Sonic Saturdays

Listen: Prabha Atre sings a quicksilver tarana

In this All India Radio National Programme of Music recording, she sings two compositions in raag Yaman.

Last week, this column discussed the significance of the All India Radio National Programme of Music in a performer’s career. The National Programme has always begun with an extended announcement of the main performer’s biographical details. The announcement is made in Hindi and English, probably to address the needs of a multi-lingual country.

Trained in the Kirana gharana, senior vocalist Dr Prabha Atre has imbibed influences from other sources, primary among these being the gayaki or vocal style of Amir Khan.

In this All India Radio National Programme of Music recording, she sings two compositions in raag Yaman. The first is a vilambit or slow khayal set to Ektaal. This column has highlighted the main features of Yaman in a series of articles that appeared earlier. In fact, another rendition of Yaman by Prabha Atre was included in one of the episodes:


However, this vilambit composition is unconventional in that it uses the teevra Madhyam or sharp fourth on the sam/sum or first matra of the taal cycle. The song-text is used for the melodic elaboration and Atre uses her light and smooth vocal delivery to present phrases that go beyond the accepted image of the raag. She gradually introduces sargam patterns at a slow speed, which are then transformed into taans or quick melodic sequences.

She moves to the second composition, a tarana set to a medium-paced Ektaal. Here, she employs aakaar taans with the vowel “aa” at a swifter pace than the sargam taans.

Yaman is followed by two compositions in the raag Bageshri, the first set to Ektaal and the second to Teentaal. The listener is drawn to the attractiveness of the raag, despite the rendition of the vilambit khayal having a similar architectural expansion as that of the earlier raag with the exception of the aakaar taans being included as part of the development. The drut or fast composition is laced with aakaar taans sung at great speed.

Prabha Atre brings her recital to a close with a thumri. Initiated listeners will recognise the melodic similarities between this piece and a couple of more popular compositions sung by many other vocalists.

Atre is accompanied by DR Nerurkar on tabla. There is no melodic accompaniment on this recording.

The Youtube track also includes a rendition of a Meerabai bhajan by an unidentified singer.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.


It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.