The Saralaya sisters showcased wonderful laya patterns.

A fast kalapramana set the tone for the concert of the Saralaya Sisters at Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha. The pace was maintained throughout the two-hour session.

The sisters began with ‘Omkara Pranava,’ a pada varnam in Shanmukhapriya, composed by Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna.

The varnam had wonderful laya patterns. The siblings followed it up with Dikshitar’s Gowla kriti ‘Sri Mahaganaptim,’ another composition with emphasis on laya phrases adding kalpanaswaras at ‘Prakashakaro.’

They broke the monotony at this point and presented ‘Ranganayakam Bhavaye’ in Nayaki, another composition by Dikshitar. The kriti would have sounded more soulful at a much slower pace than it was rendered on that day.

Kavita’s Pantuvarali alapana and their presentation of Swati Tirunal’s ‘Sarasaksha Paripalaya’ was a relief, but only till the kriti reached the niraval at ‘Bamini Samudayasya’ and the swarakalpana that followed.

Another paced singing of ‘Sharanam Bhava’ of Narayana Tirtha set in Hamsavinodini, quickly came in. H.S. Sudhindra on the mridangam played with poise and led to the next stanza in the kritis by suggestive beats and it was to the charanam in this number.

The Thodi raga alapana by Triveni was the crown of the concert. A languid mood set in for the rich composition, ‘Sri Krishnam Bhajamanasa’ of Dikshitar, in Adi talam. The manodharma during the niraval at ‘Shanka Chakra Gadha’ and the kalpanaswaras that followed exhibited the sisters’ understanding of the grand raga.

Melakkaveri Thyagarajan played a wonderful Thodi with a grasp over the nyasa swaras. His Pantuvarali alapana, though very short, was also remarkable.

Sudhindra and H. Prasanna on the ghatam chose to lower the decibel levels during the tani avartanam lending a soothing and lingering effect after the session. The interesting exchanges in two kalais leading to a brisk ending to land at the slower paced lines of the kriti was very thoughtful.

The sisters sang a couple of fast numbers in the tukkada session -- Swati Tirunal’s ‘Bhogeendra Sayinam’ in Kuntalavarali and the Devaranama ‘Harikunidha’ in Hamsanadam. ‘Maitreem Bhajata’ was the concluding item.