Film Songs Based on Classical Ragas (10) – Bihag and its family

January 19, 2017

Guest article by Subodh Agrawal

(Subodh makes an appearance as a guest author after about two years, of which I am responsible for a few months in scheduling his article. He makes up for it by presenting a selection of film songs and classical pieces which best represent Bihag and its variants.  As he explains, Bihag is the raga of love in its myriad forms: Happy, sad, expectant, despondent etc. His writing is as usual sure, fluent and crisp, and demystifies the raga for the lay listeners. Thank you, Subodh for another excellent article in your series, hoping, as you are assuring us, that we would now be getting offerings from you regularly. – AK) 

Bihag_Tere sur aur mere geetLet me begin with a few words of apology and explanation. The last article in this series appeared about two years back. Readers of SoY and AK have often egged me to get back into action, but I have not been able to respond. Most of last year was lost to my habitual laziness. I thought of starting again with the New Year but then a series of problems with my internet connection alternating with problems with my own health took care of most of this year. Fortunately, I have recovered fully now and the internet also seems to be in a good mood for the past couple of weeks, so here is my much belated post in this series.

Love has many moods. There is the uncertainty in the beginning, when one is wondering ‘Itna to bataa de koi mujhe, kya pyar isi ko kehte hain’. Then comes the stage of ‘Mera hamdam mil gaya.’ Heartbreaks happen more often than one would wish – ‘Toote hue khwabon ne, hamko ye sikhaya hai’. There is joy – ‘Phaili hui hain sapnon ki bahen’, often giving way to dhamaal – ‘Chahe koi mujhe jangli kahe,’ and separation with hope of reunion – ‘Naa, jiya laage naa.’ For the lucky ones, a stage comes when the couple has passed through all the ups and downs and found tranquility with each other, when all is well with the world. Bihag is the one raga that captures this mood the best.

I present a few songs in Bihag, along with related ragas Maru Bihag, Nat Bihag and Nand.

1. Tere sur aur mere geet by Lata Mangeshkar from Goonj Uthi Shehnaai (1959), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music Vasant Desai

This is the iconic song of Bihag, therefore, I have departed from the chronological sequence for it. The shehnai is played by none other than the great Ustad Bismillah Khan. The mood is established the moment Lata begins her initial alaap.

2. Lat uljhi suljha ja balam by Jyoti from Pooja (1940), lyrics Khan Shatir Ghazanavi, music Anil Biswas

Persistence pays. I had heard this song from a colleague, Mr A C Mehra who was Chief Engineer in the Punjab State Electricity Board, in the early eighties when I worked as the Secretary of the Board. Mr Mehra sang this song with relish on several occasions during get-togethers of the Board’s officers. The lyrics and tune stayed with me. Once the Internet started I searched for this song – without success. The first draft of this article sent to AK had a tailpiece with my own rendering of the song with an appeal to SoY readers for help in identifying the original. I visited my YouTube page to see if anyone had commented on the video, when the related videos led me to this one!

(As the SoY readers would be aware from the series on Anil Biswas, Jyoti was the sister of Waheedan Bai (who was the mother of Nimmi), another favourite vintage singer of Anil Biswas. Jyoti was married to GM Durrani. – AK)

3. Ae dil-e-beqaraar by K L Saigal from Shahjahan (1946), lyrics Khumar Barabanqvi, music Naushad

The inimitable Saigal gives us an excellent example of Bihag from this film. We have seen a lot of Nuashad on SoY recently; this is another gem from him. The mood is a little somber, yet the raga fits in beautifully.

4. Ban ke chakori gori jhoom jhoom naacho ri by Mukesh from Ham Matwale Naujawan (1961), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Chitragupta

Chitragupta uses Bihag to present a joyous and playful song in Mukesh’s voice. I think by now the structure of the raga would be apparent – you need to hear what is common between ‘…aur mere geet’, ‘…beqaraar kyun’ and ‘…naacho ri’. This is the pakad or signature phrase of Bihag.

5. Koi gaata main so jata by Jesudas from Alaap (1973), lyrics Harivansh Rai Bachchan, music by Jaidev

One more great song from Jaidev, after AK’s excellent post on him. This was one of the favourite loris of my children, ‘Surmayee ankhiyon mein’ from Sadma being the other.

