Tansen was one of the nine Ratna’s of great Moghul King Akbar. He was a great musician and so powerful was his mastery over the classical music that he is said to have created fire by singing the Raag Deepak. Heat generated was so intense that his body was filled with heat and burning and he was in great pain. He tried so many cures but whatsoever he would do, there was no respite from this burning and suffering. Akbar distressed, suggested that, the maestro go back to his home at Gwalior for sometime and recuperate there. He went to his home but his suffering was unabated. He embarked on a journey in search of the cure. Roaming the country, he reached Vadnagar in Gujarat.
In the Vadnagar, lived two Brahmin “Nagar” sisters who were great singers and did everything singing and making music. You can say that music was their way of life. Like “Gurudev” Rabinderanath, about whom it is said that poetry flowed in every deed he did. Tansen happened to saw them coming to fill pitchers with water from a village tank. After they filled the pitchers and started towards their home, he confronted them and told about his ailment and requested them to cure him. Since due to the restrictions of the customs, the girls did not sing in front of anyone. But they took mercy on Tansen and agreed but under the condition that he will not divulge this to anybody.
He promised and they sang raag “Malhaar” which is related to the rains. There were cool showers of water raining on and only on the body of Tansen from nowhere and all his heat was soaked by the showers and taken away from his body and curing him. Tansen went back to Akbar’s court. Akbar was surprised and very happy. Naturally, his curiosity was aroused and he demanded about how (Tansen) got cured. Though Tansen remembered his promise to girls, but who can face the wrath of emperor. He told the emperor the whole story. Akbar wanted that he should go and bring the girls to court. Girls refused as they said due to custom they could sing only in front of Devi temple. But they feared retribution in case of refusal, they ended their life by drowning in a well. When the news reached Akbar the Great he was greatly distressed and ordered Tansen to compose a Raaga in girls’ honour. Tansen created the Raaga called “Tana Riri” after their name.
A movie bearing the name Tanariri in Gujarati was made in 1975. It starred Sohrab Modi, Kanan Kaushal, Bindu, Naresh Kumar, Arvind Pandya, Urmila Bhatt, Rajiv. The songs were sung by Mahendra Kapoor, Asha Bhonsle, Manna Dey, Usha Mangeshkar, Sulochna Vyas, Kamal Barot, Manhar, Hansa Dave, Maheshkumar, Laxmiprasad & Govindprasad . Lyrics were written by Kanti-Ashok and music was provided by Mahesh-Naresh.
Ever since I came back here from Assam and joined the older place of posting, I seem to have lost my bearing and confidence seems to have been left behind. Colleagues, here look at me with indifference. Some of them seem to be unconfortable with my arrival, others simply ignore.
It is just three months since I came here but it seems to be an eternity. However hard I am working but our head seems not satisfied. Rather he seems to be apprehensive towards me. It has become plainly clear that there is no use trying to argue with him. So I try to avoid him as much as I can.
Previously, when I was working here, I seldom moved out from my room and almost felt no desire to go to other people but now I try to go to some old aquanitances who seem to be ever busier than before. So, disenchanted I come back. Sit forlorn and have no one’s shoulder to lean on to. I am totally down in dumps.
In the beautiful novel “Far Away and Long Ago” , W. H. Hudson wrote a passage about his parents attitude towards them when they were little children. It is profound thought expressed in so simple words. I quote the exact text as follows.
“When I think of her I remember with gratitude that our parents seldom or never punished us, and never, unless we went too far in our domestic dissensions or tricks, even chided us. This, I am convinced, is the right attitude for parents to observe, modestly to admit that nature is wiser than they are, and to let their little ones follow, as far as possible, the bent of their own minds, or whatever it is they have in place of minds. It is the attitude of the sensible hen towards her ducklings, when she has had frequent experience of their incongruous ways, and is satisfied that they know best what is good for them; though, of course, their ways seem peculiar to her, and she can never entirely sympathize with their fancy for going into water. I need not be told that the hen is after all only step-mother to her ducklings, since I am contending that the civilized woman–the artificial product of our self-imposed conditions–cannot have the same relation to her offspring as the uncivilized woman really has to hers. The comparison, therefore, holds good, the mother with us being practically step-mother to children of another race; and if she is sensible, and amenable to nature’s teaching, she will attribute their seemingly unsuitable ways and appetites to the right cause, and not to a hypothetical perversity or inherent depravity of heart, about which many authors will have spoken to her in many books:
But though they wrote it all by rote,
they did not write it right. “
Ah, Assam again. We had a colleague there whose name is Pranab. He is a true blue Ahom as far his looks are concerned because he does not look one bit like Indians. He resembles Mongolians. In fact, we can site him as a proof that Ahoms indeed came to India from outside.
He always chews the raw betel nuts called “tamul” in local language. His teeth has been dyed brown-black due to this masticating activity. He generally supports very small hair on his head. He is very avaracious about food and money. In fact, he never parts with a penny.
But, no one can deny that he is a rather anomaly as far as the attitude towards work and punctuality is concerned. In fact, he is always hovering near the office even on the holidays. He reels off very juicy stories, scandals about almost every person. Stories seem to be so authentic. Who has love affairs, extramarital affairs, affairs with colleagues, who smuggled women into his room, he will tell you all. That which driver tried to take liberties with the female officer he was taking to other office. Who and who stayed back late in the night on the excuse of doing extra work but did the extra activities. He will fire your imagination and you will begin to ponder about what he has told. Sometimes, you will begin to get frustrated why was not I a character in this binges.
No only those who worked in office were the actors in his stories, even he will tell stories about tea shop owners, their women folk. Really, he is purveyor of juicy stories.