Raga Ahiri and Raga Charukeshi
People with a large amount of Pitta are animated, occasionally hot tempered, have a sharp intellect and attach importance to aesthetics. If a piece of music is to reduce increased Pitta then it has to go beyond just having a soothing, cooling effect and appeal to these strong qualities, otherwise it will not be listened to. The sitar is an excellent choice for such music because of its characteristic nasal, overtone rich sounds and great variation in the playing possibilities. The surbahar used in the alap is a kind of bass sitar. It is bigger than the sitar, the frets are wider apart and the strings are thicker, giving a deeper, more calming sound. The surbahar melody strings, like those of the sitar, run across the left hand side of the fret board, allowing them to be pulled as much as necessary across the free, right hand side during playing. This pulling of the string, varying from gentle to strong, allows the finest nuances of tones within an interval of up to three whole notes. Raga Ahiri can be heard on the surbahar in the alap, jod and jhala.