NAADHA TARANGINI: Siddharthan: Panmozhi Pathippagam, Vikas Apartments, 19/8 Balakrishna Street, Mylapore, Chennai-600004. Rs. 105.
That the author is well versed in Carnatic music is borne out by the title story as also by quite a few others in this collection. His felicity in describing the ragas and their characteristics is remarkable. So is his strikingly unpedagogic style. Naadha tarangani, which has a wafer-thin storyline, is about a flautist, Natarajan, son of a Nadaswara vidwan, marrying Angelina, a student of Bharatanatyam.
In the meanwhile, Naganatha Sarma, the Nadaswara vidwan's bosom friend, breaks the news of the Vidwan being awarded the prestigious title Sangitha Samrat and launches into a big speech. But the line taken by the author, as could be gleaned from the protagonist's preachy statement — that just as “the caste has no role to play in the development of society, development of music also should not hinge upon a particular caste or community” — lacks contextual support.
Sankalpam is the story of the daughter of a musician, Mahalinga Iyer eloping with a young Nadaswaram artiste. Srutibedam is about how an up-and-coming musician Sriranjani decides to marry Venu, a music-loving auditor-cum-critic. Apsara, Arasiyal Thee, and KA.03.MG 1948 have not appeared in print earlier.
According to the author, Kumarikanni, Thunai and Cinema, written by him in the early 1950s, paved the way for his shaping up as a writer.