Thursday, January 29, 2009


We can very easily understand the complicated philosophy of human life in a different perspective, looking into it through the ‘SARGAM’ of music. The existence of human life since its birth till death, is through its physical body,created out of five basic elements of nature.Death symbolizes the end of life.The सरगम  of music has seven basic notes: सा ,रे ,गा ,म ,प् ,ध and नि  whereas the physical human body is also said to be made of these five natural elements:Earth(क्षिति ),Water(जल ),Fire(पावक ),Sky(गगन ) and Air(समीर ) {Ref. रामचरितमानस :क्षिति  जल  पावक  गगन  समीरा | पञ्च  तत्वा  यह  मनुज  शरीरा ||}.We can now investigate,how these seven musical notes of ‘सरगम ’, show their perfect identity, with the whole span of human life. As our body life exists between its birth and its death, similarly, five musical notes are enclosed between 'सा ' and 'नि '.The sargam begins with 'सा ' and also the birth of a child is rejoiced in the family and community by singing of folk song 'सोहर '.The last seventh note of sargam is 'नि ' and also the ultimate end of life is Death which is consoled by singing of philosophical song 'निर्गुण '.The remaining five notes exactly represent the five elements, constituting the human body.Here 'रे ' stands for'रोहिताश्वा  or fire(पावक )','गा ' stands for 'गगन  or sky','म  ' stands for'मरुत  or air(समीर ),'प् ' stands for 'पावस /पयोधि  or water(जल )', 'ध  stands for 'धरती /पृथ्वी  or earth(क्षिति ).In this way we see that music is a real representation of human life.It is an integral part of our lives.Thus how can a person dislike music at all ? Music cannot be seperated from human life,both are complimentary to each other.

Monday, January 26, 2009



Film आलाप  (1977) had music as its central theme and its music was composed by veteran music director जयदेव . In the story hero (अमिताभ  बच्चन ) alongwith the heroine(रेखा ) is learning music from an old lady( छाया  देवी ), who was named as Sarju Bai a state singer from Kashi(Varanasi) living in the same city.This was a proper situation for a Raagmalika. Jaidev composed very melodious bandishes in the voices of singers:मधुरानी  फैजाबादी , येसुदास  and कुमारी फैय्याज  .The First song  was composed in राग  यमन .It begins in the voice of Madhurani Faizabadi;
" नयी री लगन और मीठी बतियाँ,
   पिया जाने और जिया मोरा जाने सखी |
   किस  किस  बात  पे  धड़के छतियाँ ,
   पिया जाने और जिया मोरा जाने सखी ,
   नयी री  लगन और ..." 
 येसुदास continues learning ,singing;
 "बाल भी उलझे है ,सपने भी||
   दूजे लागे है अपने भी ||
   हो गए हम क्यों ऐसे दीवाने ||
   पिया जाने और जिया मोरा जाने सखी,
   नयी री लगन और ......". 
 The second composition was a होरी:
  'एसो  ढीठ  लंगर  करे  बरजोरी,
   और करो री,
   निबल  निडर न माने ,
   न माने,न माने ,
   ऐसो ढीठ लंगर करे बरजोरी .....'
composed in राग  विहाग ,picturised on a holi scene during    their music learning period.
The third song was:
 ‘कागा  जा , जा  जा  जा  रे |
  जा रे कागा जा ।।
  ला  दे मोरे  पिया  को संदेसवा ||
  कागा जा …’ 
in राग  भैरवी .
The music learning continues with another melody in राग  पटदीप :
 ‘ पिया  नाही आये  आये ,
   मोरी आली  कैसे करे मन समझाउं|
   पिया नहीं आये .....".
 This रागमालिका  concludes with a sweet melody:
 "बरसे  बदरिया  सावन  की ||
   सावन  में  उमग्यो  मेरो  मनवा ,
   भनक  सुनी पिया आवन  की ||
   उमड़ घुमड़ चहुँ दिसि से आयो,
   बिजुरी चमके झर लावन की ||
   बरसे बदरिया सावन की ...||"
 sung in राग  सूर  मल्हार.giving an effect of  भजन  singing. I think this is one of the last few Raagmalikas composed by any music director of Hindi films.The ending part of the raagmalika is not available in this video clip.



In the year 1966 we found a marvellous रागमालिका  composition in the film, ममता . Music director रोशन  created memorable melodies for this film,which are worth listening even today.

