M.V. Ramakrishnan

Let Thodi come live!

Aruna Sairam   | Photo Credit: S_Siva Saravanan

It is well known that even some of the senior most Carnatic vidwans and vidushis used to be intimidated by the redoubtable music critic (the late) Subbudu, whose acid comments were balanced by his sparkling sense of humour, whether he wrote in English or in Tamil. But he could also be extremely lavish in his praise, when he so wished.



Memorable compliment



One of the most memorable compliments ever paid by Subbudu was his breezy statement that if he was exiled to an isolated island, the only things he would want to take with him would be some betel-leaves/nuts and tobacco, and an LP record of Sudha Ragunathan's music. (I am quoting roughly from memory, and not accurately from records; but this was more or less what he declared).

I don't know whether Subbudu ever took any of Sudha's records along with him when he travelled, to listen in blissful solitude; but I have certainly brought a few selected CDs with me half way around the globe, to the U.S., to enjoy them in peace when I am not playing with my grandchildren, watching television or reading.

One of these selections is the first of a twin-set of CDs titled, ‘Arunambujam,' featuring the compositions of Ambujam Krishna, sung by Aruna Sairam. And the focus of my interest is the Tamil song, ‘Kandadum Kanavo' in Thodi, on Track 4. Taking up the phrase, ‘Naan Unaik Kandadum Kanavo, Rama!' (Was it a dream that I saw you in, O Rama!) as a refrain Aruna melts your heart with one of the finest niravals in Thodi I've ever heard in my life.

I wish to hear it again live in all its glory in some concert hall in the coming winter season! Will it come true or will it remain only a dream?


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 10:53:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/m_v_ramakrishnan/Let-Thodi-come-live/article15782684.ece

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