Thursday, October 06, 2005


I wake up quite early in the morning. Early even by the universal timekeeper, the Sun's point of view. But then I just don't get up immediately. I lay awake for a while. Soon the day starts off with its journey, and then the first 'SA' is felt. After the night's silence, the low-notes are ready to breathe with unbelievable bass. These are a few moments when I feel I can really sing. The komal, prolonged 'RE' follows, and soon the rays too.

Bhairav thus starts with some laziness. Yet one can feel the warmth very soon. The most beautiful note in this raagaa, is I feel the komal 'RE'. And when we come down from 'GA' to 'RE', one can feel the warmth of the morning already. Similar emotion is evoked at komal 'DH' traversed from shuddha 'NI'. I guess in this sampoorNa raagaa, "RE" must be the waadi swara. As a matter of fact, "DH"is the waadi swara and "RE" is the samvaadi.

As is generally observed, the morning raagaas are not very commonly recited in the concerts. The late evening raagaas mostly steal such shows. Yet, some very good records are available. Pt. Bhimsen Joshi - Dr. Balamuralikrishna jugalbandi is quite good. Pt. Bhimsen Joshi's Kiranaa style stands apart from Dr. Balamuralikrishna's karnatic style. The transitions are however subtle- when Bhimsen hands over it to Balamuralikrishna. The tabla-mridingam, and harmonium-flute accompaniment is also of note. The Karnatic style encourages fast paced sargams and taanaas. Another record of note is Ut Rashid Khan's Bhairav. It is visibly(!) different from Bhimsen's style. Rich and complex, yet most enjoyable is this rendition. A must have indeed.

Among the instrumentalists, I have not found much popularity of this slowly unfolding raagaa. Bhairav's cousin, Ahir Bhairav however seems to be common. Apart from Ut. Bismillah Khan's Bhairav and one by Pt. Hariprasad, I don't recollect many other records. Another pseudo-bhairav is evident in Ut Zakir Hussain-KVaidyanathan (on violin) fusion album, "Colors". Though played with Karnatic influence, this track is a beauty.

The most quoted example of Bhairav is, "jaago mohan pyaare" (from film MotherIndia, I guess). This is pure Bhairav. There is a famous bandish with the same starting words. Another one is "tumhaavar keli mii marjii bahaal", from Pinjaraa(a maraaThi film).

If the morning starts off so well, no wonder the day is even better!

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