My husband likes pineapple on his pizza. Along with the typical bread, tomato sauce and cheese, he likes to add pineapple, green chile and onions. It is a surprising combination that actually works, a fusion of flavor where none of the ingredients loses its own identity. Biting into a slice, the taste is definitely familiar savory pizza, but then there is the sudden juicy, sweet reminder that pineapple is also present, holding its own, merging in the total experience.
This is what comes to mind in trying to explain the experience of discovering a shabd in rāga gauri sorath. Really? Gauri and sorath together? And yet this is the original heading recorded in Siri Guru Granth Sahib for this bāni from Bhagat Kabir Ji. After singing several shabds in rāga gauri in the purvi ang, this one appears. The melody follows the familiar pattern, and suddenly, there it is, that juicy, sweet reminder that sorath is also present, holding its own, and merging in the total experience.
There are other blended rāgas that are more like eating a really good ālu gobi where the spicy sauce brings all the flavors together, while a bite of potato is enjoyed for the taste and texture of potato and a bite of cauliflower still has the taste and texture of cauliflower. It is an obvious and time-honored match. Rāga gauri sorath is less expected, less predictable, less known, and immensely satisfying.