Nothing summons the early morning air of a bucolic countryside like Ahir Bhairav. For those who grew up in the Indian suburbia of the 1970s, it is a raga synonymous with the first stirrings of the town–the tinkling of bells, water heater being turned on, the milkman and his clanging cans and measures, newspaper landing with a familiar plop on the veranda, that first cup of chai, early risers, joggers and walkers stopping by for a quick chat, encouraging us to study hard or appreciative of our riyaz–paltas and kharaj sadhana carrying over open terraces.
This lovely (and beautifully syncopated) composition of Pt. Ramashreya Jha ‘Ramrang’ is a master-piece of everything Ahir Bhairav–the phraseology, lyrics, and a nice uThaan (the mukhaDa starts on the last AaD vibhaag of ADa-chautal).
Bandish/ Ahir Bhairav/ ADa-chautal:
bhor ki bolan laagi chiriya, chali jamuna jal bharan tiriya
pahire baran baran chunariya, jhamaki jhuki dharat pag dagariya, ‘ramrang’ braj ki gujariya
भोर की बोलन लागी चिड़िया, चली जमुना जल भरन तिरिया
पहिरे बरन बरन चुनरिया, झमकि झुकि धरत पग डगरिया, रामरंग ब्रज की गुजरिया
(The birds are breaking into their dawn song, the women of Braj, wearing colorful scarves, are heading to the Jamuna to fetch water.)
‘Sunrise at Monument Valley’. Copyright Photo/Audio/Video: Srivani Jade, 2018.