TVS lived up to the rasika’s expectations and more.
He gives his all to music so much so his youthful exuberance belies his age. T.V. Sankaranarayanan (TVS) lived up to this reputation that evening. His use of nabhi and kanta (abdomen and throat) showcased what classical music is all about. No mincing of words, no mumbling, no muttering - it was all about open mouthed singing, yet there were subtle and touching moments.
Despite the hall being located in one of the busiest areas of T. Nagar, its setting was congenial for a vidwan to ruminate. The surroundings with the three small temples, remind you of the spirit of a village festival. This must have inspired TVS.
Commencing with Tamil viruttam on Pazhavangadi Vinayagar (situated at the entrance of the road leading Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swami Temple, Thiruvananthapuram) he included this temple too. There were liberal exchange of swaras for ‘Bhajaamahay Sri Vinayakam’ (Hamsadhwani-Adi-Thulasivanam) and ‘Ora Joopu Juchethi’ (Kanndagowla-Adi-Tyagaraja) between him and his son and vocal support Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan. The rapid akaara phrases where he moved to the upper octaves with ease, were impressive gems – a shining statement on the raga.
Nagai Muralidharan, upset with the poor acoustics, was subdued in his reply. The niraval phrases in charanam (‘Shambo Mahadeva’-Rupakam-Tyagaraja) was fresh with classic tekkas by Srimushnam Raja Rao (mridangam). Behag had a royal treatment (Swati Tirunal- Smarajanaka). He left no stone unturned. Khambodi was gorgeously melting. It was a punchy mix of brigas, plain phrases and lengthy sancharas for about 10 minutes that kept the rasikas spellbound. The sarvalagu swaras of TVS and Mahadevan were different but complemented each other. Raja Rao’s telling beats were a contrast to Mohanram’s (ghatam) during the tani. It was an emotional viruttam in Desh and Hamsanandi (‘Karupporam Narumo’-Andal) . The sloka in Madyamavathi and Suratti though brief did bring tears.