When Angels Sing

​Don’t  know how I missed this story in childhood days.I used to read Amar Chitra Katha and  Chandamama in childhood days.

 When Angels sing

The weary traveler was totally drained out. He wanted to rest. His whole body was aching. He felt hot and thirsty. Oh ,for a drop of water, he thought. He wanted to settle for the night. Finally he came to a lake side. The lake had dried up with patches of water. There had been a drought in the place.

He found a suitable place to settle down for night. He got some water from the lake ate his food and tried to sleep under the sky. But he was feeling uncomfortable and hot. He just passed the hours. Towards the dawn he must have dozed .He woke up with a start. It was very early morning. The cool breeze was very soothing. There were some women who had come to fetch water. When he saw there were two girls. He thought he would go and ask for some water. He took his small mataka and started walking. A thorn pricked his sole. So he sat on a rock to take it out.

Suddenly his ears heard something. He stopped for awhile.

Yes it was the music notes. He could not believe his ears. He went to the spot where the two girls were standing with their pails of water. He asked for water. They gave him .He drank the whole of it. As he asked for more they looked surprised. They gave him more.

He went away .The girls again started filling water in their pails.

The traveler hid himself behind some trees to listen.

Again the same notes. He was mesmerized.

Both the girls started walking back to their house. They were Tana and Riri. They were the daughters of Naggar Brahmin a  community of Vadanagar.

Tana was the elder one. Beautiful,  innocent. Her sister was bright spirited and beautiful. Both of them were very good singers blessed with an enchanting voice..

They reached their haveli. In the afternoon they narrated the incident to their grandfather Dado.

He thought for a while ‘Beta this is not a common traveler he must be Miya Tansen

‘What?’ asked Tana

‘Yes remember the incident, we had heard.’ He said.

Some body had narrated the incident which had happened in Akbar’s court.

Tansen who was one of the navratnas was a great singer. There were many people who were jealous of him. He was asked to sing Deepak raga.

Everyone knew that this raga would make Tansen sick. The raga is supposed to generate lot of heat which harms the body of the singer. Akbar was convinced somehow and he asked Tansen to sing this raag.

Tansen sang Raga Deepak. He sang it beautifully. The deeps were lighted by his song. But he became sick.

‘Yes Dado’ Tana had remembered

‘This person is  Miya Tansen’ Dado said

Tansen was unable to bear the extreme heat .He asked Akbar’s permission to go on a pilgrimage. He was in search of a person who could sing the raga Megh Malhar. This would induce the rains which would cool down the heat.’

In the evening Dado met the traveler in the temple. He brought the traveler home.

They had a conversation .The traveler admitted he was Tansen.  Than he narrated the incident of the morning where he had seen two girls from the village filling pails of water from the lake. He told him about the notes of the raga he heard while the water filled the pails.

Dado knew he was talking about Tana and Riri his grand daughters.

‘Yes he said the two girls were offering the water to the diety. This they were doing so that the rain Gods would be pleased. They tried to fill their pails of water with the Megh Malhar notes. This was difficult so they went early. The girls were good singers.

Tansen thought for while. If the girls could fill the pails of water ,where the filling water had Raga notes than he had reached his destination. The girls were truly blessed by Goddess Saraswati .He felt his search had ended.

Tansen was impressed .He requested the girls to sing Megh Malhar for him.

So that day these two Naggar girls sang the raag Megh malhar .

Tana looked at her sister.

Both of them prayed silently.

And behold a cool breeze set in. Clouds came from nowhere. They had prayed hard for success. Something which they had not been able to do for many days happened

The rain poured down Tansen went out and stood in the rains. The heavenly rain cooled his body. It took away the heat caused by the Deepak raag. He was cured and healed.

Tansen got a new life.

Thanking and blessing the girls he went back to Delhi.

He had promised Dado that he would not talk about the incident.

But Akbar came to know about the incident

He sent for Tana and Riri and asked them to perform in the court

When the girls refused, .he sent his forces to Vadanagar.

Tana Riri were very unhappy to have caused so much hardship for Vadanagar.

Without telling anyone they went out to the well in the forest.

Holding each other’s hands they prayed for the last time.

The waters  of the well engulfed the innocent girls.

The Angels went to heaven

The melody was lost for ever.


This is a true story. About 60 Kms from Ahemdabad lies Vadanagar. There is a shrine of these two girls who sacrificed there life. Miya Tansen  composed a Raga in their memory..


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