Kumar Gandharva : geet varsha

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 :  Download

Kare Megha, Jaiyo Re Badarwa, Lago Sawan Mas, Bole Mora Re :  Download

Le Ja Sandeso, O Sahiba, Sawan Jhar Aayo, Main Kaise Aaun :  Download

O Dildara Aaja Re, Yasoda Ke Mandir, Amaraiyan Ke, Heera Moti :  Download

.. more songs of the Monsoon »


Four Songs : my Choice 9

Once again I am posting a few songs of my choice. All the artists featured this time are very well known to real connoisseurs of classical music, hence I am skipping the introduction bit.

Mallikarjun Mansur – Basanti Kedar – Atar Sugandh Gulab :  Download

Kumar Gandharva – Shuddh Shyam – Moye Bula Ke Poochho Na :  Download

Roshanara Begum – Maru Bihag – Rasiya Aayo Naa :  Download

Jagdish Prasad – Dadra – More Naina Bhar Bhar Aaye :  Download

.. more Songs of my Choice »


Kumar Gandharva’s son found Begging

He was once pitched as one of India’s potential classical music stars. But Kumar Gandharva’s son has now been found suffering from depression and crooning for booze. Classical singer Mukul Shivputra, 54, was spotted sitting on the road outside a temple, begging for money so that he could buy his next drink.

On May 7, Mukul Shivputra, unwashed and dishevelled, was seen begging for money to buy booze outside a Sai Baba temple in Bhopal. When a passerby recognised him, he managed to flee the spot and remained untraced for the next five days. Soon after hearing the news, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan asked the culture department and the police to locate the singer.

Mukul Shivputra – Bageshree – Gunth Lao Malaniya :  (Download)

Mukul Shivputra – Bihagda – Mandarwa Me Ab :  (Download)

For five days, culture department officials and the cops searched for Mukul at several places, including temples in Bhopal. A team was rushed to Dewas, near Indore, where Mukul owns a house, then Nemawar and thereafter Jalgaon. The team however, returned empty handed. On May 12, a journalist saw him at the Hoshangabad railway station and informed the secretary, culture department. Officials found Mukul Shivputra suffering from dehydration. When the culture department contacted the singer’s family, they refused to take him back home.

Mukul Shivputra – Patamanjiri – Sajal Naina :  (Download)

Mukul Shivputra – Shukla Bilawal – Laita Jaiyo :  (Download)

He isn’t begging because he is poor. He’s mentally unstable“, said a Bhopal based family source. “Having gone through a lot of mental stress, he took to alcohol and drugs. Mysterious disappearances have been quite normal with him. His family members parted ways with him because he splurged on drugs and alcohol even using debit and credit cards“.

Source : The Times of India, 15th May, 2009.


Four Songs : my Choice 2

One more edition of some songs of my choice. I am again, not giving you the download links due to bandwidth restrictions. Playing the songs and then downloading them, doubles the bandwidth usage. In these times of economic recession, this would not be a wise thing to do. Already too many file hosting sites are tottering with frequent outages. Save all forms of energy, seems to be the mantra of the day. You may however, fish out the songs from the Internet Explorer Cache after playing them to their full length.

Latafat Hussain Khan – Patdipki :  (Download)

Fateh Ali Khan – Jaunpuri :  (Download)

Parween Sultana – Malkauns :  (Download)

Kumar Gandharva – Dhanbasanti :  (Download)

more Songs of My Choice »

Comments are welcome.

Flash ! : Download links now added due to overwhelming requests.


Kabir : the mystic saint

Kabir (or Kabir Das), one of India’s most quoted poets and mystics is not easily categorized as a Sufi or a Jogi. He is both of these. Kabir is unusual in that he is spiritually significant to Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims alike. Kabir touches the soul, the conscience, the sense of awareness and the vitality of existence in a manner that is unequalled in both simplicity and style. He stands as a unique, saintly, yet very human bridge between the great traditions that live in India. Almost every hindustani classical vocalist aspire to sing the poetry of Kabir, sometime in his or her singing career. An entire raga, Kabir Bhairav has been dedicated to his work.

