V. Deepika developed each raga step by step, as a veteran would.

G.N. Balasubramanian is said to have composed over 250 kritis. in new ragas such as Amritha Behag and Sivasakthi. The latter, a janya of Kharaharapriya, is set in the pattern of the Sri Chakra.

V. Deepika, for whom GNB is a great grand guru, rendered his ‘Sri Chakra Raja Nilaye’, with extensive swaraprastaras in Sivasakthi, the out-of-the-ordinary raga. The twelve year old Kamalakiran Vinchamuri's responses on the violin were equally sweet.

Endowed with a sweet and mellifluous voice, Deepika rendered an unforgettable and wide-spectrum Shanmukhapriya, or Chamaram as it is known in the Dikshitar padhdhathi, with all its soft hues. She developed the raga like a veteran, step by step. The young violinist also etched a glorious essay.

Deepika took up the Abhayamba vibhakthi dhyana kirtana of Dikshitar, ‘Sadhaasraye’, in Rupakam. The niraval and swaras were at the anupallavi, ‘Chithaasraye’.

The thani by Swamimalai Girish on the mridangam was masterly. His tisram in the rupaka tala was simple, yet impressive.

Deepika commenced the concert with Lalgudi Jayaraman's Nalinakanthi varnam ‘Nive Gathiyani’. The charanam, ‘Marakotirupa’ was exhilarating. This was followed by Papanasam Sivan's Hamsadhwani kriti, ‘Karunai Seyvai Gajarajamukha’, with charming swaraprastaras. Her ‘Sangithagnanamu’ in Dhanyasi was straight and sweet. It is a long time since this critic heard this lovely Tyagaraja kriti.

She wound up with the MLV favourite, ‘Harismarane Mato Niranthara’, in Yamuna Kalyani.

(ramakrishnan.h@gmail.com)