I have been writing sleeve notes for Charsur Digital Workstation’s CDs for quite some years now. I think the first I wrote was in 2001 or so. Over the years, we have fallen into a set pattern, Charsur and I, where they send me the theme of the CD and its song list and I then mull over it. Overall it has been a very enjoyable exercise writing them and some have been learning grounds as well.
There was this CD on the disciples of Tyagaraja that Sanjay sang. I was asked for a title and thinking all the while that Tyagaraja was like a banyan tree, I suggested the name Ashwattha, without realising that it was the Sanskrit name for the Peepul (or some other tree) and definitely not the banyan. Charsur went ahead and released the CD and then came letters pointing out the error. The body copy had so many references to Ashwattha the banyan (aaarrrghhh!) that it was next to impossible to do any cut paste or any other form of correction. And so Ashwattha it remains. But since then I have become doubly careful about blowing my trumpet on my (pathetic) knowledge of Sanskrit.
I think yet another CD was Kshetra-Chidambaram and once again this was a Sanjay Subrahmanyan CD. Here again I was sent the song list to correct and I happily wrote that Kaanavendamo was by Gopalakrishna Bharati. It transpired that it was by Papanasam Sivan.
Last week there was yet another episode of a similar nature when I insisted that Anudinamu in Begada was by Patnam Subramania Iyer and not Poochi Iyengar. Young Sumitra Vasudev corrected me on this.
But, as I say, goofs apart it has been enjoyable and Charu and Suresh have been professionals to work with and they have put with my tantrums and ravings and rantings. But one thing that still gets my goat is Charu not proof reading the songs lists before putting them into the CD. Thus Darbar once came up as Dabar with embarrassing results especially with my two sons who made all kinds of digestive jokes with it. Charu, are you reading this?
Anyway, beginning this week, I will put up on this blog some of the sleeve notes that I have written and which are already available on CDs.