This is the story of the famous Indian musician named, Tansen. He was the only child of singer Mukandan Mishra.They lived in the village Behat near Gwalior. Tansen was a naughty but wise and talented child. One day, in the forest, Swami Haridas found Tansen roaring like a tiger. Then, Tansen started learning music from him. He learnt music for eleven years and became a great singer afterwards. His father’s last wish was to send Tansen to Mohammed Ghaus of Gwalior. There, Tansen got married to Hussaini. Soon after Tansen became a famous Musician.He became the official singer in Emperor Akbar’s court. Being a favourite of Akbar, he was a victim of jealousy of the few courtiers. Courtiers even planned to kill Tansen. Shaukat Mian, a courtier in Akbar’s court requested Akbar to make Tansen sing Raga Deepak.
Tansen knew that Raga Deepak could produce heat around the singer and turn him into ashes and Raga Megh could bring Rain. So, he prepared his daughter Saraswati and her friend Rupvati to sing Raga Megh in the court.
The girls sang Raga Megh when fire spread out near Tansen and lamps were alighted as per the plan. Tansen’s life was saved when drops of rain fell down on him. After this incident Tansen became sick. Akbar punished the courtiers. Tansen recovered from his illness and people rejoiced and celebrated his recovery.
Question: Why did Swami Haridas say Tansen was ‘talented’?
Answer: Tansen, as a child, learnt to imitate the calls of birds and animals. One day he roared like a tiger in the forest. He intended to frighten the travellers. Swami Haridas was impressed by the skill of the boy. So he called Tansen ‘talented’.
Question: Why did Akbar ask Tansen to join his court?
Answer: Tansen learnt music from Swami Haridas for eleven years. He himself became a famous singer. Sometimes he sang before Emperor Akbar. Akbar was so impressed that he asked Tansen to join his court in 1556.
Question: How do we know that Akbar was fond of Tansen? Give two easons.
Answer: Tansen became the favourite of the Emperor. Akbar used to visit Tansen’s house to hear him practise music. He asked Tansen to sing whenever he had the mood. He also gave Tansen many presents.
Question: What did the other courtiers feel about Tansen?
Answer: Tansen’s popularity made other courtiers jealous of him. They made up their mind to ruin Tansen somehow.
- What happens if Raga Deepak is sting properly?
- Why did Tansen’s enemies want him to sing the Raga?
- If Raga Deepak was sung properly, the air became so hot that the singer was burnt to ashes.
- The courtiers who were Tansen’s enemies, wanted the singer to sing Raga Deepak and die of heat.
Question: Why did Tansen agree to sing Raga Deepak?
Answer: Tansen agreed to sing Raga Deepak because he dared not disobey the Emperor. Secondly, he wanted to prove his ability.
- What steps did he take to save himself?
- Did his plan work? How?
- Tansen was a little worried as well as afraid. He took two steps for his safety. He requested the king to give him some time. Next, he taught his daughter and her friend to sing Raga Megh.
- Yes, Tansen’s plan worked. His singing made the environment hot. Flames shot up and lighted the lamps. Just then, the two girls started singing Raga Megh. The rains came down suddenly and saved Tansen’s life.
Question: What was Tansen famous for?
Answer: Tansen was famous for his singing talent. He was the greatest musician India has ever produced.
Question: It is said that Tansen was a naughty child. What prank did he play?
Answer: Tansen, as a child, used to play in the forest. He learnt to copy the calls of birds and animals. Once he frightened Swami Haridas and his pupils by producing the roar of a tiger.
Question: What do you know about Tansen’s life before he joined Akbar’s court?
Answer: Tansen was the son of Mukandan Misra and his wife. The family lived near Gwalior. His talent was spotted by Swami Haridas. He lived with his guru for eleven years. He joined Mohammad Ghaus who took him to the court of Rani Mrignaini. Tansen married Hussaini. He impressed Emperor Akbar with music.
Question: How did the jealous courtiers of Akbar plan to ruin Tansen?
Answer: Shaukat Mian had a bright idea. The courtiers made Tansen sing Raga Deepak. If the Raga was sung properly, it made the air hot and even burnt the singer to ashes.
Question: Why was Tansen afraid of singing Raga Deepak?
Answer: Tansen could sing the Raga all right. But his fear was that the song would give off a lot of heat. It would set the lamps alight and would also burn him to ashes.
Question: What do you know about Tansen and his family? What quality was he gifted with?
Answer: Tansen is remembered as the greatest musician of India. His father was also a singer. The family lived in Gwalior. He learnt to copy the calls of birds and animals. Swami Haridas noticed his talent and taught him music for eleven years. He became a great favourite of Emperor Akbar. Some of the jealous courtiers made a vain attempt to ruin ansen.
Question: How did the jealous courtiers plan to harm Tansen? How did the great musician save his honour as well as official position?
Answer: Tansen was a talented musician. He came to the notice of Emperor Akbar. Tansen was honoured with a place in Akbar’s court. The jealous courtiers decided to ruin him. They demanded that Tansen should sing Raga Deepak. They knew that the Raga would bum him to ashes. However. Tansen accepted the challenge. He trained two girls to sing Raga Megh to bring rain and put out the fire. Tansen was thus saved wisely.