Introspective melodies Memories

Unforgettable morning melodies….

Woke up today with this early morning raag resonating in my head. Lalit is a serene, devotional raag of the Poorvi thaat that’s usually performed at around dawn. It is a shadav- shadav raag and is very effective in producing bhakti and karuna ras. It has a very enchanting use of both madhyams (shuddha and teevra) along with a prominent Gandhar. I was actually only thinking of the swars rather than a song, then the notes formed a song, an old duet from a Bollywood movie Chacha Zaindabad inspired by a Marathi movie, Pedgavche Shahane. This is the absolutely unforgettable song from the Hindi movie, a fabulous duet with Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar.

Chacha Zindabad had music by Madan Mohan. Kishore Kumar is pitted against Anita Guha, in itself a very interesting casting decision. Made by J Om Prakash (Rakesh Roshan‘s FIL), the movie revolves around the life of Vinod (Kishore Kumar)- a simple, kind-hearted man living with his father- who has arranged his marriage eons with Renu (Anita Guha)- daughter of his childhood friend. However, Vinod and Renu actually hate each other and go to the extent of even plotting a plan to nix the marriage and thereby making their parents enemies when they’re actually the best of friends. Things get further complicated- when Kishoreda and Anita Guha manage to fall in love with one other and discover the lady’s father has in the meantime arranged her marriage with another man, leading to mayhem.

The same raag is the basis for one of my most favourite ghazals by Jagjit Singh.

कोई पास आया सवेरे सवेरे

कोई पास आया सवेरे सवेरे

मुझे आज़माया सवेरे सवेरे 

मेरी दास्ताँ को ज़रा सा बदल कर

मुझे ही सुनाया सवेरे सवेरे

जो कहता था कल शब संभलना संभलना

वही लड़खड़ाया सवेरे सवेरे

(शब = रात)

जली थी शमा रातभर जिसकी ख़ातिर
उसी को जलाया सवेरे सवेरे

कटी रात सारी मेरी मैकदे में

ख़ुदा याद आया सवेरे सवेरे

सईद राही

In an amazing live performance, Jagjit Singh rendered this very ghazal in Lalit with two legends of Hindustani Classical Music, Pandit Hariprasad Chourasia and Ustad Zakir Hussain. What a mouthwatering prospect. Thankfully preserved for us to savour by some thoughtful soul.

So much should be enough to enchant you for the morning, folks. Keep yourself busy while I proceed with some balloon inflation at the right place and for the right time. Stay happy and healthy.

Bageshree Nocturnal melodies Serenity

A melody for the night….

I was contemplating for a few minutes after dinner and it struck me we were a few minutes away from 9 pm. In the Hindustani Classical Music thought, 9 pm to 12 midnight is the time for Bageshree. A beautiful raag,  it is meant to depict the emotion of a woman waiting for reunion with her lover. It is said to have been first rendered by Tansen, that myths claim sang for Akbar. Amongst Bollywood composers, it was the most liked and widely used by none other than C Ramchandra, who really found it easy to make unforgettable melodies out of. The maestros use it in Shadav-Sampoorna as well as Audav-Sampoorna forms.

I will start with a common version of a very popular ghazal by Ghulam Ali, based on the raag:

The ghazal by Rifat Sultan are fabulous.

बहारों को चमन याद आ गया है…… रिफ’अत सुलतान

बहारों को चमन याद आ गया है
मुझे वो गुल-बदन याद आ गया है

लचकती शाख़ ने जब सर उठाया
किसी का बाँकपन याद आ गया है

मिरी ख़ामोशियों पर हँसने वालो
मुझे वो कम-सुख़न याद आ गया है

तुम्हें मिल कर तो ऐ यज़्दाँ-परस्तो
ग़ुरूर-ए-अहरमन याद आ गया है

तिरी सूरत को जब देखा है मैं ने
उरूज-ए-फ़िक्र-ओ-फ़न याद आ गया है

किसी का ख़ूबसूरत शे’र सुन कर
तिरा लुत्फ़-ए-सुख़न याद आ गया है

मिले वो अजनबी बन कर तो ‘रिफ़अत’
ज़माने का चलन याद आ गया है

As is usual with these legendary giants of the genre, there are multiple, equally good renditions of varying lengths from live concerts, each one as enjoyable and exquisite as the other. Listen to this one, apparently the first time he sang it (in a concert, or could be, going by his narration, the first time ever!):

Listen to this sublime rendition by the maestro, my most favourite instrumentalist with this magical piece, by the man who made me believe in the divinity of music of Shrikrishna when he created mass hypnosis with the same. Maybe the Lord’s favourite son was sent to hypnotize our generations:

This one has Fazal Qureshi, Ustad Alla Rakha’s son on the tabla. All three of them are just fabulous and worthy claimants to the father’s throne, or shall I say, tabla?

Enjoy the three clips, folks. They will undoubtedly give me much joy and peace tonight. Stay healthy and happy