A concert by the Bombay Sisters, C. Saroja and C. Lalitha, integrated tradition and aesthetics.
The Bombay Sisters, C. Saroja and C. Lalitha, have inherited the rich bhani of Musiri Subramania Iyer, which integrates the discipline of tradition and the beauty of aesthetics. This style was reinforced during their training by T.K. Govinda Rao.
The sisters began their concert in Kochi with a Kapi composition ‘Sumasayakavidhura’ by Swati Tirunal. ‘Mahaganapathim’ in Natta was presented next. A short outline of Khamas raga and a bhava-laden rendition of Mysore Vasudevachar’s ‘Brochevarevarura’ followed. The chittaswaram in two speeds heightened the melodic content in the song.
Lalitha followed a simple approach during the elaboration of Poorvakalyani raga. Her well-toned voice shaped the concert. On the other hand, Saroja was amazing with her swara singing. ‘Jnanamusagarada,’ a Tyagaraja kriti in Roopaka tala, was well supported by Sanjeev on the violin. H. Sivaramakrishnan’s ghatom playing was also noteworthy.
The interim piece ‘Bhogeendrashayinam,’ a Kundalavarali kriti by Swati Tirunal in Khanda chapu, brought in rhythmic and melodic variety. ‘Ramakathasudha rasa’ in Madhyamavati, a masterpiece raga and composition followed.
Saroja’s husky voice traversed the patterned sancharas of the pentatonic scale with ease. The duo displayed their training under the Musiri Subramania Iyer bhani in the neraval for the phrase ‘Bhamamani janaki soumitri.’
Like their guru, the neravals were rich with bhava. K.R. Ganesh on the mridangam and Sivaramakrishnan performed the taniyavarthanam well. After ‘Rangapuravihara’ in Vrindavanasaranga, the sisters presented a Malayalam devotional song, ‘Katharulenam’ in Sindhubhairavi in praise of Lord Ayyappa. A rendition of the shloka ‘Karacharanakritam va’ was tagged with ‘Sambho Mahadeva’ in Revathi raga.
A popular number by the sisters, ‘Bhagyadalakshmi baramma’ was saved for the last. All in all it was a memorable evening of music. The programme was organised by Dharani society, Kochi.