6. Kaise sukh soyein by Ronkini Gupta from Aankhon Dekhi (2013), music Sagar Desai

I am including a recent song because it is a regular classical number from a film that excelled in classical based songs. The film itself was something special, though it may not work for everybody. According to his website the composer Sagar Desai was born in Chicago but moved to India, working with people like Pritam, Sandesh Shandilya, Vishal-Shekhar, Sivamani and others.

7. Tum to pyar ho by Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar from Sehra (1963), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music Ramlal

We now shift to Maru Bihag – a more popular variant of Bihag. This song from Sehra is as iconic for Maru Bihag as ‘Tere sur…’ is for Bihag. Maru Bihag was, at one stage in the seventies, a very popular concert raga – particularly among lady singers.

8. Matwali naar thumak thumak chali jaaye by Mukesh from Ek Phool Chaar Kaante (1960), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar-Jaikishen

Unlike Manna Dey, Rafi and Lata, Mukesh was not known for his classical singing. He, however, does a creditable job in this song set in Maru Bihag. I remember seeing the film as a student. Waheeda Rehman has been brought up by four uncles, each one of whom has a passion: Religion, theatre, physical fitness, and Rock Music. Sunil Dutt as the suitor has to satisfy each one of them. This is what he does for the theatre chacha.

9. Payal wali dekhna by Kishore Kumar from Ek Raaz (1963), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Chitragupta

I have not seen the film but a post by MemsaabStory tells us that the Kishore Kumar we see in the video is Kishore Kumar Varma, someone untrained in music, who has been mistaken for a professional singer Kishore Kumar Sharma – a fitting setting for a singer with no pretensions of classical singing; but with enormous natural talent to convincingly ‘win’ a singing contest against Manna Dey in Padosan! Kishore handles the movement of Maru Bihag very well.

10. Jhan jhan jhan jhan payal baaje by Lata Mangeshkar from Buzdil (1951), lyrics Shailendra, music by S D Burman

This song is in Nat Bihag, another variant of Bihag that was made popular by a bandish with the same mukhda as the film song. S D Burman’s non-film version of this song has earlier figured on SoY. The later parts of the song bring in other ragas.

11. Tu jahan jahan chalega, mera saya saath hoga by Lata Mangeshkar from Mera Saaya (1966), lyrics Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, music Madan Mohan

Raj Khosla made three spooky/mystery movies with Sadhna in double role. If we remember Woh Kaun Thi and Mera Saya a lot better than Anita, the primary reason would be Madan Mohan’s music. This song is set to raga Nand, also known as Anandi and Nand Kalyan. To my knowledge, this is the only song in this raga. Madan Mohan has so thoroughly exhausted the range of this raga that he left no room for anyone else to try anything.

Purists may scoff at the inclusion of Nand in this list, saying that it is not related to Bihag but to Kalyan. However, to my ears it sounds closer to Bihag. Readers may decide for themselves.

We now enter the classical territory. YouTube presents a very large choice in Bihag. I have tried to pick pieces that are not very long and give the listener a feel for the raga in a short time. This one by Amjad Ali Khan serves the purpose admirably. The middle tempo composition easily recalls ‘Ban ke chakori gori jhoom jhoom nacho ri’:

This one by Ustad Rashid Khan is equally effective in presenting the raga in a short time:

Pandit Jasraj delights in a slightly longer piece full of energy:

Now to Maru-Bihag. As I mentioned, it was a very popular raga with lady singers in the seventies. I have a distinct recollection of this piece by Dr. Prabha Atre from my student days:

Ustad Rashid Khan again. Those who want to get a feel for the similarities and differences between Bihag and Maru-Bihag would do well to listen to the two pieces by him in this list:

For Nat Bihag one can’t beat this short piece by Ustad Faiyyaz Khan Saheb:

Rajan and Sajan Mishra present raga Nand in their signature style:

That’s all friends. My apologies again for the inexcusable delay. I hope to be more regular henceforth – internet and health permitting.

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Naresh P. Mankad January 19, 2017 at 4:14 am

No mention of Lata’s gems, Tere pyar men dildar (Mere Mehboob) and Sakhi ri pi ka naam na poochho (Sati Sabiti)?

2 Subodh Agrawal January 19, 2017 at 12:45 pm

Dear Mr Mankad. Thanks for pointing out the songs. Not only these, many other good songs had to be left out to limit the list to a manageable size.