Film MAMTA was a great movie of सुचित्रा  सेन ,who played the double role,one of a mother and the other as her daughter.In miserable conditions mother had to adopt the profession of singing on a ‘kotha ‘.But her daughter is brought up in an elite society under the patronage of film's hero अशोक कुमार,who plays as a famous Barrister and ex-fiancee of the heroine Suchitra Sen .
In a dramatic situation she narrates her past life and coming up to this age to Ashok Kumar.This all is shown through the given raagmalika.
The first song is:
 ‘हम गवनवा न जैबे हो बिना झूलनी..,
  अमवा की डारी पड़ रहीं बुंदियाँ ,
  अमवा की डारी पड़ रहीं बुंदियाँ।
  अंचरा से उलझे लहरिया,
  लहरिया हो बिना झूलनी।
  हम गवनवा न जैबै हो बिना झूलनी...।।’composed in राग बसंत- मुखारी .

The second number is:
 " सकल वन गगन पवन चलत पुरवाई री।
   माई रुत बसंत आयी,
   फूलन लागी बेलरिया,
   डार डार अमवन की,
   कोहरिया रही पुकार,
   और मेघवा बूंदन झर लाई। 
   सकल बन गगन पवन ..…।।"
 a द्रुत  ख्याल  sung in राग  खम्माज -बहार .

The next stanza is composed in राग जोगिया, which is:
  ‘विकल मोरा मनवा उन बिन हाय।
   आये ना सजनवा रुत बीती जाए ।।
   विकल मोरा मनवा …।।’.
During the rendering of this part of the raagmala,the
passage of time leaving ageing effect ,with the graying of hairs and appearance of wrinkles on face  of heroine Suchitra Sen is shown on the screen.

The last part of this raagmalika is:
’भोर पवन चली बुझ गए दीपक,
  ढल  गयी रैन सिंगार की |
 हो ,केस पे बिरहा की धूप ढली,
 अरी,एरी कली अंखियन की....
 पड़ी कुम्हलाये ||
 विकल मोरा मनवा,उन बिन हाय ।।
 युग से खुले हैं पट नैनन के मोरे,
 युग से अन्धेरा मोरा आँगना |
  हो ,सूरज चमका न चाँद खिला,
  अरी ,एरी जला रही अपना...
  तन मन हाय ||
  विकल मोरा मनवा...।।’. composed in राग पीलू .

 In the film this last part was not shown in video, but it is available on audio tracks. This रागमालिका  was sung by लता  मंगेशकर  ,pouring her heart and soul in it and making it immortal.The beautiful lyrics of the रागमालिका  were written by  poet मजरूह  सुल्तानपुरी .

Sunday, January 18, 2009




In this article I am discussing a unique but unnoticed musical composition of famous music director of Hindi films,नौशाद  अली .The film is ‘बैजू  बावरा ’(1952).This film's central theme was CLASSICAL MUSIC .It had a story woven around the lives of two great musicians of our country in the sixteenth century,बैजू  and तानसेन and their common Guru स्वामी  हरिदास  of Vrindavan.
The raagmalika has only a single line of lyrics, sung in a particular raga by मोहम्मद  रफ़ी and before it a verse called 'लक्षण -गीत 'was read narrating the nature of that raaga, during the music learning sessions of Baiju Bawara from his guru Swami Haridas.

The first राग  is ललित  explained as:
           "गौर  वदन  सुषमा   भरण ,प्रसन्न  मुख  मुस्कात ।
             कमल  पत्र  सम  नेत्र  से  ललिता  ललित  सुहात ।।",
then बैजू  sings राग : ललित,
            पियु  पियु  रे  करत  है   पपीहा ”.

 The second राग  is गौड़  मल्हार ,explained by Swami Haridas as:
            "गौड़- सारंग, मल्हार  दोनों  मिल  के  छेड़े  तार ।
             बोलत है बरखा की ये रिमझिम गाओ गौड़-मल्हार ।।",
  then he sings राग : गौड़  मल्हार  composition:
           ”रूम  झूम  बदरिया  बरसे उन बिन मोरा जियरा तरसे....”.

 The third number was in राग  पूरिया , explained by Swami Ji as:
           "रत्न मुकुट सर छत्र और चामर ,मुख  में  पान ।
             राजा  रूप  कल्याण  सी  पूरिया  जाती  धाम।।"
followed by Baiju singing राग :पूरिया,
           “ अजब  तोरी  प्रभु  आन  बान देखी.."  
and learning is shown to be concluded with raag बागेश्वरी , explained by Swami Haridas Ji as :
            "विद्वानों की वाणी में बस कर विजय दिलात ||
              रक्त  वर्ण  बागेश्वरी  मंद  मंद  मुस्कात ||"
and बैजू  now sings राग : बागेश्वरी :
            ” हे  री  हे  मैं  कैसे  घर  आऊँ  मितवा...”.

