Geet Varsha, by Kumar Gandharva, is a presentation of monsoon songs selected from both the folk and the classical repertoires. A theme concert, one of its kind, the presentation is so artistically seamless that the lay listener may fail to realise where the stylistic lines are drawn. Recorded in Delhi in 1978, this twin album of two hour duration has Kumar Gandharva’s wife Vasundhara Komkali accompanying him. Kumar Gandharva may have stood many a traditional norm on its head but none in his time could match his aural aesthetic. And his orchestration of voices here is absolutely enchanting. These recordings are very rare and not easily available.
The album opens with a song, Ghaam Pare Re, lamenting the heat of the summer in the afternoon Raga Marwa. Marwa is a raga which employs an imperfect consonance and Kumar Gandharva has used it to convey the oppressive heat and restlessness of the time just before the monsoons break. Then slowly he draws the listener into a layered landscape of gathering clouds, the first torrent of rain, the flashes of lightening, the yearning of the Nayika (heroine), the birth of Krishna on a dark rainy night. Apart from traditional rainy-season Ragas like the Miyan ki Mallar, Gaur Malhar, Sawani and Des, he also makes effective use of folk melodies from Malwa. The concluding piece, Heera Moti Neebaje in Raga Jaladhar Basant, evokes the silent moment after days of heavy rain, when one contemplates the fields around and realizes that they have turned green with vegetation, the earth giving forth its bounty after its thirst has been satisfied.
Ghaam Pare Re, Nayo Nayo Meha, Ghan Garje, Megha Ko Ritu :
Kare Megha, Jaiyo Re Badarwa, Lago Sawan Mas, Bole Mora Re :
Le Ja Sandeso, O Sahiba, Sawan Jhar Aayo, Main Kaise Aaun :
O Dildara Aaja Re, Yasoda Ke Mandir, Amaraiyan Ke, Heera Moti :
Phut Phut Phut is what it sounded like. A seemingly harmless noise coming from somewhere around me, almost similar to what came from the Morse code telegraph machines in the post offices of olden days. It was 7th of July, in the afternoon, when I was preparing to post something interesting for you folks, some nice music that I thought you all would love to listen. Before I could understand the meaning of the sound it was all gone. The sound was coming from my 6 month old 320 GB Seagate FreeAgent Go USB 2.0 Portable hard disk. I immediately pulled off the cable and tried to plug it again. The Phut Phut sound was no more there and I sighed with relief. Maybe it was nothing but a temporary glitch with the hard disk, I thought. After all it was a Seagate drive and almost a new one at that. Click Click Click it sounded again, a low volume sound just like the ticking of a wall clock and I went numb with fear. My worst of nightmares came true. Yes, it was COD (click of death), as it is known in the techie world. My hard disk was dead. All the songs were gone forever.
It was only a few months back, that I thought it was a good idea to put all my songs collection, scattered all over into small capacity hard disks, into a new and bigger hard disk. I went for the best brand in the market, Seagate that is, and moved all the songs, some 60,000 of them (300 GB), into this one. I then moved all the useless crap spread all over my computer into the smaller drives. Backup, Backup and Backup is the mantra of the digital world and I was foolish enough to have ignored it. I can only curse Seagate, for producing such inferior products and also myself for not listening to the digital mantra all these years. I am now left with the useless crap that I thought at that time, was a wise thing to store in the smaller and older (but more reliable) hard drives. Of course Seagate will replace the hard disk with a new one, but minus the songs.
Moral of the story : Always keep two copies of your data, but on two different brands of disks.
Jackass of the year : I bought a brand new disk today, again a Seagate FreeAgent Go (this time 500 GB). Also waiting for the replacement of the dead disk from Seagate. That makes a total 820 GB. Wow!