Among the ‘young’ ragas of our era is Parameshwari, a beautiful 1960’s creation of the sitar maestro Pt. Ravi Shankar. One of the (many) outstanding features of his great mind was to spot an interesting scale, endow it with a fresh interpretation (new raga chalan) and present it compellingly. As I explore the vistar and badhat of this raga, with Panditji’s expansive alap in the background, I realize that the scale may be simple, but the possibilities are many. You can think of Parameshwari from an Ahiri Todi minus pa angle, from an Ahir (poorvang) + Bageshree (uttarang) angle etc. Glimpses of Charukeshi peek through at times, making it a morning/evening ambience, much like the Devi Parameshwari who brings together seemingly orthogonal qualities (fierce beauty, powerful grace, creative destruction). In my own exploration, I saw some Arabic sounding phrases (M-grg-rSr-SnS) pop up and surprise me.
I cherish this simple madhyalaya bandish I got from my Guruji. This raga has a decent following among the tantrakari folks. I hope it garners interest among vocalists as well. Here, this bandish is consummated by the lovely art of my architect/artist friend from Bengaluru, Vinay Varanasi.
(c) Srivani Jade 2018. All Rights Reserved.