We do not see despair very often in carnatic music though this music is very emotional in nature. Carnatic Music runs through a gamut of emotions, from romantic to tragic, from joyful to reflective, from devotional to patriotic.
The emotion is perhaps one the most important part of this music; technical artistry is after all well understood only by a limited audience and the many languages in which the songs are written is a barrier to responding to the words. Emotion speaks to all.
The lyricist-composer Anayampatti Adisesha Iyer (later known as Sadhu Guhananda) addresses Lord Murugan when he says ‘Whichever poet (=poet’s song) I sing, your heart still does not melt, are you still testing me?’.
He despairs of the lack of divine blessings in his life but what touched me most is the phrase that ‘there is no one to take my side’. Don’t we all want that, need that? Somebody to take out part in life? Yet in his despair, he still cries out for one ray of hope ‘if only You (Murugan) thought of me, I would have no more misery’.
In the voice of Madurai Somasundaram (1919-1989) who made this song his own. It is impossible not to be touched by his emotional rendition. Note how the violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman, the Maestro whom I love and admire to the depths of my heart, wrings pathos out of every note.
Talam: Adi – 8 beats
Composer: Anayampatti Adisesha Iyer
Vocal: Aruna Sairam
Violin: Mathur Srinidhi
Mridangam: S.V. Ramani
Lyrics in Tamil
என்ன கவி பாடினாலும் உந்தன் உள்ளம் இரங்கவில்லை
இன்னும் என்ன சோதனையா முருகா, முருகா (என்ன கவி)
அன்னையும் அறியவில்லை தந்தையோ நினைப்பதில்லை
(உன்) மாமியோ (/மாமியும் ) பார்ப்பதில்லை மாமனோ கேட்பதில்லை (என்ன கவி)
அக்ஷரலக்ஷம் தந்த அண்ணல் போஜ ராஜன் இல்லை
பக்ஷமுடனே அழைத்து பரிசளிக்க யாரும் இல்லை
ஈஜகத்தில் நீ நினைந்தால் எனக்கோர் குறைவில்லை
(அ) லக்ஷியமோ உனக்கு உன்னை நான் விடுவதில்லை (என்ன கவி)
Enna kavi paadinaalum undan ullam irangavillai
Innum enna sodanaiyaa murugaa murugaa
Annaiyum ariyavillai tandaiyo ninaippadillai
Un mamiyo (/mamiyum) parppadillai mamano ketpadillai
Akshara laksham tanda annal bhoja rajan illai
Pakshamudane azhaittu parishalikka yarumillai
Ijagttil ni ninaindal enakkor kuraivillai
(a)lakshiyamo unakku unnai nan viduvadillai
Whichever poet (=song of poet) I sing, your heart does not melt. Are you still testing me, Muruga?
(Your) mother (=Shakti) does not wish to know, nor does your father (=Shiva) even think of me. Your aunt (=Lakshmi) does not see me, your uncle (Vishnu) does not listen to me. Implied meaning: Without Shakti, the poet is powerless and without Shiva, who is most compassionate, he is without blessings. Without Lakshmi looking at him, he has no wealth as even a look from the corner of her eyes – Lakshmi kataksham – one is so blessed. Without Vishnu, the Preserver, listening to him, the poet’s very life is at stake.
The generous king Bhoja Raja who gave lakhs (note: the famous king was a generous patron of the arts), nor is there anyone who will take my side and gift me. In this world, if you only thought of me, I would have no more misery. Is this your aim (to be indifferent to me)? Or do you just not care? I shall not give you up!
**About Aruna Sairam**
Aruna Sairam (Padma Shri) is a Carnatic vocalist, composer, collaborator, humanitarian, and speaker. In addition to her performances in India, Aruna has taken Carnatic music to the global arena, at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall. Currently Vice Chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi, she was appointed in 2008 by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as Advisor to the Department of Culture. Aruna works towards the musical education of underprivileged students, through the Nadayogam Trust, which she founded in 2011. Aruna is grateful for the training she received under her mother Rajalakshmi Sethuraman and the legendary T. Brinda, and the mentorship from several masters throughout her musical journey. Her music erased geographic borders when she was the first to incorporate Abhang, a Western Indian musical form, into a traditional, South Indian concert.
**Stay Up To Date**
Official Website: http://smarturl.it/ArunaSairamWebsite
Like on Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ArunaSairamFacebook
Subscribe on YouTube: http://smarturl.it/ArunaSairamYouTube
Follow on Twitter: http://smarturl.it/ArunaSairamTwitter