FRIDAY REVIEW

Kritis in oblivion

SEMMANGUDI SRINIVASA Iyer would have been lost to the Carnatic music world in 1957, were it not for the Sage of Kanchi who forbade him from going to Tiruchi on a particular day for a concert engagement - a command which Srinivasa Iyer implicitly obeyed.

That was the day when the tragic train accident took place at Ariyalur. As Principal of the Swathi Tirunal College of Music, Thiruvananthapuram, he did yeoman service, after he took over from the great Vaggeyakara, Harikesanallur Muthiah Bagavathar, who brought out about 400 kritis of Swati Tirunal. Srinivasa Iyer put his heart and soul to the task with the help and assistance of a few dedicated scholars and vidwans.

Special mention must be made of the veteran's efforts in classifying "Navarathna Malika" kritis (Nava Vidha Bakthi), namely — (1) Sravanam - Bairavi; 2) Keerthanam - Kedaragowlai; 3) Smaranam - Neelambari; 4) Paadha Sevanam - Thodi; 5) Archanam - Bilahari; 6) Vandhanam - Begada; 7) Dhaasyam - Ahiri; 8) Sakhyam - Mukhari and 9) Aathma Nivedhanam - Nadanamakriya, and also, 1) Chathura Ragamalika (Saanandam Kamala Manohari) in Kamala Manohari, Hamsadhwani, Revagupthi and Tharangini; 2) Kalyani Kalu Yathkatha in Kalyani, Mohanam, Saranga and Sankarabharanam and Navarathri Krithis as sung in the Thiruvananthapuram durbar: 1) Devi Jagajjanani - Sankarabharanam; 2) Paahi Maam Sri Vageeswari - Kalyani; 3) Devi Paavane - Saveri; 4) Bharathi Maamava - Thodi; 5) Janani Mamavameya - Bairavi; 6) Saroru Haasana Jaya - Panthuvarali; 7) Janani Paahi Sadha - Suddha Saveri; 8) Paahi Janani Santhatham - Nattakkurinji and 9) Paahi Parvatha Nandhini - Arabhi. Srinivasa Iyer also set to ragam, talam and mettu all the 23 kritis composed by the great Avadootha, Sri Sadasiva Brahmendral. But, unfortunately, all these 23 kritis have not seen the light of the day. Will some kindly soul come forward to have these 23 kritis recorded in CD or cassette?

POOCHI S. RAJAGOPALAN