Wednesday, May 21, 2014

VIRASAT E GAYAKI

LAT THE MUSIC PLAY! 
Mumbai, 11th May                                                    
In the process of researching on our beloved Ustad AHJK, we were bound to be regaled over the running battle over the Gayaki Angg legacy between two greats of the Sitar- Mama-Bhanja at that- and boyyyy…we diddd!!!

Ustad Rais Khan is responsible for some of the greatest sitar moments in Hindi Film Music- prelude of nainonme badra chhaye…recurrent sitar theme of Pakeezah background , sitar interludes of dhundo dhundo re saajana…prelude  of O mere sanam…the whole sitar base of aaj socha to aansu bhar aye…and much of Ustad Madan Mohan’s sitar oeuvre ..Ustad Rais Khan antagonised everyone in and around himself (he, he, he), and being aggrieved with the perceived  lack of recognition, saying bad-bad things about India (which we all say, but do nothing about it), became a Pakistani citizen in the early 1980’s…kyuun aap ye sab baja ke chale gaye? Cezanne Khan and Suhail Khan who are said to appear in Indian TV serials are the sons of Rais and wife Tasneem, who played a major role in the migration.....allegedly he is desirous of an Indian citizenship again, according to his cousin Yaman, Vilayat Khan’s daughter..jahan raho abaad raho but let the magic be relived once again..! We could also make a bargain on the pattern of the Lata bargain which Pakistani politicians have been making: You keep Kashmir and give us Lata Mangeshkar (she rues no one checked up with her!) Anyway in IK's scheme of things, emotion carries the most credit- be it misdirected- it should impact the creation authentically...



(That beautiful compilation has been done by Atulbhai Shah: acknowledge the love and care bestowed by you on these unsung moments)

Ustad Vilayat Khan, half of India’s sitarnama, was the Mamu of Rais. The immediate provocation for forsaking Hindustaniyat was the patent of the Gayaki style of sitar. Ustad Vilayat Khan’s descendants claim it was Ustad Vilayat, while Raisbhai says it was his ancestors ….anyway amongst many of our communities, maternal side or the paternal side is immaterial to the question of ancestry…liberal quarters always accepted doodh-khoon ka rishta - (relationship resulting from milk or blood) as basis of gharana affiliation- and therefore, both the warring sides are right (mince sahi) here! 
This happens to be the family tree of Etawah Khandan. First of all, the twin claims (just the claims: not the credits) on the gayaki style are in the sphere of tenability only if one assumes that Imdad Khan sahib, being the common ancestor of the two warring claimants had nothing to do with gayaki.  Bloody unlikely. That the style came to Rais solely from his paternal side is also ruled out, if you listen to Ustad Enayat Khan's 78 RPM records of the first decades of the twentieth century.  If this does not sound like a vocal-wali thumri, what does?



Sheer beauty, and all thanks to Warren Senders for his splendwork on old 78 RPM discs!

The truth about gayaki angg, we boldly assert, lies in the fact that sitar and vocal were fungible right from the times of the Father of Hindustani Classical, Mia Tansen. For instance although Tansen is known as primarily for his vocal prowess, the major sitar gharana is called Senia. Then…the great Kirana vocalist Ustad Abdul Karim Khan was basically a beenkar..and finally the eternal truth that be it Pt. Jasraj, Ustad Allauddin Khan, or Pt. Ravi Shankar, or Alladiya Khan, or Ustad Vilayat Khan, or the Kirana gurus like Pt. Bhimsen…all partake of that common musical gene pool- the GangotriMia Tansen and Amir Khusrao...tethe pahije jaatiche...Tuka observed- nothing to do with caste haaan...in that sense Pt. Ravi Shankar's achievements rank supreme. He was distant from the 'jaati', yet he blew life into a tradition which would have languished after the durbar oxygen was cut off...! The vision travel imparts to the perceptive, I sayyy........!

Whewwww… where are we...? In Management lingo the ‘entry barriers’ into the Hindustani-music trade are so severe and exacting in the form of infinite sadhana and riyaaz, that only the absurdly motivated can carry on…

The following is from Ustad Shahid Parvez’s authorised biographical tract on the Etawah gharana:

Ustad Aziz Khan was the youngest son of sitar and surbahar maestro Ustad Waheed Khansaab (brother of Ustad Enayat Khan, the walid of Ustad Vilayat Khan).  The young Gunna Bhai, as Aziz Khansaab was lovingly addressed , was introduced to music at a very young age and as years passed by he received extensive “taleem” (lessons) in the music of the gharana from his lengendary Guru and father Ustad Waheed Khansaab, in vocal music, sitar and surbahar.  He also received some  taleem from his equally legendary uncle Ustad Enayat Khansaab. Although his repertoire of traditional taleem was highly enviable, he did not take up sitar or surbahar as a source of lively hood.  Instead, he took up music – composition as his profession.....  He became a professional music composer in the Bollywood film industry composing under the pseudonym Aziz-Hindi.  Even here his musical talents came to the fore.  He enjoyed considerable success while composing for films like “Intezar ke bad,”  “Parivartan -1949,” “Putli - 1950,” “Actor 1952,” “Dhoop Chaon – 1954,” “Danka –1954,” “Chalta Poorza – 1958.”  Ustad Aziz Khan also composed music for several other films in partnership with another lyricist and composer, Khaiyyam.  In these films, they use to call themselves “Sharma ji – Varma ji.”

