The story 'Tansen' is about the greatest legendary figure of India. Tansen was a great musician. His father was a singer whose name is Mukandan Misra. Tansen lived along with his parents in Behat near Gwalior. He was the only child of his beloved parents. He remained to be a very naughty person when young. He spent his childhood days playing in the forest located nearby his place. This gave him an option to practice imitating the calls of birds and animals.  He spent days playing inside the forest and imitating the voice of the birds and animals. He excelled in imitating the calls of birds and animals in this way.

There came a day when Swami Haridas, a well-known singer, happen to travel through the forest. He reached the forest along with his disciples. They seemed to be very tired of travelling for long hours all the way to the forest.  So, they wanted to take a rest for some time in the forest under the trees. They felt it would give them relaxation for a while. And, while they had rest, Tansen notices them.
When Tansen noticed Swami Haridas and his disciples resting under the trees, he decided to frighten them for fun. The naughty child hid himself behind a tree and roared like a tiger. This aroused fear among the disciple group. Since the disciples were afraid, Swami Haridas called them together. He asked them not to be scared since tigers are not always dangerous and harmful. So, he boldly advised them to stay fearless, while looking for the tiger to reach them.
While they were looking for the tiger, one of the disciples of Swami Haridas happened to notice a small boy hiding behind a tree. It was none but Tansen.
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Tansen hiding behind a tree
The disciple, having found the boy behind a tree, informed Swami Haridas about it. They have understood it was the naughty boy (Tansen) who was roaring like a tiger. In reality, there was no such real tiger over there.
Swami Haridas was amazed by the skill of naughty Tansen. In spite of punishing Tansen, he admired his talent. He directly went to Tansen's father and spoke to him in regard to his talent in spite of being naughty. So, Swami Haridas believed in making Tansen a good singer.
Swami Haridas convinced Tansen's father to take Tansen along to make him a good singer. Though Tansen was his only child, he decided to send Tansen with Swami Haridas to learn music. Tansen was just ten years old at that time. Then, he spent eleven years with Swami Haridas and learnt music from him. His continuous practise made him a great singer.
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The great singer Tansen
Unfortunately, about this time, Tansen's parents died. Tansen's father, Mukandan Misra, had a dying wish. He wanted his son Tansen to visit Mohammad Ghaus of Gwalior. Mohammad Ghaus was a holy man. Tansen's father, when alive, visited him frequently as he was a great devotee of Mohammad Ghaus.

Tansen stayed along with Mohammad Ghaus as wished by his father. Around this time, Tansen was often taken to the court of Rani Mrignaini. Rani Mrignaini was a great musician herself.
During his frequent visits to the court of Rani Mrignaini, he met a lady named Hussaini, one of the ladies of the court, and married her.
After Hussaini has got married to Tansen, she also became a disciple of Swami Haridas. Tansen and Hussaini had five children. Being born out of a musical family, everyone are blessed with good musical knowledge. By this time, Tansen became a very famous musician. He even sang before Emperor Akbar sometimes. Akbar was greatly impressed and pleased with his talent and so insisted Tansen to join his court. Tansen accepted Akbar's offer and was pleased to work along with him.
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Tansen joined Akbar's court
Tansen joined Akbar's court in \(1556\). Soon Tansen's skill made him a favourite person for Akbar. Since Tansen has become Akbar's favourite choice, he invited Tansen to sing often during day and night times. He frequently walks into Tansen's house to hear him practice. He appreciates Tansen's work and gave him many presents.
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Akbar’s appreciation
This musical bond between Akbar and Tansen made other courtiers become jealous of Tansen. “We shall never be able to rest till Tansen is ruined,” they declared. One of the courtiers Shaukat Mian had plotted against him.
Shaukat Mian had plotted a cruel plan against Tansen. He decided to make Tansen sing Raga Deepak. He shared this dangerous plan along with his fellow courtiers. None seem to know the importance of Raga Deepak. Later, Shaukat Mian explained them about the seriousness involved in it.
The nature of Raga Deepak is that, if that is properly sung, it makes the air so hot that the singer is burnt to ashes. As they knew very well, Tansen is a very good singer. If a person like Tansen sings Raga Deepak, he will definitely be burnt into ashes. The courtiers agreed upon executing this plan in order to end the bond between Akbar and Tansen. Shaukat Mian met Akbar in person. He cunningly made a complaint on Tansen, accusing his quality of singing. Added to this, he somehow convinced Akbar to make him (Tansen) sing Raga Deepak, claiming that only good singers can sing it.
Akbar, being a most significant fan of Tansen, accepted the challenge of Shaukat Mian very easily. He assured him that Tansen could sing anything. Akbar was very confident on Tansen's skill and asked him to sing Raga Deepak.
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Akbar’s order
On hearing the king's order, Tansen got scared. Still, Tansen did not have any other option at that time. He accepted the king's order but requested some time to prepare for it. He returned home feeling sad and hopeless and spoke to his wife to explain Akbar's request on Raga Deepak. He told his wife that though he could sing Raga Megh perfectly, the heat it gives off will not only set the lamps alight but would burn him to ashes.
Suddenly, Tansen had a thought on Raga Megh. The nature of Raga Megh is it will bring rain in contrary to Raga Deepak. If he trains someone to sing Raga Megh simultaneously while he sings Raga Deepak, it will produce a counter effect. Tansen will be able to save himself by choosing this option. He had chosen his daughter Saraswati and her friend Rupvati to sing Raga Megh. Having decided so, Tansen felt a little relaxed for a while.
As decided, Tansen started training his daughter Saraswati and her friend Rupvati to sing Raga Megh. They were extremely working hard, practising day and night for about two weeks. Also, Tansen had given them instructions in advance to both of them. He asked them to wait untill the lamps start burning while he sings Raga Deepak and then start singing Raga Megh.
On the appointed day, people from the whole town gathered near the place where Tansen's Raga Deepak arrangements are made.
Tansen started singing Raga Deepak. As he began singing the song, it seemed that the whole moisture in the air got evaporated. The whole town gathered near him, bathed in their sweat. Even leaves from the trees got dried up and fell to the ground. As Tansen continued singing Raga Deepak, birds fell dead. Water in the rivers started to boil. The whole crowd got collapsed for a while. There was a lot of chaos happened around due to this sudden, unfavourable situation. People were filled with fear and threat on looking at the sudden flames which come on their own, that lighted the lamp.
When the whole situation was getting slowly worsened, Saraswati and Rupvati started to sing Raga Megh as taught by Tansen. Tansen had already informed them to start singing Raga Megh only when the lamps start burning. They did not forget the instructions given by Tansen and started to sing Raga Megh. Then a miracle happened. There was an immediate occurrence of cloud formation, from which the rain came down to earth. Tansen was saved at this point from the burning fire. Though Tansen was saved from the fire, he was on his ill-bed for some time. This made Akbar feel bad as he was the major cause for this situation to happen. He punished everyone behind this plot. After some time, Tansen got recovered from his illness. It was during this time, people from the whole city was filled with great happiness.

Tansen continued his great work in the court of Akbar till \(1585\) and died in the same year as a court musician and singer. Till this time, he composed several new ragas. Tansen’s tomb is in Gwalior. It is a place of pilgrimage for musicians.
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Tansen's tomb