This film had many hit songs,therefore, specifically this short duration रागमालिका  got overshadowed under their overwhelming influence and popularity.But it is really a memorable composition given by music director Naushad.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009




In the year 1959 विजय  भट्ट  produced a memorable movie ‘गूँज  उठी शहनाई ' which had music as its main theme.This is the only film in which Shehnai Maestro Ustad बिस्मिल्लाह  खान  played his shehnai.The hero of the film[राजेंद्र  कुमार ] was a shehnai player, later who becomes a renowned radio artist.During his early childhood he used to copy the classical singing of a music guru ji on his shehnai.And genious of music director वसंत  देसाई   found a situation for presenting a रागमालिका  in the film.
It was a unique experiment of presenting a जुगलबंदी  in the singing of उस्ताद  अमीर  खान  [इंदौर  घराना ] and शहनाई f  उस्ताद  बिस्मिल्लाह  खान  of बनारस .First of all,in the early dawn period, Guru ji is shown reciting in the temple before his diety 'निस  दिन  ..'in राग  भटियार .In the same temple premises,the child hero is sitting behind a pillar copying truely the vocal singing of Guru ji on his Shehnai.His shehnai playing draws the attention of music Guru ji and he brings that orphan boy to his home, for giving him music lessons.Now the Raagmalika begins and its first presentation was in राग  रामकली  “ये  दरबार  दान  हूँ  पाऊँ …”then guru ji recites “रे  म  प  प  गा  रे  ग  स  रे  नि .” In राग  देसी .The learning is continued with “ओ  रे  बलमा  तोसों  लग  गई  प्रीत …” in राग  शुद्ध  सारंग , prayer”सब  गुणन  दीजिये  गुनी  जन ..” in राग  मुल्तानी  and a सरगम  in राग  बागेश्री  “सा  नि  ध  नि  ध  ध नि  ध  म  प्  गा  रे  सा ..” the रागमालिका  concludes with a तराना  sung   in  राग  चंद्रकौंस  ‘दे  ना  दी  न  ता  दी  न  ता  नी .. सूए  मना  जो  तेरा  यारे  वफादार  मना ..”. The Tarana singng was speciality of Ustad Amir Khan,who used to say  that a tarana is not meaningless and he used Persian verses in his taranas.This raagmalika reflects his art of tarana singing.In the last part of Raagmalika Children are shown as grown up young with the passing of time, in music learning.Many memorable songs and shehnai compositions of this film are still liked by music lovers.
In this context I would like to mention the shehnai recital of उस्ताद   बिस्मिल्लाह  खान  in the year 1972 in कानपुर .He was on the stage playing  some ragas and other compositions, then we started requesting him to play song of this film”दिल  का  खिलौना  हाय  टूट  गया ..( राग  भैरवी .)" …, then Bismillah Khan Saheb said “No I wont play this song” and their was a stunning silence in the auditorium,but after a small pause he said “I will first play the song ‘जीवन  में  पिया  तेरा  साथ  रहे ..(राग  झिंझोटी )’then I will fulfil your request."It was 2:00 AM and he played each song for 20 minutes giving the finer details of the ragas on which those songs were based.The programme ended with a great applause for the Maestro's unforgettable skillful presentation.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Raagmalika In Hindi Film:JHANAK JHANAK PAYAL BAAJE(1955)


