Saturday, December 31, 2011

A concert at music academy amidst a heavy downpour

It has been raining continuously in Chennai from thursday evening thanks to Cyclone Thane. I braved the downpour and made it to the Music Academy along with my family for Nisha Rajagopal's afternoon concert. I expected to just breeze through and get a parking slot at the academy which was not the case. By the time I parked at St.Ebbas and walked back in the rain, Nisha was into the aalapana for what was most likely her second song. The ragam reminded me of some popular Ilayaraja songs. I learnt later that it was lataangi.

Conscious of the canteen closing time, we had headed straight to the canteen. After taking a took at Iyengar's elaborate menu, a special one at that - with urulakezhangu vadhakkal, paavakkai pitlai and so on, I smacked my lips, rubbed my hands and sat down. As the items were lined up one by one, I noticed that the crowd was pretty good despite the rain and ankle deep water on the floor.

As I started eating, Nisha started on "Pirava Varam vendum" through the speakers. I don't know what exactly happened after that but by the time I came out of the spell, I found myself towards the end of my meal having curd rice. While the rendition was amazing, It was also refreshing to listen to a tamil song with proper pronunciation which brought out the beauty of Papanasam Sivan's lyrics very well. I gathered myself and walked into the auditorium and found a seat. The crowd inside was also good considering the rains.

Venugana loluni followed and was a real treat. After breezing through a few songs came Soundara rajam in Brindavana Saranga. Now don't get carried away, I got the raga right because the song itself has the raga name in the first few lines. Though I didn't understand the lyrics, I could still appreciate the love the composer had for Lord vishnu. I guess that is the beauty of the raga and the composition.

Ramachandraya namaste was a fulfilling main song laden with improvisations - the alaapana, tanam, detailed swara improvisations ending with tani avartanam. After Madhava maamava, when the concert ended with "Aarumo aaval" I was winding up with a dose of strong coffee and the crowds were lining up for the next concert which happened to be Sudha Ragunathan's. The margazhi music season ends this weekend. What started as love for food ended up as love for music as well this year. An apt song to end a lovely experience over the last 2 weeks I thought. After all there is no end to the love for good food and music

Monday, December 26, 2011

25th Dec - 2 concerts at Music Academy

‎2 concerts at the academy today .. had a good lunch and then briefly heard the violin maestro TN Krishnan wind up before settling down for Sandeep narayan's concert.. The guy next to me at lunch was still at vatha kozhambu when I finished, that too after 3 or 4 appalams and 2 rounds sambar and he muttered to me "130 roobaikku onnum perisa illaye". I walked away with a smile. after all it is such characters also who make the sabha experience interesting

Sandeep narayan who has let go of the NRI tag to become a full fledged carnatic musician was impressive .. took a strong coffee in the break and followed it with Amrita murali which made it back to back concerts yet again ..Amrita dealt with Akshaya linga vibho in detail which was heart warming .. however made the mistake of staying till the end, the whole area goes mad before the 4:30 pm concert and I could not take my car out .. So took a short walk to Parthasarathy sabha and had some snacks .. badam halwa and kuzhi paniyaaram washed down with a strong coffee courtesy Mountbatten caterers was quite good :-)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Margazhi 2011 - 24th Dec

was at 2 concerts today .. concert 1 - Nisha Rajagopal at NGS was like a breath of fresh air, the maama next to me kept prompting the raagas as she moved from charukesi to dhanyasi and so on and took Rama Rama Guna seema which I was told was a Swathi thirunal composition in Simhendra madhayamam as the main piece .. Claps at regular intervals and an overflowing crowd with 20 odd people standing in and outside the mini hall showed her rising popularity.. the poli, bhajji, coffee combination at gnanambiga afterwards was good but didn't make so much impact after such a fascinating concert!

concert 2 was Malladi brothers at Indian fine arts .. I realised that when a duo is singing there is lot more scope for creativity which makes the concert more vibrant. Umayalpuram sivaraman on mirudangam made the concert lively and the viiolinist was also good. They sang one of my favourites - sogasugaa mrudanga thaalamu .. the guy next to me this time was sunil raj, so no raaga prompting though ......I tried to guess a few.. they took one Sadhujana vinutha as the highlight and did a great job .. After 4 hours of sitting we took a short walk to Kamaraj hall and inspected the food festival .. Pesarattu at arusuvai arasu was quite ordinary and the whole area was so commercialized that we were out of it in 10 mins.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

