I am no connoisseur of Classical music but I am very touched by Hindustani classical music. I can’t say that music was all around me when I was growing up. My introduction to Hindustani classical music was through the rather beautiful and classical numbers from old Hindi films.
My first introduction was thanks to Shubha Mudgal, whose voice I find so mesmerising that there is not quite another voice like hers in this whole wide world. However, I didn’t find her Ab ke Saawan so great as her classical numbers. Though I did find of the slower more soulful numbers very appealing.
The next “classical” album I got was Sardari Begum. I remember this quizzical look Mom gave at me (and said, “You want this?”) when her teenage daughter settled for a semi classical album over all those Sunita Raos and jhatak mataks that the market offered to a teenager then. This I think was the mid 90s. Those were the days of the cassette players. There is still one rather old fashioned (it was rather hi-fi when we got it) one sitting looking very mournful at the lack of music it plays. Ever since CDs became accessible, I didn’t have to turn to my Phillips Powerhouse. However, the cassettes are still collecting dust. Back to what I was saying, Sardari Begum convinced me that Classical music has a soul that is denied to over music. I can’t critique classical music. That would be choti muh badi baat. But I can enjoy it to the fullest.
The reason I am writing about classical music is that I stumbled onto the music of the movie Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and was pleasantly surprised by the mix of folk and classical numbers in the list. Maybe I will pick up the album. The Thumri is a sheer delight. I can keep listening to it again and again. I wish more and more movies would go back to the classical music base rather than the trash that they turn out now. I am listening to the music right now and it feels so soothing to the soul.