D K Pattammal

Peace and Prosperity with Ragas – Part IV

[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]

D K Pattammal
D K Pattammal

AABERI

Once upon a time it was considered a sacrilege to use Carnatic music ragas to compose film songs. This in spite of the fact that artistes were chosen only based on their training in classical music. Stories were narrated mainly through dance and music. Thus Carnatic singers made an entry into cinema and became quite popular. Carnatic ragas were adapted with telling effect. One of them was Aaberi. Almost all the songs set in Aaberi were super hits. `Nagumomu’ of saint Tyagaraja is still a popular choice of Carnatic lovers. Mysore Vasudevachar has presented `Bajare manasa’ in the same raga. Both ragam and the lyrics are bound to give a healing touch to the perturbed mind. ‘Singaravelane Deva’ (“Konjum Salangai”), ‘Vaarayo Vennilave’ (“Missiyamma”), ‘Amaidhi Illada Maname’ (“Pathala Bhairavi”), ‘Malarndum Malarada’ (“Pasamalar”), ‘Kannodu Kanbadellam’ in “Jeans” and ‘Gomatha Engal Kulamatha’ (“Saraswathi Sabatham”) are some of the enchanting songs set in Aaberi. I have a special love for Aaberi because ‘Thiruparang-kundrathil nee sirithal’ was a curtain raiser to my cinema entry!

CHARUKESI

The raga rejuvenates the mind helping one to age gracefully. It enlivens the singer and the hearer. The success of the song, `Manmatha leelayai’ sung by MKT confirms Charukesi’s poetic and phonetic vitality. `Adamodi kalathe’ by Tyagabrahmam. `Kripaya palaya’ by Swathi Thirunal are noted for their aesthetic values. `Aadal Kaaneero’ in “Madurai Veeran,” `Vasanthamullai pole,’ `Adal Kalaye Devan Thandadu’ in the film Sri Ragavendra, `Unakkum Enakkum Isaindha Porutham’ (of Ramalinga Adigal) are some of the hit songs in Charukesi.

« Part 3


Sri Madurai Mani Iyer

Peace and Prosperity with Ragas – Part III

[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]

Sri Madurai Mani Iyer
Sri Madurai Mani Iyer

KALYANI

Kalyani dispels the darkness of fear. It gives motherly comfort and increases confidence. Kalyani means Mangalam. Recited with faith and devotion, the raga is believed to clinch marriage alliances. There are many authentic reports about the raga’s power to destroy fear which takes many forms, fear of poverty, of love, of power, of ill health, of death and so on. The great Tamil poet, Muthuthandavar sang “Chidambaram Ena En Manam Maghzinthida Japam Cheyya, Kodiya Janana Maranam Ozhinthidum” in Kalyani. Tyagaraja, unmoved by the request of the King of Thanjavur to compose a song in his praise, instead sang ‘Nidhi chala sukama, Ramuni sannidhi seva sugama’ in Kalyani. The raga bhava suits its emotional keerthana bhava. Shyama Sastri in ‘Himadrisude Pahimam’ appeals to Devi for a continuous flow of energy. Muthuswami Dikshithar has given a treasure in the Kamalambal navavarnam which acts as a shield, protecting one from the ill effects of planetary movement. In those days, Kalyani was very popular in the film industry. Pakshi Raja Films produced a film, “Kannika”, for which Papanasam Sivan wrote ‘Sundareswarane’, a super hit. I tuned a devotional song, ‘Kaatchi Thanthu Ennai Aatchi Seyvai Amma’, in the raga. ‘Chindanai Sey Maname’ and ‘Mannavan Vandanadi’ are some of the famous songs in Kalyani.

KARAHARAPRIYA

Karaharapriya is an excellent remedy for worry, distress and neurotic disorders. Tyagayya dissolves himself in the raga as he sings “Chakkaniraja.” ‘When the royal road is available with all the comfort, why do you opt for dreaded lanes and bylanes’ asks the saint.

Another Karaharapriya song ‘Mithri Bagyame’ counts the blessings of Sita and Lakshmana for being lucky enough to be nearer to Rama for his beck and call, and longs for the same proximity. Muthuthandavar sang in ecstasy, “Maayaviddhai Seigiraane Ambalavanan.” Many music composers have used Karaharapriya in their films to convey sentiments. Rajeshwara Rao used it to express the lovers’ mood in the song `Ariya Parumavada Madana.’ Earlier, ‘Bagavan Avatharippar’ composed by S. M. Subbaiah Naidu for the film “Valmiki” was also a hit. Another superhit is ‘Madhavi Ponmayilal.’ For “Agathiyar,” I composed ‘Esayay Tamizhay Iruppavane.’

« Part II

What’s in my name ??

Karthik being my name, I have often wondered what is in my name? It is a name that is very common and is also the name of Lord Muruga. But were they the reasons why my parents christened me Karthik? Or was there any other significance attached to my name? I asked my dad.

SANKAR – my dad’s name.
SHANTHI – my mom’s name.

The last three letters from both names, when concatenated, gives KARTHI. And thus my name was formed - a part of both my parents’ names!!!

Nice concept, right?? Probably I must pass on the legacy too, somehow…