3 D P Rangan January 19, 2017 at 3:12 pm


A wonderful presentation of this raga and its allies. Fully enjoyed all the songs. I am happy you fulfilled my longing to read a blog on a raga. I love classic music to a great extent , both carnatic and hindustani as a lay individual without too much depth. Fortunately both my sons have learnt classic music very well as I wanted them. I have heard all the film songs many times in the past.

In carnatic music this raag is very well adopted and we have all sorts of songs, light one, serious one with bare raag followed by song narration and then alaps in rapid style. This raag is also well suited for being sung as raag, than and pallavi popularly called RTP.
Let this be not a lone attempt. I expect you to cover more major hindustani raags in future on a regular basis.

4 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Welcome back, Subodhji! Loved the penultimate para before the songs :). Will savour the fare that you have posted, over the weekend. In the meanwhile, here is a not-so-frequently heard song in Bihag, tuned by Kanu Roy and sung by Sulakshana Pandit and Bhupinder. It is from ‘Grihapravesh’

5 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Now for a popular Marathi natyapad in Bihag from the sangeet natak ‘Swayamvar’ sung by the inimitable Kumar Gandharv:

6 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 19, 2017 at 6:11 pm

‘Ab aage teri marzi’ in Lata’s dulcet voice of the 50s, from Devdas (MD=Burmanda):

The song is based largely on Maru Bihag

7 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 19, 2017 at 6:16 pm

‘Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain’ sung by Kishoreda and tuned by RD from ‘Aapki Kasam’ is based on Bihag:

8 ksbhatia January 19, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Subhod ji ;

Whenever mind wants to get free of the stress ; classical raga based songs comes to the fore . And that is what your blog is doing just now .

Though I am not hard fact finder of the particular rags that the songs carry the tag , but i do enjoy listening to them for peace , tranquility and enjoyment . The arm of the easy chair becomes handy to go along with the beats and rhythm of the song ….and head swaying to the aalaps .

I am curious to know if I am correct or close to the target for following songs fitting the Bihag raag .

1. Ja re badra beri ja….Lata….Bahaana…..MM

2.Jiya le gayo ji mora sawariya….Lata….Anpadh…..MM

3.Jane kaise sapnoan mein kho gayi….Lata….Anuradha…Ravi Shankar

4. Jhanan jha jhana ke apni payal….Lata …Aashiq…SJ

5.Gajra banake le aa…..Habib Wali Mohd….Private[Pak]

9 Subodh Agrawal January 20, 2017 at 1:43 am

Dear Mr Rangan. Thank you for your appreciation. Looking forward to songs from the Carnatic repertoire based on Bihag.

10 Subodh Agrawal January 20, 2017 at 1:44 am

Dear Mr Bhandarkar. Thanks for the appreciation and the links. These are all very good songs. You have enriched this post with your comment. Looking forward to more from you.

11 Subodh Agrawal January 20, 2017 at 1:46 am

Dear Mr Bhandarkar. The Kumar Gandharva song is amazingly good. Thanks.

12 Subodh Agrawal January 20, 2017 at 1:51 am

Dear Mr Bhatia. All these songs are excellent. However they are in different ragas. ‘Ja re badra bairi’ and ‘Jiya le gayo re’ are Yaman. ‘Jane kaise sapnon mein’ is Tilak Kamod. ‘Jhanan jhan jhana’ is a mix of many ragas including Bihag, but the predominant one is Shankara. It was discussed at length in an earlier post and it was Latha who pointed out Shankara. ‘Gajra bana ke le aa’ is also Yaman.

Yaman, Bihag and Shankara have many similarities. It shows that you have a keen ear for the soul of the raga.

13 D P Rangan January 20, 2017 at 2:28 am

Behag is a very popular raag in Carnatic Concerts. Generally light songs are sung after the main part of the programme is over. Here are two pieces from the raga rendered by two young stalwarts of the day.

14 D P Rangan January 20, 2017 at 2:32 am

I am giving below a clip explaining the raag with details. Subhodji please compare with Hindustani version and give your comments.

15 D P Rangan January 20, 2017 at 2:38 am

Late Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, a violin mastereo has composed many thillanas in various ragas and they are being extensively sung by current artists as a light piece just before the conclusion of a concert. Here is a piece from Behag composed and rendered by him. The entire collection is available as a CD and worth possessing.

