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Archive for February 13th, 2013

13th February: Ganesh Jayanti 2013

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 13, 2013

vocalist: Dr. Ashwini Bhide Dehspande


Jay Shri shankar suta Ganesh,
Nayak dayak suta,
Jay jay sidhdhi pati
Antara-Modak grasan muskak wahan,
Palak dasan suta Girija,
Jay chandra bhal,
Bal bhuj vishal,
Gale’ Amar’ maal chavi,
Jaal bhayi…

A common four-armed form of Ganesha. Miniature...

A common four-armed form of Ganesha. Miniature…

Ganesh Jayanti (literally “Ganesha’s birthday”), also known as Magha shukla chaturthiTilkund chaturthi,”Vinayak Chaturthi” and Varad chaturthi, is a Hindu festival. This occasion celebrates the birth day of Ganesha, the lord of wisdom. It is a popular festival particularly in the Indian state of Maharashtraheld during the shukla paksha chaturthi day (fourth day of the bright fortnight or the waxing moon) in the month of Maagha as per almanac, which corresponds to the Gregorian calendar month of January/February. The distinction between the Ganesh Jayanti and the more popular, almost pan-Indian Ganesh Chaturthifestival is that the latter festival is observed in the month of August/September (Bhadrapada Hindu month). According to one tradition, Ganesh Chaturthi is also considered as the birthday of Ganesha. This festival of Ganesha is also called as the Tilo Chauth or Sakat Chauthis in Uttar Pradesh, where Ganesha is invoked on behalf of the son of a family. It is also called as Tilkund chaturthi in Maharashtra.


As a legend narrated by Nandi to the Sanatkumara sages, god Krishna was charged with stealing as he saw the moon on Magha shukla chaturthi – which was prohibited. He observed fast on this day and got rid of the accusation of stealing.


English: Ganesh festival in India

English: Ganesh festival in India

On the festival day, an image of Ganesha, in symbolic conical form is made out of turmeric or sindhoorpowder or some times of cowdung and worshipped. It is later immersed in water on the fourth day after the festival. A special preparation made of til (sesame seeds) is offered to Ganesha and then distributed to the devotees as prasad for eating. A fast is observed during worship during the day time followed by feasting in the night as a part of the rituals.

In addition to fasting on this day, before observing the puja rites for Ganesha (also known as “Vinayaka”), devotees take bath with water mixed with til seeds, after smearing a paste made out of til (sesame) on their body. The fast observed on this day is stated to enhance the name and fame of the individual.

Even though Ganesha is considered a celibate god in Uttar Pradesh (in other places, he is considered as “married”), but on the occasion of the Ganesh Jayanti celebrations, couples worship him to beget a son.

On Ganesh Jayanti, devotees flock to the Moreshwar temple in MorgaonPune districtMaharashtra – in large numbers. The temple is starting and ending point of a pilgrimage of eight revered Ganesha temples called Ashtavinayaka. Legend has it that Ganesha killed demon Kamlasur at this place, riding a peacock (inSanskrit, a mayura, in Marathi – mora) and thus is known as Mayureshwar or Moreshwar (“Lord of the peacock”). Another temple on the Ashtavinayak circuit is the Siddhivinayaka temple at Siddhatek,Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra. Large crowds visit the temple on the occasion of Ganesh Jayanti. This ancient temple located on the eastern bank of the Bhima River – has an idol of Ganesha, seated in a crossed leg posture flanked by his consort Siddhi. The Ganesha image is adorned with saffron paste and has its trunk turned to the right, which is considered a rare depiction. Thus, it is held in deep reverence and a strict set of religious vows are observed to please the deity. Devotees take a pradakhsina (circumambulation) of the hill seven times in the rough hilly terrain to seek favour of Ganesha. Legend states that god Vishnu invoked the blessings of Ganesha at this venue before killing the demons Madhu-Kaitabh to put an end to their depredations.

On the Konkan Coast, at Ganpatipule, a beach temple houses a swayambhu (self-manifest) idol of Ganesha, which is much venerated and visited by thousands of devotees every year. The Ganesha deified in this temple is popularly known as the Paschim Dwardevta (“Western sentinel god of India”). Ganesh Jayanti is also celebrated at this Konkan coastal temple.
(Source: 02/2013 –

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We like to remember the 39th anniverary of vocalist Ustad Amir Khan (Aug 15, 1912 – Febr 13, 1974)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 13, 2013

Amir Khan (singer)

Amir Khan (singer) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ustad Amir Khan (Hindi: अमीर ख़ान, Urdu: امیر اقبال خان‎, pronounced [əˈmiːr ˈxaːn]; August 15, 1912 – February 13, 1974) was a well-known Indian classical vocalist. He is considered one of the most influential figures in Hindustani classical music, and the founder of the Indore Gharana.

Amir Khan was born in a family of musicians in IndoreIndia. His father, Shahmir Khan, a sarangi andveena player of the Bhendibazaar gharana, served at the court of the Holkars of Indore. His grandfather, Change Khan, was a singer in the court of Bahadurshah Zafar. Amir Ali’s mother died when he was nine years old. He had a younger brother, Bashir, who became a sarangi player at the Indore station of All India Radio.

