A prudent choice of songs underpinned Deekshita Venkataraman’s 75-minute long performance. This fresh graduate evidently has a rich repertoire from her 17 years of intensive training under vidushi Raji Gopalakrishnan and the late Professor T.R. Subramanyam.
But Deekshita settled for shorter compositions in view of the limited time on hand. As though to emphasise that the quality of delivery was really of the essence.
Some of the kritis she presented conclude with just two sections. In that class of compositions, what is called the ‘Smashticharanam,’ forms the second part, unlike the regular kritis which contain three components. Thus, in opting for the former, she allowed herself ample time to essay the ragas at a leisurely pace.
The other aspect, also possibly one of deliberate design, was the prominence she gave to kritis in the Sanskrit language. The lone exceptions were Tyagaraja’s ‘Paluku Kandachakkera’ and Ambujam Krishna’s 'Aravindalochanane Karunaipozhi' in Neethimathi.
Syama Sastri’s 'Paahimaam Srirajarajesvari' in Nattai was the opening piece. As the artist sang a spell of kalpanaswaras, there was in evidence a good sense of anticipation from Aravind on the mridangam at the turn of a phrase.
The young artist’s great control over her voice came across in the alapana to Pantuvarali and ‘Visalakshi Vishveshi Bhajare’ of Dikshitar. A neraval in this short composition and the kalpanaswaras at different phrases was enjoyable. Deekshita followed this with 'Soundararajam Asraye,' set in Brindavanasaranga.
‘Marakathavalli’ was one of those compositions in the shorter version. Clearly, the regular raga alapana Khambodi, or other ornamentations to this beautiful kriti of Dikshitar could not have been accommodated within the stipulated time. With the result, there was none of the frantic race against time that even reputed artists are often caught in. The percussion solo of Adambakkam J. Aravind on the mridangam and the violin accompaniment of Kovai Chandran were impressive.
Keywords: Deekshita Venkataraman