23rd December 2011 at NGS

Making good use of maargazhi .. what a month! after some delicious food over the last few days, I think the liking for carnatic music also rubbed on or should i say re ignited .. listened to an old bombay jayashree CD on the way to office. the rendition of Kanden Kanden seedhayai was really touching . Coming back to food, was at NGS today, Venpongal with gosthu was simply heavenly. Finished for the day with a crispy onion rava dosa and a strong Coffee :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

21st Dec at Music Academy

Sometimes artists take the less popular ragas / krithis but leave you with a memorable expereince. At the music academy today Padmanabha Iyengar had made a questionable choice for the concert but managed to surprise with some real improvisations.While the Vazhathandu thayir pachadi was a nice aalapana .. manathakaali vatha kozhambu was a neraval .. Pienapple thakkali rasam was the kalpana swara.. all the thani avarthanams were well orchestrated with thirupullani payaasam taking the lead .. on the whole the experience was a good korvai with no kuraippu :-)

Monday, December 12, 2011


I am a collection of
unanswered questions
I am a bundle of
unresolved conflicts

My successes give me confidence
My successes give me complacence
My failures give me fear
My failures give me the resolve to fight

My beliefs are my strengths
My beliefs are my limitations
My actions give me joy
My actions give me worries

I am a bundle of
unresolved conflicts
I am a collection of
unanswered questions

I am a reflection of
what I have met
I am an aberration of
what I haven't met

கடற்கரை மணல்வெளியில்

கடற்கரை மணல்வெளியில்
கால் தடம் பட்டதும்
கடமை உணர்வோடு
கடல் அலை கலைக்கும்

நான் என்னும் எண்ணம்
மனதில் தோன்றிய மறுகணம்
தான் இன்னும் இருப்பதைக்
காலம் தவறாமல் உணர்த்தும்

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Hope ..

Is that little spark behind
a new beginning
That thin strand which
binds our beliefs

It gives us wings and
makes us fly but
Quite gracefully it
hides from us
the fragility of
what is called Life

Never let go of hope
For when hope goes
with it slides life
Like a piece of glass
it falls on the floor
Only a mess it
leaves behind with
reflections that
give you pain!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


கையில் குடை இருந்தும்
முழுதும் நனைந்தோம்
மழை நின்ற பின்னும்
கை கோர்த்து நடந்தோம்
கடற்கரை மணல் வெளியில்

உடைகள் பாதி நனைந்தும் .. பாதி உலர்ந்தும் ..

மழையின் சந்தம் தரும்
இன்றும் மனதில் ஆனந்தம்
ஈர மண்ணின் வாசம் நினைவை
எங்கோ கொண்டு சேர்க்கும்
உறவுகள் உலர்ந்தாலும்
மனதின் ஓரம் தங்கும் ஈரம்!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The view at topview station Munnar

The view from Top view station at munnar was really top class. Got a breathtaking view of mountains which looked to me like goddess parvathy drying her hair after an oil bath guarded by elephants and lions. (2 Photos below)

பாற்கடலில் திருமாலின்
கோலம் பூண்டாள்
நாட்டியக் கலை தந்த
நடராசன் மனையாள்

உலகாளும் பெரும் பொறுப்பை
ஒரு கணம் மறந்தாள்
ஆனந்த நடமாடி
அருவியில் நனைந்தாள்

மலை மகள் நீராடி
தலை கோதி சாய்ந்தாள்
வெண்மேகப் புகை கொண்டு
நெடுங்கூந்தல் உலர்த்த

யானைகள் பல நின்று
மலர் தூவி வாழ்த்த
சிங்கங்கள் செம்மையாய்க்
காவல் புரிந்திட!

