Falling in love again…..

The Berklee Indian Ensemble performs “Unnai Kaanadhu Naan” by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in Studio A at the Power Station at BerkleeNYC. The song was arranged by the Berklee Indian Ensemble.

My love started when I was around 11 or 12. It started out with English hits. I still remember sitting alone in my father’s car and listening to Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Rolling Stone and others. I did not have much time then, so my time listening to such songs on the car radio was limited . You could ask why was I doing that? The reason being that my father was old fashioned and was a very strict man. Music was not a part of his life. But my mother was the opposite of him. I will have to write about that another day. For him it was only about studies and instilling good behavior in his children.

Then I remember taking part in a music competition in my school with my friends when I was 15. We won and received the 2nd prize which made us ecstatic at that time. As we grew a little older, my sister and I used to get hooked onto the hit Hindi numbers of the 70s. That was a craze then. We danced to all those songs. Songs like Dum mero Dum, Kabhi Kabhi, songs from the movies Andaz, Kati Patang and others. We had a limited number of records and kept listening to them again and again, dancing away when my father was not home. Then one day my father walked in while we were dancing, removed the record from the record player we used to listen to and threw it away. It fell across to the house on the opposite side of my house. That completely took us by shock and music and dance was a taboo in our house from then onwards…..

When I turned 19 , with the inspiration from my mother, I went to do Music and joined Kalakshetra in Chennai. It is a college solely dedicated to the Indian arts. It was music, music, music and music there. But of a completely different genre – Indian Classical music. The funny part is that the situation was the same there… Only here we were allowed to listen to only classical music, but not any light music. One night after dinner, I was laying on my bed on the veranda of the hostel and before sleep overtook me, I was listening to some Indian film music on the small transistor I had with me. My warden who was also one of the teachers there, walked over to my bed and confiscated my transistor.

With a regretful heart I had to apologize the next day and collect it with the promise that I will not listen to light music anymore. That day put a hold to listening to film music in my life. Light music was out of the scenario after that. For years and years after that, I never felt the need to listen to light/film music anymore. I missed out on Ilayaraja the maestro’s music then. I did not even switch on the radio like many people. It was classical music or nothing else. I forgot how to enjoy any other genre of music in my life. I did not miss anything though. For me there was only one kind of music. It was Carnatic or Hindustani classical music and I was fulfilled and satisfied with that.

Then my children came along. As they were 90s kids, their love of Rahman and his music started to seep into me too. As they were growing up, they introduced me to his music, and I started to fall in love with Rahman, Ilayaraja,, Deva, Harris Jayaraj and many others Tamil music directors compositions and I too grew to enjoy with them, those songs. They had a wider range of music that they used to listen to. They used to explain to me all the nuances in the songs and the music of the 90s and I joined them in my journey of falling in love with music once again.

Now I guess, I am around their age in my heart, as I listen to all these wonderful musicians come up with such incredible sounds, creating so much of beauty in this world and definitely in my life. It is a balance for me now. I listen to whatever genres of music I like. Instrumental and vocal both are equally enchanting to me. I am truly blessed with a husband who gives me total freedom in what I do and what I listen to. Where will we be without music in our lives. Music is the joy that each one of us needs to experience. Life would be quite empty without music! 🧡

Rangapura Vihaara – Harish Sivaramakrishnan

“Rangapura Vihaara” (Sanskrit) composed by Mutthuswamy Dikshitar ( 1775 – 1835 ) in the raaga Brindavana Saaranga set to Roopaka Taala

RaHNgapura vihAra jaya kOdaNDarAmAvatAra raghuvIra shrI aHNgaja janaka dEva bRndAvana sAraHNgEndra varada ramAntaraHNga shyAma lAHNga vihaHNga turaHNga sadayApAHNga satsaHNga

Translation :- O resident of the town called Ranga! Victory to you who incarnated as Rama, the famed owner of the bow Kodanda! Brave scion of the Raghu clan! Father of Cupid! One who is as swift as the King of Deers in running to the aid of the Gods to remove their sufferings! Giver of boons! Resident in the heart of Lakshmi! Scarlet hued one! One with Garuda as his mount! Unsurpassed in compassion! Ever present in good company!

I literally had goosebumps the moment he started with his short raga alaap. Then he goes on to the shloka in Tamil, Pachaimamalai pol meni… Harish Sivaramakrishnan has one of the most astounding voices of our time , and is able to completely transport you to a different plane of bliss and joy. Somehow you automatically are able to connect to the divine the moment he sings his first note.

Such a gift that he is able to share that experience of music with us and at the same time make us completely mesmerized in his singing. He is able to reach to the younger generation easily by bringing such classics and classical music to be easily understood by the ordinary layman. That is his specialty and gift. His interaction with his audience is so natural. We are truly blessed to listen to him.

Ramana Balachandhran – Veena

Sublime, Divine, Soothing – That is how I can describe this rendition of Ranjani by the supremely talented musician Ramana Balachandran. Listening to this young musician one wonders what a gift and blessing he has received. His rendition on the Veena, takes one to a peaceful and meditative state. A young and upcoming talent in the Carnatic music circle.

I cannot express the amazing rendition of the Mridangist Patri Satish Kumar. Extremely talented and a sensitive musician. Both together are able to bring out such divine and exhilarating emotions to the listener.

In memory of Smt. Rajeshwari Padmanabhan

In memory of  Rajeshwari teacher.(1939-2008), daughter of Lakshmi Ammal and grand daughter of Karaikudi Subbarama Iyer (the elder of the Karaikudi Veena brothers), was a ninth generation descendent from the Karaikudi Veena tradition.

Nostalgic at this time of the year. Memories of Rajeshwari teacher and Kalakshetra keeps rushing through me…. It’s the fifth anniversary of the passing away of my teacher and Vainika Smt. Rajeshwari Padmanabhan. Her relaxed and meticulous style of playing the veena comes to my memory. She used to sing the sahityas along with the veena sometimes, matching the veena so perfectly that you were not really sure who was singing – the veena or she! A wonderful and gentle woman who will always remain in the hearts of those who came across her and who were blessed to have been in her presence.

Smt. Rajeswari Padmanabhan passed away on the 15 August 2008.

©ekta25

Nila Kaigirathu – A violin cover by Karthick Iyer

Happy New Year (2013 ) everyone. May this year bring us more clarity, hope, strength and energy to move forward. May we all be blessed by the Almighty with everything that is needed  to grow, prosper, succeed and flourish in our lives. May this year be a joyous and peaceful one !!!

I’ve been wanting to upload one of Karthik Iyer’s videos for sometime. Somehow due to some health issues and other things cropping up, have been unable to come to my blog. It’s been ages since I put up any post. Starting this new year with a video of Karthik Iyer’s violin cover – Nila Kaigirathu. Karthik you do rock.  I love your Charukesi, it is so soothing and peaceful….  May this year bring lots of success to you Karthik Iyer!  Wishing you all the best…

Divine…

I am not an expert in commenting on dance. But came across this video when I was searching for the song Venkatachala Nilayam. Very beautifully sung by Vijay Prakash. Loved the opening scene which somehow captivated my attention. Sharing this  divine video. Vijay Prakash is an awesome singer, he produces such bhavam in his singing… The dance and dancer, Nirmala Madhava also complimented his singing. Overall I found this video divine….

The dance is enhanced by its innovative style of presentation. Found out that the  PAMPA Dance Academy has created stage history with a unique blend of tradition and sophisticated modern stage techniques. What makes this group distinctive is its ability to communicate effectively, by employing innovative audio visual craftsmanship blended with pure traditional art form.

©ekta25