Sucharithra proved herself to be a promising talent.

Sucharithra, grand-daughter of eminent musician-musicologist, Prof. S. Ramanathan, sang for “Aaroahanaa” and showed that she is an artist with immense potential. She had enough confidence and the right temperament to present her concert with élan.

Dealing primarily with the ragas Purvikalyani (Anandha Nadamaduvar, Nilakanta Sivan) and Vagadeeswari (Tyagaraja’s Paramaathmudu), she gave all she could, to establish her expertise in the areas of alapana, niraval and swaraprastharam.

Vagadeeswari (a known one-swara variant of Harikhambodi), requires abundant caution in its handling. Phrases of Harikhambodi might insinuate themselves into the alapana. Sucharithra was able to scale up and down during the raga visthara and handled this raga with rare acumen. She was able “to get it across.” There was a sincere attempt to dwell at the top octaves (at “Narulada” in the anupallavi and at “Sathathamu” in the charanam) which lent integrity to her approach. Earlier for Purvikalyani she sang niraval at “sa dha” which formed an interesting pattern and followed it up with swaras culminating in “ga pa dha” as the end-phrase.

The commencing varnam was in Behag (S. Ramanathan) which was followed by two Dikshitar kritis, Sri Maha Ganapathi Ravathumam (Gowla) and Sri Varalakshmi (Sri). The galloping Thaye Thripura Sundari (Suddha Saveri, Periasami Thooran) gave the much-needed variety. (The tunesmith was T.K. Govinda Rao and the chittai swaram was his making too.)

V.V. Ravi on the violin gave enchanting alapanas of both Purvikalyani and Vagadeeswari and won kudos from the informed audience for his deft handling of Vagadeeswari. Dedication seemed to be his strong point.

Kallidaikurichi Sivakumar (mridangam) and Papanasam Sethuraman (ganjira) were in their elements during the thani. The mridangist commenced with vibrant strokes in kizh kalam which was responded well by the ganjira vidwan. The transition from chathusram to tisram was through a fine korvai where chatusram and tisram were played alternatively ending with the tisram. Strokes were played in both tempos. There was a short yet sweet sarva laghu kuraipu between the percussionists. The accompanying style for songs was indicative of the bhava-appreciation that was inherent in them.

Sucharithra needs more of concert exposure. While her renderings, all of them, were from the bottom of the heart, she needs to impart the aesthetic element (nalinam) to her singing style and combine it with judicious voice modulation techniques.

The concert was held in memory of P. Obul Reddy and Gnanambal at the Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan’s Mini Hall.

(sivakumar2004@gmail.com)