Tamadam Tagadaiyya

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!

Murugan2Welcome 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 from 7:40 to 23:14 in the link here : “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR3d8vNEr1s” . Sorry, you need to see it in YouTube as Jaya TV seems not to allow this link to embedded. Pity!

For an instrumental version, listen to Lalgudi GJR Krishnan play his grandfather’s composition here.

Footnote (Lyrics and Translation) :

Composer : Lalgudi Gopala Iyer
Raga : Mohanakalyani
Language : Tamil

தாமதம் தகாதைய்யா
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


tAmadam tagAdaiyyA
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)!


Filed under Abhishek Raghuram, Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan, Lalgudi Gopala Iyer

16 responses to “Tamadam Tagadaiyya

  1. Ramesh

    That hardly qualifies as a rant ! You are far too polite – that’s the literary equivalent of a shake of the head – that’s all !! Let me add

    Copyright owners are the plague of society. They are the ones who actively force piracy even amongst normally law abiding people. The tendency to charge ridiculous amounts, promoting artificial scarcity consequent to their restricting distribution channels, forcing us to buy a whole awful album just for a single song, monopolist practices,….. da da da da. In any other industry such practices would land you in jail for anti competitive fraud. I too have noticed a number of carnatic videos on You Tube disappeared and you have shown how ridiculous that action is – but that is so typical of the bullying of these music companies. May I now request you to compose a krithi in the raag Mohanakalyani cursing the music companies to eternal damnation, a special place in hell, and the wrath of Kali, Yama and Durga combined on them ! Now that is a rant !!

    Not a fan of Abhishek Raghuram at all. Just a personal quirk – he once made me walk out mid concert and I have since never returned !! So its entirely appropriate that the new Suja Krithi referred to above must be sung by him :):):)

    • Hello Ramesh, Rant-turned-Diatribe-turned-Curse in Mohanakalyani? The raga is such that before I finish the song, I will be cooing sweet words to the music companies instead! 🙂

      As to Abhisek Raghuram, I suggest that you forgive him his past sins and start listening again. He will definitely make it to the top of the ladder and we’ll be listening to many interesting concerts from him in the future. Sikkil Gurucharan is my favourite from that generation, but AR gives me surprising highs every now and then.
      Cheers. Suja

      • Ramesh

        Oh; the poor guy doesn’t sin. He is a young musician alright and should be given a lot of rope. I wish he doesn’t do “gymnastics” (the term favoured by Bangalore rasikas for musical contortions in the name of complexity). I had to walk out only because on that day I wasn’t sure whether I went to a music concert or to a gymnastics competition !!! Still as you say, I shall coo sweet words to the young man saying “palichchunnu simpleaa paadudaa” :):)

  2. Chandramouli Subramanian

    Dear Suja, Thanks for posting such a lovely composition by Lalgudi Gopala Iyer. Muruga is my ishta devaivam. Even though I saw Abhishek’s programme on Jaya TV I could appreciate the full beauty of the song only after reading your translation. Thanks a million! How I wish Doordarshan also posts such shows online!

    • Hi Chandramouli, You are welcome 🙂 I am happy to have enhanced your listening experience, that is exactly what I am after! It is too bad that Doordarshan doesn’t post its music online, nor can I listen to AIR kutcheris online. I would have much more fodder for my posts if that were true..
      Cheers. Suja

  3. Ravi

    Thanks for the post, Suja. I never heard this particular krithi before. I enjoyed it, especially since it is on Lord Muruga.

  4. R Sankara Prasad

    Namaste! Rather a delayed response. You are doing a great service, kudos! Just a gentle correction. The charanam line ” madu valli deva maadu magizh kanda” would mean “one because of whom valli and devayani (deva-maadu) are happy….” . The esoteric aspect is while valli denotes the “iha” sukham, devayani represents “para” sukham. Such a reference is unique to Lord Subrahmanya as can be seen in Dikshitar’s krithis… Bhoga-moksha pradena (Subrahmanyena), Bhoga-moksha pradaatre-(Sri Subrahmanyaya namaste)….God be with you always! R S Prasad

  5. R Sankara Prasad

    The tamil line would be apt if it is rendered as “madu valli – deva (kuril – not nedil) maadu magizh kanda”…..Thanks!

  6. Thank you very much Mr.Prasad for your enlightening comment. I try to translate to the best of my abilities, but my abilities are quite limited I confess! So I appreciate your correction very much.
    Cheers. Suja

  7. shanti

    It is 2016….and the praises to Muruga will never ever stop for eons to come….beautiful song, including this sharing of sentiments over our beloved Lord Subramania. Thank you Suja. Cheers. Shanti

  8. I have seen the line “மது வள்ளி தேவா மாது” written elsewhere as “மாது வள்ளி தேவமாது” to refer to both dame vaLLi and deyvayAnai (dEvamAdu—daughter of the celestial Indra) as Murugan’s consorts.

    • It’s a meaningful alternative. However, I listened just now to those lines sung by Bombay Jayashri and Visaka Hari, both disciples of Lalgudi and therefore certain to get the lyrics right. I also listened to TV Shankaranarayan. All of them have sung it as மது வள்ளி தேவா மாது…
      Cheers. Suja

  9. jay rammohan

    Hi , Tamadam tagadaiyya is sung very nicely by Bombay Jayashree as well, that is the first rendition I ever heard of this song back in 1999. With Abhishek Raghuram, his songs in ragam bagheswari, especially the one on Ramana Maharishi “Saranagati” is simply out of the world ! Pure bliss !

    • Hi again! I too remember a rendition of Bombay Jayashree I heard way back in the 80”s or 90’s. She is particularly good with lyrical ragas like Mohanakalyani, her voice is just perfect for it! This post was from January 2014 when I had just heard Abhishek Raghuram’s version. I had been impressed by the young man and so featured him in my post. He really did a great job on the song! Hmm Saranagati in Vagadeeshwari…long time since I heard that. Will listen now..
      Cheers. Suja

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