Vadavaraiyai Mattakki


Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, Ilango Adigal, M.S.Subbulakshmi

6 responses to “Vadavaraiyai Mattakki

  1. Ramesh

    Wow Suja. This is a scholarly piece of work. To transliterate each verse, note the raaga, explain its meaning – this qualifies as a PhD thesis :)

    The only version of the song that is usually heard, and this is what you have featured, I think is from MS’s famous United Nations concert in 1966. She herself has rarely sung this again and very few other artistes seem to take it up as well. I have never heard it in a concert, and even the recordings are very few. Wonder why , for this is a beautiful song. Earlier I just used to listen to the song for the music, but now that you have explained the meaning as well, it has even more appeal. Even though I am a Tamil speaker, I can hardly understand ancient Tamil !!

    Completely second your views on Silappathikaram. There is more I find unacceptable in Silapathikaram than is praiseworthy. The problem with each of the classics is that they are set in a time and age and illustrate the values prevailing at that time. Set in a different time and context, they appear full of flaws. Even Ramayana and Mahabaratha suffer from the same problem – we have discussed this before.

    A gem of a post.

    • Thanks Ramesh, if only it were that easy to get a PhD :) Truth be told, it was a rather difficult translation to do and took me many hours. But it was an intellectually interesting exercise, so I quite enjoy the effort. And like you, understanding the words intensified the listening pleasure for me too.

      You are right in saying that this is not sung often at all however there is a version by Unnikrishnan which is quite good; its on youtube. As you rightly say, many of our epics, myths, fables etc do not stand up well to the current way in thinking. I understand and do not expect it of them. Still, I blame some of them for manipulating the psyche of women to an extent that they accepted all kinds of unjust treatment as their due. It starts with Sita walking on fire to Kannagi’s submissive behaviour. And as to Kannagi burning hundreds of innocents in revenge for one innocent death? Why is this considered justice? Sigh! Media has always manipulated the minds of people….this is just another instance of it.
      Cheers. Suja

  2. Narasimha Raj

    “this is a beautiful song” – so says Ramesh.
    Suja, I fully agree with what Ramesh says. I go into ecstasy whenever I listen to her (which I do daily – be it her Suprabhatams or renderings of Annamacharya/Thyagaraja kritis, or Bhajans of Kabir or meera . . !)
    Suja, I am sure you have derived great satisfaction for the research & translation efforts you put in. Self-Satisfaction/Self-Appreciation is the ultimate recognition – far beyond the PhDs awarded (The ‘parchment’ does not assure continuance of efforts, but the person does – because of Self-Motivation!)
    Best Wishes.

    • Hello Raj, knowing what a fan you are of MSS, I was sure you would enjoy this post even as I was writing it :) Thanks for your encouraging words,

  3. madam, your blog with sanskrit texts where needed are great. I have been a long time devotee of MS . As I do not have formal training in classical music, I welcome confirmation/ information about ragas. Good Work. You have another fan from this day!….

    • Thank you for your very nice comment :) I too am merely a rasika, I have no training in music. I learn as I hear, as we all do. It’s an ocean, this music, is it not? And rasikas only wade in the shallow water! But please join me in my exploration of music, and perhaps we can all glean some knowledge. Cheers. Suja

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