Sign Up    /    Login

The Bandish Bandits

I recently saw a mini serial titled “Bandish Bandits”. It is based on hindustani classical music. Involving a musical family from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The music is very enthralling. So are the visuals highlighting the splendors of Jodhpur. The sprawling city amidst historical forts and buildings. Such musicals inspire the way the movies of yesteryears like Baiju Bawra and Basant Bahar did. It stokes the flames of classical music within oneself.

Classical music the world over, has evolved with time. Starting with the basic notes, leading to timeless master compositions, the attempts to write it down and make it available to the masses. Although western classical music is different from Indian classical music, having developed independently in different parts of the world, rigor marks all forms of classical music. Long and intense training with the masters is required before one can perform before an audience.

While Indian classical music is as old as the Vedas themselves, inspired initially by religion, there was a branching into hindustani and carnatic classical music. Carnatic music retained the purest form of Indian classical while hindustani imbibed elements of Islamic music. Similarities do exist and so do differences.

Those were the ancient times when there was no internet for distribution of information. Musical styles developed within a family, known as gharana. And the knowledge remained within the gharana, passing from one generation to the next one through rigorous training. Written records hardly existed and oral passing was the norm. Hence long years of training with the patriarch of the family was required to achieve proficiency and take over the torch. The serial is the story of one such fictitious gharana called the Rathor gharana.

The ageing patriarch of the Rathor gharana does not consider any of his sons suitable enough to carry on the tradition. While the promising grandson is being trained, the patriarch begins losing his hearing. Yes, hearing is very important for a performer. Although the famous Western classical composer Beethoven starts losing his hearing in his later years, he still feels and composes music by putting his chin against the piano and senses the vibrations, he is a rare exception.  The grandson does deviate from traditions by falling in love with a girl who is the queen of showbiz – a combination of contemporary dance and pop music. This angers the patriarch who stops the classical training.

The patriarch is challenged by his step son to be anointed as the scion of the gharana. The challenge is accepted as the patriarch favors his grandson to be the scion. Intense training sessions start. Focusing on control over the raagas and their ornamentations. A combination of swaras or notes causing a pleasing sensation to the ear is a raaga. It is not just any combination of swaras, but the one which has survived the ravages of time. Ornamentations, called alankaras, add beauty to the raaga and indicate mastery of the performer. Taans like aaaa….is one form of the alankaras.

Bandish, forming the title of the serial, is a composition based on a raaga. Bandish Bandits is the name of a band which is formed by the grandson and his lover. The band itself does not live long nor form the backbone of the serial. Naseeruddin Shah plays the role of the patriarch while Atul Kulkarni plays the role of step son very well. Ritwik Bhowmik plays the role of the grandson. The music composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy is of very high quality and is the hallmark of the serial.

Like the movies Baiju Bawra and Basant Bahar end in a competition of the titans, the series ends on a high note in an intense competition between the grandson and the step son. Rather than a one song competition in the movies, here it is three songs representing three different forms. Like a three set tennis match as opposed to a one innings cricket match. As the new scion of the gharana is anointed, a family reconciliation of sorts takes place.

A spicy plot interwoven into a tussle between the classical music and the showbiz, stunning visuals of Jodhpur forming an excellent background, it is a treat for classical music lovers.

Share with:


5 1 vote
Article Rating

Prasad Ganti

5 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Namita Sunder
18 days ago

I can not claim to know even a bit of classical music but I can vouch for its impact on a person who is totally ignorant about its technicalities our nuance. Your write up evoked my interest in ‘Bandish Bandit’ and I shall revisit after watching it tonight. Great to reconnect.

Namita Sunder
17 days ago
Reply to  Namita Sunder

yesterday I watched all the 10 episodes. Thanks a lot for directing me to it. I loved the characterisation part too a lot. After a long time I saw a serial so wonderfully executed. And yes, the rendition in the last episode was really soul stirring. The Virah Bhav by Pandit ji has that haunting impact. I have no knowledge of Ragas etc but I can feel the emotions and the stunning impact. Thanks a lot, Bro.

Navneet Bakshi
19 days ago

I am not the kind of music officinado like you are I am not even a dilettante, but I get enthralled by a good peace, enchanted by the virtuosity of the performers, whenever I stumble upon one or I am led to hear one. I think it was after your article on Pandit Jasraj I revisited a five minutes video clip of his masterful performance that came to me in Whatsapp forwards. I have always been a fan of Musical films and as I was reading your article thoughts of Navrang, Goonj Utthi Shahnai and Barsat Ki Raat came to me, but I thought it will be unfair to comment on your this post without seeing the series you referred to. Although I have a Prime Time package and I don’t see any movies or serials, yesterday I started seeing The Bandish Bandits and I swear I never thought that the Indian TV serials can be so well researched and gripping. I haven’t yet seen the episodes, so let me keep from writing more on it, but I would like to thank you for the valuable information that you so masterfully weave in your posts. I am still reading Hilly Billy Elegy and thoroughly enjoying it. I am reminded of Saint Kabir’s couplet

‘kabīr’ sañgat saadh kī jayoñ gañdhī kā baas
jo kachhu gañdhī de nahīñ tau bhī baas subās

Placeholder Image 90

Thewriterfriends.com is an experiment to bring the creative people together on one platform. It is a free platform for creativity. While there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of platforms that provide space for expression around the world, the feeling of being a part of fraternity is often lacking. If you have a creative urge, then this is the right place for you. You are welcome here to be one of us.

