The fourth day of the Tamil Isai Vizha began in Madurai with an enlightening discourse on the distinct features of Thiruppugazh by Mathivannan, a disciple of the spiritual leader Kirupanandha Variyar who had started a sabha for Thiruppugazh in Madurai.
Thiruppugazh, written by Arunagirinadhar at the request of Lord Muruga, encapsulated the religious view that spirituality is above and beyond astrology, and included the navarasas in the right order.
Mere sounds chanted in a particular way became mantras, and Arunagirinadhar recited words with impeccable rhythm.
As the saying goes, ‘Shruti is matha and layam is pitha.’ Arunagirinadhar’s expertise in laya could be described by saying ‘Santham avarukke sondham.’ He had sung on seven different deities in breathless continuity, and created a distinct style of propitiating Lord Muruga of Tiruchendur.
This sthala is important because the son worships Shiva here. Shiva’s divine dance on the day of Pradosham was also described by the speaker who ended the discourse by stressing the importance of offering pujas at home in order to gain wealth and fame.
The prime time was that of Sangeetha Sivakumar. In keeping with the practice of beginning with Abhogi, Sangeeta sang Sivan’s ‘Nekkurugi unai’ and then resorted to one of the composer’s most often sung ‘Ananda Nadamaduvar Thillai’ in Purvikalyani. Sangeetha, with ready responses from Akkarai Subbulakshmi on the violin, made creative improvisations in this raga. Devagandhari followed in the pleading lyrics of Gopalakrishna Bharathi: ‘Enneramum undhan sannadhiyil nan irukkavendum ayya,’ and was reinforced by Muthu Thandavar’s ‘Sevikka vendum ayya’ in Andolika.
Her concentrated effort on Kamboji for recapitulating Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s classic, ‘Thiruvadi charanam,’ was appreciated and made complete by the solo performances of the violinist, mrudangist Kallidaikurichi Shivakumar and ganjira exponent Anirudh Athreya.
The audience were mesmerised by Punnagavarali, the kriti being ‘Ayye metha kadinam’ by Gopalakrishna Bharathi.
She was the first to sing the lyrics of Bharathi with ‘Eppadi padinaro’ in Karnataka Devagandhari. She rounded off the concert with a Thillana.
The audience left satisfied by the classical spread.