Hindolam – Raga Ruminations

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.

This raga made an easy transition to the silver screen. AR Rahman came up with this lilting number Margazhi Poove for the Tamil movie May Maadham.

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

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