Saturday, July 13, 2013


Our Nazareth home in Shillong happens to be an ‘Assam-type’ construction, as they say in the North East: the roofing made out of modules of  wedge shaped  sections of corrugated galvanised sheets, put together in permutations and combinations artistically….to best keep rain at bay…

Around mid-night, that is at 8.00 PM IST, it starts raining and pelting-on-the-tin-roof, and we wonder how we are to distinguish the night’s swaras, given the fact that the only music available tonight is the feeble  ipad so thoughtfully foisted upon us by our employer so that we remain online 24 hours..

Fortunately the rains recede, clouds sinking into the darkening skies towards Rynjah…that’s where the Bengalis and Dkhars live…Dkhar stands for a tribal outsider…Bengalis for Homo Bengalensis

We are making the 27 Down journey again fro Guwahati to Shillong, strains of Jog kauns eddying around in Kuki's warhorse the Scorpio- Kala Ramnath, Panditji, Khansaheb Vasantrao, wagairah wagairah, and Jog kauns always puts her to sleep, somehow, Missus alleges…and then if it's a composite raga, what's the space doing between the two ragas.? ...that she says after the first rushes of the Post are shown to her for UA certification, he, he, he...Touche...will remember

Jogkauns is quite interesting, we provoke her, the chalan spotlight flitting from the purvang pradhan Jog to the lilting uttrang pradhan Chandrakauns…it’s full of odds and primes, if we were to talk in mathematical terms…no evens…Aeronsystems has promised to send the frequency graph of BSJ’s Jogkauns…Pt. Jagannathbuwa Purohit (‘Gunidas’) was the inventor, we remind Missus, but she just nods groggily….

We drop the bomb-shell then- your ancestors were also buwas, is it not…that leaves her rubbing her eyes furiously-she has such a ‘thing’ for that beeee…word…you know…

We veer the topic downhill. From a most interesting raga to a boring one…

 …which is the most boring of ragas then, we aks her…bilawal (unless sung by Pta Amonkar) see shays..mince she saysBhupali and Pahadi says nacheez….aai shappath she says…do you know, if you sing Pahadi treating the pa as sa you end up with BhupaliMurchana...But Jyoti kalash chalake is Bhupali …Missus muses absently...

Kya baat hai we say, but there issspucca artiste who corresponds to the Rama who liberated अहिल्या शिळा.....mince Rama  of अहिल्या शिळा राघवे मुक्त केली, पदी लागतां दिव्य होवुनी गेली , where अहिल्या शिळा stands for the humbler raagas.....and that's the brilliant Indori- Jaori maestro Ustad Halim Jaffer Khan... 

Visit all Google addresses, scrounge Youtube, thorough the Psalms, ransack Rhythm House, you'll conclude Ustad plays only Chayanat, Jaijaiwanti, Jhinjhoti, Pahadi... some UFO ragas, the sexiest we could seek out is Bhairavi in Yehudi Menuhin...maybe Kirwani- no Malkauns or Bhairav, or Darbari for Ustadji...

But, and a big BUTTT, a humble flower-girl becomes a Princess after she visits Ustad's studio at Bandra. Remember what Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma felt when one Bandra night the strains of Chayanat on sitar fell on his ears? haminasttt: just read the uploader's remarks in this Kirwani, in which the sitar complains plaintively about the  neglect meted out to her by her sanwariya @ 0.25 to 0.30...

Khansahib plays the fairy who chaperons plain Jane Tilak Kamod to a beauty cavern, to transform her into the most ravishing maiden, plain as she remains at heart! YT nurses a collection of dainty single slippers dropped accidentally by such-like Cinderellas, hurriedly clambering onto pumpkin-carriages..where are the matching feet I sayyy...!.

But Latatai endures in the mind of Mrs. von 'Bailiff, and she returns to the मूळपद thus: but Jyoti kalash chalake is Bhupali …Missus muses absently...he, he, he...

