Sunday, July 15, 2012

The mind's battle of the Rajas

Yesterday was another of those days - experiencing (note: not merely "listening to") an endless chain of Ilaiyaraja's melodies. My heart leapt with joy, swelled with love and wept with pain; all with the same intensity. My mind faithfully followed every note, every inflection and every syllable that came out of Chitra's voice - it soared with her high notes and swooped down with beauty, as does her magnificent voice. I've never felt a deeper and more surreal connection with another voice.

And then suddenly, Thyagaraja seemed mundane. I couldn't help wondering if he could ever bring out the myriad emotions that Ilaiyaraja can (and I got reminded that growing up I would argue with my dad that I've learnt more Mayamalavagowlai from Ilaiyaraja than from Thyagaraja). Can Rama bhakti make you feel all the *real* emotions that life brings us, that are so beautifully brought out in Ilaiyaraja's music?

I woke up this morning humming Hecharikaga ra ra. I felt beauty. I felt peace. I felt serenity. Thyagaraja is not just about Rama bhakti. There's so much more to take from him.

Humbled and thankful to whatever it is that has made me live in a time and place where I can experience both, judge and obsess over one rather than the other, and then finally realize the smallness of it all. The "cycle of awe" continues...


Ravi said...

Being a huuuuge fan of Chithra myself, your posts on Chithra only bring an unexplainable bliss :) After I got into hearing so many of Chithra's Malayalam songs, couldn't help but wonder if Chithra's voice was used half as much in Tamil. In one of SPB's interviews for a Telugu programme he remarked that he used to tell Chithra often that she was like Anjaneyar who did not know his own strength! Do check on Youtube for a series of video posts by one of her ardent fans - Bhavana. Its just lovely to hear her reproduce the old songs (not sung by her originally) in Idea Star Singer (Asianet) and Airtel Super Singer Junior (Vijay TV). And in last year IR's concert, she pulled off all the old songs so wonderfully. [Sorry for the digression in my comment from your focus on Rajas to Chithra]

Mystic Tamil said...

A great read. good work.

Arun Narayanan ( U109011) said...


Your blogs on Ilayaraja and your intricate analysis of his ragam based songs are absolute joy to read.
I am glad that I can appreciate your analysis on his use of ragams though I cannot find it on my own given my layman disposition towards carnatic music.


Sindhuja Bhakthavatsalam said...

@Ravi: Thanks for those interesting snippets.
@Mystic Tamil: Thanks.
@Arun: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoy them.