Is it just to behave as if you do not know my mind? Is all this acting/drama something you rehearsed before, O Lotus-eyed Lord, coloured like a gem? O beautiful Krishna, will you not alleviate my grievances?
My musical offering today is a Varnam composed by the violin Maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman (born 1930), Innum En Manam in raga Charukesi. Varnam means colour in Sanskrit; perhaps they are are called that because they teach students the ‘colour’ of the raga. Varnams are used as advanced training exercises for Carnatic music students. It is also customary to start a Carnatic music performance with a varnam. On the other hand, varnams are the main items in a Bharatnatyam dance performance.
This composition is wonderfully lyrical and a perfect instrument for understanding the beauty of the raga Charukesi within a short few minutes. The last charanam (stanza) in particular is as perfect as Charukesi can be. To know more about this raga, click here.
To appreciate this composition well, it would be best first to listen to a vocal performance by Maharajapuram Santhanam (1928-1992) below.
Then listen to the Maestro play his own composition.
Footnote (Lyrics) :
Language : Tamil
இன்னும்/இன்னம் என் மனம் அறியாதவர் போல
இருந்திடல் ஞாயமா யாதவ மாதவ
முன்னம் பயின்றதோ இன் நாடகம் எல்லாம்
மன்னா கமலக்-கண்ணா மணி வண்ணா
குழல் ஊதும் அழகா கண்ணா குறை தீராயோ
[Note, these are only the sung lyrics – the chittaswarams and swarams have lyrics which are not sung. Full lyrics and notation can be found here.]
innum/innam en manam aRiyAdavar pOla
irundiDal gnAyamA yAdava mAdhava
munnam payinDRado in nATakam ellAm
manna kamalak-kaNNA maNi vaNNA
kuzhal Udum azhagA kaNNA kurai tIrAyO
Is it just (gnAyamA) to behave (be) (irundiDal) as if (pOla) you do not know (ariyAdavar) my mind (en manam)?
Is all this (ellAm) acting/drama (in-nATakam) something you rehearsed (payinDRado) before (munnam) O King (manna), O Lotus-eyed (kamalak-kaNNA), coloured (vaNNA) like a gem (maNi) ?
O beautiful (azhagA) Krishna (kaNNA), will you not alleviate (tIrAyO) my grievances (kurai)?