For one, it misses the context. For another, it misrepresents the tenor of the content.
Since Valmiki wrote Ramayan, this monumental ``aadi kavya’’ (epic) has been re-visited by many great personalities such as Kalidasa, Tulasidas and Kamban. C. Rajagopalachari, too, had come out with his version of Ramayana The later writers inscribed their own styles, and presented Ramayan in their own languages. Depending on an individual’s ability to assimilate, he/she picks and reads different authors in different languages to understand Ramayan. Inspiration is the key to a creator’s articulation. Being inspired or influenced does not in any way belittle the creativity in a writer. Though many `Ramayans’ have come into place, we continue to distinguish them by saying `Valmiki Ramayan’, `Raghuvamsa Maha Kavya’’ of Kalidasa, `Ramacharitmanas’ of Tulasidas,’ ` Kamba Ramayanam’ of Kamban and `Chakravarthi Tirumagan’ of Rajaji. Thus, original work of Valmiki has transformed to assorted formats, depending on writer’s depiction of Lord Rama. While Tulasidas saw Rama from a Bakthi angle, Kalidasa’s work was an historical narrative replete with poetic passages. Kamban revealed his creative mastery in his Ramayan in beautiful Tamil. Rajaji’s work was marked for its simple elucidation.
Influence is indeed a key to evolution. And, inspiration is an essential component of this influence. These two form a formidable co-partnership in creativity. Ipso facto, the controversy generated over Pi’s Lullaby, sung by Bombay Jayashri for the film `Life of Pi’, is entirely avoidable. For one, it misses the context. For another, it misrepresents the tenor of the content. No one will give a Carnatic singer even an outside chance to get an Oscar nomination! But Bombay Jayashri got Oscar nomination for this song. Often times one wonders how a Carnatic musician could sing a single Thyagaraja kriti (which is just three lines) for over half-an-hour! Different schools teach the same song differently. On top of it, an artiste gets into his/her creative mood to elaborate and expand. If it adds to the beauty of music, it reveals the talent in an artiste. Once somebody complimented flute Mali saying, ``the Bhairavi that you played at my uncle’s wedding concert - the same Bhairavi you played today. I am very happy sir.’’ To this, Mali quipped, ``same Bhairavi!’’. The implication of what Mali had said then was very clear. For a genius artiste like him, no two Bhairavis he played could be the same. The Pi’s Lullaby is music for the modern audience, and has relevance in the context of globalization.