16 Naresh P. Mankad January 20, 2017 at 9:42 am

Listening to the alaap of “Matwali naar thumak thumak chalijay” will invariably jolt you to recognize Maru Bihag suggesting shade of Yaman (Kalyan) which is due to use of teevra madhyam. There is a video of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia explaining the difference between Bihag and Maru Bihag mainly in avaroh. I hope a clear note is posted to throw light on how Maru Bihag and Nat Bihag are different from Bihag. I too feel Nand is more distant to Bihag but I am not qualified to judge.

17 SSW January 20, 2017 at 10:50 am

Thank you for this article Subodh. This song by Saigal is in Bihag and I quite like it.

There are people who believe that the Carnatic Behag is closer to Bihagda than the current version of the Hindustani Behag. I really like this rendition by Mogubai Kurdikar. It is wonderful

My favourite song in Umrao Jaan song to me flirts with both Bihag and Yaman Kalyan the prelude on the sarangi seems to initially move it into the Yaman Kalyan camp

What do you think of this song to me it too teeters across Yaman Kalyan and Bihag..

it was lifted from as one of the comments says from

which is in Kalyani (yaman) notice how Illayaraja tries to provide the Bombay/Maharashtrian ethos with the Marathi Bhavgeeti type movements.

18 SSW January 20, 2017 at 10:58 am

There is this song from a Malayalam film Deshadanam that I like a lot which is Bihag based

19 N Venkataraman January 20, 2017 at 11:20 am

Dear Subodhji,
Nice to find you back as guest writer. The current post on Behag and its allied ragas is a delightful addition to this series. As you have rightly set Raag Bihag captures the mood of tranquility the best. It seems even your Internet connection too has relented to this mood.
The selection of 11 HFS, 6 in Bihag, 3 in Maru Bihag and one each in Nat Bihag and Nand were wonderful. Without doubt the three songs, Tere sur aur mere geet, Tum to pyar ho and Tu jahan jahan chalega are ideal representations of the respective Raags Bihag, Maru Bihag and Nand. The song Tu jahan jahan chalega is one of my favourites.
The song Tere sur aur mere geet became so popular that Ustad Bismillah Khan made this particular song and two other compositions from this film part of his concert. To listen to the composition played by Ustad Bismillah Khan please press on the play button (>) the audio clip below.
There used to be two 15 minutes programmes in the Vividh Bharatti . The one in the evening at 6:45 was most probably Swar Sudha. I am unable to recollect the name of the morning programme (7:30). The programme started with an introduction of a particular Raag, its Aarohan and Avarohan, the That, the pakad etc. by a well-known musician. Then they used play a HFS based on the Raag followed by a short Classical Vocal and instrumental presentation. I became familiar with the Raags mentioned and few other Raags after listening to these programmes.
The two vintage Bihag numbers by Jyoti and Saigal, and set to music by the two maestros, Anil Biswas and Naushal were good. Chitragupt got the best out of Mukesh, and Jesudas, trained under Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar in Carnatic music, did full justice to Jaidev’s wonderful composition. Thanks for introducing the Bihag Bandish (Niyamat Khan Sadarang’s composition) from the film Aankhon Dekhi (2013). The film, the singer and the MD were all new to me. Kaise Sukh Soyein sounds like a recording from some live concert. The Maru Bihag numbers by Mukesh and Kishore Kumar were too good. Hats off to the singers and the MDs.
Enjoyed listening to the songs. Thank a lot.
Glad to note that you have fully recovered from your health problems.
I will come back after listening to all the classical numbers posted by you.

20 SSW January 20, 2017 at 11:33 am

Mr.Venkataraman the other program at 7:30 am was Sangeet Sarita.

21 Subodh Agrawal January 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Thank you Mr Rangan for the Carnatic clips. The Carnatic version sounds very similar to the Hindustani one. All the three clips are full of energy and would have instant appeal to anyone who has heard only the Hindustani version of Bihag.

As for the structure of the raga it would be worthwhile to listen to this audio clip from Pt Ramashreya Jha Ramrang, taken from the site for those who don’t have a problem with shudh Hindi:

In brief the traditional Bihag of the north Indian variety skips re and dha in ascent and begins the ascent from ni rather than sa. Re and dha are merely touched in descent, but this small touch is essential to the mood of the raga. In current use tivra ma has is being quite often.

