Raag Bhoop Kalyan is also known as Shuddh Kalyan. Its ascending notes have the same notes as Raag Bhopali and its descending notes are exactly like that of Yaman. In the spectacular and imposing backyard of Bawali Rajbari – a 265-year-old palatial mansion situated 40 kilometres outside of Kolkata - dhrupad exponents Ram Kumar Mallick and Samit Mallick present this enchanting evening raga in the Darbhanga tradition of dhrupad presentation.
Their ancestors were trained in the Mughal court in the 16th century by Tansen. When the family moved to Darbhanga, a small village nestled between the Nepal and Indian border in the 19th century, the area was going through a severe drought. It is believed that the ancestors of the Mallicks sang the rain-invoking raga Megh and ushered in a downpour in the region, thereby relieving its denizens of the ordeal. This pleased the king immensely who rewarded them with acres of land in Darbhanga where the family still resides.
The Darbhanga style entwines melody and rhythm into a potent combination of Khandarvani and Gauharvani syllables. The Mallicks have a charming, hoarse timbre that makes the impassioned delivery of synthesised rhythm and poetry, a breathtaking experience. The meditative nom-tom syllables develop quickly into fully-blown dhrupad mnemonics with sharp enunciation and speed. The synchronisation of tonal phrases between the two singers assumes the movements of two flitting butterflies allowing each other to take the lead when required and at the same time, traversing a familiar path in their own beautiful way.
Raag Bhoop Kalyan is derived from Kalyan thaat. It is an audav-sampurna raga with a meandering gait. Ma and Ni are left out in the ascent whereas the descent uses all the notes including teevra Ma. The vadi swar or dominant note is Ga and the samvadi swar or sub-dominant note is Dha. The descent is meend-centric at two specific spots – Sa Ni Dha and Pa Ma Ga – where Ni and Ma are glided upon respectively. The arohana and avarohana of Bhoop Kalyan are as follows:
S R G P D S’
S’ N D P M G R S, G R G P R S
It has a devotional mood and is sung in the evening.
Ram Kumar Mallick and Samit Mallick
Raag Bhoop Kalyan, Thaat: Kalyan, Samay: early evening