Every year, when India enters the second month of the monsoons (Bhadrapada/Bhadon), the markets flood with colorful idols of Ganesh. As children, we knew right away that Gauri was preparing to visit her parental home in the Himalayas, and that little Ganesh would miss his mother soon enough, and descend to the earth to persuade her back to their home in the heavens. We loved this story, and we loved everything about little G–his rotund cuteness, his original choices (a mouse vehicle, go figure), his love of reading, writing, music, dance…and modaks–all while removing obstacles for everyone! The love of Ganesh and everything he symbolizes has stayed with me since childhood. If anything, life as a mother and musician, has made the relationship stronger. His consorts Buddhi and Siddhi reflect his dual commitment to using one’s intelligence towards the accomplishment of a worthy goal.
When I came across this bandish in Pt. Ramashreya Jha’s exemplary collection of essays and compositions, “Abhinava Geetanjali”, I was piqued by the name of the raga. I don’t know the back-story of this raga, but as I hummed along the sargam notation, it seemed like a natural and easy-flowing combination of phrases from Jaijaiwanti, Sarang, Bilawal and Des. A good bandish is a blue-print of the raga. This is my interpretation of the raga based on this single composition.
Raga Vinayak/ Jhaptal/ Pt. Ramashreya Jha ‘Ramrang’:
जय जय विनायक, रिद्ध सिद्ध दायक, गजमुख सुमुख अमंगल-हारी ज्ञान निधान पुराण लिपिक देव, देवन में पूज्य प्रथम ‘रामरंग’ अघ-हारी