Thursday, January 14, 2016

Rasa & Bhava in Indian Music - 01 of 06

Bollywood Rewind is a one-hour special segment series that's played every Sunday morning between 8am to 9am on Bahrain's only Indian Radio Station - 104.2 Your FM. It discusses the influence of Indian Classical and Folk music in the vintage era of Hindi Film industry. You can tune-in to listen to the station live at

This segment has been extremely popular with the audiences since it started airing in August 2014 and I have been happy to be a part of this journey with the morning show hosts, Hemang and Neeti. Although Bollywood Rewind as the name suggests is broadly based on music from the Hindi Film industry; in each episode we select a topic and try to dig deep into various cultural and artistic influences that would have inspired the popular music of yesteryears in India. Although the show is in Hindi, we use a significant amount of English in our conversation for the benefit of those listeners who are not extremely comfortable in Hindi.

This is the first time that I am posting a link to an episode of Bollywood Rewind on this blog, and I couldn’t think of any other show than the 6-part special, Rasa & Bhava in Indian Music. In short, rasa & bhava are the fundamental ingredients that form the true essence of music, where the performer and the audience fuse into one.

To keep it simple and easy to understand, the conversation has been essayed from the perspective of a performer vis-à-vis from the audience’s point of view and references have been used from classical music than popular music.

Following is the flow of the first of the six part special, Rasa & Bhava in Music:
- snippet of nazar lagi raja tore bangle par (Kala Pani, 1958)
- Introduction of the theme: what is it that sets a mood in a particular composition?
- Indian classical music is based on four pillars – sur, raga, taal and laya. But the spirit of classical music lies in the journey where the performer and the audience fuse into one; and this journey is rasa. The attainment of this purity is of utmost importance in Indian classical music.
- What is rasa?
Rasa is an ancient Indian Sanskrit word that is better experienced than read to clearly understand. It denotes a state of mind that brings about an emotional theme in a work of art. The portrayal of this emotional theme, leads us to understand bhava.
- What is bhava?
It is bhava that makes us differentiate between a sad and a happy song, or a romantic and a playful song and so on and so forth. It is the road that leads our mind into a state of imagination and sentiments producing an emotional change - rasabhava.
- What exactly makes an individual's music his own?
snippet of cham cham naachat aayi bahar (Chhaya, 1961)

Hope you enjoy listening to the show, Bollywood Rewind: Rasa & Bhava in Indian Music (01 of 06) – 

I do not own rights for the songs and the visuals used in this video. If any concerned individual or an organization has an objection to the music or visuals used here, kindly notify me and I’ill promptly pull it down.

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