Basant is Spring. Spring is Basant. All nature seems to nod an exuberant approval to this season of promise! The trees are budding young leaves and painting the landscape in several shades of green. In India, young hearts are getting ready for the fun and flirty festival of colors– Holi! In recent times, some of this innocence has been lost as fun gets out of hand and consensual boundaries have been crossed, giving Holi a bad rap. Luckily for me, my childhood band of ‘Holi-gans’ are still around, and the ‘surprises’ still very much the same.
Raag Basant is the fun side of Poorvi Thaat. In this bandish-ki-thumri, a young maiden protests (long enough to stand there and sing): Kaanha rangvaa na daaro. She seems to be unwittingly caught in the colorful machinations of Krishna, our divine romantic hero of many Thumris. Her chunari is drenched, and her face is smeared with color. How is she to go home and present herself in a decent light? That, people, is indeed her plight.
Basant/ Addha Teental:
कान्हा रंगवा ना डारो, भीजत मोरी सारी चुनरिया, मैं कैसे घर जाऊं
पैंया परत तोरी, बिनती करत, कान्हा डारो ना डारो ना, मोरा अंग भीजत, रंग से भरी मोरी सूरतिया
Colourful inspection of the hills, launching from Poo Poo Point, WA.