Sachi R

Obiter dicta on music, men and matters

Begada – my favourite raga

Posted by rsachi on October 9, 2009

Begada, or as we say in Kannada, Begade, is my favourite raga. It has a depth and colour like no other raga in either Carnatic or Hindustani music. There are many wonderful ragas, but Begada has some creative energy like the ocean. I just wrote a poem on Begada:
Pride of the valorous Shankara clan,

Your presence resonates with majesty.
You’re supple strength in gymnastic leaps and dives
And yet you’re subtle in your nuanced graces.
You bring courage to my heart
And also a serene benediction.
You lash me like the mighty waves of the ocean;
Standing on the rock, I exult in your subtle spray.
I am yet to come across a rendering that does justice to my imagery, the strength and nuanced touch that this raga commands in my imagination. The fact that I am not a musician surely helps… I can dream without duress!
I give you two links to unfamiliar compositions in Begada:

Vaa Muruga – O.S. Arun – this is a tough composition which calls for considerable vocal skills. The composer is Spencer Venugopal.

Hari Narayana – Purandara dasa- sung and played by Ganesh Kumaresh.

The photo at the top is one I snapped in 2006 in Kota Kinabalu. I wish the sea had been thundering with waves so I could show the mood of Begada.  But you can still see its fiery potential!


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