WATCH: Radha Viswanathan and S.Aishwarya performing

This song has been sung by the daughter of the Bharat Ratna, Smt Radha Viswanathan herself and Radha’s grand daughter Kumari S. Aishwarya at the Music Academy on 13th Dec 2008.


rAgam: valachi
tALam: Adi

gAnak kuyil onRu maNNil tOnRip paRandadE-iniya iSai pADi (gAnak kuyil)

vAnilengum tirindE, vaLa migu mozhi palavum pADik kaLi SErttadE (uyar gAnak kuyil)

vINai oliyil Salangai kulungalil, kuzhaloli SUzhalil vaLarndadE
EdO, amudak kalaSattOr tuLi, ulagOrkkum AnadE (madura dEva gAnak kuyil)

mangala nangai, tirumagaL vaLLalAm, suba lakshmi enum vaDivAm
nAdamadin nADiyAm, nammai Irkka vanda AnmIga uruvAm (aruL)

A cuckoo appeared on earth and flew around (such a noble cuckoo))

It roamed the skies and sang away in many rich languages and brought us joy,

It grew amidst the sounds of the vINA, jingling anklet bells
and the notes of the flute (a sweet cuckoo)

as though a drop of the nectar of the heavens became ours too (a celestial cuckoo)

A propitious woman, Lakshmi, benefactor, named Subha lakshmi–
She, the very pulse of nAdA, the one who like a magnet drew us
to her spiritual self–the one with the grace of God (the song cuckoo)

Note that the gAnak kuyil in each segment has added words which go with the context.

uyar= noble
dEva=celestial (with the nectar)
madura=sweet; also indicative of Madurai where she was born amid music
vaDivu= beauty; her mother Shanmugavadivu
aruL=the grace of God (with her spiritual leanings)

Supporting the artists were Shri R K Shriram Kumar on the Violin, Sangitha Kalanidhi Dr T K Murthy on the Mridangam, Palghat Shri A M Harinarayanan on Double Mridangam and Shri Anirudh Athreya on Kanjira. Arasi (Rajee Krishnan) – is a vaggeyakara and a contemporary composer of both prose and poetry.

She comes from a family of exceptional musicians and vaggeyakaras. She is the niece of V V Sadagopan, Ananthalakshmi Sadagopan, Ambujam Krishna and Dr Soundaram. When asked by a Rasika as to what was the trigger for this sublime composition on M.S. Subbulakshmi in valachi Ragam,

Arasi had this to say. 

“Many years ago, I heard kalAvati by Prabha Atre on an LP we had bought. I was charmed by the rAgA, and did not see the valachi connection then. I had watched and had read a lot on MS after her demise, my mind replete with her images and music. The song came to me when I had nearly fallen asleep. After debating if I should wait until the next morning, I sat up and scribbled it on a piece of paper without even turning on the light. I was afraid I would forget it if I waited until the next day. I was humming it as I fell asleep.“


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