The point being made has already received some attention in the post “There is Hope for Boring Ragas” wherein we had occasion to hold forth on Lataji's talents in enlivening the thakkest ragas (Indori slang- by the way AHJK and Rais Khan are dyed-in-wool Indoris haan!)- raising them from the ranks of the Dead dead I sayyy…!

That revisits the celebrated duality – Akla-o-Dil…Yin & Yang..World of the Mind, and World of Emotions…all roads lead to this Yin and Yang, I sayyy…The boringness of the boring ragas stems from the Mind or brains of Classical, but the province of the Heart possesses the capability to endow the most non-descript raga with myriad unsuspected colours… maestros like Lata and Rais are irrational mavericks no doubt, but that is the reason why their magic touch enlivens the staid ones.. Khamaj, Chayanat, Gara.. The House Resolves..,,What drove Pt. Ravi Shankar or Ustad Vilayat Khan was the World of the Head, and what drove Lataji or Ustad Rais Khan, or his mentor Mamu Ustad Aziz Khan, as explained in no uncertain terms by Ustad Shahid Parvez is the World of the Heart. It may not have been a conscious decision on their part whether to side with the Heart or the Mind, but the story on the ground is proof of pudding nooo.?

Allama Iqbal on Akal-o-Dil:

Ye Akal-o-Dil Hai Sharar Shola-e-Mohabbat Ke
Wo Khaar-o-Khas Ke Liye Hai, Ye Nestaan Ke Liye

The mind and the heart are sparks in the flame of love;
One for a moment's world, the other for an everlasting world…  as also:

Rahega Raavi-o-Neel-o-Faraat Mein Kab Tak?
Tera Safeena Ke Hai Bahr-e-Bekaraan Ke Liye

Till when will you be in the Ravi, Nile and the Tigris?
Your Ship is for the Open Sea of the Mind’s Restlessness.

Allama Iqbal was a compulsive coach and rehnuma to everyone who cared. The voice of Islamic enlightenment. One is often left awestruck and open-mouthed at his earthly wisdom, couched in words so convincingly and stylishly…! You’ll find innumerable Pakistani sites,  with profound content on the subject of Iqbal…Iqbal is sufficient reading for a modest life-time…more on Allama Iqbal on IK after research...!
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हां तो भ्या मे क्या के रिया था? कोन इन्दोर से हे?!
Plenty of us owe to Malwi wheat and milk, which in their purest avatar are found only in Indore, loosely synonymous with Malwa. Artistes and sportsmen hailing from the town include as we said above, Ustad Rais Khan, Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan (Jaora), Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Nizamuddin Khan (Jaora again), Ustad Maqbool Fida Hussian (b. Pandharpur), C.K.Nayudu, Kumar Gandharva (honorary citizen), Ustad Bande Ali Khan, founder of Kirana gharana, Johny Walker, Salim Khan, Salman Khan etc., etc.. Lata Mangeshkar was born here. Thus, some are born Indoris, some achieve Indoriness, and some like YT have Indoriyat thrust upon them..

The Indori diaspora possesses extraordinary brilliance and sense of humour: can vouch for that....read below about Indori Californians:



The maddeningly phunny thing about Indore and neighbour Bhopal is the peculiar slangy lingo and the characteristic pronunciation. To savour it you must watch Indori videos of Rajiv Nema (of California), all available on Youtube. The most memorable line from one of these videos (to YT) is the one uttered by an Indori friend on the eve of his first and only US visit, after he enters the connecting airport at Mumbai: क्या हवाई अड्डा हे भ्या !... यूं मतलब, अपना सरवटे बस इस्टैंड बि ,मतलब, कोई कम नि हे हो.…something like that. Here are some culinary delights from Indore:
HOW IT'S STACKED IN THE MORNING: ONLY UPTO 8.30 AM: VIRTUALLY OIL FREE, THE SECRET IS THE STEAM GENERATED IN THE VESSEL BELOW THE PAN
THIS IS HOW IT LOOKS ON YOUR PLATE. MADE OUT OF BEATEN RICE, SPRINKLED WITH SEV AND CORIANDER ('kothmeer')
BEST SEV SPRINKLING IS RATLAMI SEV AND NOT BARIK SEV FEATURED EARLIER
SERVED WITH PEAS IN WINTER

MMMMMmmm....!

THAT'S BHUTTA KEES: CORN MASHED AND COOKED LIKE POHA

PREFERRED CONSORT: JALEBI DEVI

NOTHING TO BEAT MOONG BHAJIYAs IN MALWI RAINS!

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2 comments:

Pradeep Krishnamurthy said...

Good one. The ultimate proof is in the playing though and anyone who is not tonally deaf can discern who the ultimate maestro is. Rais sirf naam nahi, Bajane main bhee Rais hain...��

carl von bailiff said...

Thanks, delighted to meet a fellow Rais fan. I and my wife (yamini kalyani on YT) recently heard virtually all sitar Marwas on YT and found Khansaheb's most scintillating!