Sunday, December 16, 2012

Aruna Sairam at Krishna Gana Sabha

I have heard a lot about Aruna Sairam but I have never heard her sing. I took my season ticket at Parthasarathy Sabha this time but they had almost everyone except Arun Sairam. Given my interest to see other Sabhas as well this time, I decided to buy a ticket for Aruna Sairam's concert at one of the other Sabhas. It turned out to Krishna Gana Sabha which was the only venue I knew apart from Academy where Aruna was singing this time

After a sumptuous lunch and a nice siesta, we got through the T.Nagar traffic and ended up just in time for the 4:30 pm concert. The curtains raised and revealed the smiling face of Aruna Sairam. An artist with a pleasant demeanor, she maintained an excellent connect with her accompaniments and her audience throughout.

The concert started with "Margazhi Thingal" from Andal's Thiruppavai. An apt and impressive song to choose considering it was the first day of Margazhi. I found it intriguing given my liking for Andal, Lord Krishna and Tamil. After "Surya Murthe", Aruna started on an alapana which brought the image of Kamal hassan dancing inside a Marriage hall kitchen in the movie "Salangai oli". Bala Kanaga maya was the song for which Kamal danced. Aruna had chosen "Ilano Pranadaarthi" but it turned out that both were of the same ragam - Atana. The Kalpana swarams were extraordinary and the rendition of Atana exquisite. "Enna Punniyam Siedheno" had me feel the same way about my presence at the hall at that moment. The next song was "Siva Siva ena", another song from an old cassette collection at home. "Soundara raajam" was serene and brought lord soundara raja in front of my eyes. I remember running behind Sundararaja perumal during Chithrai festival in madurai to get a glimpse. At the end of song Aruna announced that song was on Soundararaja perumal in naagarkoil but my soundara rajar will always be Madurai Kallazhagar. At the end of this song, there was voice from the crowd which asked for "Maadu meikkum Kanne". Aruna reminded the lady with a smile that the main song was still pending and she would take up this request at end.

Somehow this time Pantuvarali and Karaharapriya have followed me in all the concerts I attended. The main song was set in Kara hara priya and I again recognized the raga during alapana thanks to "Pakkala nila pati" in the Yesudoss cassette I keep mentioning. After a lovely Abhang and a Padham by Aruna's guru T.Brinda, the concert ended with " Maadu meikkum kanne" which is an Aruna Sairam special.

J.Vaidyanathan on the mridangam and Raghavendra Rao on the violin and Giridhar Udupa on the Ghatam did a great job.

The concert on the whole was a divine experience. I just loved the way Aruna sairam sets up a raga, explores it and takes the audience along with her in that journey. Every rendition was filled with so much depth and feeling. A really wonderful experience!

The impact was so deep that I had to miss the next concert that I had planned at Parthasarathy Sabha, that of T.V.Sankaranarayanan, one of my favourite singers.

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