This delay is not suitable, O compassionate Lord! Help me, O Lord Muruga! This is right opportunity to govern this lonely and wretched one with lowly qualities! O son of Shiva unseen by even Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma! O Lord of sweet Valli! O Kanda who delights ladies! Please come quickly and bless me that I will always be protected by the spear and the peacock!
Welcome to my first post in 2014! If you have been lucky enough to attend the December Season concerts, you are no doubt enjoying a breather at the moment. But for fans like me who live in lands barren of the music of our hearts, January is the time for trawling the net, looking for any music that has filtered out of the Season. And thus my last week was spent in listening to the Margazhi Maha Utsavam telecasts that Jaya TV has loaded on youtube. My gratitude!
While on the topic of music on the internet, I spent many hours recently fixing my old posts which featured videos on youtube – and there were many. For some reason, these old videos, loaded by fellow rasikas, featuring telecasts from past years have been removed for ‘copyright violation’. Disappointed terribly, but understanding the right of the copyright owners for any income from their programs, I tried to find out how much advertising income they may stand to lose by these ‘pirated’ videos. Though I couldn’t get exact figures, it seems that the ad revenue is between $1 to $5 per 1000 views. Examining the latest videos loaded by Jaya TV, I see that the highest viewership is less than 19,000, most being far fewer. So we are talking of a revenue between $20 to $100 for the latest videos. How many hits do you imagine old videos would get? Perhaps a tenth? This translates to a revenue between $2 and $10. Is it even worth the time and effort for the copyright owners to load these for such small amounts? I doubt they would bother. Instead these old performances, some gems amongst them, will lie forgotten in some corner of their offices somewhere, never to be seen again. Who profits from this? Nobody! I mourn the loss of all that lovely music buried forever. Please, copyright owners, I beg of you – allow your telecasts to be loaded by others if you have no intention of loading them yourself!
Whew! I feel better for having had a rant!
The concerts I watched this year have been of middling quality, with more disappointments than pleasant surprises. One of the renditions which stand out is the energetic presentation of Tamadam Tagadaiyya by Abhishek Raghuram. It has everything I like in a good piece of music – a great voice and instinctive musicality, a lilting melody interspersed with surprising and sometimes breath taking improvisation, a well written song with interesting word-play, alliteration and sweetness of meaning, head-nodding rhythms and a magic something which brings it all together. I have his CD Kailasapathy in which he renders the same song but nowhere near as well. This rendition is a keeper.
In this song, the poet-composer Lalgudi Gopala Iyer has created an enchanting melody in Raga Mohanakalyani. Click here to know more about the raga. For those unfamiliar with this composer who is the father of Maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman, here is a short article in Hindu about him. Written as a plea to Lord Murugan, the lyrics demand that the Lord not delay in coming to bless him. The melody is truly catchy and Abhishek Raghuram, Vittal Ramamurthy and Neyveli Narayanan make Mohanakalyani weave and dance with joy. Listen below from 7:40 to 23:14.
For an instrumental version, listen to Lalgudi GJR Krishnan play his grandfather’s composition here.
Footnote (Lyrics) :
Language : Tamil
தயாபரா துணை முருகய்யா
தாமச குண தீனன் ஆன
தமியேனை ஆள தருணம் இதைய்யா
மாலும் அயன் காணா மஹாதேவன் மைந்தா
மது வள்ளி தேவா மாது மகிழ் கந்தா
வேலும் மயிலும் எந்நாளும் என்னைக் காக்கவே
வேகமாக வாரும் வரம் தாரும்
dayApara tuNai murugaiyyA
tAmasa guNa dInan Ana
tamiyEnai ALa taruNam idaiyyA
mAlum ayan kAnA mahAdEvan maindA
madu vaLLi dEvA mAdu magizh kandA
vElum mayilum ennALum ennaik kAkkavE
vEgamAga vArum varam tArum
This delay (tAmadam) is not suitable (tagAdu), O Compassionate (dayAparA) Lord (ayyA)! Help me (tuNai), O Lord Muruga!
This is right opportunity (taruNam) to govern (ALa) this lonely (tamiyEn) and wretched (dInan) one with lowly qualities (tAmasa guNa)!
O son of Shiva (mahAdEva) unseen (kANA) by even Lord Vishnu (mAl) and Lord Brahma (ayan)! O Lord (dEvA) of sweet (madu) Valli! O Kanda who delights (magizh) ladies (mAdu)! Please come (vArum) quickly (vEgamAga) and bless me (varam tArum) that I (ennai) will always (ennALum) be protected (kAkka) by the spear (vEl) and the peacock (mayil)!