In the footsteps of her guru



Deepika’s stage presence and presentation exuded confidence supported by clarity.

Deepika’s voice is not just another young and pleasant one. Her comprehension and rendition show fair amount of maturity and charm.

Deepika’s concert ‘Madhurambikayam’ for the Nadajyoti Muthuswami Dikshitar Foundation at Vani Mahal centred on the compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar.

Deepika’s stage presence and presentation exuded confidence supported by clarity. She utilised the opportunity to not only present the concert but give a brief life sketch of the composer and talk about the exalted place he enjoys.

Each number chosen carried a brief introduction or prelude to explain the salient features of the kriti, ragam, its content, etc. This, indeed, was an intelligent and welcome way of making the programmed both educative and entertaining.

Deepika’s first number was ‘Nee Sati Deivamu’, a Daru in Sriranjani by the illustrious composer in Telugu and not carrying his signature ‘Guruguha.’ Though very brief with a Pallavi- anupallavi- mukthayiswaram with sahityam the number was a good start as she sang ‘Mahaganapathim’ in Nattai with torrents of swaras at ‘Vasishta Vama Devadhi.’

Poignant permutations

Being the disciple of Sudha Raghunathan, Deepika followed her guru’s footsteps very closely in the area of kalpanaswaras through the poignant permutations of jandai and thattu swaras dominating with calculated combinations. Deepika has impressively imbibed this quality from her teacher. The same could be experienced and enjoyed in her main ‘Madhurambikayam’ in Desisimhavaram, otherwise popular as Hemavati with niraval and swaras at ‘Chitananda Rasikayam Sri Guruguha Sevikayam.’

Deepika’s elucidation of Devakriya (Suddha Saveri in common parlance) slightly fell short of expectations because she surprisingly chose to use long phrases in her essay whereas this particular ragam could fit well nigh in a surfeit of briga-oriented phrases.

Remarkable swaras

The choice here was ‘Sri Vaduka Natham,’ set in misra chapu talam. Here also Deepika’s swaras were remarkable.

The raga alapana is one segment which provides the artistes to showcase their profundity in understanding the finer aspects of a raga and collate them in the right proportion.

Deepika needs a little more practice and introspection in this aspect because her raga expositions appear good but lack depth.

She seems to be skimming through the peripheral beauty of the raga eluding the core content. This demands experience and more absorption, internalising the raga structure before articulation.

Young and bright, one can be sure that Deepika will improve her raga delineations with each concert. Her agenda included ‘Kothandaramam’ in Kokilaravam, ‘Annapoorne’ in Sama and ‘Sri Venkata Girisam’ in Surutti to cite a few.

Karaikkal Venkatasubramaniam complimented Deepika on the violin with tidy versions of the ragas Suddha Saveri and Hemavati.

Equally competent were his swara responses. Manikandan and Prasanna provided a bouncy and agile percussion support on the mridangam and ghatam and a joint ‘tani avartanam’ in Rupakam.