Baradwaj Raman showed trick and talent.
From his childhood, he has been a disciple of the vainika Padmavathi Ananthagopalan. Yet, the style and mannerisms of his illustrious grand farther were inevitably in attendance in the lively concert of Baradwaj Raman.
Just like titan S. Balachander, Baradwaj too resorts to pulling the strings to the very limit in order to sustain the karvai. He also exhibits his virtuosity in playing the veena at a breath-taking speed with clarity of notes. He sees to it that the technique is aesthetically pleasing, without overindulgence.
The highlight of his late evening concert was a soul-stirring Ahiri alapana, especially the sancharas in the Tarasthayi. R. Raghul (violin) responded with an equally well-rendered elucidation. ‘Mayamma’ of Syama Sastri poured forth with all its raga bhava. Baradwaj exploited the ample scope offered by the kriti for the display of his creative genius. Very rightly, he avoided kalpanaswaras.
The mridangam virtuoso, Trichur C. Narendran, offered a thani appropriate to the mood and gait of the kriti. His Thisram was a special delight.
Baradwaj presented an RTP in Shanmukhapriya. In the alapana, he brought out the raga pushti and bhava pushti. Tanam, especially the fast-paced varieties, elicited the innate magnificence of the raga. The Pallavi, ‘Ananda Thandavam Paarkka Naan Inge Varugalamo’ was set in simple-sounding, yet very intricately structured Misra Chapu.
Baradwaj commenced the concert with ‘Sri Saraswathi’ (Arabhi-Rupakam) with swarams at pallavi, followed by an enchanting sketch of reposeful Gowlipanthu. Saint Tyagaraja’s “Therathiyaga’ had several sangatis flowing from a single meettu. Another Tyagaraja composition that he presented was ‘Sri Narada’ (Kanada-Rupakam).
Baradwaj concluded his recital with the well known Manji kriti, “Varugalamo’ of Gopalakrishna Bharati with all its dramatic, emotional and folk flavours; and ‘Mayuram Viswanatha Sastri’s Hamsanandi piece, ‘Mamayil Ni Eriva’, a favourite of Baradwaj’s grandfather.
Balachander, in his presidential address at the very same Indian Fine Arts Society in 1983 emphasised the ‘need for everyone not to feel contented with what they have achieved; but try to accomplish the impossible, making the goal higher every time.’
If Baradwaj continues to follow this advice, his own future and that of the veena will be bright.