He was initially trained in the sarangi by his father. However, seeing his interest in vocal music, his father gradually devoted more time to vocal training, focusing on the Merukhand technique. Amir Ali was exposed at an early age to many different styles, since just about every musician who visited Indore would come to their house, and there would be mehfils at their place on a regular basis. Also, he learnt the basics oftabla playing from one of his maternal uncles, who was a tabla player.

Amir Khan moved to Bombay in 1934, and there he gave a few concerts and cut about half a dozen 78-rpm records. These initial performances were not well received. Following his father’s advice, in 1936 he joined the services of Maharaj Chakradhar Singh of Raigadh Sansthan in Madhya Pradesh, but he stayed only about a year. Amir Khan’s father died in 1937. Later, Khansahib lived for some time in Delhi and Calcutta, but after the partition of India he moved back to Bombay.


Amir Khan developed his own singing style, influenced by the styles of Abdul Waheed Khan (vilambit tempo), Rajab Ali Khan (taans) and Aman Ali Khan(merukhand). This unique style, known as the Indore Gharana, blends the spiritual flavor and grandeur of dhrupad with the ornate vividness of khyal. He presented an aesthetically detailed badhat (progression) in ati-vilambit laya (very slow tempo) using bol-alap, followed by gradually speeding up sargamswith various ornamentations, taans and bol-taans, including Merukhandi patterns, and finally a madhyalaya or drut laya (medium or fast tempo) chhota khyal or a ruba’idar tarana. He had a rich baritone voice with a three-octave range. His performances had an understated elegance, reverence, restrained passion and an utter lack of showmanship that both moved and awed listeners. According to Mohan Nadkarni’s book “Great Masters: Profiles in Hindustani Classical Vocal Music”, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan‘s music was extroverted and exuberant, whereas Amir Khan’s was an introverted, dignified ‘darbar’ style. Amir Khansahib believed that poetry was important in khyal compositions, and with his pen name, Sur Rang (“colored in swara“), he has left several compositions.

Amir Khan helped popularize the tarana, as well as khyalnuma compositions in Persian. He often used the taals Jhoomra and Ektaal, and generally preferred a simple theka (basic tabla strokes that define the taal) from the tabla accompanist. As in the case of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Amir Khan’s initial sarangi training was important in establishing him as a great singer. Even though he had been trained in the sarangi, he generally performed khyals and taranas with only a tanpura and tabla for accompaniment. Sometimes he had a subdued harmonium accompaniment, but he almost never used the sarangi.

Characteristics of his style include:

  • slow-tempo raga development
  • improvisation mostly in lower and middle octaves
  • tendency towards serious and expansive ragas
  • emphasis on melody
  • judicious use of pause between improvisations
  • bol alap and sargam using merukhand patterns
  • sparing application of murki
  • use of kan swaras (acciaccatura) in all parts of performance
  • controlled use of embellishments to preserve introspective quality
  • rare use of tihai
  • careful enunciation of text of bandish
  • actual bandish as sung may or may not include antara
  • multiple laya jatis in a single taan
  • mixture of taan types in a single taan
  • use of ruba’idar tarana (considered similar to chhota khyal)

Besides singing in concerts, Amir Khan also sang film songs in ragas, in a purely classical style, most notably for the films Baiju BawraKshudhita PashanShabaab, and Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje. He also sang a ghazal Rahiye Ab Aisi Jagah for a documentary on Ghalib.

Khansahib’s disciples include Amarnath,Pandit Kamal Bandyopadhyay, A. KananShankar MazumdarSrikant BakreSingh BrothersMukund GoswamiGajendra BakshiKankana BanerjeePradyumna Kumud Mukherjee and Poorabi MukherjeeHridaynath MangeshkarAkhtar Sadmani, Amarjeet Kaur, Ajit Singh Paintal, Bhimsen Sharma, Munir Khan, and Kamal Bose. His style has also influenced many other singers and instrumentalists, including Prabha AtreBhimsen JoshiRashid KhanMahendra TokeShanti SharmaRasiklal AndhariaGokulotsavji MaharajNikhil Banerjee and the Imdadkhani gharana. Although he referred to his style as the Indore Gharana, he was a firm believer of absorbing elements from various gharanas.

Amir Khan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1967 and the Padma Bhushan in 1971.

Personal life…

Amir Khan’s first marriage was to Zeenat, sister of the sitar player, Ustad Vilayat Khan. From this marriage, which eventually failed and ended in separation, he had a daughter, Farida. His second marriage was to Munni Bai, who gave birth to a son, Ekram Ahmed. Around 1965, Khansaheb married Raisa Begum, daughter of the thumri singer, Mushtari Begum of Agra. He had expected that Munni Begum would accept the third wife; however, Munni disappeared and it is rumored that she committed suicide. With Raisa he had a son, Haider Amir, later called Shahbaz Khan.

Khansahib died a premature death in a car accident in Calcutta, and was buried at Calcutta’s Gobra cemetery.

Awards and recognitions…

Related links…

(Source: 02/2013 –

Raga Yaman Kalyan…

Raga Rageshree and Raga Malkauns (Tarana)…

Raga Hamsadhwani (Live, 1995 – All India Music Conference, Kolkata)

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