Film music

Whether ‘Padmaavat’ or ‘Devdas’, raag Yaman is perfect for the song about eternal love

The raag, said to be Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s favourite, appears in nearly every one of his films.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is rumoured to be a big fan of the raag Yaman Kalyan. He finds a way to drop the raag into his latest movie Padmaavat, in the sequence in which the treacherous sage Raghav Chetan (Ayaam Mehta) visits the incarcerated Ratansen (Shahid Kapoor) to smirk at the Chittor king’s plight.

Raghav Chetan is the one who persuaded Delhi Sultanate’s ruler Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) that Ratansen’s wife, Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), is so beautiful that she is worth invading Chittor for. Khilji captures Ratansen through deceit. As Chetan gloats at his shackled former king, he plays Yaman Kalyan on his flute.

“I thought I could play some Yaman Kalyan to soothe your pain,” Raghav Chetan sneers. Ratansen scoffs and says, “Go on, play your raag Yaman.”

In Bhansali’s films, everything on the screen – from a piece of furniture to the shade of colour on the walls – is meant to further the plot. The raag isn’t far behind.

Raag Yaman, and its close relative Yaman Kalyan, pop up with frequency on the soundtracks of Bhansali’s movies. The song best summarises one of the themes that Bhansali has been pursuing throughout his career – eternal love, one that outlasts death.

In Padmaavat, Bhansali, who is also the film’s music composer, uses raag Yaman in Ek Dil Ek Jaan. The song is the last to appear in the tragic romance, and is a tribute to the undying love between Ratansen and Padmavati. Dressed to the nines, Ratansen and Padmavati walk towards their death believing that they will meet again on the other side of fate.

Padmaavat (2018).

One of the best uses of raag Yaman is in Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani (2016), which he also composed. Aaj Ibadat is not used in the period drama but plays during the end credits. The song opens with a Vedic shloka (one that is recited to officiate a Hindu wedding) and slowly turns into a soulful Sufi song that encapsulates the impossible but enduring love between Bajirao (Ranveer Singh) and Mastani (Deepika Padukone). Their love story, complicated by their religious identities, can find fruition only in death.

Bajirao Mastani (2016).

Doomed love is celebrated once again through raag Yaman in Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ramleela (2013), Bhansali’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Ram (Ranveer Singh) and Leela (Deepika Padukone), hailing from two rival blood-thirsty communities, realise that their relationship is doomed. Bhansali gives them the track Laal Ishq in which the two lovers affirm to each other that their only identity is love. Snatches of Laal Ishq appear in the film when it becomes clear to Ram and Leela that their love story can never succeed. The track plays in full at the end, as their bodies are carried to the burial site.

Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ramleela (2013).

Hamesha Tum Ko Chaha from Bhansali’s 2002 adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Bengali novel Devdas is perhaps the most obvious pledge to eternal love. Unsurprisingly, this too is in Yaman.

As Paro (Aishwarya Rai) is sent to her husband’s home after her wedding, she and her childhood sweetheart Dev (Shah Rukh Khan) relive their love story through the song, promising to live off those memories forever. They finally declare that bin tere mere is jeevan mein kuch bhi hahin” there is nothing left in this world without the other.

Devdas (2002).

Death lingers at the start of Jhonka Hawa Ka Aaj Bhi, from Bhansali’s second film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999, which is also in Yaman.) Nandini (Aishwarya Rai) is shot and is rushed to the hospital by her husband Vanraj (Ajay Devgn). He does everything he can to nurse her back to life. Elsewhere, Nandini’s former lover Sameer (Salman Khann) begins singing about her in the memory of their doomed love story.

A commitment to love each other eternally is affirmed in this song too, but between Vanraj and Nandini. The act of applying vermilion on the parting of the hair, a common feature in all the other songs, shows up here too.

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999).
Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Can a colour encourage creativity and innovation?

The story behind the universally favoured colour - blue.

It was sought after by many artists. It was searched for in the skies and deep oceans. It was the colour blue. Found rarely as a pigment in nature, it was once more precious than gold. It was only after the discovery of a semi-precious rock, lapis lazuli, that Egyptians could extract this rare pigment.

For centuries, lapis lazuli was the only source of Ultramarine, a colour whose name translated to ‘beyond the sea’. The challenges associated with importing the stone made it exclusive to the Egyptian kingdom. The colour became commonly available only after the invention of a synthetic alternative known as ‘French Ultramarine’.

It’s no surprise that this rare colour that inspired artists in the 1900s, is still regarded as the as the colour of innovation in the 21st century. The story of discovery and creation of blue symbolizes attaining the unattainable.

It took scientists decades of trying to create the elusive ‘Blue Rose’. And the fascination with blue didn’t end there. When Sir John Herschel, the famous scientist and astronomer, tried to create copies of his notes; he discovered ‘Cyanotype’ or ‘Blueprints’, an invention that revolutionized architecture. The story of how a rugged, indigo fabric called ‘Denim’ became the choice for workmen in newly formed America and then a fashion sensation, is known to all. In each of these instances of breakthrough and innovation, the colour blue has had a significant influence.

In 2009, the University of British Columbia, conducted tests with 600 participants to see how cognitive performance varies when people see red or blue. While the red groups did better on recall and attention to detail, blue groups did better on tests requiring invention and imagination. The study proved that the colour blue boosts our ability to think creatively; reaffirming the notion that blue is the colour of innovation.

When we talk about innovation and exclusivity, the brand that takes us by surprise is NEXA. Since its inception, the brand has left no stone unturned to create excusive experiences for its audience. In the search for a colour that represents its spirit of innovation and communicates its determination to constantly evolve, NEXA created its own signature blue: NEXA Blue. The creation of a signature color was an endeavor to bring something exclusive and innovative to NEXA customers. This is the story of the creation, inspiration and passion behind NEXA:


To know more about NEXA, see here.

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