Monday, July 24, 2006

V a l a j i

A fantastic view of the galaxies inside the Milky way taken by NASA observatory....Courtesy NASA

Fantasy ! Is thy name Valaji ?

That is how we want to describe the emotions generated by this raga in us.

You do not even have to perform a detailed alaap.
Meresounds of the surs transport you to an etheristic world, colourful,keleidoscopic, analgesic, mesmerizing - words prove inadequate todescribe the raga.

Otherwise, why would the Sitar Maestro Ravi Shankarchoose it for the rarest of the rare filmy music he composed?
For a Balraj Sahani starrer by name - Anuradha.
The song was "Haire who din kyon aaye".

If you had seen the movie, you could never forget the picturisation,with Nazir in rapt attention of Leela Naidu's singing and the greatthespian, Balraj Sahni, in a dilemma as to whether feel proud of hiswife's talent or ashamed of his own negligence of her and her art. Whenyou hear the song any time, it emotes the same feelings in you as itdid in Nazir. Call it divine or by any other name, sure, it isunearthly.
A pentatonic raga with S G P D n S (in the same order in arokan and avarokan), Valaji is called Kalavati in HCM.
Another sequence of a girl visited by the prospective groom and hisfamily falters in the alaap of valaji. Her father, a great pundit,forgetful of the surroundings, chides his daughter. Yes, the remake ofSankarabaranam in Hindi bearing the name Sursangam hosted the scene,with Girish Karnad casting the role of unenviable patriarch. The powerof Valaji is so much, you cannot forgive any "milavat" therein. Theanniya sur, the other N, brings him back down to the earth and shatterswhat is almost a spiritual experience for him.

The song was "Maika piya bulaye". Valaji used in more sobre sequences like the quwali number"Hai agar dushman" in Hum Kissise Kam Nahin or "Koi sagar se dil bahalata nahi" in Dil Diya Dard Liya. But, the emotiion kindly by the superb exploitation of the raga in the first two sequences is unmatchable.
It is a wonder why most of Tamil MDs have not taken to valaji.

I remember only two. MSV attempts it in the first two or three charanams of "Athisaya raagam" in Apoorva Ragangal.

Long back the present Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Tamil poet and writer, "Kalaignar", penned a lyric for his home production "Marakka Mudiyuma" (can we forget).
The song is unforgettable even today, after around four decades for both its music (MSV) and lyric.
A very beautiful rendering in Valaji, it starts of like

"Vasantha kaalam varumo - nilai marumo
Vaigai perugi varumo - Kurai theerumo"

(Would spring bounce back and change our lives Would Vaigai flow and end our miseries)

MSV could have known Ravi Shankar's composition in Anuradha. Still it
is amazing how both of them zeroed in on the fantasy raga for a lyricwhich conveyed almost the same spirit.
You are at a loss whom to praise more the lyricist or the composer- for



rasika said...

Rajaji's remarkable krithi
is based on Valaji only.

Anonymous said...

A recent number "yeh tara woh tara hastara" by A.R.Rahman in Swades is from Valaji

rama said...

The music for Marakka mudiyuma was composed by T.K.Ramamoorthy.