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Gopala Bhaktim – Bageshri

Bageshri is a beautiful, melodious ragam that is very popular in North Indian classical music. My first exposure to this ragam was my mother singing Nanda tanaya. I don’t think I knew ragam names at that time. Much later I cam across a recording of Madurai Somu where he emotionally sings this calling it “Bageshwari” giving it the classic South Indian nomenclature! I heard Gopala bhaktim first in a recording of Tamarakkad Govindan Namboodri and was immediately struck by the sedate tempo and the beautiful glides that gave it so much colour and vibrancy. I thought to myself “Here is the Swati equivalent for MDR’s Sagara sayana vibho!” – Govindan Namobodri had set this piece to music. (Correction: the song was set to music by Chalakudi Narayanaswamy. Thanks to journalist Pramod Kumar who got the info from Govindan Namboodiri) I also had a long time desire to add a chittaswaram to a tukkada or tail end piece in a concert. My inspiration for the first line of the chittaswaram is taken from the background score of “Mayakkum maalai pozhude” from the Tamizh film Gulebagavali.


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