Tamil Nadu

Nagaswaram player’s temple music strikes a ‘divine’ chord in Kamal Haasan

Nagaswaram player K. Pillappan  

On Tuesday, actor-politician Kamal Haasan tweeted a poem in praise of a nagaswaram player after listening to him playing in the Thiruneelakandeeswarar temple in Paganeri in Sivaganga district.

“It is a lonely temple and without much of a crowd; He was a unique artiste who showers his God with music without any commercial benefits in return,” thus reads Mr.Hassan’s poem.

The nagaswaram player is K. Pillappan, a native of Paganeri.

“If his offering and the God he delves deep into are true, the God should come out of the sanctum sanctorum to sit beside him and rest on his shoulders,” the actor says.

“Great artistes disappear without any trace into thin air of commercialisation,” Mr.Haasan further says.

Though Mr.Pillappan is popular in his district and had visited countries like Myanmar and Singapore, he was unknown to the music world outside till someone posted a thodi rendered by him. Bare-chested, he was seen sitting in the praharam of the temple and teaching the raga to a student. Subsequently, the brief alapana of Sahana caught the attention of music lovers and everyone was curious to know the background of this humble artist.

Mr.Haasan came to know about Mr.Pillappan’s talents after a few postings — ragas such as Nashigabhoosanai, bowli, Malayamarutham and Mayamalavagowla —were found on social media.

He was seen sitting beside the Nandhi of the temple and rendering the ragas.

“I learnt the instrument from my father Kottaiswami Pillai who was a student of Vedaranyam Vedamurthy. I am working in the temple owned by the samasthanam of Sivaganga,” Mr.Pillappan told The Hindu.

He said the COVID-19 had proved to be very tough for artistes like him as there were no weddings and temple festivals. “I have to manage with the temple salary,” he said.

Asked about Mr. Haasan’s tweet, Mr.Pillappan said he was not just an actor, but also a connoisseur of music and art.

“I am grateful to him for his kind words,” Mr. Piallappan said.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 12:19:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/nagaswaram-players-temple-music-strikes-a-divine-chord-in-kamal-haasan/article31898344.ece

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