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Kalavati Kaleidoscope
Just like a kaleidoscope, Kalavati (and the sister raagini, Janasammohini)
can take any kind of shape or form depending on how you look at it. Don’t
trust me? Let me prove it to you…

There is a famous Kawwali, one that will make you zoom and dance. A
superb love song. A sad song. A delightful song tuned by Ravi Shankar.
Another one, sung by thousands of kids during a sports event
opening ceremony…. the list goes on.

Now, if I tell you all these songs are in Kalavati-Janasammohini,
I hope you will believe me.

Surprisingly, Kalavati is a pentatonic raag, just five notes. Jana Sammohini,
its sister raagini, uses Re as additional note.

We will start with the Asiad welcome song, tuned by Pandit Ravishankar.
Tilting the kaleidoscope slightly, we will then listen to a masterpiece by
Lata/Hrudaynath, penned by Raja Badhe. This is a Marathi song. You
should also listen to poetic interludes played on Bansuri and Sitar. Also,
when the mukhada ends, roughly 25 seconds into the song, there is a
superb bansuri note, played ever-so-softly. It is not even a music piece, just
a note. Makes so much difference! Pay close attention and
you will hear it yourself.

The famous Kawwali is next. Movie is Ham Kisise Kam Nahin,
Hain Agar Dushman.

We tilt the kaleidoscope again, wind our clocks back all the way to 1964, and
listen to Roshan masterpiece from Chitralekha, Kahe Tarasaye. After
listening to a relatively unknown, but superb piece from 1979 movie Sargam,
we go back to 1960 and listen to Rafi’s magical voice,
Koi Sagar Dil Ko Behlata Nahin.

Two relatively unknown songs follow. We go to our neighbor, Pakistan, and
listen to Piya Nahi Aye, sung by Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and Noorjahan.
This is followed by a song from movie Khilauna.

We have two masterpieces at the end. Pandit Ravi Shankar produced this
gem of a song in movie Anuradha. Haye Re Wo Din Kyu Na Aye.
Soft Lata voice, penned by Shailendra.

I hail from Maharashtra, where every wedding has to have Bismillah
Khansab’s Shehnai. In fact the Dulha and Dulhan may be missing, no
problem, but Shehnai has to be there! We will end with sweet Kalavati by
Bismillah Khan Saab.
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