What is music?? What is Raga??
Have you any answer of my questions?? May be you have an answer…or, perhaps, you have no answer yet..
Surprised?? Shocked?? Speechless??
Don’t worry..it happens. Believe me, I am not going to let you down anyhow. I am not writing this post to show you my knowledge although. I am going to tell you the truth I have realized while listening to music or while I’m singing a song.. basically, a classical one. Before beginning to write this post, I want to thank my stars for blessing me such an art!!
I started learning music at the early age of 4. To be honest, I learnt the musical notes much before than I learnt the Bengali alphabets on the grey slate..I learnt to sing before than I learnt to write a full sentence on my notebook. My mom is a skilled singer of Rabindrasangeet genre, and she wanted to see her elder daughter singing. She wanted to sow the seed of this art inside me, as early as possible.So, she bought a harmonium for me and started teaching me the basics..the seven notes of music. She knew well, the seed would be reaped well with my growing age. That time, music was only a mere collection of notes and tunes for me..what anyone can expect more than it, from a 4 year old!!
But, at the age of 25, I got a sudden realization. It took me long 21 years to know that the journey that was started at the early age of 4, was the journey to the beyond! That 7 notes I learnt on that day, was the beginning of a journey to the ocean of infinity…someone truly said, music is, the journey from 7 notes to the Infinity!!
You must be thinking what happened to me at the age of 25. Yes I know, you are..
Okay then, let me share with you that life changing experience of me..
One day, I was listening to a classical piece on flute. The flautist was playing a tune on raga Darbari Kanada. It’s one of my most favourite ragas. Darbari is a soulful creation of Miyan Tansen, the great musician of the Mughal era. I am an ardent flute lover and a passionate seeker of flute tunes and flautists, as well. Hard to believe, but I find a glimpse of Lord Krishna in each and every flautist. I was feeling an intense devotion to the almighty..For a moment, I was overwhelmed by this divine ecstasy…It was the feeling of divine revelation, the oneness with the raga..
From that moment, the definition of music changed for me. In my childhood, the Riwaz was only a part of my daily routine. I was bound to follow every rules created by my dear mom..and to sit for an hour to practice one raga one day was the next thing I was told to do after having my breakfast. As an obedient child of my mom, who never say ‘No’ to her, I used to sit for this hectic one hour daily.
But now, I’ve realized what music means to me. A raga is not only a collection of notes. It’s a heavenly journey. From the first note you sing, first letter you spell, you start a journey…the journey to within, the journey to the beyond. Music is devotion. Music is liberation.. letting go of everything. Music is the question..and the answer itself. Every sound of the universe is the essence of music. Even the silence between the notes have music of their own. Our heartbeat resonates with the celestial sound ‘Om’ and thus, its music, too!
I love music, it gives me life whenever I feel down , it shows me light whenever I lost in the darkness. Music brings me back into the life and light, always. But what I love most in music is, the journey of a raga! I want to share my story with you. That’s why I am starting a new series in my blog. This new series will tell you the stories of Ragas…about their moods and emotions..their stories..and sometimes, you’ll see them to be personified, too!! Yes, for me, a raga is a person who awakes ourselves from within..
Here you’ll see a new story sketched through a raga portrait, and the person unveiling from a raga itself…Instead of notes and theories associated with a raga, I’ll tell you ‘Bandish : The Raga Tales’…
So, be ready for this musical voyage with our ‘Arts-‘N’-Tales’ chapter to the ocean of music…
Let the journey begin…From 7 notes to the infinity!!