Manodharma, tonal elegance and well regulated musical gait marked the recital of Krithika Arvind.

A highly expressive voice clasping natural talent, silhouettes of ragas and emotional nourishment of kritanas constituted Krithika Arvind’s kutcheri content in her Bahula Panchami recital under the joint auspices of Sri Thyagaraja Seva Samiti and Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha. Chaste taste and visranti created a sense of aesthetic space in her art. The appeal of her music was richer when her singing paid respect to raga chaya and the bhava of kritanas.

With her discipleship and sadhaka well-cultivated to convey sensitive potential, the delineation of the ragas such as Bhairavi (‘Nee Vanti Deivamu’) and Varali (‘Marakata Mani Varna’) stuck to classical values. The sharpness of the raga swaroopa remained constant focussed on their distinguishing shades. The presentation was subdued stressing nothing but the essentials mattered. Manodharma, tonal elegance and well regulated musical gait moved hand-in-hand.

Focus on rakti aspect

Paying special attention to rakti aspect in alapanas which progressed on smooth felicity, krithika defined the specific vitality of the two ragas of Bhairavi and Varali. While this characteristic was her imprint on elevating the beauty of the ragas, eliminating the syllables ri-ri-ri in alapana sancharas and resorting to akharas, where she had a strong foundation, the ragas would have gained greater depth. Akharas and gamakas are the heart and soul of ragas.

In the rendering of kritanas, interpretation is more than just style. She sang ‘Ennadu Joothuno’ (Kalavati), ‘Eesa Pahimam’ (Kalyani), ‘Evarura’ (Mohanam) and ‘Paraloka Saadhaname’ (Purvikalyani) without raga alapanas. Two specific aspects could be discerned in Krithika’s handling of the songs – the force of heritage guidelines and preservation of compact form of kritanas in pretty perspective in keeping with her mentor, Bombay Jayasri’s tradition she is heirdo.

While dwelling on the charana lines of the Bhairavai piece ‘Aadina Ninnadavalega,’ ‘Paadina Ninnu Paadavalega’ and ‘Koodina Ninnu Koodavalega,’Krithika’s cadences were an inter-mingling of lyrical beauty and sensitive reflection. A great emotional song clothed in lofty ideals stood out as her great achievement.

Krithika was accompanied on the violin by Shradda Raveendran and on the mridangam by N.C. Bharadwaj. The healthy rhythm in the latter’s support was manifest in his swift phrase adhering to tala etiquette which the kirtanas savoured all the way. His fingers were firm in bringing out a variety of patterns that uplifted the concert. It was a pleasure to watch his thani shifting gatis with ease. What his play revealed was the importance he gave to controlled decibels and restraints on exhibitionism.