That brings us to the most haunting interlude played in the life of nacheez…and a billion others in the greater subcontinent…..the sun and shade played by him or her with a haunting human voice ever since he was born or unborn……maa Saraswati of Peddar Road…

We have travelled a thousand times, criss-crossing Prabhukunj, and not once have we failed to fix our gaze on those balconies, hoping to catch a glimpse of the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lata…ever so human…never did she mind stand and be counted against the bridge maker syndicate…. ever so ethereal…[1]

Have you travelled from Chandigarh to Manali? One remembers, most of the time one is accompanied and shepherded by the emerald waters of river Beas. Lata is the voice which has stayed with Everybody of the sub-continent-with Humanity if you permit,... condescend, like that crystal stream, abiding faithfully by the sides, in joy and pain, in misery and revelry… . by its serene banks you laughed, or smiled, or you wept or mourned, or splashed your face …the context is eternal and universal, reminds you of

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down
Ye-eah we wept, when we remembered Zion…

Lata Mangeshkar of Goa…make no mistake…Hrudaynath…Auchit Podlom Tujea Mogan....!

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Pta. Lata were of course ardent admirers of each other. Remember Raam ka Gunagaan kariye…? Panditji once remarked that by virtue of the divine quality of her voice and, her musical genius, she ranks amongst music’s greatest prodigies, Taansen, Khusrau, or Tyagaraja….Bhimanna, one may add…

Panditji if you recall, begged to differ with the last High-priestess of Indian Classical, She of the  raised  eye-brow…Lata Mangeshkar who? said the Pta KA, Hindustani counterpart of Bellatrix Lestrange, Rowling’s answer to our High-Priestess …. Bellatrix… tell us has Lata ever produced an imperfect or discordant note…Kambakhwqt kabhi sur se utarti nahi, said your Grand Dad Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan?... Geet Gaya Patharon ne hooooo…kal zamana kahega tab batanaagar koi pooche to…it's so forgettable many peoples’ soul have you reached Amma…men and women on the street I sayyy….Public at large was liable to be taken in by Bellatrix's diatribe, so also she...mince Lady Posterity... were it not for Panditji's kind intervention... Lata is for eternity…and Latabai never deigned to pick on you…Pta KA, tut tut, or hapless tabalchis…infringement of the canons of decency…

We always believed that an experience 'e' concerning music (or noise for that matter he, he, he) is a four dimensional supra-Cartesian entity, the directions or variables being- Substance (notably, raga), Technique, Emotion and an intangible called..called...called...maybe iota or 'under-root of mínus one' or a 'quark', or 'wild-card' or in plain Marathi- गंमत! fun!! e= (k*S)^p+(l*T)^q+(m*E)^r+(n*गंमत)^s...the equation translated into humanese being- a musical experience is the product of S,T,E and गंमत... series k.. representing the constant coefficient and series p, the exponent...there are a number of unknowns, say series p and series k, the only constants being the variables S, T, E and गंमत ...whewww...we'll elaborate that some-day inshallah, but suffice it to posit that the supreme is E and the quotient thereof, which happen to be the haunt and preserve of Latadidi.....In plain language, the musical consummation comes from four features: contents (say vyakhya or vistara of the raga), technique, emotional content and गंमत, the significance of each variables changing with the artiste...the most important attribute according to IK is E or emotion...hence the supremacy of Pt. Bhimsen or Lata or Mukesh Mathur or KL Saigal...the summm has to be a subjective Resultant we suppose...! Unfortunately no critic will address the issue of Emotion Deficit or Emotion Surplus!

There is a very important  ‘learning’ involved here …and that’s really the shadowy theme of today’s post….All tunes are great, Ashok Razdan said… the point is that it takes the voice of Lata to reveal the potentialities of, and dimensions hidden in, a boring raga like Bhupali, ahem…excuse us...She makes any tune ‘speak’ so to say…बोलक्या करतात  मुक्यालाही लताबाई …. 


The holy months of the brotherhood are upon us. The warkaris make way from Alandi and Dehu to Pandharpur, to keep their annual Ashaadi Ekadashi tryst with Vitthal, even as followers of the Prophet eagerly await the Holy Ramzaan

Dnyaneshwar Mauli hearkens to the sweet voice of the crow, a crow, of all birds…Poe’s Raven….harbinger of Vitthal’s arrival…even the agnostic in YT can feel the sweet pangs of divine is in bairagi bhairav they say…a classic..

पैल तोगे काऊ कोकताहे 
शकुन हे माये सांगताहे 
पैल तोगे काऊ कोकताहे 

A crow calls  from the yonder,
Maye, I know it is a good omen.

