‘Thrimshath Sambhrama’ festival in Mangaluru featured both time-tested and rare kritis

Musicians Geetha Ramanand and Ramya Kiranmayi Chaganti’s concerts stood out for their choice of kritis and rich portrait of ragas

November 25, 2023 04:11 pm | Updated 04:11 pm IST

Geetha Ramanand

Geetha Ramanand | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Sangeetha Parishath Mangalore recently organised its 30th anniversary celebration — ‘Thrimshath Sambhrama’, under the patronage of Karnataka Government’s Department of Kannada and Culture, in association with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mangaluru. The five-day festival featured talented vocal and instrumental artistes.

On the first day, veteran veena artiste Geetha Ramanand from Bengaluru presented a pleasing recital. She was supported by her disciple V. Gopal.

Geetha began with the soft Behag varnam ‘Vanajaksha’ by T.R. Subramaniyam and moved on to the lively ‘Saraseeruhasana Priyae’ (Nattai), by Puliyur Duraiswamy Iyer, in praise of Saraswathi. ‘Venkateswara yettappa bhoopathim aashrayaeham’ (another alternative is ‘Yaadava bhoopathim’), the rare kriti by Muthuswami Dikshitar, in raga Megharanjani, was enjoyable.

After ‘Mayae tvam yaahi’ in Tarangini by Dikshitar, and ‘Jnanamosaga radha’ in Purvikalyani by Tyagaraja, Geetha presented an RTP in Thodi, with a leisurely alapana, tanam in ragamalika and a pallavi with interesting swaras. Gopal faithfully followed her like a shadow and proved to be a strong support.

The lighter session included a few popular songs such as Swati Tirunal’s ‘Kalayae sri kamala nayana charanae’, ‘Govinda ninna namavae chanda’ and ‘Kadagola thaarenna chinnavae’ (both by Purandaradasa) and a sprightly thillana in Misra Shivaranjani by Lalgudi G. Jayaraman.

Geetha’s son Adamya Ramanand, and Shamith S. Gowda enlivened the concert with their support on the mridangam and ghatam, respectively, and their sparkling tani.

Focus on patanthara

Ramya Kiranmayi Chaganti

Ramya Kiranmayi Chaganti | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ramya Kiranmayi Chaganti from Visakhapatnam was a picture of dignity and elegance, both in her performance and bearing, just like her guru Pantula Rama. She focussed on the patantara, diction and raga bhava, and her face and posture did not show the effort she was putting in to produce scintillating energy around her.

After beginning with the sober shloka, ‘Akanda mandalakaram’, an invocation to the guru, Ramya burst into the lively varnam ‘Evarunnaru nannubrova’ in Nalinakanti by Mysore Vasudevachar. She followed it up with Purandaradasa’s ‘Jaya jaya jaya janaki kantha’ in Nattai and Tyagaraja’s ‘Telisi rama chintana’ in Poornachandrika. A detailed alapana of Kumudakriya preceded Dikshitar’s ‘Ardhanareeswaram aradhayaami’.

‘Sarasamukhi sakala bhagyadae’ in Gowda Malhar, by Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar provided an invigorating break. Ramya’s layer by layer delineation of Kamboji brought out the raga swaroopa beautifully. Tyagaraja’s ‘Maa janaki chattabattaga’ was presented in the true spirit of the composition. (In this kriti, Tyagaraja shifts his loyalty from Rama to Sita and tells Rama that all the glory he received was because he married Sita and all his adventures and victories were initiated by her. If only she had not refrained from burning Ravana alive with her anger, how would he have got the credit for vanquishing Ravana).

Interesting swara combos

Ramya’s niraval for ‘Vani matalaku’ was brimming with the essence of Kamboji and her swara combinations were innovative and interesting.

The Syama Sastri kriti, ‘Parvathi ninnu ne neranammithi’ in Kalgada appeared before the Karaharapriya RTP, which was presented with due ornamentation. Her guru’s pallavi, ‘Rama bhakta shiromani, Tyagaraja sudheemani, nadayoga dheemani, nee samanamevvaru’ on Saint Tyagaraja was a sumptuous treat.

Ramya Kiranmayi concluded her concert with the Ashtapadi ‘Yaehi muraare kunja viharae’ and ‘Tamboori meetidava’. Each of her songs stood out for their intrinsic beauty and where they were placed in the concert.

Hosalli Raghuram on the violin spread the fragrance of the Lalgudi bani with his smooth bowing and imagination. Chertala Krishnakumar’s mridangam playing and his thani were remarkably lively. Young Sumukha Karanth on the kanjira joined with equal spirit.

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