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Friday, September 22, 2006

Advent of Autumn

It's that time of the year when mother Durga embarks on her annual vacation, family and pets in tow. The hills in autumn seem greener; the streams sparkle a little more. A thousand miles away from home, in a land somewhat alien I can't smell festivity in the air. The conch shells and the drumbeats reverberate in the nostalgic realm. I yearn for the doe-eyed beauties uneasy in their crisp sarees. My ears search for the strains of songs in the tongue I called my own.

Goddess DurgaThe baritone of Birendra Krishna Bhadra reverberating the autumn dawn - Ya devi sarvabhuteshu - courtesy All India Radio (AIR) signals the arrival of autumn. The greens have already started browning, the Sharad Utsav is about to begin. Vishwakarma Puja, a few days ago, opened the doors of joyous festivity. This dusk when the sun shall set, there will be no moon to take its place. Tomorrow, there'll be one - a new one, the first of ten days of festivity and when the moon will become full, the East of India will welcome the goddess of wealth - Lakshmi - into their homes, others will wait till the following Amavasya, when Diwali commemorates the triumphal return of Lord Rama to Ayodha. East Indians (read Bengalis), revering the other avatar of Krishna avatar of Vishnu more, revert their religious focus back to Shakti - this time in the form of Kali... and the sequence continues.

For me the morning of Mahalaya marks the beginning of this all. I might miss it in the morning on radio, but I make it a point to listen to the Chandi Paath on that day. Not for religious reasons, but more for nostalgic ones. Father used to wake me and my brother up at the crack of dawn, just to listen to the broadcast on AIR. This MP3* of an excerpt from the oratorio invoking the goddess Durga by Birendra Krishna Bhadra (music Pamkaj Mallick), also has a long story. It was originally on an LP record, lying in the backroom of a music store in Bhopal's New Market. I asked the owner to record that into an audio tape and a few years later I converted it from a magnetic tape to MP3. The feeling is the same, only the technology has changed.

Here are a few links (as usual) commemorating the initiation of the season festive (download, listen, view, read - whatever):

*Oratorio invoking the goddess Durga by Birendra Krishna Bhadra [MP3 2.26 MB 04:56 64 kbps Mono 44 kHz]

The complete Mahisasuramardini / Mahishasur Mardini MP3 download. Two files.
Part I [MP3 7.42 MB 00:43:27 24kbps Mono 22 kHz]
Part II [MP3 7.83 MB 00:45:50 24kbps Mono 22 kHz]
(Courtesy Deshantari)

Devi Sooktam - Hymn to the Divine Mother
In Sanskrit - Devanagri script. Three jpeg files [1] [2] [3]
In Sanskrit - Roman script, with English translation
(Courtesy Shakti Sadhana Group)

The beat of the dhak (ceremonial drums) [WAV 146 KB 00:00:18 64 kbps 8 bit Mono 8 kHz]
(Courtesy Timir Kanti Ganguly)


dwaipayan said...

I heard the recital in half sleep... then went for tarpan...a comment can't do justics to what I'm feeling today, a post should be on the way..

p.s/:it's raining incessantly since tuesday night!

Varsha said...

maine tumhara artical to nahi para lekin aaj ke electronic media main copy rights ko lekar jo tum sochte ho...tumhara picture dekhar yahi lagta hai 'Dusra kare to chori hum kare to seenajori'

aquamarine said...

played the Mahishasuramardhini at home so my mom could listen and enjoy the rendition.
It was a wonderful feeling.

Soumyadip said...

Dwaipayan Heard about the spoilspot rains of Calcutta. Hope it stops by Saptami.

Varsha Hmm... a copyright violation accusation. Well not exactly, the work is derived from the traditional and extensively redone. But, I should have put up an original.

Aquamarine It always is. I try to listen to it only once a year, the ritual feel enhances the experience.

devek said...

Hey Good Work budd .. thanks for the Mahisasurmardini mp3 ..was searching for them...
Listened to it on radio ..
then continuous playback on tape and went to do tarpan
Feeling a rare feeling of elation and excitement as if its really "a new day..with a new beginning"

Shrik said...

Thanks for this post man!
having been resurrected from the past over the last few months, I have been looking for the good old memories of my past.
this oration on the AIR every morning during Mahalaya Paksha is what I also used to be woken up to.
Was looking for the recording all over for the last 2 days and here it is.
Not sure if AIR still plays this every morning.
will have to tune in and find out. their web site is hardly any help.
thanks and peace to you.

Raghav said...

hey which software do u use for converting to 3gp format.. can u please post the link... thnks

Soumyadip said...

Raghav I generally use SUPER. It's very good and available for free. For more details you can visit this post. Alternatively you can download the software from here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

ajs said...

Thanks for your post and the mp3 files. This mornign I was looking for it fevershly. For your info HMV released a two cassette version of the whole program several years ago. I was playing those tapes till today morning and was going to digitized them today! And one of the tapes broke in my tape recorder. I was so sad...
Any way thanks a lot for your providing the files.