Moonlit Raagas..

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Shruthi Sharma, Mysore

No sooner did the young music artist Abhishek Raghuramara began his Alapana, than  there was spell bound silence and core concentration of audiences, the whole place was in self-struck silence.

This heavenly music, on a breezy, calm night was found in the beautiful premises of Suttur Mutt, around the lake inside the campus. Every full moon day, exciting Carnatic music programs are held in the presence of monastery in Suttur. Situated at the foot of the Chamundi hill, the campus is a beautiful, quiet location. At the time of the 150th  concert, well-known Carnatic singer Abhishek  Raghuram was seated on the stage. He is a well known artist, hailing from a family of stalwarts in various genres of music.


As the evening slowly descended into dusk, starting with some warm-up Keertanas and Varnas, the whole crowd was taken into the world of music. Very next to it, when the singer started the Raaga Hindolam, the audience seemed totally excited and started getting deeper and deeper into that beautiful feel of the Raaga. Alapana was continued. As he was continuously switching one by one among bass-mid-and trebles, the audience became speechless, excited and one could see them nodding the head along with the Taala. The  singer was supported by excellent accompanists  in creating the rightful ambience, so much so that even the Kids who came with their moms were sitting silently, as if mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the  atmosphere and the melody floating around.

Hindolam – The Raga with a Hypnotizing Melody.

Hindolam is a serene, gentle, soulful, enchanting and pleasing meditative raga. This Raaga is said to have been created from Siva’s Taandav (cosmic dance), so it has a vigor and energy about it. This raga is associated with Vasantha Rithu(Spring) which is full of freshness and colors, which brings forth the feelings of well being and boosts your mood. The air smells clean and floral. It can be aptly said that Hindolam conveys the moods of Shringara primarily. The raga creates increased feelings of compassion and reduced anxiety which in turn provides relief to patients of low blood pressure. It is also said that the raga helps in maintaining normal digestive gas and body temperature along with restful sleep and tranquility. This raga also conveys the divine Bhakthi Bhava and is astonishingly refreshing when sung in the mornings.

It is often seen that, whenever Hindolam is taken by musicians in public concerts, they restrict the Alaaps for a few minutes and switch to the song soon.  It is quite hard to handle this raga, which has only five notes (S G2 M1 D1 N2 S) for hours.  When a singer particularly has powered knowledge of notes (Swaras), a soothing voice, creativity and a mind to enjoy the beauty in anything, this raga can come out elegant.  When there is no intention of showing off their music knowledge level and the raga is presented with feeling each note of the raga, it reaches the hearts. It is possible to show each note (Swara) in different angles of its beauty and elegance with different combinations of notes.  However a great effort is needed for the same.


Singer Abhishek Raghuram continued the alaap for around 45 minutes and audience were getting deeper and more into the feel of raga, which never felt like boring them. There was no feeling of repetition of combinations, heads nodding to the twists and turn to the voice kept showing a great interest on the faces. No kid was disturbing moms and no person left the place till the end. At the end of Aalaap, the sound of applauds was all around and continued till a minute.

Music festival organised by Sree Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha Violin music by Sri. Karthik, was handled very carefully which was not less beautiful than the alaap done. The mood of Hindolam soaked the audience with its melody.

The very beautiful song “Govardhana Gireesham smaraami…”  of Muttuswami Deekshitar was started soon after the same and the crowd kept breathing the melody. Minds were asking this moment stay for some more time and to last ever.  When it was over, the whole audience, after the claps, was silent, immersed in the divine  of Raaga Hindolam.

Very next to it, when Shankarabharanam raaga was presented very maturely with all tough and beautiful note combinations and “Sri Chamundeswari Paalayamam.. “ was presented,  feel of Bhakti was in air.

No need to learn the music and its rules to listen and to enjoy the music.  It just needs the ears to listen and a mind to appreciate the beauty and goodness.  Every bang/sound in nature has music within. If one listens to a sound carefully, can hear the Rhythm(Laya) in it. As Dr. Rajkumar sung in the film “Jeevana Chaitra”, “Naadamaya ee lokavella.. “ just means that everything in this universe is musical. Floating water, air, breeze, chirping of birds, crying baby’s noise .. everything has a music integrated within. Every sound has its own Shruti(Pitch) and Laya(Rhythm) and Taala(Beat).  See the pet dog which reacts to the change in voice tone of home maker, baby which sleeps listening a song by mom,  cow which keeps quite if it listens music while milking, calf which stops crying when It hears a melody! As Lord Krishna used to play flute when he was busy with cows 😉 Lot many things are there if we have a deep look.

Parents who send their kids to music and dance classes and insist them to pass the music tests, need to understand that art is not limited to so called examinations and their certificates. By-hearting the “Raaga-lakshana” for those examinations would not help until the creative mind works on the theories they learnt. Children should develop an insight to give a justice to what they learnt.

The melody flowed unconditionally that day dipped in the moonlight, was really amazing and everlasting which was a real gain 🙂


– Shruthi Sharma, Mysore.

5 Responses

  1. A very touching and intimate way of sharing the experience of pure music – Carnatic classical..!
    No sooner the young artist began the ‘Aalap’, the Audience was spell bound – The author has made us to feel – ” Oh…! We have missed it..”

    ‘Hindolam’ could transcend the Audience to get deeper and deeper to the beautiful feel of the Raaga. Don’t you think so?

    No need to learn music. Music only needs ears to listen and a mind ( heart ) to appreciate the beauty and goodness..! Well said.

    Author’s language style ( and the mind too…) matches with the Raaga. Moon lit..aesthetics.

  2. Ghouse says:

    Beautifully written.Every sentence describes about the feel of music. It gives a strong feeling that, one who has written this article has a vast knowledge of music. Very well explained Shruti. Keep it up.

  3. Shruthi Sharma says:

    Thanks for your inspiring comment Ghouse! 🙂

  4. Shilad says:

    Awesome lines shruthi, your explanation about the event is too good. It motivates the readers to attend such musical nights. Doing good job. Keep it up.

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