Today, as I was sitting down with my Riyaaz of the Carnatic music equivalent of the Asavari Raaga, I brought back mixed memories. It evoked a collage of emotions, making me feel nostalgic about the warmth of my grandparents’ home, while also reminding me of a particular school day when I stayed homesick. Raaga Natabhairavi, as this Raaga is known, is a unique combination of flat and sharp notes, and has its own way of weaving a heady mix of emotions in both the listener and the singer. The first part of the scale has largely major notes, which signify upbeat and happy emotions. The second half of the scale has flat notes that usually evoke more tense and negative feelings. No wonder my emotional state, while doing my Riyaaz, mirrored this. This scale brought back associations with my childhood memories of both when I was sick with jaundice, and also of when my grandmother would exclaim and sway in joy when she heard this piece.
This experience got me thinking about how the emotive potential of music is almost like that of a person.
When we relate to other people through relationships, we connect as human beings with sentiment, emotion and sensitivity. People come in a mix of hues, shapes and personalities, and evoke certain distinct feelings in us. For example, I associate laughter, comfort and cosiness with one of my best friends. I associate a very different feeling with one of the staff members of Music Vruksh, my music venture. In this case, the feeling is one of dependability, trust and collective inspiration towards a common goal.
Raagas in Indian classical music are no different. They are living, breathing sound energies that evoke emotions in us. These emotions are distinct and powerful. This, in my opinion, is one of the reasons why they have an amazing power to heal.
Just as we get to know layers beneath a person over time and start relating to them at deeper and deeper levels, similarly, as we hear and sing Raagas repeatedly, we unearth deeper aspects and begin to appreciate the significance of the Raaga. This makes our relationship with the Raaga stronger, and it means much more to us than just a bunch of flat and sharp notes. It starts to attain a formless yet powerful identity, both in the hearts of the singer or performer and in those of the audience. In fact, the mark of a true musician is to introduce these ‘sound personalities’ of the Raagas to the audience and bring them alive in their hearts and minds. When an audience can feel joyful or moved and can experience the gamut of emotions that is so typical of the Raaga, the musician can be certain he or she has done his or her job well. The identities of the Raagas should be brought out clearly by the musician so that we can recognise them just as we would recognise our friends and loved ones even in a crowd.
Raagas in Indian Classical Music have the potential to form deep, meaningful relationships with us. Even if the Raagas come to us through the medium of the popular culture of Indian film music or folk songs, they have the ability to come alive in our minds and bring myriad emotions to the fore. We can have loving and trusting relationships with them much as we do with people. They can allow us to feel safe, cry or laugh and express difficult emotions without the fear of judgement or hurt.
I have always championed the cause of making classical music training and appreciation accessible to everyone. In Indian Raagas, we can find the seeds of deep, trusting relationships that we can carry with us forever. In this lies the ability of Indian music to touch and heal.
The writer is a vocalist of both Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music, with over three decades’ experience. She is also the founder of Music Vruksh, a venture to make classical accessible for its aesthetic and wellness benefits.
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SIDDHANT BRINGS A LUXURIOUS HARLEY DAVIDSON HOME
MUMBAI: Actor Siddhant Chaturvedi recently brought home a luxurious Harley Davidson Sportster S, making him the first person in India to have the bike.
The ‘Gehraiyaan’ actor took to his social media to share the news of the same with his fans and followers. The actor, who rose to fame with MC Sher from Gully Boy, has certainly come a long way in the matter of just 3 years, which is a rather remarkable feat.
On the work front, Siddhant is currently gearing up for Shakun Batra’s next ‘Gehraiyaan’. He also has ‘Phone Booth’, ‘Yudhra’ and ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in the pipeline.
SONAL CHAUHAN TO PLAY LEAD IN AKKINENI NAGARJUNA’S THE GHOST
MUMBAI: Akkineni Nagarjuna’s ‘The Ghost’ is a much-anticipated film ever since its announcement. Earlier it was said that the Bollywood star, Jacqueline Fernandez was cast for the film however, the word on the block is that the talented Sonal Chauhan will be playing the lead opposite Nagarjuna instead of Jacqueline.
That’s right, Sonal Chauhan fans are in for a treat as they get to see their favourite actress on the silver screen. A source close to the film said “Makers felt Sonal Chauhan was the best fit for the lead role opposite Nagarjuna in ‘The Ghost’. They felt both the actors Sonal and Nagarjuna would make for a fine on-screen pair and that’s when they approached her. The two are definitely going to portray some great chemistry in the film.”
