This is my 3 or 4th visit to the historical city. Just 2 hours from the city of Agra this place is known more for its ancient history than today’s infrastructure. I haven’t seen much improvement in the infrastructure of the city during my above no of visits even though they were quite spaced in time. At Gwalior my visits where mainly to meet my younger brothers who are undergoing their undergraduate studies and sometimes I used to visit ‘the Kila’ which is associated with the Sidhiya royal family.
I would have never known the importance of the place if I wouldn’t have interacted with the director of IIITM (Indian Institute of Information Technology & Management) Prof. Deshmukh. As usual you don’t know much from the locals as the history becomes part of their lives and they don’t remember much about it. It is the outsiders who value it more. Also as a saying goes in hindi ‘ghar ka jogi jogra, aan gaon ka sidh’. We value our own differentiating factors less than that of others. I came to know that it has the tomb of one of the most or I will say the most celebrated Indian musicians in the history i.e. Miyan Tansen or Ramtanu Pandey and this city is also the birthplace of equally gifted musician ‘Baiju Bavra’. Tansen was one of the navratna (nine jewels) in the court of great king Akabar. He was extremely gifted and known for his prowess in music and new compositions. The legendary ragas ‘Rag Malhar’ and ‘Dipak Rag’ was his creation. It is said that when he used to sing ‘Rag Malhar’ the clouds used to rain and ‘Dipak Rag’ has been lost in the history. It was one of the most ‘feared’ ragas which could bring fire to surroundings if sung by a singer and could definitely cause death to the singer due to the fire. It has been lost in history as no body dared to carry it forward. For more information about Miyan Tansen see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tansen.
Baiju Barva was also the contenmporary of Miyan Tansen. He used to be called ‘Bavra’ [crazy] as he fell in love with a dancer in the court of king of Chanderi. After his unsuccessful experience he closed himself in music. He also defeated Tansen once. Some say he was more gifted than Miyan Tansen. Both had the same teacher i.e. Swami Haridas. He also mastered Rag Malhar as well as Dipak Rag. When he used to sing animals used to become so enamored that they used to come to him to listen his songs. He used to make flower bloom by singing ‘Rag Bahar’. For more information visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baiju_Bawra.
We praise today’s singer who are nothing compared to these legendary musical figures and also forgetting the history of this wonderful country. Music is said to be a link between the humans and the gods but today what has been done to music is very sad. ‘Rock’ etc. which create so much noise rather than pleasure are becoming norms. The real purpose of music is getting lost. It is also a means to achieve peace and for some ‘The Ultimate’. The more I travel the more I appreciate this country and more I contemplate about what the people of this country have done to it. Still I see a ray of hope and move ahead to new destinations……to write more!