Category: Carnatic Music

  • The song Neeli Magan Nee Allavo from Malaikallan

    The song Neeli Magan Nee Allavo from Malaikallan

    VAK Ranga Rao and I now correspond by SMS. He does not believe in smart phones and given his hearing, it is impossible to call. So SMS it is. A couple of months ago he texted asking if I recall the Tamil version of Ra Ra Yasoda Nandana, the hit dance number in Aggi Ramudu.…

  • Taking Tyagaraja to Eri Katha Rama

    Taking Tyagaraja to Eri Katha Rama

    The Eri Katha Rama temple at Madhurantakam is historic. The stucco images of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in the sanctum are large and impressive, dating to Pallava times. The village however commemorates the Cholas, for it bears the title of Uttama Chola, the son of Gandaraditya and Sembiyan Mahadevi, who ruled from 973 to 985AD,…

  • My Debut Performance

    My Debut Performance

    On Friday last, I attended a play school event organised by Arka Kids, which is a chain that my wife runs. The kids aged three and below performed. As is to be expected, most followed the instructions to a T, a few others clearly wished they were elsewhere and yet others did their own thing.…

  • Who composed Srichakra Raja Simhasaneswari?

    Who composed Srichakra Raja Simhasaneswari?

    The song Srichakara Raja Simhasaneswari became really popular in the 1980s. That was when Maharajapuram Santhanam took to singing it in his concerts. He raised what was essentially a simple composition set in popular ragas to the level of a major piece by bringing his emotive stamp to it. That he sang Padmeswari as Bathmeswari…

  • Tyagaraja’s Dancing Ganesa

    Tyagaraja’s Dancing Ganesa

    Tyagaraja’s Sri Ganapatini describes a dancing Ganesa. Was it inspired by a depiction that exists in Thiruvaiyyaru by the river Kaveri?

  • Chennai 600019- Tiruvottriyur #MadrasDay

    Chennai 600019- Tiruvottriyur #MadrasDay

    Chennai 600019 is the wondrous locality of Thiruvottriyur of hallowed history. #MadrasDay

  • Singing for Independence

    Singing for Independence

    The history of the freedom movement in India is highlighted by some great music. A look at some famous Carnatic singers who left their impress with their nationalist songs.

  • Chennai 600011 – Perambur & Sembiam, #MadrasDay

    Leaving the aristocratic and (en)titled neighbourhood of Kilpauk we move to what was very much a working-class suburb – Perambur. I don’t believe that the name came about because of it being a bamboo grove or that this was where Rama saw his two sons and expressed his love for them (Per Anbu) or that…

  • The Devadasi influence at the Suchindram Temple

    The Devadasi influence at the Suchindram Temple

    The Suchindram Temple is a work of art and contributing to its wonders have been several Devadasis. A brief look at their work at this shrine.

  • KG Vijayakrishnan – a life in language and music

    KG Vijayakrishnan – a life in language and music

    It was very saddening to know that my dear friend Dr KG Vijayakrishnan passed away last night. I first got to know him through Sanjay Subrahmanyan. The two of us were running and sometime in 2007 or so, Sanjay sent me Vijayakrishnan’s book The Grammar of Carnatic Music. If I recall correctly, we reviewed…