Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The ‘Jaunpuri’ Magic!

Continuing our overview of the early-morning repertoire, we look at one more magical raag...

What’s common between the songs ‘Jab dilko satäye gam’ (Lata Mangeshkar, Film: Sargam), ‘Jäye to jäye kahän’ (Talat Mehmood, Film: Taxi Driver) and the AR Rehman number ‘Pal pal hai bhäree’ (Alka Yagnik, Film: Swades)? Well, apart from the fact that all these are extremely hummable melodies, they are all based on Raag Jaunpuri. A few more examples like the famous Talat Mehmood song ‘Meri yäd mein tum na’ (Film: Madhosh), or Marathi bhajan ‘Tuze roop chitti räho’ (Sudhir Phadke) and what you have is a range of melancholy emotions expressed by this early morning raag.

Belonging to the Äsävari family, this is a sampoorna raag using all seven notes in the octave with Gandhär, Dhaivat and Nishäd (third, sixth and seventh notes, resp.) being komal (minor). The typical ascent of this raag leaves Gandhar out but takes in all the seven notes in the descent. Although this was a popular melody earlier, Jaunpuri (also known as Jeevanpuri) was not considered to be a major raag and was subsequently relegated to relatively lesser importance. However, artists from Kirana and Jaipur tradition still seem to revel in the beauty of this raag and include it in their performances. Instrumentalists somehow do not seem to take to this raag passionately (Ustäd Bismillah Khan, Amjad Ali Khan are some noted exceptions) and music lovers, therefore, rarely come across a presentation of this raag in an instrumental music concert.

Nashikites may remember Gän-Saraswati Kishori Amonkar’s memorable presentation of Jaunpuri at the early morning Pädwä-Pahät concert last year (a link to this recording is available elsewhere on this page). The traditional compositions sung by Kishori-tai were reminiscent of hardcore Jaipur training she received from her illustrious mother Late Smt Mogubai Kurdikar. Similarly, Pt Shankar Abhyankar, noted sitar-player and composer, has also composed a couple of sparkling bandishes in Jaunpuri. Whatever the composition, Jaunpuri has never failed to invoke its magic!

Although heard more in its melancholy mood, Jaunpuri can also express itself differently. Who can forget the impish yet romantic song ‘Chale jänä nahi’ by Lata Mangeshkar (Film: Badi Bahen), or not overwhelmed by the anger in ‘Mätä na tu vairini’ sung by Sudhir Phadke in his immortal Geet Rämäyan? Whether you subscribe to the belief or not, this ‘Jaunpuri’ magic never fails to cast its spell on the listeners!

1 comment:

  1. How rightly you have chosen Latadidi's 'Chale Jana Nahi' and Babuji's 'Mata na tu Vairini' as examples of different expression other than sadness! Jaunpuri is magical ! Thank you for spreading the 'Music Fundaaz ' in such studied and interesting manner !