While listening to Nithyasree Mahadevan, one was often reminded of her grandmother.
With the rains unrelenting, the dams in Tamil Nadu are almost full. Nithyasree Mahadevan's energy levels could be compared to the water gushing out of the sluices of reservoirs.
Irrespective of the sabha or season, her energy level is consistent and she proved it once again at Narada Gana Sabha.
Beginning with the Kedaragowlai varnam in the company of B. Raghavendra Rao (violin), P. Satishkumar (mridangam) and Bangalore Srisailam (ghatam), she then presented Swati Tirunal's beautiful composition in Revagupti, ‘Gopalaka Pahimam', which was soaked in devotion.
‘Sujana Jeevana' (Khamas) reminded one of her grandmother D.K. Pattammal. The way she interpreted Dhanyasi step by step in a sedate manner reminded one of Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar's several 100+ innings. Akhara phrases were put to maximum use.
B.Raghavendra Rao's reply was on par with the standard set by her. Singing the anupallavi first , she took some time before reaching the pallavi line for Tyagaraja's ‘Mokshamu' (Saramathy).
The evening's main raga, Hemavathy called as Desisimharavam by Dikshitar, was again delineated at a pace keeping the song ‘Sri Kanthimathim' in mind. Replete with brilliant phrases, the raga was built by Nithyasree with ingenuity. Rao was a tad faster. Another striking aspect of Rao is his still posture on the stage.
The only movement are of his his hands that are engaged in playing.
The niraval was meaningful while the kalpnaswara exchanges were breezy.
P.Satishkumar and Bangalore Srisailam had interesting exchanges during the thani segment.