Narada Gana Sabha: The gayaki style rendition left much to be desired.

With Sabha auditoriums getting almost full this music season, here is one with a different scenario. The Narada Gana Sabha Hall, which showcased the veena concert of S. Srinivasan, during its pre-festival music series, was close to empty.

Srinivasan, a graded artist of All India Radio, on the veena with Arun Prakash (mridangam) and Chandrasekara Sharma (ghatam) were the lone warriors that day. ‘Teliyaleru Rama’ speaks about people’s lack of devotion to Lord Rama. Srinivasan’s choice was just apt for the situation he was in. Both Arun Prakash and Sharma gave their rhythmic support keeping the tempo intact with their well co-ordinated nadai.

The pace at which he commenced Suddha Dhanyasi promised a great fare. Suddenly it changed and that robbed the fare of all the beauty he had created in the first phase. It was too hurried. Most of the end notes never sustained enough to cause a positive impact. Dasar’s ‘Narayana’ was the kriti. The next alapana Varali was well executed with the treatment better than the earlier raga.

Srinivasan’s essay of the main for the evening, Khambodi, was good in patches. His adopting a gayaki style calls for a lot of perfection while pulling the strings. However the desired effect was not achieved either due to the fact that the phrases got smudged towards the end or that the pulling was not perfect at times. Also it is important to intersperse phrases with notes sans gamaka (colloquially called plain notes) to give the raga a variety. This was totally absent. In a nutshell, both the ragam and the tanam, which followed it, were prosaic. Arun Prakash and Sharma did a lot of experiment during the thani with calculations and succeeded in their attempt, which was engaging.