When Bageshree blossoms… | The Daily Star
12:03 AM, August 14, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:08 AM, August 14, 2013

RASA OF A RAGA

When Bageshree blossoms…

ragaClassical music aficionados in a love affair with the rasa of Raga 'Bageshree', definitely have aristocratic tastes. Bageshree, a popular Hindustani classical raga of second prahar (9pm-12am), is meant to depict the emotion of a lover waiting for a reunion with her beloved. It is said to have first been presented by Mian Tansen, the celebrated court musician of Emperor Akbar. Bageshree is a highly romantic raga. Creating especially sad-romantic beauty, the raga portrays the depths of unfulfilled love.
When Chokor (a bird which appeases its thirst with moonbeams) offers love to the moon, entire nature consents with her silence. Chokor symbolizes unrequited love. Any work of art can only be recommended, not described. The folk-tale is that Chokor gazes at the moon at night. As the moon moves, the bird too moves its neck and keeps on gazing at it. It reminds us of one's eternal longing for love.
A melodic game of Bageshree-- a raga pertaining to the thaat Kafi -- makes the gentle dewy breeze blow over thousand flowers. The essence of the raga can be visualised as moonbeams that throw a spell over Madhabilata flowers on monsoon nights. An evocative performance of the raga seems to make the moon smile.
The raga is received adoringly both in vocal and in instrumental by the audience. As a durable raga, Bageshree is equally prominent in dhrupad and khayal genres. Raga “Abhogi Kanhada” and “Gorok Kalyan” are quite similar to raga Bageshree.
Pt. Jagdish Prasad aesthetically poured his artistic passion to aptly showcase the rasa of Bageshree in his record where Prasad's taan and murki (ornamentations) based long tehai was executed together with the gayaki (style) of Patiala Gharana. We notice some remarkable rendition styles in Ustad Rashid Khan's treat to the raga. Ustad Rashid Khan's record of a vilambit bandish “Peyari Pia Sanga” and a madhyalaya bandish “Apni Garaja Pakar Lina Baiyan” are marvellous examples of the raga. Set on the raga, a Jugalbandi record by Khan and sitar maestro Ustad Shaheed Parvez Khan evokes an emotive plea. Vidushi Ashwini Bhide Deshpande's vilambit bandish “Kaun Gata Bhaili”and madhyalaya bandish “Balma Mori Tori Karan” are very appealing and pristine. Based on the raga, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia's record of a flute recital unequivocally takes music aficionados to a transcendental world of enjoyment. In their album “The One and Only”, Ustad Zakir Hussain on tabla and Adnan Sami on piano also makes Bageshree blossom.
Our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam had an affinity to the raga; he composed several songs including “Chand Herichhey Chand Mukho Tar”, “Janomo Janomo Gelo”, “Harano Hiyar Nikunja Poth-e”, “Mago Chinmoyi Roop Dhorey Aaye” and “Chokher Neshar Bhalobasha”. One of Tagore's popular compositions “Je Raat-e Mor Duarguli Bhanglo Jhorey” is set on the raga.
Living legend Lata Mangeskar's record of “Keno Gelo Porobasey Bolo Bo(n)dhua”; a Pt. Ajoy Chakrobarty record “Ami Sur-e Sur-e Ogo”, another living legend Manna Dey's record “Dukkho Amar Tomaye Ami Je Bhalobesechhi”, Kishore Kumar's record“Jivan Se Bhari Teri Aa(n)khe” and a Mehdi Hassan record “Kayse Kauye Loug” are also evocative of the raga.

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