It is generally believed that Raga Basant Mukhari is the Hindustani adaptation of the Carnatic scale Vakulabharanam. But it may not the first one. A Persian maqam called Hijaz, of nearly identical chalan, was documented by Pt. V.N. Bhatkande in the 1930s. One can find many songs and improvisations of this maqam online from Persian musicians, but I am yet to meet any Hindustani musician who trained in the raga.
Some times, a beautiful bandish catapults the raga into popular consciousness. Case in point: Shri S.N.Ratanjankar’s composition उठत जिया हूक सुनि कोयल कूक. This bandish seems to come at this raga from a Jogiya viewpoint. Many other musicians I know, approach this raga as a combination of Bhairav in the Poorvanga and Bhairavi in Uttaranga. This is but natural. Whenever we encounter something new, we try and make sense of it based on macros we already know. Clearly, there are many ways of looking at it, each one beautiful in its own way.
My treatment of this raga is (a) inspired by the Bhairav-esque rendition by Ustad Amir Khan Saheb, and (b) based on my talim from my Guru Pt. Parameshwar Hegde and (c) the compositions I received from him. Ultimately, the bandish is the blueprint of the raga. In this short home recording I made for a student, I’ve sung it as a Bandish ki Thumri in Addha Taal. It does equally well in Drut Teental piece or paired with Ramrang’s unique Tarana in Dugun-laya Jhaptal.
अब ना सताओ मोहे प्यारे, निंदिया गवांई गिन गिन तारे
रतियां बिताई गैर के घर में, काहे को आये अब मोरे प्यारे
Pen on Paper art by Riya De