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Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Laagi Lagan Pati Sakhi-san

Posted on: November 6, 2019


This article is written by Sadanand Kamath, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in atulsongaday.me. If this article appears in other sites without the knowledge and consent of the web administrator of atulsongaday.me, then it is piracy of the copyright content of atulsongaday.me and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

Blog Day :

4128 Post No. : 15285 Movie Count :

4208

What is the common between the Hindi film song, “Jaa Tose Naahin Boloon Kanhaiyya from ‘Parivaar’ (1956) and a devotional song in Sanskrit,  “Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje”?  The answer is that they are based on Carnatic Raag Hamsadhwani (also written as Hansadhwani).

Raag Hamsadhwani is said to have been invented by Carnatic composer Ramaswami Dikshitar (1735-1817). His son, poet-composer, Muthuswami Dikshitar wrote and composed one of the most popular Sanskrit devotional song mentioned above in Raag Hamsadhwani. The credit for bringing this raag to Hindustani classical music goes to Ustad Aman Ali Khan (1888-1953) of Bhendi Bazar Gharana who had also learnt Carnatic music under a court musician of the Mysore State. He created and composed a bandish, “Laagi Lagan Pati Sakhi Sang” in Raag Hamsadhwani.

Ustad Amir Khan, on a visit to Mumbai, met Ustad Aman Ali Khan and heard this bandish. He was so mesmerised by the bandish in Hamsadhwani that he started singing in his concerts both in Khayal and Taraana style which made it popular among the Hindustani classical vocalists and instrumentalists. Subsequently, many stalwarts among Hindustani classical vocalists such as Ustad Rashid Khan of Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana, Vidushi Kishori Amonkar of Jaipur-Atruali Gharana, Pandit AT Kanan from Kirana Gharana, Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty, his daughter and son-in-law, Kaushiki Chakraborty-Desikan and Parthasarathi Desikan – all from Patiala Gharana, Begum Parveen Sultana of Patiala Gharana etc. have rendered Raag Hamsadhwani in their concerts.

Despite the popularity of Raag Hamsadhwani among the Hindustani classical vocalists and instrumentalists, Hindi film music directors have rarely used this raag in composing the songs. Probably, Salil Chowdhury may be the first Hindi film music director to compose a full-fledged song in this raag for the film ’Parivaar’ (1956) as mentioned above. C Ramchandra did use some shades of Raag Hamsadhwani in the song, “O Chaand Jahaan Wo Jaayen in ‘Sharada’ (1957). I feel that Shankar-Ehsan-Loy has also used some shades of this raag in his fusion song, “Tere Naina Hans Diye in ‘Chaandni Chowk to China’ (2009).

A few days back, Partha Chanda ji, in one of his comments in our Blog, has pointed out that there is a great classical piece in Ritwik Ghatak’s Bangla film ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (Cloud Capped Star), 1960.  I found out that there is not one but two classical Hindi songs in this film sung by Pandit AT Kanan and both are set in Raag Hamsadhwani. I have picked up one of the songs which is the bandish originally created by Ustad Aman Ali Khan.

I was not familiar with the name of Pandit AT Kanan. Since he was one of the ’Gurus’ at ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata since its inception in 1977, a brief profile of him was available on ITCSRA website. The following information about Pandit AT Kanan is mainly based on this source.

Pandit AT Kanan (18/06/1922 – 02/09/2004) was born in Chennai as Arkut Kannabhiran. As a teenager, singing became his hobby whereas cricket was his passion. At the age of 18, he joined Railways and played cricket for them. In early 1940s, Kanan visited Mumbai for a scheduled cricket match. After the match, he visited All India Radio, Mumbai to check the suitability of his voice for singing over the radio. When the AIR official heard his voice, they immediately offered him a program to be broadcast. This was the beginning of his tryst with Hindustani classical music.

On his transfer to Hyderabad, AT Kanan took the guidance for vocal training from Pandit Lahanu Babu Rao. He was once again transferred to Kolkata where he resumed training under Pandit Girija Shankar Chakraborty. In 1943, he gave his debut performance at All Bengal Music Conference. After about two years of his stay in Kolkata, Pandit Kanan was under orders of transfer. By this time, he had already established himself in Kolkata as a Hindustani classical vocalist of repute. His admirers persuaded him to leave the railway job and stay in Kolkata. Thus, he became a full time Hindustani classical vocalist.

