She compares it to the majesty of Gomateswara.

The Hanrag-Hamsadhwani award was conferred on Dr. T.S. Sathyavathi, by Hamsadhwani at the Youth Hostel Auditorium, Indira Nagar. Dr. M B Vedavalli who gave away the award said that she was happy to give away the Purandara Dasa award to the most appropriate person.

The secretary, Hamsadhwani, T.R. Gopalan, said that the sabha felt honoured presenting the award to Karnataka Sangeetha Kala Rathna, Dr. Sathyavathi. Ramnath Mani sabha president honoured the artists on the stage.

Dr. Vedavalli gave a historical perspective to Purandara Dasa and his songs. His kritis would find place in almost all concerts as both Carnatic and Hindustani ragas could be adopted in their rendering. Tracing the life of the merchant-turned devotee, she said of the nearly five lakh songs attributed to him, only about 1,000 are available. Sathyavati was a scholar in both Kannada and Sanskrit and thus richly deserved the award, she said.

Accepting the honour, Sathyavathi said that the Dasa award was special to her. Purandaradasa’s compositions are a perfect blend of lyrical beauty and musical simplicity reminding her of “Gommata” of Belur Temple, a structure which is grand without any ornamentation. Dasa’s songs could also be compared to the majestic beauty of Gomateswara. She also said that she was indebted to the music connoisseurs of Chennai who had always welcomed her. She placed this award at the lotus feet of her father and her four gurus Sri/Smt. Vasanthamadhavi, R.K. Srikantan, B.V.K. Sastry and Bangalore K Venkatram.

Her concert followed and the choice of kritis naturally was from the Dasa repertoire. The songs were, Sakala Graha Bala Neeve (Atana), Kaarunya Muruthi (Mukhari), Marulu Matikonte (Nilambari), Rama Ramenniro (Suddha Dhanyasi), Neene Ballidhano (Purvikalyani) and Bandhu Nindiha Nodi (Madhymavathi). The rendering showed Sathyavathi’s sharp intellect and her capacity to bring out the emotional content in the compositions. She prefaced each song with some compact take-down notes. Ananthakrishnan (violin) and Delhi Sairam (mridangam) were her accompanists.

(s.sivakumar - sivakumar2004@gmail.com)