For this episode of Humming Now, I take a raga which is associated with a feeling of majesty and an undertone of devotion.

Its Hindustani equivalent is called Puriya Dhanashree. In Carnatic, it is Panthuvarali. I dont know enough to say these 2 ragams are equals or equivalents, but a very accomplished professional musician acquaintance of mine said they are equal. So they are.

The best example perhaps of Panthuvarali, if you are familiar with film music from the 80s is Ezhu Swarangalukkul sung by Vani Jayaram. Her attitude brings goosebumps to me.

If you are not familiar with Tamil film music, deprived of exposure to this era of music and/or if you refuse to have a taste of olden days musicians (like MSV), you should listen to Hai Rama ye Kya Hua song from Rangeela.

Ilayaraja has done a concerto style piece in Rajapaarvai and the song Rojaavai Thalaattum from Ninaivellaam Nithya is also a Panthuvarali.

I do not have a specific favorite in classical music, but there is a Jugalbandi between Purbayan Chatterjee (Sitar) and Shashank (Flute) I listened to, which got me glued to this raga. Of course, there are famous numbers like Appa Rama Bhakti, Shambho Mahadeva etc…

Humming now is a series of posts (as you can see, this is the 11th), focused on sharing with you nuances of classical music, how they relate to the pop (film) music we are surrounded by. Some people just can’t relate both — they should see this.