Saraswathi is the goddess of learning. She is pictured as the one who holds a veena in her hand. For musicians the goddess holds a special place in their hearts. Ma Mavadhu Shree Saraswathi, a composition of Mysore Vasudevacharya in raga Hindolam is one of the earliest kritis or songs that Carnatic students learn. Raga Hindolam has a simple pentatonic scale and is popular with both musicians and rasikas. Here is a rendition of the raga and the song by Sudha Raghunathan.
Tyagaraja has composed several gems in this raga including Samajavaragamana and Manasuloni. Dikshithar’s Neerajakshi Kamakshi is a slow moving song that savours the fine features of this melody. Here is a rendition of Neerajakshi Kamakshi by stalwart Musiri Subramanya Iyer.
Raga Hindolam corresponds to Raag Malkauns in Hindustani music. Here is a rendition of raag Malkauns by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.
Baiju Bawra was a movie about a classical musician’s life and the song Man Tarpat Hai Hari Darshan in the movie by Mohammed Rafi tuned by Naushad is a classic Malkauns. The bhajan reflects the yearning of a devotee who is waiting for a glimpse of Lord Krishna.
For those who want details, raga Hindolam is considered either a derivative of 20th Melakartha raga Natabhairavi or the 8th Melakartha raga Hanumathodi owing to its structure and the scale reads as follows. SG2M1D1N2 SN2D1M1G2