A Folk-Tribal Duet for a Change!


There have been so many songs in Raaja sir’s music which have proved that folk and native music has got its own brilliance and individuality!! No matter the western music, excellent bass work rendered by Raaja sir leaves a great impact on us, his folk songs are no less compared to his usual compositions!! The simplicity and captivating nature in his folk songs make us instantly appreciate them!!

Music rendered with true state of mind and heart cannot be classified as a particular genre because it speaks for itself!! Just like the way all languages talk about the same essence a particular aspect….one cannot decide which language is the best!! In the same manner here is a wonderful Folk-Tribal duet which will transport the listener straight to the greenest hills of Araku valley in Andhra Pradesh!!

During the late 70s and 80s era, for that matter even in the recent times……Araku Valley has been the popular spot for filming duets as the place is a landscape treat. During the December season in particular, it looks like a picture post card and a visual treat!! Such a wonderful place has got rich culture as well and their traditional folk dance is called “Dhimsa” performed by the tribal women who work there.

The way in which Raaja sir captured the native flavour of this area and represent it in music still astonishes me!!

This wonderful song “Banthi Chamanthi” from Abhilaasha is musically rich as well as hugely popular from the time it was released (1983). Even the younger generations who participate in music programmes choose this song till date!! That is the impact of Raaja sir’s music on numerous music lovers!!

Sung by the terrific duo (SPB and Janaki) the song starts with foot-tapping rhythm with guitar, flute and the typical folk style music for our listening pleasure!! I always felt the folk-rhythm has added so much to the beauty of the song!! The rhythm is so magical that people who don’t know how to dance would feel the pleasure of folk-dance!! The sound-effect which sounds exactly like the native drums is simply amazing!!

When SPB starts singing the pallavi with his highest pitch to being with…..the folk-tribal rhythm takes us to the wonderful Nov-December season of Araku valley where we can see the beautiful yellow flowers blooming!! There is bass-work as well but very faint sounding but still making an incredible impact on us!! It is then Janaki’s velvety voice enters the pallavi from which we are lost in the musical brilliance as well as the visual impact of the landscape which the song creates!!

The first interlude starts with a typical Raaja sir styled music bit which was so prevalent in his 80s compositions!! But the way in which this westernized bit merges into the folk-tribal dance rhythm can be no doubt called a wonder!! Then the westernized magic makes its entrance again supported by a majestic bass work!!

This first interlude is simply another musical wonder which explains the majestic nature of Raaja sir’s music in a folk-tribal manner!!

The charanam starts with SPBs voice in its sweetest best and the rhythm moves to another leap in this journey!! Now, Janaki starts with this sweet treat enabling us to taste the honey in the form of music!! The bass-work is beautiful as usual but it is the rhythm which steals the show right from the beginning of the song!!

The way in which the first charanam ends gives us the signature flavour of Raaja sir’s 80s compositions!!

To make our musical visit to Araku valley more beautiful…..the second interlude arrives!! The flute bit supported by tantalizing rhythm welcomes us to the solo humming of Janaki as well as SPB!! The westernized music bit and the flute appear at their best making us experience the bliss of walking in the late-evening fog at this beautiful place!!

The second charanam sounds melodious with SPB and Janaki’s voices as well as allowing us to taste the sweetness of the place through the best tool- that is Raaja sir’s music!!

Raaja sir’s music makes us dance (in our imagination) and transport us to wonderful places like Araku Valley in such a convincing manner that it is worth experiencing by listening to this song!!


About Navya

An ardent lover of music, books,photography and a thousand more things and trying to get a grip on all!
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One Response to A Folk-Tribal Duet for a Change!

  1. S.Suresh says:

    A nice blog post Navya about a lovely song. Who could have escaped this song in Andhra Pradesh during those times when Chiranjeevi was establishing himself. Raja had a huge role to play in hits like ‘Challenge’ and ‘Abhilasha’. It is always a wonder that even in the most ‘massy’ of songs, Raja brings in so much musicality.

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