Ragas and Masters of Yore

My father-guru narrated this story to me and I would like to share with you for whatever worth it is .

Once,it seems,Alladiya khansaheb,was singing an anavat raga in a Mehefil ( a raga he had created after long deliberation – my father-guru did not mention what raga it was! ). As he was singing it in full flow,he happened to see a fellow musician walk into the Mehefil and sit before him and Khansaheb suddenly kept in abeyance one Swara throughout and sang the raga to the full. The entire audience was aghast with wonder at this. After he had finished, the fellow musician stood up and said ” Bade Miya, aap mujhe dekhke Kyoon woh sur chupaaliye? Aap ragoan ko bananewale Badshah ho aur hum jaise log sunnewaale hai.Khuda aapko salaamat rakhe taaki hum log naye naye raga sun sake “.(Bade Miya,why did you have to hide one Swara seeing me. You are a creator of ragas and people like us are listeners.Let God keep you alive so that we can listen to new ragas)

Alladiya khan saheb said nothing but continued with another raga.

What stupendous creativity to be able to hide one Swara right in the middle of singing and sing it without that Swara to the finish!
This makes me wonder about the amazing command over the ragas such masters had !

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