22 Subodh Agrawal January 20, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Mr Mankad, I distinguish Maru Bihag from Bihag by the use of two movements: one is the phrase ending in ‘pa’, as in ‘…pyar ho’ of ‘tum to pyar ho’. The other is the descent ‘ma ga re sa’ with a bit of ‘gamak’ on each of the four notes. I can’t distinguish Nat Bihag and Bihag with much confidence though.

23 D P Rangan January 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Hansji Thanks for echoing my comments. I still wonder that this much of detail could be gathered on this singer cum music composer. It shows the reach of internet.

I give below links to a few songs which to me looks like based on Behag. I am making this statement with tongue in cheek considering my ignorance of finer nuances of Hindustani classical ragas.

A song from Uran Khatola (1955) by Lata Mangeshkar. This film needs no further explanation here.

A Mohammad Rafi beauty from Kal Hamara Hai (1959),
A song by Jagmohan composed by the great Kamal Dasgupta of Toofan Mail fame and lyrics by Faiyaz Hashmi

24 Subodh Agrawal January 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm

SSW, thanks for the comments and the links. There is very little gap between Yaman and Bihag, and I find it amazing that composers have found so much room to play in that limited space. I fully agree with you on the interpretation of the songs.

Navamukundahare is a beautiful song. The opening alaap is classic Bihag but the song has strong shades of Kalyan in the opening lines. NaVaMu sounds to me as NiReGa of Yaman and then it goes into the familiar PaMaGaMaGa of Bihag.

25 Subodh Agrawal January 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Thanks Mr Venkataraman for your beautiful comments, and the clip from Ustad Bismillah Khan. I should have included his Bihag in the classical pieces. You have rectified this omission.

I will wait for your reaction to the classical pieces.

26 Subodh Agrawal January 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Thank you Mr Rangan for the additional clips. The Jagmohan song is an old favourite of mine. Thanks for reviving this beautiful memory.

27 ASHOK M VAISHNAV January 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Thanks having presented the Raag in so his now so well known fluent and easy-to-appreciate manner.
Thanks(square) for coming back in spite of all your “constraints” and ,
thanks(cube) to all our fellow SoY discussion participants for further enriching already fabulously rich offerings of Subodhji.

28 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 20, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Can’t believe that this Bihag-based gem did not come to my mind until a few minutes ago:

‘Beeti na bitaayi raina’ (Lata-Bhupinder/RD) from ‘Parichay’

29 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 20, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Here is a lovely studio recording of the late Veena Sahasrabuddhe singing Bihag:

The first composition is by the 17th-18th century composer Niyamat Khan, better known by his mudra, Sadarang, which figures in the antara. The second composition is a creation of the late C.R.Vyas – his mudra, Gunijaan, can be heard in the antara. The concluding piece is a brilliant tarana composed by one of the artiste’s gurus, the late Balwantrai Bhatt (Bhaavrang) in the 14-matra Aadachautaal.

30 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 20, 2017 at 6:56 pm

Many Maru Bihag compositions including the film song cited above ‘Tum to pyaar ho’ as well as khayal bandishes such as ‘Rasiya ho na’ and ‘Tadpat raina dina’ use the same template for the mukhda. Here is one more that can be added to the list:

‘Tujha saathi shankara’ by Lata (MD-Snehal Bhatkar) from the Marathi film ‘Chimukla Pahuna’:

31 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 20, 2017 at 7:37 pm

The late Jitendra Abhisheki played a major role in the revival of the Marathi sangeet naatak in the 60s and the 70s by composing some outstanding music for several plays. Once such was ‘Katyaar kaalzaat ghusli’. The late Vasantrao Deshpande played the role of Khansaheb, a conceited ustaad, in the musical and sang ‘Yaa bhavanaatila geeta’, a song based on Pat Bihag, a variant of Bihag:

In modern times, Rahul Deshpande, Vasantrao’s grandson, has been making efforts to revive the sangeet naatak genre. This was the only video that I could find of Rahul’s reprisal of the role his grandfather had played all those years ago – ‘yaa bhavanaatila’ figures at the very end of the clip.

In 2015, the musical was made into a movie starring Sachin Pilgaonkar in the role of Khansaheb and Shankar Mahadevan as Shastri, Khansaheb’s bête noire. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy were the MDs and there were some new songs but most of the original songs were retained with Rahul singing a few. For whatever reason, ‘Ya bhavanaatila’ was not included.