Sometime in the 1950s, Pandit Kanan along with other musicians, established Kolkata Music Circle. Those days, Kolkata was one of the main centres of Hindustani classical music. Some of the Hindustani classical vocalists and instrumentalists used to regularly give their performance in the city. Pandit Kanan got opportunity to inter-act with Ustad Amir Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Akbar Ali Khan, Vidushi Hirabai Barodekar etc.

Pandit Kanan’s renditions of the Raag ‘Hamsadhwani’, ‘Rageshri’, and ‘Jog’, among others, made him an extremely popular Khayal singer not only in Kolkata but also throughout the country. A top grade AIR artist, Pandit Kanan performed in all the important music conferences in the country, including National Programmes and Radio Sangeet Sammelans. He was also a playback singer in the Bengali films such as ‘Jadu Bhatta’ (1954), ‘Basanta Bahar’ (1957), ‘Megh Malhar’ (1958), ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (1960), etc. He was bestowed with Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1995.

In 1958, he married Malbika Roy (later known as Malbika Kanan) who was also a Hindustani classical vocalist.

Although, Pandit Kanan developed his own style of Khayal singing, some Hindustani classical vocalists believe that later on, he was influenced by the Khayal singing style of Ustad Amir Khan with whom he used to regularly exchange notes. I guess, this may be the reason that on the ITCSRA website, Pandit Kanan has been shown under Kirana Gharana. Of course, Ustad Amir Khan had also improvised the style of Kirana Gharana which his disciples named as the Indore Gharana style.

‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (1960), is the first of the trilogy of Ritwik Ghatak’s films on the aftermath of the partition of Bengal. Anil Chatterjee is a part of a family who has migrated from East Pakistan after the partition and are staying in the outskirt of Kolkata. He is the eldest son who is dreaming of becoming a Hindustani classical vocalist. He does not earn money for the family. Instead he is a wanderer. His sister (Supriya Devi) takes care of the family by earning but her efforts are not appreciated by any one in the family. In this process, she sacrifices her personal life (her fiancé is more interested in her sister than her) and her health for the betterment of the family. At the end, her serious illness becomes the burden on the family. And she still wants to live.

As mentioned earlier, Pandit Kanan’s Khayal rendition in Raag Hamsadhwani was regarded as the one of his most popular renditions those days. So, it was natural that he lips syncs for Anil Chatterjee for the bandish “Laagi Lagan Pati Sakhi Sang” in Raag Hamsadhwani in the film ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (1960).

The bandish has been rendered as a ‘chhota khayal’. Although the music director for the film was Anil Chandra Sengupta, credit should go to Ustad Aman Ali Khan who had originally composed the bandish.

I did not find the record version of the bandish used in the film on the websites. Probably, it may not have been issued in the record version. Hence, I have provided the link of an audio clip of the longer version of the same bandish rendered by Pandit AT Kanan.

Video

Audio (Longer Version)

Song – Laagi Lagan Pati Sakhi-san  (Meghe Dhaka Tara) (1960) Singer – Pt AT Kanan, Lyrics – Ustad Aman Ali Khan, MD – Ustad Aman Ali Khan

Lyrics (Based on Video Clip)

laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
parama sukh aa
ati anandana aa
parama sukh aa
ati anandana aa
laa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laa..aagi lagan pa

laa aa aaaaaaaaaaa aa
laaaaaa..gi
laaaaaaaaaa. . .
laaaaaaaaa..gi
laaaaaaaaaaaaa aa
laaaaaaaaaaaaa aa aa…gi
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
 
[Dialogues]
 
ang sugandhan chandan maathe ti..lak dhare
ang sugandhan chandan maathe ti..lak dhare
drigan-nayanan anjana fabnatey
amar ho nit pati kaaje sadan
laaa..aagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laaa..aagi lagan
laaa..aagi lagan
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
laagi lagan pati sakhi-san
la..gi lagan
la..gi lagan
laagi lagan aaa

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5 Responses to "Laagi Lagan Pati Sakhi-san"

