Raga Ahir Bhairav

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This week we have 2 Hindustani classical vocal experts shedding light on Raga Ahir Bhairav. One is Classical and Bollywood singer Sanjeevani Bhelande and second Hindustani Classical Vocalist Ragini Rainu.

The Raga: Sanjeevani’s first encounter with this raga was in Parveen Sultana’s voice. She said, “Her Bandish Mohe Chhedo na Giridhari… was very expressive. Mann aanand aanand chhayo is one of my favorite songs in this raga.”

This raga is a combination of Bhairav and Kafi in the uttarang. But, it belongs to the Bhairav Thaat. The Jatti of the Raga is Sampurna i.e. all the seven swaras are used in it. So the first half has shuddha dhi and komal ni. This combination of notes has an evocative ambiance, especially in the morning mahoul.

Ragini added, “Ahir Bhairav is a very old and popular raga. Coincidently, it is close to a Carnatic Raga – Chakravakam. Ahir Bhairav has a unique place amongst the morning ragas. It is sung during the second part of the morning i.e. around 6 am to 9 am. Ahir Bhairav is a very popular raga in all the 6 Gharanas of Indian Classical Music. It’s been also used in many popular folk songs of India.”

Bollywood and Raga Ahir Bhairav: According to Ragini, “The context of a Bollywood song is very different from rendering a pure form of Raga. The main purpose of Bollywood songs is to deliver the emotions of the lyrics, which will further add on to the main plot of the film. So, the pure form of the raga can’t be used there.”

The experts selected the following songs:

Man anand anand chayo – Vijeta (1982)

Meri veena tum bin roye – Dekh Kabira Roya (1957)

Puuchho naa kaise maine rain bitaaii – Meri Surat Teri Ankhen (1963)

Ab tere bin jee lenge ham – Aashiqui (1990)

Solah baras kii baalii umar ko salaam – Ek Duje Ke liye (1981)

Alabelaa sajan aayo re – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

Teri ummid tera intezar karte hain – Deewana (1992)

Ram Teri Ganga Maili – Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985)

Sanjeevani has composed this song  Paani mein meen hai pyasiin Raga Ahir Bhairav –

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