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