Bageshree is one of the reasons I do Hindustani Music. There are others, but there is something spectacularly soul-stirring about this Raga. Bageshree could not have been created by accident. It would have to be the cumulative romance and pathos of centuries of Indian hearts that soaked this raga in so much shringar ras, so much love.
When a pregnant student started studying Bageshree with me a few years ago, I found this beautiful ‘Ramrang’ bandish to teach her–Khelan maangat chaand kanhaai. As her little Krishna grows up, pitter-patter to her riyaz, so does our love for this musical conversation, where the son demands that the mother bring down the ‘ball in the sky’ for him. The antara sees the mother pointing to the reflection of the moon in the water, and watching on affectionately as he tries to ‘catch it’.
Bageshree/ Teental/ Ramashreya Jha ‘Ramrang’
खेलन मांगत चांद कन्हाई, बार बार जननी सन बोलत, ला दे चांद री माई
जननी सुत ही दिखावे सुधाकर, बारि मध्य परिछायी, ‘रामरंग’ हरि गहतन पावत, मातु मनहि मुसकाई
I like to pair this cheez with my own drut composition in Ada-chautaal. At the time that I wrote this, I was deeply inspired by Meera’s love for Krishna, and her sense of ‘being colored in His passion’. After all, isn’t all nature colored in His love? It is as if He plays Holi with the entire universe, and colors every atom of every being everywhere!
Bageshree/ Ada-chautal/ Srivani Jade
किन संग श्याम बनवारी, होली खेलत ले पिचकारी
इन संग उन संग रास, उन इन सब पर राग-रंग, बन रंग बसै सब माही, होली खेलत ले पिचकारी
It is no wonder that Raga, by definition, is ‘that which colors the mind’. I am deeply thankful to my friend Annette Solyst whose paintings have colored many compositions of mine.