उड उड रे काऊ तुझे सोन्याने मढवेन पाऊ ,
पाहुणे पंढरी राव घरा कईन येती 

Fly away and get the tidings thou crow,
And I shall clad your feet in gold,

When the visitor from Pandhari,
Comes forth to my cottage.

दही भाता ची उंडी, लावेन तुझे तोंडी,
जीवा पडिये त्याची गोडी, सांग वेगी,

Rice and curd I shall feed thee,
Tell me at  once about the one dear to me.

दुधे भरुने वाटी , लावून तुझे ओंठी ,
सत्य सांगे गोठी, विठू येयिल काहे 

A bowl of milk shall put to your lips ,
Tell truly, will Vitthal grace my threshold!

आंबेया डहाळी,फळे चुंबी रासाळी ,
आजीचे रे काळी शकुन सांगे 

Savour all the mangoes on the boughs,
But let me hear what so impatiently I seek !,
(courtesy SJisBack on Youtube)  
The raga is said to be Bairagi. It is so similar to Gunkali, Missus says S r M P d for Gunkali and S r M P n for Bairagi. So few swaras- only 5. Problem in recognizing raga in respect of Lata songs as we mused, is this: if a boring raga sung by her becomes evocative, in case of a Lata song, how are you to tell two closely related ragas  apart- so overwhelmed are you with the voice persayyyy... 
   [1] allusion from The Raven


vidushi said...

फारच काव्यात्मक रूपानी आपण लता ताईंच वर्णन केलं . फारच सुरेख !

अरविंद प्रधान said...

अरविंद प्रधान said...

लताबाईनि शास्त्रीय संगीताकरता काय केल ह्याची जाणीव जरी काही लोकाना नसली तरी जर आपण साधा विचार केला की अप्रचलित (आणि कंटाळवाणे) राग तसे का असतात आणि बहुजनप्रिय राग तसे का असतात तर एक गोष्ट उघड होते. सामान्यपणे ज्या रागाना लाताबाईनि एखाद्या चित्रपटात सुंदर गाउन बहुजनसमाजापर्यंत नेऊन पोहचवल तो राग नशिबवान.
नाहीतर असे शेकडो, कुठला तरी सारंग किंवा अलाना फलाना कानडा असे राग पडले आहेत की ज्याना एक राजशेखर मन्सूर सोडले तर दुसर कोणी गाणार नाही. भैरव रागाला मोहे भूल गये सांवरीया किंवा भैरवीला जो तुम तोडो कृष्णा सारखी जाहिरात नाही.

जर तुम्हाला एखाद्या शास्त्रीय गायिकेची लताबाईंशी तुलना करायचीच असेल तर हा सूर्य हा जयद्रथ अशी तुलना करता येते (की जे फार थोड्या वेळा करता येत). दोघीनी गायलेल एक भजन, सुंदर ते ध्यान ऐका. लताबाईच भजन ऐकल्यानंतर शास्त्रीय गायिकेच भजन ऐकवत नाही. पहा

Unknown said...

लेखक बंधूंनी  (त्यांच्या नावां वरून व blog  च्या विविध संदर्भा वरून गोव्याचे वाटतात) बर्याच विषय वस्तुं च्ये असामान्य संमिश्रण केलेले आहेत, सर्व मान्य करण्या सारख्या नाहीत, पण विचारोत्तेजक. लता बाई आपल्या धरोहर आहेत, पण अन्य शास्त्रीय गायकांचा हि परिवेश असतोच. उदा. शब्दोच्चारणात लता बाईंचे training सर्वांना उपलब्ध होत नसावे . Comments मध्ये प्रधानांची  रागदारी ची उदाहरणे सटीक आहेत.

sanjiv bokil said...

तुमचे प्रधान साहेबां बद्धल म्हणणे पटले. त्यांच्या सारख्या पारखी व्यक्तिंचे मत माझ्या मताशी जुळलेले बघुन माझा आत्मविश्वास वाढला! किशोरी बाईंचे भजन मात्र सापडलेले नाही. कृपया लिंक असल्यास पाठवणे .पण लता बाईं च्या परिवाराने अवघे मराठी संगीत विश्व उभे केले आहे! अजून तरी सबंध विश्वात ह्याचा parallel नाही!