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Autumn 2005, vol 3 no 3


Haiku and Indian Music
by Kala Ramesh


from the sparrow’s
tiny lung a resonant call
- basant

Basant means spring season. In Indian classical music we have numerous compositions based on this season. We have a raga named basant.



the moving hand
holds high in music
the perfect sur

Sur means pitch. For a singer, the hand moves, aiding the singing voice.



eagles a mere speck-
sapaat taans begin their climb
morning concert

Sapaat taans are straight fast passages sung with the tabla [drums]. Often they cover all three octaves.


leaves glimmer
drips in malhar tans
the raga

Malhar is a monsoon raga.
Tans are fast passages sung along with the percussion – tabla.
Raga means passion.


to stand as a crane
on a singing note...
vocal recital



breezy warm breath
against the leaves
malkauns in the air

is a sensuous, erotic night raga.



haunting melodies linger
in mind’s abyss



tanpura sound ripples
in widening circles---
music room

Tanpura is an instrument used by vocalists in Indian classical music.



notes alone
together in a song
- milky way



Kala Ramesh is a performing vocalist in Indian Classical Music. She has given many concerts in India. She has published several articles on Indian Music and Indian Thought.

Kala has taught creative art in schools and taken workshops for children for The Times of India, in their NIE program.

Kala writes: "A musical note lives for a moment and fades into the void . . . that sacred silence. And Hindustani music, being completely extempore, is as fresh as a just bloomed lily. Being very similar in form, music attracted me to haiku and tanka. In all three, I believe there is a resonance that lingers in the spirit long after the sound has faded."

Click here to read Kala Ramesh's haiku and haibun in this issue of Simply Haiku.

Copyright 2005: Simply Haiku