While talking about the Raagmalikas composed for Hindi films we must dicuss about the works of Music Director श्री  वसंत  देसाई  , who gave three such compositions worth remembering in three films,झनक झनक पायल बाजे (1955),गूँज उठी शहनाई (1959) and राम  राज्य (1967).First film had dance as its theme and the second had music as its main theme,the last one was a mythological movie.In the year 1955 a classic Hindi film dedicated to the finesse of Kathak Dance form, was produced by श्री  व्ही. शांताराम . The film was ‘झनक  झनक  पायल  बाजे ’.It was first movie of great Kathak maestro Late गोपी  कृष्ण  as a hero of a hindi film.Opposite him संध्या  was cast as heroine.Vasant Desai Ji got a situation when both of them are learning dance from their Guru and a memorable Raagmalika got created by him.The lyricist of songs used in this raagmaalika was famous poet हसरत  जयपुरी . It starts with the rendering of  a 'shloka':
       'गुरुर  ब्रम्हा  गुरुर  विष्णु  गुरुर  देवो  महेश्वरः।
        गुरुर  साक्षात्  परब्रम्ह  तस्मै  श्री  गुरवे  नमः।।  
 in the voice of singer मन्ना  डे , who continues the singing in राग  बसंत:
  “ रुत  बसंत  आयी ,
     वन वन उपवन द्रुम मिलिंद,
     प्रफुलित सुगंध मंद पवन,
     आवत मिलिंद मधुकर मधुर गुंजत,
     रुत बसंत…..।।”. 
 It is followed by the ‘तोड़ा ’ of कत्थक नृत्य   in the voice of गोपी  कृष्ण.
Then second song is presented again in the voice of मन्ना  डे , composed in राग  मेघ  मल्हार,It was:
 “आयी है घटा उमड़ घुमड़,
   घोर घिर चहूँ याम,
   उठत देत अति श्याम  वरन..,
   आयी है घटा  ….।।”
 Again a dance piece in the voice of Gopi Krishna is there and raagmalika continues with two further compositions , sung by लता  मंगेशकर .One is:
”पतझड़ आयी जलत उदासी,
  मैं  घबराई , नैना  रस  की  प्यासी..…।।”
 very well groomed in the flavour of राग  पहाड़ी  and the concluding number is:
 “ अब  तो  सजन  घर  आजा।
    हो मोरे सैंया ,मन का फूल खिला जा।
    अब तो सजन घर आजा...।।
    तड़प तड़प के ये बरखा बहार गुजरी है,
    जो रुत भी आयी है वो बेक़रार गुजरी है,
    राग मिलन के सुना जा...।।
    अब तो सजन घर आजा.....।।”
composed in राग  खम्माज .
The dance pieces are fitted in between these two last songs also and this raagmaalika ends with the diminishing voices of तोडा , टुकड़ा  and तत्कार  sung by गोपी  कृष्ण .This film is a landmark in the history of Hindi films,made very honestly by व्ही.शांताराम .You may not be knowing that before launching this film one day Shantaram Ji called Dr.Smt. सितारा  देवी ,a living legend,to present the various forms of Kathak dance before him, so that he may be able to justify himself in making a film on the art of dancing.The hero Gopi Krishna was son of Sitara Devi’s real sister तारा .Sitara ji is still an active dancer,running in the ninetees of her life. And in my opinion she still is at the top in the field of Kathak dancing.

Monday, January 5, 2009



The next movie which had a wonderful raagmalika composition was ' सुवर्ण  सुंदरी '(year 1958) . Its music director was आदि  नारायण  राव  and singers were    . रफ़ी  and लता  मंगेशकर .The wonderful poetic lyrics were written by Pt. भरत  व्यास . We must know that a raagmalika has at least four different ragas presented in a sequence . The first song was"कुहू  कुहू  बोले  कोयलिया, कुञ्ज कुञ्ज में भंवरे डोले  ,गुन  गुन बोले|| कुहू कुहू  ....|| सज सिंगार ऋतु आयी बसन्ती ,जैसे नार कोई हो रसवंती | सा नि ध म ध नि सा ग म ग म  ध नि सा रे सा नि ध नि सा ....| सज सिंगार ऋतु ...|| डाली डाली कलियों को तितलियाँ चूमे | फूल फूल पंखुरियां खोले, अमृत घोले || कुहू कुहू बोले ...||." beautifully composed in राग  सोहिनी . The second song was composed in राग  बहार ,lyrics were"काहे  घटा  में  बिजली  चमके , हो सकता है मेघराज ने बादरिया का श्याम श्याम मुख चूम लिया हो | चोरी चोरी मन पंछी उड़े, नैना जुड़े || कुहू कुहू बोले....|.".The next composition "चन्द्रिका  देख  छाई, पिया, चन्द्रिका देख छाई ! चन्दा से मिल के मन ही मन में मुस्काई , छाई चंद्रिका देख छाई || शरद सुहावन, मधु मन भावन ,विरही जनों का सुख सरसावन || छाई छाई पूनम की घटा , घूँघट हटा | कुहू कुहू बोले कोयलिया |" was presented woven in the morning melody, राग  जौनपुरी .This raagmalika was made to conclude with a sweet composition"सरस  रात  मन  भये  प्रियतमा ,कमल कमलिनी मिले |किरण हार दमके ,जल में चाँद चमके , मन सानंद आनंद डोले || नि रे ग म ध नि सा ध नि सा सा नि सा ग रे ग |सा रे नि सा .......||" composed in राग  यमन . Though Adi Narayan Rao was not a regular music composer in Hindi films ,but raagmalikas were his forte. He has directed music in very few Hindi films and he gave two raagmalikas,which are unforgettable.His another prominent Hindi movie was 'फूलों  की सेज'(year 1964) .We will talk about it later.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