Kabir was born in Benares, India, probably around the year 1440. His birth itself is shrouded in mystery, some say he was the son of a Brahman widow, what is known though is that he was brought up in a family of muslim weavers. He was never formally educated and was almost completely illiterate. All of Kabir’s recorded verses are in Hindi. The beauty of Kabir’s poetry is that he picks up situations that surround our daily lives. Thus, even today, Kabir’s poetry is relevant and helpful in both social and spiritual context. His lyrics are characterised by a free use of the vernacular, and is unfettered by the grammatical bonds of his day. It is this quality which has made his philosophy accessible to generations of Indians.

Kumar Gandharva – Ud Jayega Hans Akela :  (Download)

Ashwini Bhide – Chadar Ho Gayi Bahut Purani :  (Download)

Some of his dohas, as his two-line verses (couplets) are popularly called :

कबीरा खड़ा बाजार में, मांगे सब की खैर
ना काहू से दोस्ती, ना काहू से बैर।

साँईं इतना दीजिये, जामें कुटुम्ब समाये
मैं भी भूखा ना रहूँ, साधू ना भूखा जाये।

बुरा जो देखन में चला, बुरा ना मिलया कोई
जो मन खोजा आपना, मुझ से बुरा ना कोई।

माया मरी ना मन मरा, मर मर गये शरीर
आशा त्रिश्णा ना मरी, कह गये दास कबीर।

दुख में सुमिरन सब करें, सुख में करे ना कोये
जो सुख में सुमिरन करे, तो दुख काहे को होये।

चलती चक्की देख के, दिया कबीरा रोए
दो पाटन के बीच में, साबुत बचा ना कोए।

धीरे धीरे रे मना, धीरज से सब होये
माली सिंचे सौ घड़ा, ऋतु आये फ़ल होये।

ऐसी वाणी बोलिये, मन का आपा खोये
औरों को शीतल करे, आपहुँ शीतल होये।

जाती ना पूछो साधु की, पूछ लीजिये ज्ञान
मोल करो तलवार की, पड़ी रेहन जो म्यान।

माटी कहे कुम्हार से, काहे रोंदे मोहे
ईक दिन ऐसा आयेगा, मैं रौंदूगीं तोहे।

साधु ऐसा चाहिये, जैसा सूप सुहाय
सार सार को गही रहे, थोथा देय उडाय।

बड़ा हुआ तो क्या हुआ, जैसे पेड़ खजूर
पंथी को छाया नही, फल लगे अति दूर।

Early in his life Kabir became a disciple of the Hindu bhakti saint Ramanand. It was unusual for a Hindu teacher to accept a Muslim student, but tradition says the young Kabir found a creative way to overcome all objections. Not much is known about what sort of spiritual training Kabir may have received. He did not become a sadhu or renunciate. Kabir never abandoned worldly life, choosing instead to live the balanced life of a householder and mystic, tradesman and contemplative. Kabir was married, had children, and lived the simple life of a weaver.

Abida Parveen – Souun To Sapne Milun :  (Download)

Jagjit Singh – Dohe :  (Download)

Although Kabir labored to bring the often clashing religious cultures of Islam and Hinduism together, he was equally disdainful of professional piety in any form. This earned him the hatred and persecution of the religious authorities in Benares. Nearing age 60, he was denounced before the king but he was spared execution and instead, banished from the region. He subsequently lived a life of exile, traveling through northern India with a group of disciples. Legend says that he relinquished his body when he was about 120 years old. He died at Maghar near Gorakhpur, India.

One of the most loved legends associated with Kabir is told of his funeral. Kabir’s disciples disputed over his body, the Muslims wanting to claim the body for burial, the Hindus wanting to cremate the body. But, when they lifted the burial shroud, they found flowers where the body had rested. The flowers were divided, the Muslims buried the flowers while the Hindus reverently committed them to fire.

Comments are welcome.