If only we are able to understand and appreciate the poetry in what we see, what we feel and what we experience, our life will be more beautiful.
One need not be a poet to do this. In fact, one does not have to be even a writer.All it requires is an objective view with a sense of aesthetics.
This does not mean that if one takes a poetic view, the problem will be solved automatically. Or that one can take an escapist route, live in a Utopian world and let things pass. One will certainly have to deal with a problem, and find a solution.
At the same time, there are things in the world that are beyond our control. Events that happen just like that. Episodes that unfold before us without our being prepared for them. Happenings that make us strongly believe that Life is very unfair to us.
The things, events, episodes, happenings cannot change. But the way we look at them is in our hands and this can definitely change.
What happens if we look at the hidden poetry in an event?
The cause or the effect would remain. But we become more refined. More mature. More affable.
One finds such happenings in Literature.
In my previous post, I mentioned as to how two small girls sang a poem when they were confronted with a personal tragedy.It is not that this emotive outflow directly helped them tide over the crisis.But it did give them solace.
It is also a fact that the poem brought them a lot of laurels.(as per history, they were later married off to King Deiveegan in a place called Thirukovilur and lived happily ever after!).
Now have a look at this poem from KuRunthogai written by MiLaipperum Kandhanar :
சுடர் செல் வானம் சேப்பப் படர்கூர்ந்து
எல்லறு பொழுதின் முல்லை மலரும்
மாலை என்மனார் மயங்கியோரே
குடுமிக் கோழி நெடுநகர் இயம்பும்
பெரும்புலர் விடியலும் மாலை
பகலும் மாலை துணையிலோர்க்கே
‘Only the dim witted say it’s evening when the sun goes down
And the sky reddens when misery deepens
And the mullai begins to bloom in the dusk
But even when the tufted cock calls in the long city and the long night breaks into dawn
It is evening; even noon is evening to one who has no one’.
The girl waits for her lover to return.And she pours out saying ‘to me everything looks like evening in the absence of my lover’.
Look how poetically she describes her misery.
There is poetry in waiting. There is poetry in longing. There is poetry in misery.
There is of course poetry in music.
In this Blog, we have been seeing the hidden beauties in ILaiyaraaja’s music.
All of us know his natural ability to compose melodious tunes.
But what sets him apart is the way the he deals with human emotions in his compositions.
Though each raga has an emotion attached to it, it is not the ragas alone that matter here.It is the way, they are used and applied (especially in film music).
ILaiyaraaja is a Master in this art and this makes his compositions sound more poetic.
The composition we are going to see today is about a complex relationship. It is sung by a woman who is caught between two worlds-one that gives her pleasure and the one that gives her pain. A case of pain being a pleasure and pleasure being painful. She is driven by an overriding sense of guilt, but still she seems to revel in the situation.
The composition is ‘Ennullil Engo’ from ‘Rosappoo Ravikkaikari’(1979).
It is based on Dharmavathy, a raga known to evoke nostalgic feelings and a sense of yearning.
It is the 59th melakarta and its structure is
Sa ri2 ga2 ma2 pa dha2 ni3 Sa/Sa ni3 dha2 pa ma2 ga2 ri2 sa.
If one changes the variant of ‘ga’, it becomes Kalyani, a totally different raga in terms of the emotions it invokes.
That is the beauty of music..
I had mentioned about the way the Maestro’s uses the ragas.
Just to quote an example, the same Dharmavathy was used in ‘MeeNdum MeeNdum Vaa’(Vikram)- a very romantic song.
In ‘Ennullil Engo’, he avoids the use of ‘ri’ and ‘dha’ in many phrases making it sound like Madhuvanti(loosely the Hindustani counterpart of Dharmavathy).
He does apply one more technique to depict the character and we shall see this later.
Let us look at the composition.
The rich tone of Sarod surrounds us and the Violins surge forth with energy.The Santoor now smiles the flute exuding sensitivity.
This prelude prepares us for the feast waiting for us.
The pallavi in the crystal clear voice of Vani Jayaram is redolent with melody.
The first part is simple until the words ‘En KetgiRathu’.It then oscillates gently giving us a very different feeling.
The pause between the Pallavi and the first interlude is brilliantly conceived and executed.
The violins then play with a yearning tone. They become enticingly energetic when the Flute joins and takes glittering flights. It is height of ecstasy as we hear the violins, the swirling flute and the succulent tone of the Santoor.
The CharaNam is delightfully layered.
We see and hear the melodic tint in the first two lines.This is followed by a plethora of sangatis giving the nuances of the raga with wonderful shades of musicality.
The second interlude is a masterpiece.
The Flute gives an array of arresting patterns.As we begin to lose ourselves in the lightning flashes, we are led to a world of sheer magic.
The Shruti changes and the ‘ri’ is taken as a base to give a completely different ragam-Chakaravagam.We have discussed this concept of Gruha Bedam in this thread.
The Maestro has used it extensively in many compositions and I think he used it for the first time in this song.
I also feel he must have used it to depict the emotional upheaval of the character.
Sparks of ingenuity!
Dharmavathy is back with the puissant sound of the sitar followed by the dazzling santoor.
It is a composition captures the entire gamut of human emotions with unfettered musical acumen.
I yearn to hear more and more of your poetic music..
என்னுள்ளம் எப்போதும் ஏங்குவது உனது இசையினைக் கேட்டிடத்தான்..