[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.]
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!
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.