Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The time at home passed in listening to Worldspace, a special on Mallika-e-Ghazal Begum Akhtar. Mom had always told me about the magic in her style of singing, especially in the magic of the unsung and the unsaid and that which is left to the audience to figure out.
Sadly it has taken me this long to even identify with all that. To even realize and say, hey that is something that I have never heard. Today happens to be the day she decided to move to the worlds beyond, in 1974.
There is the sannaata, that is characteristic after the rains. The city seems to be just breathing and working in silence. And listening to Begum Akhtar, her life, the people associated with her leaves behind a heavy heart. Thanks to the patrons who knew the importance then of maintaining records of the musicians, we know of a lot of things. Though it is sad that time has not given me an opportunity to see it happen before my eyes.
There was also this portion where they spoke about her marriage and how it imposed restrictions on her singing and performing, things being the way they were in those days. (Not that it is too different now). And how she fell sick and that music was her only remedy. Though great talents are born, artistes are made thanks to the sacrifice their families make. The first people who get the artiste out of their homes and to the world, presenting them, treasuring them and foster their growth and finally get them mentioned in history are their families. Those who consciously take a back seat in the artiste's lives, put up with all the trappings that come along with it. And though this is just a line in a blog somewhere in world wide web in the whole wide world, this would go out as a a huge thanks to the families who have made the musicians - (quite selfish this). Because if not for them, I would not be listening to some of the best music ever sung or made.
"Mere humnafaz mere humnawaah mujhe dost banke daga na de
main hoon dard-e-ishq se jaan balab mujhe zindagi ki dua na de"
Its almost as if she is in my living room

12 comments:

Jey said...

It’s good to remember about a legend. I am sure most of the people don’t know about her in our current generation. It’s nice that you brought up attention to people about her. Keep it up!

Vijay Anand said...

I've always wondered if the saying "Vilayum payir mulaiyilae theriyum" ever made sense. I mean, can great talents be spotted so early? Can great companies be spotted in birth? Can great musicians be identified with the first melody they produce. Isn't prospect and potential something that we see while the clay is still molded?

But the key element to it all, is the family - the soil that these seeds are planted in and allowed to germinate, grow and to bear fruits. The land will have to go through its share of toils, but if patient what comes out brings joy and pride not only to the soil, but to an audience and populace much bigger and wider.

Am not a musician to really appreciate the intricacies of the artiste you mention - atleast not yet, but sacrifice of a close one and how it affects the future potential of a "germinating seed", yep that i am quite confidently relate with :)

- Vijay

sandy said...

Chinmayi, great post. I've bene following your blog, but haven't posted comments so far, so here you go.

By the way, I have a question - have you heard "Dono jahan teri mohabbat mein haarke" by Farida Khanum? I've been trying to work out the raaga... unless I'm mistaken, the notes seem to be S R g P D n S (lower cases being komal notes)... Like shivaranjani, but with a komal nishaad. Would you care to help?

Vijay Krishnan said...

Though this comment is not relevent to this topic. As you were asking me about cars once, hyundai today had launched it's brand new i10 model named 'PA'.

Pulikesi said...

hmmm...Mallika-e-Ghazal Begum Akhtar...not familiar with her ghazals...are you planning to sing ghazals anytime?...Like Dr.Srinivas, telugu ghazal singer, you could could be the pioneer of tamil ghazals;-)...i missed your neeya naana episode..do u know where i could find it on web?..

Ananth said...

Definitely...

It has always been a land of mystery beyond the world of the Mangeshkar sisters....when you learn about unsung legends such as Begum Akhtar....and how the race for popularity and fame has left some really talented people susceptible to situations which resulted in either them completely going away from their field of talent or restricting their performance......surely the thanks should go to the families which have encouraged such talents.....that probably includes yours as well.......

Ramesh said...

sandy: Regarding your question, I have not heard that song. But from the notes that you have given, it might well be "mishra shivaranjani". mishra means impure. So it can have other notes like G, n in addition to the notes of shivaranjani. Kindly correct me if I am mistaken.

Chinmayi said...

ramesh : mishra means mixed :) not exactly impure :)

Ramesh said...

Thanks for the correction. I doubted it when I posted it.

sandy said...

Hi Ramesh, thanks for the response. Mishra Shivaranjani is slightly different, and what it does is, it takes both forms of the Gandhar in its use - in the arohanam, there is a variant where you go from the komal gandhar to the shuddh gandhar - a rather unique move. That variant is infact very popular - "Mere naina saawan baadho" for example. Nithyashree's "Aandavan Anbe" is an example too.
If I am not mistaken, this variant of the raaga was composed by ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Anyway, the Farida Khanum number is stuck in my head, and I absolutely have to know what raaga that is...

Ramesh said...

Hi Sandy, thanks for the reponse. As I said, I haven't heard the song, so I am not sure. Do you have any online link to the song? I searched but couldn't find Farida Khanum's version.

Coming back to Mishra Shivaranjani, I agree that using both the Gandhar is the most popular form of mishra shivaranjani. But I still believe, the komal nishadam can be used. It depends on how it is used. I think passages like PDnDPDS, PnDP can be used but NOT PDnS or PnS or SnDP. Basically it would retain the essential flavor of shivaranjani while occasionally mixing such foreign notes. Again this is my understanding and I may be wrong. Does the Farida Khanum's version sound more like Shivaranjani to you?

sandy said...

hm... Ramesh, what you say makes sense. It does sound a lot like shivaranjani to me, with the Ni difference. i'll work out the notes and see how she used the Ni. Thanks!!