Toying with Desh



I recently visited the Toy and Railway Museum in the Blue Mountains. The view from the top of the historic house of Leuralla brought all sorts of mixed feelings within me. Was I standing where other great people like the Queen might have stood and gazed at the view outside ? Its old world charm was captivating. On my way back downhill I landed up toying with the idea of  Raag Desh. A Raga that is prevalent and popular both in the North and South of India. It is sort of universal well almost to most Indians. This raga binds both the South and North in a manner that no other political and or socialist party has been able to. It forms the fabric of almost all styles of music prevalent in that part of the world.  Bollywood songs to bhajans, to folky to chants and more. The limitless natural pleasantness of the raga is the reason for it popularity. Most classical musicians shrug the importance of Desh away however never forget to include it in their repertoire. What cream does to cake is what Desh does to a classical concert. Desh raag is used also in Tumri and Kajri in the North and  Tukada and Jaavali’s in the South. Its mood some say is decidedly romantic. A poem of  Rabindranath Tagore set in Desh comes to mind. Something I grew up listening to. The heavy clouds and the smell of rain make me pine for you O Lord.


The Scale of the raga is SRMPnS SnDPmGRS – Sung in the evening.

Listen to the song here. srikanta – eso shyamal sundar

Aroha : SRmPnS ; Avaroha: SnDPmGRS;

eso shyamala sundara, ano tabo thoupahara trishahara sangasudha, birowhini chahia achhe akashe

shey jey byathitho hridhoyo aachhe bichhaeye, tamaro kunja pathe sajalo chhayate

nayane jagichhe karuno ragini 

Shyamolo sundoro …

bakulo mukulo rekhechhe ganthia, bajichhe angane milana bansari

ano sathe tomaro mandira, chanchala nrityero bajibe chhande se

bajibe kankana, bajibe kingkini, jhankaribe manjirou runu jhunu

Shyamolo Sundoro….

Also Listen to Rashid Khan, one of my favourites singing Desh here

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