This trip to India has been most fruitful, musically. I met a friend with whom I had lost touch a few years ago. He has a ear for good music and like me, he is an avid listener of Hindustani music and qawwalis. He was kind enough to share his extensive collection — a few hundred gigabytes is extensive — and I have been discovering gems since the last few days.

I was surprised to find the seemingly random music pieces that we had in common — collected independently.

For now, enjoy this piece from the collection: Ganga Sangam from The Elements – Water by Shiv Kumar Sharma. It is 21 minutes of beautiful santoor playing. I vaguely recall reading years ago that the first part symbolized the flow of the river Ganga from its source till it met the river Yamuna and the second part symbolized the sangam (merging) of the two rivers.


Perhaps a more recent version of this piece will have accidental and non-harmonic notes for the polluted rivers.


Update: A word on The Elements: It was a series of five albums released somewhere in the early 2000s. The composers for each of the albums were:

Earth – Vanraj Bhatia.
Fire – Bhaskar Chandavarkar.
Water – Shiv Kumar Sharma.
Wind – Hari Prasad Chaurasia.
Space – Zakir Hussain.

I couldn’t have come up with a more apt selection of composers. has the entire series for listening.