Happy Deepavali

On this auspicious occasion, I thought it’d be great to share the very first song I learned.

Smt Vid Padma Murthy, from Banashankari 2nd stage was my first music teacher outside of my mother & father. She conducted her classes in a spare room on the upper floor of her home, and I vividly remember being nervous in class, and in awe of the Tanpura (ತಂಬೂರಿ in Kannada).

My teacher’s method was traditional, so I learned Carnatic the hard-way  janti-swaras, jaatis, kirtanes, and such. Occasionally, on festivals she would teach us songs. It would break the monotony of MayamalavagouLa Ragam and expose us to a new musical ideas.

As tradition dictates, my teacher started with a Ganesh Bhajan in Raga Hamsadhwani - “Gajavadana Beduve” ಗಜವದನ ಬೇಡುವೆ by Sri Purandara Dasa. He was a 15th century poet and composer from Karnataka, and is widely regarded to be the father of Carnatic Classical music.

💙 Personal story - Purandara Dasa’s birthplace is disputed, and one of the possible locations is Thiratahalli in Shimoga District. This is where my mother was born, and Pdi and I were born not too far away.

About 80% of all Hamsadhwani songs are about Ganesha, and vice-versa”, exclaimed my teacher in a recent class. I’ll add that the remaining 15% are in Raag Bhoop.

This song was written and composed by the father of Carnatic music. That’s the legacy of this song. The melody and song are still very special to me, and needless to say, this composition is imprinted in my memory.

Here’s my rendition of it as I remember it.

MiyaKiSynth · Gajavadana Beduve in Raga Hamsadhwani

Lucky that mother saved my music notes from the era, so here’s a photo of the song written by my teacher in my music book. Hope you enjoyed this song and the story behind it.

Please consider sharing this with someone who might enjoy it.

Notes from my music book