Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pleasantness Personified – Raag Nand

Delve into the pleasant world of Raag Nand and enjoy the celebration!

As has been emphasized time and again, there are a number of raag-matrices in Hindustäni classical music that use the same set of notes from an octave. The factors that identify them differently are peculiar rules of ascent and descent and phraseology associated with them individually. We examined one such group of raags (Märwä-Puriyä-Sohini) sometime back in this blog. We will now take a closer look at some matrices that use all seven flat notes in octave and use teevra madhyam (sharp fourth note), additionally. Raags Märu-Bihäg & Bihäg featured here belong to this category and we will look at some more melodies of this mould in this and subsequent episodes.

With such complete framework, raag-matrices of this type are generally pleasant in nature evoking romance (at times a little aggressive romance, too) and pleasantness. Raag Nand is one such raag that fits the bill perfectly. The typical chalan (phrase) that identifies Nand is ‘ga-Ma-pa-dha-ni-pa-dha-ma-pa’ and ‘ga-Ma-dha-pa-re-sä’. This raag, although it has evolved only in the last century or so, has been immensely popular amongst vocalists from all gharänä traditions. There have been comparatively few compositions in this raag and ‘Dhoondu bare saiyyän’, the most popular, has been immortalized by Pt Mallikärjun Mansoor. Pt Kumär Gandharva’s ‘Räjan ab tu äjä’ has also been hailed as a landmark composition in this raag. However, Pt Räjan-Säjan Mishra, in recent years, have popularized Nand with their trademark 'Benäras' style rendition. Their bandish ‘Bahut din beete’, definitely comes out as a top-recall from among compositions in this pleasant raag-matrix!

Late Madan Mohan, composer par excellence, was always at his best using Hindustani classical as a springboard for his creations. ‘Tu jahän jahän chalegä’ (Film: Merä Säyä) is a fitting example. Offbeat composer like Vanräj Bhatiä also composed ‘Ghar nähi hamare shyäm’ (Film: Sardäri Begum) for Smt. Aarati Ankalikar-Tikekar and gave his own flavour to Nand. In Maräthi section, we have Shridhar Pärsekar composing ‘Päkharä jä’ for the film ‘Vahini’ featuring celebrated ‘PuLa’. But once again, it was the genius of late Pt Jitendra Abhisheki who gave us ‘Aänand sudhä barase’ for ‘Meerä Madhurä’, a landmark musical play that cluelessly went flat at the box-office.

It is interesting to also know about Raag Swänandi, a blend that evolves out of a phrases from Raags Bhinna-Shadaj, Nand and Bhatiyär. This melody evolved out of the genius of Pt Jagannäthbuwä Purohit ‘Gunidäs’, but was popularized by Pt CR Vyäs and Pt Jitendra Abhisheki. Raag Nand is the mainstay of this combination and also the main contributor to the pleasant ‘mähaul’ projected here. So here's the genius of Late Abhisheki-buwä singing Nand turning it into an eternally pleasant melody fit for a lifetime of celebration!


  1. Raag Nand showers happiness ! Thank you so much for the sharing !

    1. My pleasure! I'm glad you liked the post! Do keep visiting to check out previous posts... :)