Thursday, 9 May 2013

ILaiyaraaja-The Connoisseur..

The eyes and ears of a connoisseur are very different indeed. Go through these verses and you will know why I am saying this:

‘Looking at the evening sky,

Wandering about in different directions

‘Caw’ shout the beautiful black crows.

Spreading the shades of red, Devi Parasakti appears as the moon.

The rich green parrot tweets and flies,

And the little sparrow takes a flight.

A couple of vultures go on a circle and move away.

 ‘Saktivel’ says the rooster, down the street.

Shades of red fade away as the moon showers the honeyed light.

There she comes with a smile on her cherry lips and holds the moon with her eyes.

 Beautiful indeed is love!!

Love gives Life. Love gives valour.

Love gives intelligence. Love poetry makes everything fertile.

Holding her hand, and taking them to my eyes,

‘Wonderful’ said I without any worries.

She sang with a voice that was as beautiful as the Veena.’


கா என்று கத்திடும் காக்கை என்றன் கண்ணுக்கினிய கருநிறக் காக்கை

மேவிப் பலகிளை மீதில்-இங்கு விண்ணிடை அந்திப் பொழுதினக் கண்டே,

கூவித் திரியும் சிலவே,-சில கூட்டங்கள் கூடித் திசைதொறும் போகும்

தேவி பராசக்தி அன்னை-விண்ணில் செவ்வொளி காட்டிப் பிறைதலைக் கொண்டாள்.


தென்னை மரங்கிளை மீதில்-அங்கோர் செல்வப் பசுங்கிளி கீச்சிட்டுப் பாயும்.

சின்னஞ் சிறிய குருவி-அது 'ஜிவ்'வென்று விண்ணிடை ஊசலிட்டேகும்.

மன்னப் பருந்தொரிரண்டு-மெல்ல வட்டமிட்டுப்பின் நெடுந்தொலை போகும்.

பின்னர் தெருவிலோர் சேவல்-அதன் பேச்சினிலே ''சக்திவேல்'' என்று கூவும்.


செவ்வொளி வானில் மறைந்தே-இளம் தேநிலவு எங்கும் பொழிந்தது கண்டீர்!

இவ்வளவான பொழுதில்-அவள் ஏறிவந்தே உச்சிமாடத்தின் மீது

கொவ்வை இதழ் நகை வீச-விழிக்கோணத்தைக் கொண்டு நிலவைப் பிடித்தாள்.

செவ்விது,செவ்விது பெண்மை!-!செவ்விது,செவ்விது,செவ்விது காதல்!


காதலினால் உயிர் தோன்றும்,-இங்கு காதலினால் உயிர் வீரத்திலேறும்;

காதலினால் அறிவெய்தும்,-இங்கு காதல் கவிதைப் பயிரை வளர்க்கும்;

ஆதலினால் அவள் கையைப்-பற்றி அற்புதம் என்று இரு கண்ணிடை ஒற்றி

வேதனையின்றி இருந்தேன்; -அவள் வீணைகுரலில் ஓர் பாட்டிசைத்திட்டாள்.

These words are Bharati’s. I wonder if there can be a better romantic description of an evening.Bharati was surely a connoisseur who appreciated minute things in life. To him, a crow looks beautiful and vultures are part of life. Remember that the same poet saw the Divine in the dark-hued feathers of a crow. Here too, he sees the Divine in the evening sky and hears the Divine in the call of a rooster.

And look at the last stanza. Bharati- the Connoisseur. Bharati- the Romantic.

ILaiyaraaja is a connoisseur too.

During his early years in an interview to the ‘ilangai vaanoli’, he was asked about the secret of his success. Pat came the reply-‘I spend a lot of time with nature’!

 Is it any surprise then that his music sounds great and divine?

 I am sure he enjoys each and every note and the combinations as he writes the notes. He is his first ‘rasika’ and the song of the day reinforces my belief. ‘Vaanam enge’ from ‘Nenjil aadum poo ondRu’(1980, but unreleased) is a composition that takes us to the space in no time and makes us listen to the music in space. Harmony and Melody go hand in hand in this Kalyani based composition.

Kalyani, as you all know is one of the most melodious ragas. It is one of the oldest ragas too. It goes by the name ‘Yaman’ in the Hindustani system. As per the Carnatic Melakarta system, it is the 65th mela and has the following structure- sa ri2 ga3 ma2 pa dha2 ni3 Sa/Sa ni3 dha2 pa ma2 ga3 ri2 sa. The phrases-‘ni ri ni’, ‘ni ga ri ni’ and ‘ni ri ga ri ni’- are enough to bring out the essence of this raga. At times, just a ‘ni’ is enough to establish this raga which is believed to be very auspicious and sacred too.

‘Vaanam enge..’ starts with the ‘ta ka dhi mi’ played not by any percussion instrument but by that great instrument called Bass Guitar. After 8 ‘ta ka dhi mi’ s, the chorus starts singing the ‘akaaram’. Invested with considerable ardour, the voice of Janaki lays the next layer of Kalyani in akaaram. The chorus sings the next set of swaras-in akaaram again- and Janaki expands this in the higher octave. The entire prelude does not have any melodic instrument (bass guitar may not fall under this category in the strictest sense) nor does it have any percussion. Remarkable!

The Pallavi  which starts after 1/4th count(anaagata eduppu) is slick and brings out the inherent charm of the raga.

With a calm finesse followed by an astonishing vigour, the strings take a gleeful gait pausing for a second or two now and then. Mesmerised by this, the guitar flows with a mellow tone. The chorus continues the akaaram again but this time with a difference. The aesthetic cohesiveness is amazing as the higher octave is touched. The affable flute follows with zeal rather romantically. The sympathetic strings that appear towards the end give a totally different shade within a matter of seconds.

The two CharaNams-that alternate between Jayachandran and Janaki with the former singing the entire first charaNam and the latter the second one- are lucid and have some charming phrases. The first part is reflective and the middle part is intense. The phrases in the last line move languorously showing the inherent grandeur of the raga.

The second interlude is a connoisseur’s delight. The strings first play with vigour. The guitar responds in its own beautiful way. With rhythmic exactitude (playing ta ka - -), the guitar gives enticing expressions. Backed by this, the synth (or is it the keyboard?) makes an arresting delineation. The strings take over dexterously and hand it over to the chorus. It is profusion of nuances as the akaaram appears again harmoniously and melodiously.


வானிலிருந்து வரும் தெய்வீக இசை!