Monday, August 28, 2006

Raag Gowri Manohari..

Call her the twin of Dharmavathi.
Or the offspring of Sankarabaranamand Kalyani.

Gouri Manohari embodies all that those three stand for,the majesty that is evident of Sankarabaranam, the artistry thatunderlines Kalyani, the compassion that is symbolized by Dharmavathi.

Take a look at the surs of these ragas:

Sankarabaranam contains all and only the major notes
S R G M P D N S - S N D P M G R S
Kalyani has five of the major notes and only m, a minor one.
S R G m P D N S - S N D P m G R S
Dharmavathi takes on variant minor g and is different from Kalyani.
S R g m P D N S - S N D P m g R S
Gouri Manohari is different from Dharmavathi in M as it again resorts to the major note.
S R g M P D N S - S N D P M g R S

Imbibing thus, the passions of all these ragas, Gouri Manohari stillretains its unique quality in bringing forth the basic emotions.
A traveler on the hot sands of a desert, thirsty for a few drops ofwater, still hopeful of quenching his thirst, the hope and despairalternately springing forth. Yet he is no ordinary traveler.
He is abadshah, perhaps he has presently lost his kingdom, but would regainone. He hopes while in despair. The soul-filing raga, Gouri Manohari,has to be sung to be felt.

A classic example of the raga in Hindi film music would be "meghachhaye" in Sharmilee under the composition of R.D.Burman. The Junior Dawho was otherwise known more for his rock styled music (remember TeesriManzil and Caravan were his spring board to fame), this delightfulnumber is very noteworthy. True to Keats' words "the sweetest songalways comes from the saddest heart."

In Tamil K.V.Mahdevan fully utilized the majestic element of the ragain Thiruvilaiyadal with the song "Paatum naane". Follow the sur trackin the charanam "arivaay manidha un aanavam peridha" winding up throughthe river like flow of the raga and bringing out its majesty in itsentierty.
The Lord donning the role of a human to teach an arrogantmusician his place well suited the raga.

MSV, in Mazhalaipattalam came out with the song starting with the nameof the raga itself "Gouri manohariyai kanden" had the elegance of theraga, for the situation of a widowed woman singing happily, embodyingthe hope she nurses for the future in her mind.

The longing and passion of the raga was brought out very astonishingly,what we talked of earlier, the alternate emotions of hope and despair,by Ilayaraja in his song "dhoorathil naan kanda un mugam."

The song,though, did not feature in the film (Nizhalgal) has such a sway overthe listener you are dumbfounded by the mastery of the maestro. Play onthe song to hear the chittswaram-like words in the charanam "kanavupola vaazhvil endhan - kavalai yaavum mara vendum.".

The lyric,music, the tone of the singer all vie with one another to reach theepitome of the raga. Where words fail to describe the raga, Raja doesit with his composition. The intervening solo violin interlude was aclear instance of his deep craftsmanship.

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