Trove of kritis, courtesy the Saralaya Sisters

The Saralaya sisters say they have learnt over 1,000 kritis from their guru. File Photo.  

Fourteen kritis in three hours — that was the Saralaya Sisters' (Kavitha and Triveni) generous Ramanavami concert at Chamarajpet Ramaseva Mandali, apart from the time allotted for their creative fragments of alapane, swara-prasthara and neraval.

Trained under senior vocalist Seethalakshmi Venkatesan, the Saralaya Sisters are known for their treasure of kritis. “We have learnt more than 1,000 kritis from our guru over 23 years,” says Triveni.

Accompanied by Nalina Mohan (violin), M. Balaji (mridanga) and Narayana Murthy (ghata), the sisters' cutcheri course was interesting with alternating slow, medium and fast-paced kritis.

Sample this: an unhurried Ramachandrena sam rakshito in a leisurely flow of raga Maanji had the sisters take up Dikshitar's lyrics, followed by the fast train of swara and sahitya for Tyagaraja's Vararagalaya in Chenchukambhoji. The intonation in the next Veera Hanumathe namo namo was formal bhakthi weaved in an emotive Kanada raga, even as they switched to a fast run for Tyagaraja's Sobillu saptaswara in Jaganmohini with all the chittaswaras in precision, even at this rapidity. And that was necessary to step into the serene and composed Poorvikalyani for their focal piece Parama pavana Rama.

The choice of several composers too engaged their audiences in a guessing game.

“We were brought up breathing music and my mother Sulochana Saralaya's constant initiation into fine arts appreciation gradually led us into developing a musicality for appreciating assorted styles from our childhood,” says Kavitha. This characteristic made them approach the maestro M. Balamuralikrishna for learning his rich varnas, ashtapadis and tillanas, which add to their presentation styles. Their tail-end Brindavani tillana of Balamuralikrishna said it all.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 3:34:37 AM |

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