Sonic Saturdays

Listen: Interpretations of the rare raag Deepak that was closely associated with the magic of Tansen

The raag is not performed by most musicians today and its melodic structure is also not commonly known.

A few years ago, this column had mentioned a raag called Deepak that is unrelated to Diwali, the Festival of Lights, but is linked to a myth about its power to engulf the performer in the heat or fire that its intensity apparently produces. The most popular story in this regard is related to Mia Tansen, one of the nine jewels in Akbar’s court who was asked by the Mughal emperor to perform this raag.

The fact remains that the raag is not performed by most musicians and its melodic structure is also not commonly known. The compositions that are found today suggest that the interpretations are based on the Bilawal, Khamaj or Purvi parent scales.

Today, we listen to three interpretations of the raag by eminent vocalists.

The first track features Ram Chatur Mallick (1902-1990), an exponent of the Darbhanga dhrupad tradition. He explains that most musicians do not perform Deepak, and that there are few compositions created for this raag. The interpretation he chooses uses komal and shuddha or flat and natural varieties of the Nishad or the seventh note, and has a pronounced inclination towards the raag Bihag with a slight tilt towards the raag Jog in the manner in which it descends from the upper tonic to the komal Nishad. Mallick sings an aalaap or introductory movement followed by a dhrupad composition set to Chautaal, a cycle of 12 matras or time-units. The rendition of Deepak continues to 23.30” into the track.

Play

The second track includes another interpretation of Deepak by eminent scholar-musician KG Ginde (1925-1994). He sings a vilambit or slow khayal set to the 12-matra Ektaal, composed by his guru SN Ratanjankar.

Play

Rampur-Sahaswan maestro Ghulam Mustafa Khan sings Deepak based on the Purvi thaat. He presents two compositions in vilambit and drut or fast Ektaal.

Play
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.

Play

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