A thoroughly internalised and emotionally delivered Thodi elevated the quality of Gayathri Venkataraghavan's concert by several levels. Her raga treatise was suffused with a surfeit of soul-stirring kaarvais linked via brilliant akaras and vivacious brigas included at the appropriate junctures. This preface of piety was a perfect prelude to her selection of Syama Sastri's ‘Ninne Namminanu.'
The kriti rendition and the detailed niraval at ‘Kanjadalayadakshi Kamakshi' once again unleashed several hues of passion. The swara followed was just another attestation of Gayathri's astute vision in adding musical value to the niraval underscoring devotion.
Gayathri set a standard for herself in delivering a raga and she diligently tries to touch its core. Some of her delicate but absolutely fresh and absorbing finer inflections in Ranjani (‘Amboruha Padame,' varnam by GNB), Khamas (‘Seethapathey' by Tyagaraja) and Brindavanasaranga (‘Rangapuravihara' of Dikshitar) were exemplary. In Khamas there was a lively exchange of niraval and sprightly swaras between Gayathri and B.U. Ganesh Prasad on the violin. B. Ganapathiraman (mridangam) and V. Umashankar (ghatam) were over zealous right from the start and fully active during this kriti. Nevertheless, they too turned abstemious in ‘Ninne Nammi' to match the serene mood of the main players, Gayathri and Ganesh Prasad.
The Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi in Arabhi by Gayathri was elaborate to the extent of infringing ultimately into the time of the tail end items. The raga alapana in two instalments spread out beguile and briskness of Arabhi in no uncertain terms. The tanam partly supported by the percussionists was rounded off well. The pallavi ‘Kadhir Vadivela Unathu Paadam Thunaiye' was in Kanda Jati Triputa Talam, Kanda nadai. The length of the pallavi justified the time as the niraval and trikalam with ragamalika swaras were taken up in full measure.
If Gayathri's raga expositions were focused on poignancy, the swaras were computed with accuracy. Therefore, no meandering swaras – only neatly packed and musically precise ones. Ganesh Prasad reflected Gayathri's expectations and vision without blemish. He infused sensitivity in alapanas and niravals and showed alertness in the swara passages.
Ganapathiraman and Umashankar did not allow any part to go without a beat. Their tani avarthanam was given enough space and as expected it was a highly excited offering with varying patterns of rhythmic fireworks twice - once in Misra Chapu after Thodi and another in Khanda Triputa following the RTP.