Saturday, October 17, 2009

Deep ki jyot jale...

This week we celebrate Diwali with Kumar-ji's Raag Dhan-Basanti, composed specially for this joyous festival of light…

Diwali is an occasion to celebrate – with crops harvested, bountiful Mother Nature in full bloom and worries over, at least for the yearly cycle. It has also given birth to a number of compositions in folk music that suit the mood of this merriment. Indian classical music, which evolved from folk music, is no exception to this ambiance and also boasts of a number of delightful compositions to suit it.

However, when legendary Pt Kumär Gandharva, in early 1960s, was invited to present an evening concert on the occasion of Diwali for All India Radio, he could not find a bandish that suited the festive mood of Dhan-Teras. The creativity in him motivated him to take a fresh look at an existing raag-matrix and gave birth to a new delightful raag.

Kumärji was an artist par excellence when it came to the creativity and, what we call in this era, lateral thinking. There have been numerous occasions when Kumärji’s creativity has given established norms a big jolt but, at the same time, offered immense joy to the listeners and connoisseurs, alike. He came up with a number of new raag-matrices that evolved from Mälwi (belonging to Mälwä region that’s now part of Madhya Pradesh) folk music. He also composed completely original bandishes to suit various moods envisages by the raags.

The new matrix used the scale of Raag Puriyä-Dhanäshri but presented it in the manner of Raag Basant. Both these raags use essentially the same set of notes with Shuddha Madhyam (flat fourth note) being an addition in Basant. But the treatment given to it in the latter evokes a mood of well-being, pleasantness and celebration. Kumärji also came up with a suitable self-composed lyric that suited the occasion of Diwali and ‘Deep ki jyot jale’, the composition in the new matrix named ‘Raag Dhan-Basanti’, became extremely popular. The AIR concert, for which this composition was made, also was a huge success. Kumärji later included this composition in his ‘Geet Vasant’, a novel presentation of compositions related to spring season. Here's the bandish in Kumar-ji's mellifluous voice for all connoisseurs...

They say ‘Art reflects life’! This is all the more true in case of performing arts that touch the very core of one’s heart. Kumärji’s Dhan-Basanti proves this point beyond doubt and marks him as a ‘Näyak’, elevating him on a platform distinct from others. Connoisseurs may have heard ‘Deep ki jyot jale’ earlier. But this Diwali, buy yourself a cassette or CD of Pt Kumär Gandharva’s Dhan-Basanti and soak in the joyful mood with sweets, lots of diyäs, firecrackers and lots of happiness! Here’s wishing a Very Happy Diwali to all the readers!!!

1 comment:

  1. Gr888888888 Srujan by panditji.

    This bandish takes us to the height of diwali having lights all around. A " Ghadi" is shubh to read about this by you.

    Wish u a very happy diwali


    Parag S. Gharpure