SALMAN TO FEATURE IN GURU RANDHAWA’S NEW SONG
MUMBAI: Superstar Salman Khan will be seen flaunting his acting skills in singer Guru Randhawa’s new song ‘Main Chala’.
Female vocals of the track have been lent by Lulia Vantur, and the female artist who will be featuring alongside Salman is Pragya Jaiswal. On Tuesday, Guru Randhawa took to Instagram and shared the update with his fans.
“Love will be in air with #MainChala! Song releasing on 22nd January. Stay Tuned,” he wrote.
He tagged Salman Khan and Pragya in the comments. Produced by Salma Khan, the romantic track will be out on January 22.
ARJUN MATHUR TO ADARSH GOURAV: HERE’S LOOKING AT THE TOP THREE OTT NEWSMAKERS
MUMBAI: The past few years have been a revelation for Indian cinema with the influx of OTT content. From handling an out-of-box idea to bringing forth a crucial issue in the limelight – our actors are going all out with their digital ventures!
While we saw some of the finest performances on the streaming platforms last year, there are a few names that define the space with their path-breaking performances, unconventional takes, and impeccable cinema sense. So, here’s rounding up the top four OTT newsmakers.
ARJUN MATHUR: You cannot have a list of the ground-breaking stars without Arjun Mathur. The international Emmy Award-nominated actor has pushed the boundaries with his non-conformist choices, like playing a gay wedding planner in Made In Heaven or shooting a show in a lockdown with The Gone Game. Now, he has Made In Heaven S2, Gone Game 2, Lord Curzon Ki Haveli, and Lionsgate Play’s next series.
PRATIK GANDHI: Pratik Gandhi became a household name with his blockbuster series, Scam 1992. The actor earned massive acclaim for his apt and flamboyant performance of Harshad Mehta. Later, he stunned the audience with his brave selections – Bhavai and Shimmy. Coming up next for the actor are Atithi Bhooto Bhava, Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan?, and Six Suspects.
ADARSH GOURAV: With his solid performance in The White Tiger, Adarsh Gourav has made it into everyone’s watchlist. The new-age actor bagged the BAFTA nomination for his performance and is all set to step into Hollywood with his next venture, Extrapolations, starring Meryl Streep.
PANDIT BIRJU MAHARAJ WAS MY GURU BUT ALSO MY FRIEND: MADHURI
NEW DELHI: Behind every successful person, there are unfailing efforts of teachers. Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj played the role of that guru in actor Madhuri Dixit Nene’s life.
After learning about the demise of Pandit Birju Maharaj, Madhuri, on Monday, took to Twitter and opened up about her relationship with him. “He was a legend but had a child like innocence. He was my guru but also my friend. He taught me the intricacies of dance and Abhinay but never failed to make me laugh at his funny anecdotes,” she wrote.
“He has left behind grieving fans and students but also left a legacy we will all carry forward. Thank you Maharajji for everything you taught me in dance along with humility, elegance and grace. Koti koti pranam,” she added.
Alongside the note, Madhuri posted a throwback picture of her doing mukhdas with Pandit Birju Maharaj. For the unversed, Pandit Birju Maharaj, who breathed his last on Monday, had worked with Madhuri in films like ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’, ‘Devdas’ and ‘Dedh Ishqiya’.
Bollywood in awe of Pushpa & Allu Arjun
Mumbai: Pushpa star Allu Arjun, the talk of the town, has absolutely impressed
his fans,audiences, actors in the South and also many bigwigs in Bollywood. The
stylish star with his emphatic performance has won the hearts of many in the Hindi
speaking regions. Now, Bollywood is all praise for Pushpa Raj aka Allu Arjun and
the movie, reiterate what the stylish star has said in the film, ‘Pushpa is not flower,
it is fire’. Completely entranced by Allu Arjun’s splendid work in “Pushpa”,
and also as the Hindi version in the North belt alone grossed Rs 100 crore
in box office collections in 25 days of its run, actors and big producers
in Bollywood have taken notice, and are now speaking about the
stylish star’s ability to charm viewers.
At a time when Allu Arjun has amassed a big fan following in
Hindi-speaking regions, there are reports of Bollywood producers lining up to cast him in their next Hindi films. Also, many
Hindi actors are showing interest to act in his upcoming pan-India movies. It is also reportedly said that producers are looking
to get Hindi dubbing or remake rights of the icon star’s upcoming films as they feel he will dominate the cinema space now.
The passion Allu Arjun put into his Pushpa Raj character is
so evident that people are just captivated by him.
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