Wednesday, 10 September 2008

ILaiyaraaja-Musician With A Thirst!

''What could my mother be to yours?
What kin is my father to yours anyway?
And how did you and I ever meet?
But in Love our Hearts have mingled
Like red earth and pouring rain.''

These verses have been engraved in the coaches of London Tube (Rail) Trains.

If a poem gets such a royal status in ‘Queen’s Land’, it must be very special and certainly must have been written by a great English poet..

Was it Shelley who wrote this?

Or maybe Byron..

Or a new English Poet..


Then who was it that sketched this special poem?

Hold your breath…

This is the English translation of a Tamizh poem from the Sangam work Kurunthogai .

This is the original:

யாயும் யாயும் யாராகியரோ
எந்தையும் நுந்தையும் எம்முறைக் கேளிர்
யானும் நீயும் எவ்வழி அறிதும்
செம்புலப் பெயல்நீர் போல
அன்புடை நெஞ்சம் தாம் கலந்தனவே.

The poet acquired the name of Cempulappeyanirar(red earth and pouring rain) .

The English translation was done by the great Genius A K Ramanujan .

Is it not amazing that a poem written more than 2000 years ago is appearing in a foreign land?

What could be the reason?

The similes, the metaphors....

Well the poem itself!

What happens when the Rain pours down on a red soil? Can one distinguish between the water and the soil?

It is the union of the Heaven and the Earth.

Heaven and the Earth are very far but still the Rain unites both.

One of the lovers is the Heaven and the other is the Earth. Love is the rain that unites them and their parents.

Simply wonderful and wonderfully simple..

And that is the reason the poem finds a place in an alien land..

This also proves the fact that people from alien lands appreciate the gems from our country while people sitting in this glorious country do not realise the true value of some of our great geniuses.

The Genius of the gentleman hailing from a remote village called Pannaippuram has been recognized by foreign governments and people but not by our own country folk..

His compositions also match the quality of some of the greatest poems in the world..

With a ravenous appetite and a great thirst to learn, assimilate, and share, he has mastered all major forms of Music melding them all simply and wonderfully giving genuine music lovers a grand treat!

The enormous technical ingenuity of the gentleman is incredible.

The day is not far off when his major compositions are played across the World!

Today we shall see a composition I consider as one of Raja’s best ..

Based on the Madhyamavati Ragam, this composition is from the 1980 film ‘Enakkaaga Kaathiru’.

It is ‘Dhagam Edukkura Neram’.

Madhyamavathy is a pentatonic Raga and the structure is:

sa ri2 ma1 pa ni2 Sa/Sa ni2 pa ma1 ri2 sa.

The ‘ri’and ‘ni’ give life to this ragam.The Hindustani equivalent has two variations-Madhumad Sarang and Meg but each Raga is distinct.

A very pleasing Ragam, Madhyamavathy wards off evil and brings propitious things.

Raja has handled this with artistic dexterity in his compositions and each has been unique and special in its own way.

There are lot of special things about ‘Dhagam..’.

It is set to the simple 4-beat Chatushra Eka Talam and the pattern is Tha Ka Tha Ka Tha Ka Dhi Mi-and we hear a very specially tuned percussion instrument that also plays in Madhyamavathy during every alternate cycle of ‘Tha Ka Dhi Mi’.

The construction of the Pallavi and Charanam make it more special.

The first two lines of the Pallavi have plain Swaras while the last line has oscillating Swaras.In the Charanams, the third line goes up like a spin and the last line comes down gradually.

The pauses at the end of the Pallavi and at the end of each Charanam give an exhilarating feeling!

There is no prelude and the song starts with Uma Ramanan rendering ‘Dhagam Edukkura Neram’.The Flute wafts through the air and we feel the fragrance and smell of the sand just before the Rain.

As the Pallavi ends with ‘Ithu Santhana Pookkallil Sinthum Magarantham’ there is a pause as we feel the breeze.

The interludes have navigated patterns of magical quality.

When the strings sound, we see the clouds..

As we listen to the enticing excursions of the Violins, the pockets of clouds start gathering and converse with each other..

We listen to the sharp call of the peacocks that begin to dance as the Guitar plays with vivace. ..

The peacocks sing again and it starts raining…

It is the Rain of Music in the Charanam as we see drops kissing the Earth.

In the third line-Pesum Kiligale-we see the drops going up in a spiral becoming a stream up the hill in the lines ‘Devan Vanthan’ and flowing smoothly in the lines ‘Ini Naan paadum’..

The River now encounters craggy rocks as the violins play buoyantly in different notes .It becomes a Cascading waterfall spurred by the strings..

And it flows through verdant greenery as the Flute plays..

We feel the joy as the Flute, violins and the strings converse with each other and play with each other..

It is a chiaroscuro of sorts…

It is capriciously captivating..

It is a rich design inundated with innovative, imaginative ideas..

It is a stately treatment giving allusive images..

His Music is enough to quench our Thirst.

தாகம் எடுக்குற நேரம் அவரது இசை ஒன்றே போதும்!

1 comment:

Vaidy said...

Wow.........That description of madhyamavati composition was too good....
Thanks, u made my day.....