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#Musings with Nitin Amin: Raga Janasamohini

21 Song Salute to the Great Lata Mangeshkar

We are going to take a look at raga Janasamohini / Jansammohini today and we begin with a composition by music director Chitragupta, it is a duet song by Lata Mangeshkar and Mahendra Kapur “Aaja re mere pyaar ke raahi….”. Next is Naushad’s composition made specially for Dilipkumar on screen and sung by Muhhamad Rafi “Koi sagar dil ko behlata nahin….”. The next one is one of my favorite “Hai re woh din kyun na aaye…” composed by none other than Pt. Ravi Shankar.

If you look closer at all the three songs, you will realize that they all portray a kind of pain and restlessness. And the composers have used raga Jansammohini very aptly to bring it forth. Let us find out why this is possible with Jansammohini.

Raga Jansammohini is stuck between the two ragas. On one side you have raga Kalavati, which contains five swaras - shadja, shuddha gandhaar, pancham, dhaivat and komal nishad - gives us raga Kalavati. By adding one swara, the ‘Re’ to this swara set we get closer to Jansammohini – an attempt to take a five swara raga and take it towards completion. But it doesn’t really become complete till we add the madhyam to it and that gives us a sampoorna raga - Jhinjhoti, which is the raga on the other side. So Jansammohini which is stuck in between the ragas Kalavati and Jhinjhoti has this feeling of incompleteness without the ‘Ma’. And it is this feel, which was useful in composing the three songs we discussed at the beginning of the session.

Advancing listeners of Hindustani Classical Music will find the nuances of raga Jansammohini becoming clearer. It is more of a ‘scale’ and the chalan is not very profound like it happens further in raga Jhinjhoti. Here, the raga expands swara by swara and as the raga expands, a different swara will start becoming prominent – sometimes the gandhaar is prominent, another time it is the rishabh then the dhaivat and so on.

I have one question for you here, with Kalavati on one side and Jhinjhoti on the other, Jansammohini is closer to which one of these two in your experience? You can reply in the comments and let us know.

So this was the incomplete yet sweet raga Jansammohini.

The full live session hosted in HINDI with a wonderful bandish in madhyalaya for participants of Suntey Raho, can be accessed here

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