Sadanand Ji, Loved your informative post, tracing Hamsadhwani from its origin and its rendering by various stalwarts of classical music..
Sometimes what is obvious, we fail to take note.
I mean I did not link ‘Jaa tose nahin..’ & ‘Vaatapi Ganapathy..” with same raaga :((

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Satish ji,
Thanks for your comments.
My grand father (Nana) often used to sing ‘vatapi ganapatim bhaje’ when I was about 9-10 years. It was only when I had heard ‘jaa tose naahin boloon kanhaiyya’ on the radio sometime in early 1960s, I could relate both these songs. But it was as late as 2014 that I could relate both these songs to Raag Hamsadwani.

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I had learnt to sing ‘Vatapi ganapatim bhaje’ from my mother and grandmother. But it never occurred to me that ‘Jaa tose nahin boloo kanhaiya’ is the same tune and raag
Of course as a child I never learnt raags and raaginis only followed my mother and music teacher to the extent of spending an hour there.
But the result is I hear and pick up songs and tunes not the heart of the song

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Dear Sadanand ji, What a beautiful write up in just a few words!

ARKUT KANNABHIRAN (one wonders what the T stands for) was a fast bowler to reckon with and during that match at Brabourne Stadium he found the courage to approach the AIR Authorities (in those days the Studio was at Queen’s Road, just a short distance away from the Stadium) who were extremely sceptical of this towering well built lad (he was just 19). But the rest, as they say, is History.

That song he sang from “Meghe Dhaka Tara” was actually a signature tune of Amir Khan who would render the Tarana at all his functions. But once Kanan sang it in the film, Khansaheb stopped singing it altogether, so that Kanan could bask in its glory, such was the greatness of the Ustad.

Here is Ustad Amir Khan’s rendition of the Tarana :

If you listen to the words of “Laagi Lagan pati…” and the original “Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje…..”. you will note that Aman Ali Khan deliberately placed the words “Lagan Pati” to rhyme with “Ganapati”. That was perhaps his way of paying tribute to Muthuswami Dikshitar. Ustad Aman Ali Khan composed this song in Raag Hansadhwani and then realised that that the Carnatic Raag was very similar to the already existing Shankar Raag in Hindustani Classical . Perhaps that is one reason why Raag Hansadhwani was not adopted into the North Indian style . Aman Ali Khan had a number of disciples when he was in Bombay (he later settled in Pune). Besides Amir Khan, two notable names are Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey.

The Bhendi Bazaar Gharana was established by Aman Ali’s father CHHAJJU KHAN in 1890 when he and his brothers migrated from UP and settled in Bhendi Bazaar.

There are some discrepancies in the dates, but it’s only by a few years, so we won’t quarrel over it. But there is one Site which gives Kanan’s DOB as 1929, which means he would have been 10 years old when he came to play in Bombay in 1939.

With warm regards

PARTHA CHANDA

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Partha Chanda ji,

I am thankful to you for your comments which always give some additional inputs. In this case, I was not aware that Pandit A T Kanan was a fast bowler. I was also not aware that when Pandit Kanan sang the bandish in raag Hamsadhwani for this film, Ustad Amir Khan stopped singing this raag to give Pandit Kanan the glory for this raag. This fits well as there is a general consensus among the classical singers that after Ustad Amir Khan, it is Pandit Kanan who is regarded as the best for rendering this bandish in raag Hamsadhwani.

I and Sudhir ji were wondering as to why the word ‘pati’ in the bandish comes soon after ‘lagan’ while in the original bandish, the word ‘pati’ comes after ‘sakhi’, After your explanation, it becomes clear.

Ustad Amir Khan’s rendition of tarana in raag Hamsadhwani is nothing short of a trance music. In the audio clip of the Tarana, Ustad Amir Khan often repeats a Persian couplet:

etihaadest miyaan e man o tu
(There is a unity between ‘me’ and ‘You’)
man o tu neist miyaan e man o tu
(There is no ‘me’ and ‘You’ between me and you)
This lends spirituality to his Tarana rendition,

By the way, I have taken date of birth of Pandit Kanan from ITC SRA website which states as 18/06/1922. As you know, Pandit Kanan was one of the first ‘Gurus’ of the ITC SRA.

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