Here is a recording of a live performance of Pt.Ratnakar Pai singing ‘Dhana dhana mangala gaao’, the bandish in Pat Bihag which was the inspiration for the tune of the natyageet under discussion.

32 Subodh Agrawal January 21, 2017 at 2:02 am

Thank you Mr Vaishnav.

33 SSW January 21, 2017 at 2:09 am

What do you think about this song, Subodh, to me it has touches of Bihag? It is such a lovely composition, I never tire of hearing it the arrangement is so lovely. One of the first Madan Mohan compositions to have almost a chordal prelude, the flute and the strings playing different lines and then a lovely clarinet portion and they all meld together but even there the clarinet plays a different melodic line before Lata comes in and of course she is magic. In the first prelude I think the reed instrument is an oboe it could even be a duduk. The ghatam providing the rhythm instead of the more usual tabla is an interesting aberration.

34 Subodh Agrawal January 21, 2017 at 2:12 am

Dear Mr Bhandarkar, I must have done something very right to elicit so many learned comments and links from you. Thank you.

Tujha sathi shankara is beautiful. The mukhda is standard Maru Bihag but the Antaras seem to depart from it. I heard snatches of Yaman in places.

Katyar Kalejat Ghusli is a milestone film. I have bought the DVD but haven’t had the time to watch it. Your reference gives me the incentive to find a slot for it.

35 Subodh Agrawal January 21, 2017 at 2:17 am

SSW, thanks for ‘Mere piya se koi’ – a song I had not heard before. It is beautiful, although Bihag is not very prominent in it. Thanks also for your analysis of the instrumentals. ‘Duduk’ is a discovery for me!

36 SSW January 21, 2017 at 2:24 am

This is a lovely RD composition and though by this time Lata’s voice was begining to show some wear and tear she made a complex melody sparkle.

37 Subodh Agrawal January 21, 2017 at 5:46 am

SSW: Indeed it is a lovely composition.

38 D P Rangan January 21, 2017 at 8:32 am


A similar song from the film Ex Raaz (1963) by Kishore Kumar, Majrooh/Chitragupta combination

39 SSW January 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm

One last post, this is a light classical Bihag Carnatic style by Swathi Thirunal with a modern backing by Sreevalsan Menon.

40 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 21, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Two gems from the Malka-e-Ghazal Begum Akhtar herself:

1. ‘Kahun kaase sharm ki yeh baat’, a dadra in Bihag

2. ‘Yeh na thi hamaari kismat’. Ghalib’s ghazal with the tune based on Maru Bihag

41 Shalan Lal January 22, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Shriman Subodhji
A post full of wonders and mesmerising illustrations of songs and information and the commentators crowding in enthusiastically with songs and comments, bless you all!
I hope the post will encourage Mr Rangan to do a post in Canataki music as well.
Salute to all the experts in the Ragadari and filmdari music.
I shall be reading this post again and again as it will become richer with the comments.
Shalan La

42 Subodh Agrawal January 22, 2017 at 1:44 pm

SSW, Ilamariman is beautifully rendered in a simple unhurried style that ideally suits Bihag. Thanks.

43 Subodh Agrawal January 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Dear Mr Bhandarkar, thanks in particular for ‘Yeh na thi hamari kismat’ in Begum Akhtar’s voice. I had not heard it before.

44 Subodh Agrawal January 22, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Welcome Ms Shalan Lal. Thanks for your comment.

45 Anu Warrier January 23, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Coming late to this post; quite enjoyed the songs, Subodh, even if I don’t understand the classical nuances, or wouldn’t recognise a raaga if it came and hit me on the head. 🙂

46 Subodh Agrawal January 24, 2017 at 1:48 am

Welcome Anu. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

47 Soumya Banerji January 25, 2017 at 1:29 am

Subodhji, We missed you on SOY and what a way to resume! Raga Behag and it’s allies are quite dear to me with their sweetness with a touch of despondency. The roundup of songs posted by you and others is quite impressive. It was a pleasure to hear Saigal’s song – I had quite forgotten about it. The song in Aankhon Dekhi by Ronkini Gupta is a gem.

48 Subodh Agrawal January 25, 2017 at 6:17 am

Thank you Soumya.

