, the much greater fame having been garnered and cornered by two of the sisters.

When I first heard Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, it was in the 60s as a singer in one of my vacations in Pune. He has sung some of the most sublime songs in Marathi films and the unique genre in the language: Bhavgeet. He had a softness and smoothness to his voice that was perfectly matched by the plethora of emotions he could convey through it. I once heard his older sisters praise him publicly, speaking in glowing terms of his understanding of music. At the time I thought this was just the sisterly affection resorting to a bit of hyperbole. As my own exposure and understanding of his skills and craft grew, I concur with their sentiments and really feel they were restrained in their praise. I am of course talking of the youngest sibling of the first family of Indian Music, and the most famous of the lot, Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, who has in keeping with his name, reigned over the hearts and minds of every single one who came to know of his unmatched oeuvre.

Little wonder that some of the biggest names in Indian music have sung for him.   I thought it would be apt to showcase a song by one of the most well known vocalists of Hindustani Classical Music, and one who was present on stage when The Shankaracharya of Karveer Peeth conferred him with the honorific, Bhavgandharva.

The melody is composed in the early morning raag Ahir Bhairav by Shrinivas Khale. A sampoorna-sampoorna raag of the Bhairav thaat, it has rishabh and nishad that are komal, all other five swara being shuddha. It is created by a fusion of Bhairav with the (now rarely performed) ancient raag Ahiri  or Abhiri.

From the first note, Bharatratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi , reigns supreme in this devotional song that is steeped in piety. Lata Mangeshkar joins in later with her own heavenly vocal magic. The poetry by Pandit Narendra Sharma is deeply evocative and enjoins all of us to worship Prabhu Shriram.

राम का गुणगान करिये, राम का गुणगान करिये।
राम प्रभु की भद्रता का, सभ्यता का ध्यान धरिये॥

राम के गुण गुणचिरंतन,
राम गुण सुमिरन रतन धन।
मनुजता को कर विभूषित,
मनुज को धनवान करिये, ध्यान धरिये॥

सगुण ब्रह्म स्वरुप सुन्दर,
सुजन रंजन रूप सुखकर।
राम आत्माराम,
आत्माराम का सम्मान करिये, ध्यान धरिये॥

The song was very cleverly spliced onto a visual clip from the Telugu movie “Sampoorna Ramayan” & seems like it is part of the OST.

My best wishes and respect to the amazing musical genius of Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar. May he regale us in the years to come as much as he has in the last seventy.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

9 replies on “Always on my mind, on my breath….”

भारत रत्न लता दिदींना व पंडित भीमसेन जोशींना विनम्र अभिवादन

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