Deluge of ragas and songs

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IMMORTAL MELODIES: Nithyashree performing at Triveni Sangamam, Coimbatore.
IMMORTAL MELODIES: Nithyashree performing at Triveni Sangamam, Coimbatore.


Years rolled back as Nithyashree Mahadevan presented film songs sung by M.S., DKP and MLV.

The lyrics are beautiful, caressing music supports the lyrics instead of drowning them and the themes are devotion, beauty of nature, patriotism or pure love. You might wonder if one has ravelled back in time. Well, that is how one felt after attending Nithyashree’s ‘Triveni Sangamam’ presented by Ramalakshmi Charitable Trust and organised by ABBAS at The P.S.G.C.A.S. auditorium, Coimbatore. The songs, presented by Nithyashree, were from old Tamil movies sung by the three most significant women, who had left their stamp on Carnatic music, M. S.Subbulakshmi, D.K.Pattammal and M.L.Vasanthakumari.

B.H.Abdul Hameed, who has perfected the art of compering, introduced each song with interesting titbits, and relevant details that made the audience appreciate the hard work that had gone in the making of these songs. The painstaking effort by Ganesh Krupa’s music troupe created a fantastic effect. If they had kept the volume a little lower, the total effect of the programme would have been better. At times it appeared as if Nithyashree’s voice was being swallowed by the powerful orchestra.


After the prayer song ‘Tharunam Idhaiyyaa’ by Papanasam Sivan in Sivaranjani, Nithyashree began with the immortal M.S’s ‘Giridhara Gopaala’ (Meera) and followed it with DKP’s ‘Theeraatha Vilayaattuppillai’ and MLV’s ‘Aadal Kaaneero.’ ‘Kottai Kattaathedaa Ada Manidhaa’ written by Papanasam Sivan for Aswathama’s music was thought-provoking. And of course, ‘Ellaam Inbamayam’ sung by MLV and P. Leela for ‘Manamagal’ (Lyrics-Udumalai Narayanakavi -music C.R.Subbaraman) and ‘Aadaatha Manamumundo’ by MLV and TMS (Mannaathi Mannan-Marutha kasi-Mellisai Mannargal) evoked great admiration.

Hameed observed that it was DKP’s good fortune that she sang ‘Aaduvome Pallupaduvome,’ a song the inimitable Bharati composed with great optimism even before freedom came. ‘Kaatrinile Varum Geetham,’ that has become M.S.Subbulakshmi’s signature, was based on a Hindi tune sung by Jyothika Rai, was an interesting piece of information.

‘Kuyile Unakkanandha Kodi Namaskaaram,’ ‘Premaiyil Yaavum Marandhene,’ ‘Aadum Aruljothi,’ ‘Brindavanathil Kannan Valarndha,’ ‘Vetri Ettu Thikkum Ettu Kottu Murase,’ ‘Konjum Puraave,’ ‘Broohi Mukundheti,’ ‘Vaa, Valarmathiye Vaa’ were some of the other remarkable songs presented by Nithyashree.

Before singing MLV’s ‘Ayya Saami, Aavoji Saami’ (the song that condemns the hypocrisy and callousness of people from ‘Or Iravu’) Nithyashree expressed her marvel at MLV’s ability to sing intricately classical songs and liltingly light songs with equal gusto. The programme came to a close with the highly appropriate Bharathiar’s song ‘Bharatha Samudhayam Vaazhgave’ from ‘Vaazhkkai.’ Though most of the songs were solo, Nithyashree was accompanied by veteran singer Anantaraman and niece Lavanya Sundararaman for some of the duets. Little Tejasree Mahadevan, Nithyaree’s daughter, also contributed her mite singing ‘Nanda Bala.’

One could notice that the ragas such as Mohanam, Durga, Chenjurutti, Latangi, Sindubhairavi, Ataana and Suddha Dhanyasi, in which the songs were set, had been selected based on the emotion and mood they can create. ‘Kadhavai Saathadee’ was set in the authoritative Ataana, instructing a girl to shut the door to anyone who did not have money while ‘Ellam Inbamayam’ bringing out the joy of creation was tastefully set in pleasant Simhendra Madhyamam. There were also lively ragamalikas. The songs bore evidence to the fact that contrary to what some people feel, there is nothing degrading about movie songs and they certainly have played a big role in providing joy, relaxation and education to people from all walks of life.



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