49 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 28, 2017 at 1:08 pm

It struck me a couple of days back that ‘Khandana bhavabandhana’, the aarti on Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, composed by Swami Vivekananda in the dhrupad format, and sung daily to this day at all branches of the Ramakrishna Math, is based on Raga Maru Bihag.

If one were to get very technical, since the tune eschews the S M G phrase involving the shuddha madhyam, which is almost a signature phrase of Maru Bihag, it should be said that the tune is in Marga Bihag, a raga which is said to have been composed by the musician-musicologist, S.N.Ratanjankar. The same can be said of Prabha Atre’s interpretation of Maru Bihag, posted by Sudbodhji above, as well.

Here is a Alurkar Music House recording (in 3 parts) of Malini Rajurkar’s rendition of Marga Bihag (bada khayal) and Maru Bihag (chota khayal). To my knowledge, both compositions are by Pt.Ratanjankar. The usage of the shuddha madhyam in the line ”thaadi tribhangi ananga si moorat’ of the sthaayi, and in the last line ‘rasika man moha badhaavata’ of the chota khayal bandish establish that the bandish is in Maru Bihag. That said, the artiste has eschewed the usage of shuddha madhyam in the improvisational passages.

50 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 28, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Back in the 70s and 80s, it seemed like there were only 2 recordings to choose from when it came to khayal performances of Raga Nand – one by Padmavati Shaligram-Gokhale and the other by Kumar Gandharva. And what renditions these were!! Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the former on YouTube but it is amply compensated by a clip from her virtuoso concert performance of the same raga at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy when she was in her 86th year 🙂

The full performance can be accessed at

And here is Pt.Kumar Gandharva rendering Nand as only he can! The bandish is his own and listening to this piece, one cannot help but feel a sense of wonder at the perfect fit of the lyrical content to the musical content and vice versa….and this is something I feel every time I listen to renditions of his own compositions by Kumarji.

51 SSW January 29, 2017 at 12:34 am

Ashwin, the Malini Rajurkar renderings are wonderful pieces and familiar but I had not heard the Kumar Gandharva Nand before. It is absolutely gorgeous.

52 AK January 29, 2017 at 1:50 am

I thought Nand was a favourite of Jaipur-Atarauli gharana, and this one by Pt Mallikarjun Mansoor was highly acclaimed:

53 Subodh Agrawal January 29, 2017 at 2:09 am

Dear Mr Bhandarkar @49: Thanks once again for the wonderful links and your learned analysis. Marga Bihag is new to me. The voice quality in Malini Rajurkar’s pieces is phenomenal and gives the rendering a depth that Maru Bihag normally lacks.

54 Subodh Agrawal January 29, 2017 at 2:17 am

Mr Bhandarkar @50: Both the recordings are excellent. Padmavati’s Shaligram’s energy and voice control is amazing at that age. Kumar Gandharva always had this ability to raise a musical performance to divine level – which is what he does in this piece. I always that Nand was a raga with a very tight structure leaving little scope for improvisation and all performances tended to sound alike. Kumar proves me wrong.

My introduction to Nand was through Sharafat Hussain Khan of Agra Gharana. For a long time that was the only recording I knew of. Agra gharana – famous for Aftab-e Mausiqi Faiyaz Khan Saheb – excels in power singing with rich grainy voices of its male singers, as is evident in this recording:

55 Subodh Agrawal January 29, 2017 at 2:21 am

AK, thanks for the Mallikarjun Mansur link. Mallikarjun is to singing what Bismillah Khan is to instruments – they both keep things very simple and elevate the rendering by their soulful immersion into the raga.

56 Subodh Agrawal January 29, 2017 at 2:27 am

Maand at the end (57 minutes) of Sharafat Hussain Khan piece, linked in comment #54, is a bonus and a curtain raiser for my next article which will appear as and when AK has a free slot.

57 Subodh Agrawal January 29, 2017 at 2:36 am

I have not covered two variants of Bihag: Bihagda and Pat Bihag. I can’t do better than to provide this link from

Listening to Bihagda and reading the analysis of Rajan Parrikar gives me the comfort that I was not wrong in covering Nand in this article. Bihagda seems to be the bridge between Bihag and Nand. Nand sounds a lot like Yaman in the use of dha ni re sa, while Bihag shows in phrases involving ga ma and pa.

