- Written by : Onkita Adhikary

As the cold biting winter winds start to mellow, the sunbeam pierces the dark cold nights and the earth starts to whisper in viridian green, the Indian subcontinent ushers in the Rituraj, Spring or Basant in all its beauty. The soft fragrance of new leaves in their bashful red hues, the explosion of orange Palash flowers mixed with the cuckoo or koel starting an impromptu jugalbandi with a mischievous kid in the neighbourhood all come together to herald basant with the rare affection of happiness sprinkled with love.

In his famous essay, “Basantajapon”, Rabindranath Tagore writes, “Today I will have to mix with the trees and plants as if they are my nearest and dearest relations. Lying under their shades I will have to hold the forest floor in a fast embrace with both my hands outspread and when the wind of spring will blow I will have to let it pass through my ribs. My heart will utter no words whose meanings the woodland doesn’t understand. Thus till the end of chaitra refreshing and greening my being I will remain immersed among the earth, the air and the sky. I will lie still in the light and shade of this spring.” In a country where there are six seasons and each season has its unique feature, we have always shown an affinity towards the king of seasons; spring rightfully calling it Rituraj and in all forms of creation when spring has touched, it has made it magical.

Just as every twig sprouts a new leaf and every flower allures a new suitor in the form of a honeybee, music too blossoms to present some of the most beautiful ragas out of its bounteous bouquet to welcome spring. Listening to Mogubai’s rendition of “Maan re maan re piya mori, binti karat tose hari hari”, her own composition in raag Basant- Bahar is the perfect ode to how a lovelorn lover asks her love to stay as spring that unfolds its magic in nature has also whispered in her heart. The detour that Mogubai takes in composing the bandish in drut laya captures the power of spring as in those days vocalists of the Jaipur Atrauli gharana were known to sing only vilambit or madhyalaya compositions. It must have been the exuberance of spring that such a stawart would go on to sprout a new leaf too and usher in spring in the traditional gharana to which she belonged.

Just like Mogubai, her prodigal daughter, Gaan Saraswati Kishori Amonkar too would go on to make magic, just like spring does, as she lends her voice to one of the compositions of Ustad Azizuddin Khan in yet another raag-jod, Basanti Bahar as she sings, “ Khelan ayi naveli naar, ritu basant ki dhoom machi hai”. Kishori Tai’s voice skims on the accompanying tanpura and tabla just like the touch of a butterfly’s wings on a newly opened petal of a flower swaying in the cool southern breeze; wavering, shimmering and fleeting with untold unspoken magic. It must be spring that makes the melodies, how else can someone explain the beauty that is crafted.

Among the many other ragas that spring sprouts, Raag Hindol is one that touches the soul just like the warm embrace of love. Listening to Pt. Bhimsen Joshi singing, “ Saheliya Jao mangal gao” one is immersed in the peace, beauty and newness that spring brings in its hands. A raag belonging to the Kalyan thaat, sung in the first part of the day, raag Hindol truly shines through like a sunbeam suspended in melodic space. Pablo Neruda had said, “You can cut all flowers, but you can’t keep spring from coming” and this composition is one that simply opens your mind to welcome spring even in the bitterest cold winter night. Such is the intoxicating elixir that the raga presents.

Basant also is the time for worship, it is that time of the year when the Goddess Saraswati steps from the cosmic trajectory to bless us on Basant Panchami. The fifth day of magha; a day when the goddess of knowledge, music, beauty and grace blesses us with eternal knowledge. Draped in white, she brings basant in her steps. The earth puts out a carpet of yellow flowers of mustard to welcome her, the wind rustles through the bamboo flutes to enchant her with music and the harsh winter becomes a distant memory. Spring is nature’s way of showing how beginnings are supposed to be and in times like now, it surely is nature’s way of telling us to turn over a “new” leaf; afterall its Basant yet again!


Sangeet Sadhana
#720, 9th main, 4th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore - 560034 Landmark: Sony World Signal

Email: sangeetsadhana09@gmail.com

 Contact Us

Ms Anindita Mukherjee -(Guru/Founder): +919900251018

Ms Swathi: +919686950505


Recaptcha Failed Please Try Again......!