    गणेशं एक दंतश्च, हेरम्बम विघ्न नायकम ।
                 लम्बोदरं सुर्प करणं, गजवक्त्रं गुहाग्रजम ।।

Manna Dey
Lata Mangeshkar


                          In our'Saamved' and Sangeet Shastra,music has been described as the confluence of  the three Singing songs ,Playing on musical-instruments and Dancing.

                "।।गीतं वाद्यम च नृत्यं च त्रयं संगीत मुच्च्यते।।"

Dear friends! you may not be knowing that Hindi film music has been doing a great job of making our classical music popular among the masses, in a linear way . Many learned music –directors have tried to compose beautiful classical raaga based songs in movies whenever they got a proper situation in the film. Apart from songs , one of the most typical composition is a Ragmalika: a string of at least four different ragas composed in a sequence. In films it is rare to search for a रागमालिका .Very few such Raagmalika compositions have come to my knowledge so far.I will keep on writing about them in details, one by one. First of all I am talking about a raagmalika presented in the film ‘हमदर्द ’(1953) for which music was composed by Late श्री अनिल बिस्वास . Singers were लता मंगेशकर and मन्ना डे .
The Ragmalika begins with a melodious recital of the song: 

"ॐ आ आ ...... ।
  ऋतु आये ऋतु जाए सखी री
  मन के मीत न आये।।
  जेठ महीना जिया घबराये,
  पल पल सूरज आग लगाये। 
  दूजे बिरहा अगन जलाये,
  करूँ मैं कौन उपाय ।।
  ऋतु आये ऋतु जाए सखी री ....",
  in the voice of मन्ना डे followed by लता मंगेशकर , composed in राग  गौड़ -सारंग ( a day time raaga ).
The second song of Raagmalika is:
 "बरखा ऋतु बैरी हमार,
   जैसे सासु ननदिया ।
   बरखा ऋतु बैरी हमार...।।
   पी दर्शन को जियरा तरसे ,
   अंखियन से नित सावन बरसे ।
   रोवत है कजरा नैनन का,
   बिंदिया करे पुकार ।।
   बरखा ऋतु बैरी हमार....",
 composed in राग गौड़ -मल्हार ( a seasonal raga to be sung in the   early part of  the night).
 रागमालिका  continues with the next very impressive composition,
 "पी बिन सूना री...।।
   पतझड़ जैसा जीवन मेरा,
   पी बिन सूना री।।
   मन बिन तन ,
   ज्यों जल बिन नदिया।
   त्यों मैं सूनी बिना सांवरिया ।
   औरों की तो रैन अंधेरी,
   अब है मेरा दिन भी अन्धेरा ।।
   पी बिन सूना री  …।
   ध म ग म प् ग रे सा .....।
   पी बिन सूना री ।।" 
  in राग  जोगिया ( an early morning raaga).
 The last song of  the Raagmalika was:
  "आयी मधु ऋतु बसंत बहार रे।।
    फूल फूल पर भ्रमर गुंजत,
    सखी आये नहीं भंवर हमार रे ।
    आयी मधु ऋतु  बसंत बहार रे ।।
    कब लग नैनन द्वार सजाऊँ ,
    दीप जलाऊ दीप बुझाऊँ,
    कब लग करूँ सिंगार रे ।।
    आयी मधु ऋतु बसंत बहार रे || .....,"
 in राग बहार , presented in the ending part of the film , reflecting a happy mood.
 This raagmalika was picturized on निम्मी and शेखर . In which Shekhar acted as a popular singer who is blind and is teaching music to a girl who is posing to be blind, played by Nimmi. 
I hope listening to these melodies will keep anyone spell bound with its hypnotic effect.The lyrics of these songs were written by Prem Dhawan.
 Many  of the music lovers may not be knowing that music director अनिल बिस्वास wrote his आत्मकथा , which had the title ' ऋतु आये ऋतु जाए '. One can very easily understand the composer's affinity to this raagmalika.