Devotional fervour

IT IS that time of the year when those staunch devotees take out their black (or orange) attire and rudraksha beads - it is time for Ayyappa devotees, called swamis, to take up the 40-day `deeksha' — restraining the devotee from wearing any other coloured clothes, eating out, wearing footwear and sleeping on the cot/mattress — which culminates in a visit to the temple of the Lord at Sabarimala, on the banks of river Pampa in Kerala.

Many devotees are attracted to Ayyappa. Just uttering `Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa' a few times, believe the bhaktas, will rid them of all sins and lead to salvation.

In this season, other aspects like the sale of black clothes, music albums and the mad rush for bulk bookings to the temple town is on the rise. Keeping in tune with the devotional spirit, `Music Today' brings an album comprising songs eulogising the Lord. Titled Makarajyothi Madhurageethi, the album consists of about nine songs penned by Lakka Radhakrishnan and composed by Kala Sangam, U. Thiyaga Raajan, N.S. Prasad and P. Ganasyam.

The songs are rendered by Nagoor Babu (popular as Mano), Madhubala Krishnan and Anantha Naryana. While the first two songs in the album — Anandamaye aarambhamaye and Suprabhatam, both slow paced numbers — set the stage for things to come, Ayyappa sannidhi bhaktula pennidhi by Mano is quite good. Sweeyakatha padana sahodara is a sentimental song on Side A.

The flip side, too, has equally attractive devotional numbers including Nischala manasuna dhyanam, Brahmotsavam athyadbhutham (describing the celebrations as part of the grand finale to the deeksha period before the onset of Makara Sankranti), Anandam nee sevalo and Ayyappa kadali vachchene. A `must possess' for the true devotees of the Lord of Sabarimala.

Makarajyothi Madhurageethi... Music Today... Rs. 50