Begum Parveen Sultana gets a standing ovation for her concert at the Darbar festival 2007 after which, upon requests from the audience, she embarks upon this Durga bhajan which has become a favourite of her audiences since years. ‘Bhavani Dayani’ at once brings back nostalgic memories of her renditions during her youthful days. There are many versions of this hymn that pop up on You Tube spanning live performances of Begum Sultana from many concerts and recordings from the past.
‘Bhavani Dayani’ is a composition of Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande (1860-1936) which Begum Sultana has turned into a priceless gem over the years. It is based on Raag Bhairavi and is set to a 10-beat cycle of Jhaptaal.
Mahaa vaakya vaani,
Sur nar muni jan maani,
Sakal budh gyaani
Jaga janani, jaga daani,
Mahishasur mardini jwaala mukhi chandi,
Amar pad daani”
The ten-armed goddess Durga is also known as ‘Bhavani’, the mother of this universe and ‘Dayani’ which means compassionate. This hymn praises her as the compassionate mother of the universe who is revered by the noble, the awakened as well as the ordinary mortals. Stories of her great and powerful deeds are known to and narrated by all;
The goddess is praised for being the life-giver of everything in this universe. She is cherished for being the vanquisher of all evil forces that disturb the balance of creation. Like a volcano, her force is all-encompassing and fierce when she destroys the negative forces present in this universe, thereby giving the evil an opportunity to redeem themselves. She is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent and the entire humanity bows at her lotus-feet.
‘Lotus’, here is used as a metaphor for beauty as well as the fact that it grows in muddy waters and yet remains untouched by anything.
Begum Sultana adorns this hymn with exceptionally beautiful phrases in Bhairavi, paving unknown paths within the territory of the raga. What makes this recital a culmination of experiences is the maturity she lends to it with years of experience and her powerful yet sweet voice.
Yogesh Samsi provides a wonderful support on the tabla. Chiranjib Chakraborty draws many accolades from Begum Sultana on stage and also from the audience, making this concert an elevated experience for all.
Begum Parveen Sultana (Patiala gharana)
Partha Sarathi Mukherjee (tabla)
Chiranjib Chakraborty (harmonium)
Nina Burmi (tanpura)
Gunwant Dhadyalla (tanpura)
Debipriya Das (support)
Ranjana Ghatak (support)
Music piece: Bhavaani Dayaani, bhajan in Raag Bhairavi