Random Posts

Visit to Art of Living Ashram, Bengaluru

By Suresh Rao | November 1, 2020 | 2 Comments

Although I am a Bangalorean by birth, schooled initially at Bengaluru  in Science/Engineering, I had not visited the Art Of Living (AOL) Ashram of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. This is due to the fact that right after a stretch of PG schooling at Bengaluru in the south, I moved to Northern India pursuing a research…

Share with:


Read More

CALLERS AT NIGHT

By Navneet Bakshi | December 16, 2020 | 4 Comments

CALLERS AT NIGHT In 1950s when I was a child, the day routines of the people were synchronized with Sunset and Sun Rise. Our father would strictly adhere to it. After sunset was a curfew hour for us children but that wasn’t necessary because we couldn’t dare to go out to test our liberties at…

Share with:


Read More

वड़वानल

By Charumati Ramdas | July 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

सन् 1946 के नौसैनिकों के विद्रोह पर आधारित उपन्यास वडवानल लेखक राजगुरू दत्तात्रेय आगरकर हिंदी अनुवाद आ. चारुमति रामदास अनुवादिका का प्रतिवेदन पिछले वर्ष मार्च में प्रो. आगरकर जी ने फोन पर मुझसे पूछा कि क्या मैं नौसेना विद्रोह पर आधारित उनके उपन्यास ‘वड़वानल’ का हिन्दी में अनुवाद कर सकूँगी ? प्रो. आगरकर से मेरा ज़रा–सा भी परिचय नहीं था…

Share with:


Read More

A view of Ram Mandir to be built in Ayodhya

By Suresh Rao | August 6, 2020 | 9 Comments

(pic) Artist’s view of Ram Mandir to be built in Ayodhya (UP State)  in 3 years time. Foundation laying ceremony (Shilanyas) for the new Ram Mandir to be built in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Ram-lala, was broadcast live on Door Darshan (DD) TV on August-5 2020.  It was a grand celebration. With this ceremonial beginning…

Share with:


Read More

Story Time

By Alka Kansra | September 2, 2020 | 5 Comments

Story time Its always an opportunity to listen to music of your choice when on a long drive. The other day while driving back from Delhi after a short stay with my daughter and my little twin grandchildren. We were listening Jagjit Singh. One of his most popular songs “Wo Kagaz Ki Kashti, Wo Baarish…

Share with:


Read More

Combating The Bee Attack….Part 1

By ishanbakshi | May 2, 2020 | 2 Comments

I stacked up all those cut pieces which were discarded by the carpenters from the boards they ordered for their work, in a corner on the first floor terrace. This part of the terrace gets a very good sunshine till well past noon and because of the walls on the two sides, it shelters one…

Share with:


Read More

A Slice of Sun

By Alka Kansra | December 3, 2020 | 2 Comments

Slice of Sun A slice of Sun through my window magnificent and warm cheerful and healing Giving special meaning to life Loneliness and sadness walk out rustling on the wings of warm air A slice of moon through my window romantic and mysterious soothing and radiant giving a special mood to the night jasmine fragrance…

Share with:


Read More

The Flight

By Ushasurya | March 25, 2021 | 2 Comments

(This is the third post – a short story – of mine involving the Family of Chandru, his wife Jyothi and son Bharat. Though they seem to be having a lot of differences of opinions, they are a very loving couple. The previous ones were titled A Wedding   and A Vow…which I had posted here…

Share with:


Read More

सिर्योझा – 17

By Charumati Ramdas | March 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

लेखिका: वेरा पनोवा अनुवाद: आ. चारुमति रामदास प्रस्थान का दिन जाने का दिन आ गया. एक उदास दिन. बगैर सूरज का, बगैर बर्फ़ का. बर्फ़ तो ज़मीन पर रात भर में पिघल गई, सिर्फ़ उसकी पतली सतह छतों पर पड़ी थी. भूरा आसमान. पानी के डबरे. कहाँ की स्लेज : आंगन में निकलना भी जान…

Share with:


Read More

Running Paying Guest Accommodation – Is a Big Business in Cities.

By Navneet Bakshi | November 6, 2020 | 2 Comments

Running Paying Guest Accommodation – Is a Big Business in Cities. On 23rd of February this year, a fire broke out in one Paying Guest accommodation in Chandigarh in which three girls lost their lives. My site was under construction and I was writing some blogs for posting on it. This was one of those…

Share with:


Read More
5
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x