58 Ashwin Bhandarkar January 29, 2017 at 2:51 am

SSW @ 51 : Am glad you liked the Kumar Gandharva Nand. Another piece of his in similar vein is ‘Mukha tero kaaro’ in Yaman Kalyan, available at

AK @ 52 : You are right. In fact, Padmavati Shaligram was from the same gharana, having learnt from her father, who was a shagird of Ustad Alladiya Khan, the khalifa of the gharana.

Subodhji @ 53 & 54 : I knew you would like the Malini Rajurkar piece 🙂 and I can’t agree more with you wrt your comments on Nand. Thanks for sharing the recording of Sharafat Hussain Khan – am listening to it as I type. It is sad that this gifted musician passed away at a relatively young age.

59 Subodh Agrawal January 30, 2017 at 3:10 pm

This non-film song of Mukesh ‘Do zulmi naina ham pe zulm karen’ presents a very gentle and soothing interpretation of Maru Bihag:

60 mumbaikar8 February 5, 2017 at 2:38 am

Subodh Agrawal
I should begin with an apology too…… for my late response.
I cannot understand ABC of ragas but that does not stop me from enjoying my music.
Enjoyed all the filmy as well as classical examples of Bihag.

61 Subodh Agrawal February 5, 2017 at 3:56 am

Welcome mumbaikar8. Thanks for your comments.

62 Sriram February 10, 2017 at 3:33 am

This is a fantastic article Subodhji,
Thank you for your analysis
Music directors of yesteryears have taken classical music to a different level.
For lovers of classical music, here is a great site

63 C.P.Rajagopalan February 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm

I am jealous of all people who have knowledge of Indian classical music. They are privileged because of their intimate understanding of ragas, whereas people like me have to rely on their ‘ear for music’. Unfortunately, when we were growing up music was associated with films and most parents considered filmdom as taboo territory. A real pity. People like me who had an inclination towards music, especially singing, had to give up the passion and settle for a regular job and career.

64 C.P.Rajagopalan February 14, 2017 at 6:15 pm

We have to appreciate MDs such as SJ, LP and KA who managed to get the best out of Mukesh, though he was not considered the best singer. Mukesh himself agreed he was sometimes besura’. Yet, some gems he has given us are priceless! We can’t imagine these songs in any other’s voice. The ‘ million dollar voice’ had its own attraction!

65 Subodh Agrawal February 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Thank you Mr Rajagopalan. As a Mukesh fan myself I fully endorse what you say.

66 Subodh Agrawal February 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Thank you Sriram. I consult regularly. Another great site is

67 Ashwin Bhandarkar March 4, 2017 at 5:29 pm

I caught myself singing this non-filmi song, which has a lot of Bihag in it, earlier today. No idea why it suddenly surfaced from the recesses of my memory but here it is for the enjoyment of SoY readers:

‘Pal bhar ki pehchaan aap se’ by Manna Dey (MD – Manna Dey, Lyrics – Madhukar Rajasthani)

68 Ashwin Bhandarkar March 4, 2017 at 5:33 pm
69 Subodh Agrawal March 5, 2017 at 5:10 am

Thank you Ashwing Bhandarkar for this beautiful song. I had heard it but didn’t remember it.

70 Ashwin Bhandarkar July 10, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Heard this lovely Maru Bihag-based natyapad, written by Shanta Shelke, set to tune by Jitendra Abhisheki and sung by Bakul Pandit, on the radio this evening:

71 latha August 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm

Hi to all.
After a very long time I stumbled upon this portal & found interesting info from everybody.
I have my own favorites in Bihag. A song Lataji sung for Naushad both in Hindi & Tamil which I’d like to share with you all.

Next is another one I love. This is more on the side of Maru Bihag:

Happy listening. Hope you all like it.

72 Subodh Agrawal August 13, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Welcome back Latha, and thanks for the links.

73 Ashwin Bhandarkar October 21, 2017 at 12:02 am

A serendipitous find that I made moments ago: a clip of Suresh Babu Mane, Abdul Karim Khan’s first-born, singing and acting in ‘Chandrasena’:

The tune of the song is almost an exact replica of the Nand drut cheez ‘Aajahun na aaye’.

74 Subodh Agrawal October 21, 2017 at 7:28 am

Thanks Ashwin for locating this wonderful song – notable for its musical quality, as well as historical importance.

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