Ahir Bhairav- bahut dinan thaen main preetam paaye

A few days back I was trying out a new raga- Nat Bhairav. It seems this happened after a really long time. The whole of 2013, perhaps I did not work on any new raga because there was no scope to learn it, either by meeting a guru, or my own spirit did not feel so elated to try new scales.

I only tried it for a few days, by going over the paltae...not having any khayal to sing or there in my repertoire yet. So I opened this favourite Kabir book of mine, Sant Kabir, by Radha Soami Satsang, Beas, and I tried to go through many dohas and saakhis. Often they are not something that can be set to musical interpretations, because they are so exactly metered, having no loose ends. Could not find anything suitable for setting into a vilambit tempo yet. But I think I did find something that would make a bhajan in the raga.

However, another doha jumped into Ahir Bhairav and said to me, sing me thus!!. However much I tried to see whether it sounded good in Nat Bhairav, it did not accept that scale. Finally I surrendered to the notes of Ahir Bhairav only. Here is the doha or saakhi, whatever it is-

Bahot dinan thaen main preetam paaye
Bhaag bade ghari baithe aaye

Mangalchaar maahi mann raakho
Ram rasaain rasna chakho

हिंदी में -
बहुत दिनन थे मैँ प्रीतम पायेँ
भाग बड़े घरि बैठें आये

मंगलचार माहिं मन राखौ
राम रसायन रसना चाखो

The funny thing about Kabir is that somehow or another, I manage to find something new in his poetry, which expresses my own inner affairs. I love the whole thing so much that I just pick up and sometimes, take a line which I then add another of my own to, and create a full khayal- the manner I did in Mian ki Todi. That was another great experience.


Todi and Kabir

9th March 2014

In my first classical music concert in Delhi I sang Kabir as khayal. Since it was a morning concert and fortunately for me I had a composition in Mian ki Todi I sang my own vilambit khayal, a Kabir doha. It is another matter that the timing was not exact- though i am not among those who are sticklers for the time based classification of ragas. I did take the liberty to stretch the timing of Todi to a little beyond 10 am, the real time when it is supposed to be stopped!

So mere ram, kabai ghari aawae
Jaa dekhe mera jiya sukh paave
सो मेरे राम कबै घरि आवैं
जा देखे मेरा जीया सुख पावै

the antra is not taken from kabir, but is my own addition-
ghari ghari jeevan beetat jaaye
pal beetae na bin raam dhiyaaye
घरि घरी जीवन बीतत जाये
पल बीते न बिन राम ध्याये

We are tuning together

After this khyal in vilambit laya, I also sang another drut bandish, though it was not Kabir's words but my own. I did not feel the need to say that to anyone.

Hae mann, jab paave raam- I am so fond of this khayal, my earliest or perhaps the very first composition in which I created the music in continuation of   Kabir's spirit of calling to the nirgun.

I followed this up with many Kabir bhajans because my whole theme was Kabir. Funnily enough though the organizers had given the name of EMOTIONS OF WOMEN THROUGH MUSIC, this aspect was only left for their banner perhaps because they never made a mention of it anywhere! So i wondered what was the reason of giving such a fanciful title to the whole program anyways! They did not ask artists what bhava was the dominant aspect of their music- for may be it did not seem necessary to them at all.

Mine is and always remains bhakti.:)  Even when I sing ghazal!

Satguru mohae bhaavae

From my four CD Kabir album, called Kahe Kabir, this is one bhajan that I am now in a position to share. It was recorded when I was i...