மலைகளில் இறைவன் காட்டும் உருவம்

மலைகளில் இறைவன்
காட்டும் உருவம்
அறிவதில் உள்ளம்
பேரின்பம் கொள்ளும்

மெல்லிய காற்றில்
மலர்களின் வாசம்
சொர்க்கம் என்பதன்
அர்த்தம் சொல்லும்

ஏற்றமும் தாழ்வும்
உற்ற பாதைகள்
வாழ்க்கையின் தன்மையை
எளிதாய்க் காட்டும்

தடைகள் கடந்து
தாவும் அருவிகள்
ஆற்ற வேண்டிய
கடமையை உணர்த்தும்

கண் முன் விரியும்
காட்சிகள் யாவும்
நான் என்னும் சொல்லின்
அனர்த்தம் உணர்த்தும்

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Voyager

I set sail in search
of something
It’s been a while
I have found nothing

The tides do keep
rocking my boat
The pressure of now
is indeed a big force

I battle hard to
stay afloat
I try my best to
stay on course

The sea is strange in
every way
I learn and unlearn
every day

My sails keep changing
with the wind
My lips always have a
song to sing

I row along
full of hope that
one day for sure
I will reach the shore

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The drama of existence

I was an actor
not by choice but
when applauded
I did rejoice

Over the years
I learnt to act
The stage became
a place to relax

I hid my worries
behind my mask
Even in tears
I would make others laugh

With passage of time
the settings changed
I was left alone as
the audience waned

The drama of existence
failed to amuse me
Actor or Spectator
I kept asking me

Scenes kept unfolding
in front of me
The director was
still unknown to me!

Monday, September 19, 2011


For those of you who have still not turned off notes from me, I blame it on an idle weekend as usual :-)


I tagged along unknowingly
flying high joyfully
My master was still watching me
Only that really mattered to me

I had lost touch with the
world around me - and
when I looked around finally
the wind was smiling annoyingly

I was at his mercy completely
my string had snapped apparently
As my master watched helplessly
I had no strings attached literally

My life was changed totally
when reality dawned on me
The master was a fantasy and
the string was but a fallacy

The wind was always driving me
here and there as his wish would be
Enlightened certainly ..
I moved along with the wind
behind me

Monday, August 29, 2011

A parrot came to my balcony

A parrot came to
my balcony and
stood there just
watching me

A shade of red and
a tinge of blue
what a beautiful
sight was she

I looked at her
as joyful as keats
would be

she shrugged her
feathers gloomily as if
she had wasted
time with me

then she took off
but paused and gave a
pose for me

- thanks Bill for the nice photo :-)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

When we two parted?

with due apologies to Lord Byron :-)

I didn't realise that
we had parted
No silence .. No tears..
none of the usual
We always took pride
in being unusual

Was I stuck in the past
when you had moved on?
Did we get lost in
the mad rush called life -
Thrown apart by
that storm called change?

I have no answers but
I am not shattered
If I should meet you
after long years
I will still greet you
with a big smile

some day we will flip
the pages of our diaries
that warmth and innocence
we surely will miss
and in silence and tears
might relive those years

Sunday, May 15, 2011

To my mother

Have been thinking about this for a while but this photo from Ganapathy made me sit and write a few lines today.


The smallest thing you got
was reserved for me
Your whole life in short
was all about me

When I was a child
you had a dream for me
In your own sweet way
you slowly led me

In your thoughts you were
much ahead of me
You were always right
about what I would be

When I was successful
it would be just because of me
When things didn't go well
you would be there for me

The smallest things I did
you always thanked me
while all my thoughts above
remained deeply inside me

Words are not enough
to tell what you mean to me
Everyday in life is
mother's day for me

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I blame the long weeked .. I have a lot of time at my disposal :-)

You and me
my dear friend ..
You are so alike
yet so unlike me

You are near yet
so far from me
You are someone
that I never may be

In hours of crisis
you assure me
Calm and cool as
one can never be

In moments of success
you remind me
to hold my head
and just be me

When I look at the mirror
you peek at me
Are you god or just
the good in me?

You and me
my dear friend ..
You are so alike
yet so unlike me!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Best Prayer song

Was sitting in my daughter's school listening to the prayer which somehow left me wondering what is the best prayer song I have heard .. I guess it takes 30+ years before one starts thinking what to ask in a prayer .. and may be another 20-30 to understand that the beauty lies in not asking!