About

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Welcome to my blog! If you enjoy Indian music, especially Carnatic Music, I hope this blog will prove to be of interest to you.  The intent of this blog is music appreciation, with a special interest in sahitya or lyrics.  I am neither a musician nor a musicologist; this is not an ‘expert’ column. Nor am I specially qualified to be a music critic. I am merely a rasika, no more, no less.

My life has always had a background score of music. My parents loved Carnatic music and played it all the time at home. This influenced my taste in music from childhood. Indian film music is of course the most popular form of music; I still love Hindi film music from the sixties and seventies. Growing up in Delhi, I was introduced to Ghazals and Qawwalis at a young age. I am passionately fond of these forms of music too. Though all these musical forms were in my life for a long time, I enjoyed them in a very passive way, with no effort made in understanding them better. It is only since my youngest left home for university some six years back that I turned a more focused and enquiring mind towards music. Since then, I have become more and more interested in the lyrics and context of music. I am very much into active listening now; I try and place the music in the context of my life. My self-learning has very much enhanced my listening pleasure. This blog is my attempt to share this newfound understanding with you.

The lyrics in this blog are well researched using multiple internet sources and aural cross-verifications. Any doubts I have are clearly indicated. Translations in Tamil, Sanskrit and Hindi/Urdu are my own. Translations in other languages are sourced from different dependable sites which I cross reference to ensure that I provide you with the best possible one. However, if you are a student, it is better to consult a book or a teacher.

If you have enjoyed my selections, do write and tell me about your musical experiences. You can leave a comment here or contact me at sujamusic at live dot com.

91 responses to “About

  1. Namaste, devi.

    Thank you for your hard work on excellent blog. And thank you for taking filmi seriously.

    • Thank you for your comment Omar. I do take filmi music seriously, it is a very important part of the Indian cultural heritage and a great way of connecting the disparate people of India and others who are interested in indian music. I remember meeting a Russian who had little or no English but knowing me to be an Indian, he sang ‘Awara hoon’ and there was an instant feeling of connectedness. Cheers.

  2. Hey, I saw that you follow a few Bollywood blogs that I also follow!

    Check out my blog at: http://bollyhooha.blogspot.com ,

    Where I poke fun at the Bollywood and give attention to those Zero Screentime Walas!

    Cheers
    The Bolly Hood

  3. Hello Suja. I am surprised to read that you are not trained in any form of music and still could post something on pancharatna kritis. I don’t see other forms of music in dimmer light. It is just that classical music has a history of structured learning and there is a belief that only those who learn it (at least exposed to it early and long enough) can appreciate it. Probably you have been listening to it since you were 6 or 7. The title of your blog does reflect the philosophy of your blog. I can understand you listening to classical instrumental. But, to listen to vocal rendition is something else! I would be interested read what really makes you listen to carnatic although you are not trained in it.

    • Thank for visiting my blog. You have posed a very interesting question here, I am wondering if I should actually write a whole post as an answer!! You are absolutely right; though I am not trained I have listened to Carnatic music from early childhood. It was always playing as background music in my home. But that was my parents choice, not mine. Like all kids, I listened to Filmi music (which I still like very much) and into English popular music for which I never developed a taste. I married outside my community and in my household we played either Hindi film music, ghazals, qawwalis or Hindustani instrumental music. But within a few years, my ears started longing for Carnatic music and I started buying myself CDs. As you rightly pointed out, it was instrumental music for quite some time until my mind absorbed all the nuances of it. Only then was I ready and eager to foray into vocals. Again at the start, I preferred shorter songs and that too in Tamil which I understand. Slowly those became ‘not enough’ and now a good Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi of about 1 hr is what I find truly satisfactory🙂 All this happened over an extended period of time. Two things which draw me in deeper everyday – the Bhakti bhava inherent in this music and the complexity which keeps all parts of my mind active when I listen.
      On an aside, my 21 year old son who has been born and brought up outside India and who plays ‘psychedelic and progressive’ music in his band, also loves Instrumental Carnatic music and sometimes strums ragas in his guitar though he is not trained in Indian music. As I was addicted to Shubapantuvarali raga for sometime, I made him learn the scales and now his band (of which only he is of Indian origin) have composed a piece of music based on this scale! And I, who never can really appreciate his music (except with maternal biais that is), at last find my ears attuned to what he plays🙂
      I hope I have answered your question. I might one day write a post on how to develop taste for Carnatic music – where to start, what is easy listening and how to progress slowly to the more heavier aspects of this music. So I thank you for your question, it has set me thinking.
      Cheers. Suja

      • Suja

        The other day, I was looking for “Bho Shambho” and I chanced up on your blog. I read a few posts and I was quite impressed. Great job!!

        I will look forward for your posts on CM appreciation.

        Can you do a post on the technical terms – kalpita svaras/manodharma etc.?

        Regards
        Srinivas

      • Thank you Srinivas, I am always happy to hear that readers enjoy my posts🙂 You have made a good suggestion there regarding technical terms; perhaps this will be useful for others who are teaching themselves to enjoy Carnatic Music as well. I will definitely do a page soon. If you subscribe to the facebook page or by email or RSS from my blog (top right), you will get information whenever I post it.
        Cheers. Suja

      • kpks

        Dear Suja,
        Like you, I tool developed a love for carnatic music listening to my grandma sing, radio and cassettes. I learnt music for a while as a child and was passably good at it. I have a 12 year old son. I taught him carnatic vocal at home upto Gita level by the time he was 5. He started studying western music (initially keyboard, now piano). He decided to stop all carnatic and learn only western along the way ;(. He claims to not not even like most carnatic music much to my heartache. If you ever come up with the post to share how to develop a taste for Carnatic Music, please do let me know!
        regards,
        Kp
        PS: I wonder if you have heard skikkil + anil srinivasan combination. Awesome!

      • Welcome to my blog KP! That post on developing a taste for CM was a thought which never came to fruition…..I will think about it for sure. My son is 23 years old. He showed not much interest in CM as a child though he enjoyed some Hindi film music and qawwalis. I got him started on classical western on the piano at 7 or so but because of our moves, his training was very much interrupted. When he was 12 or 13 he became very interested in the guitar and saved up enough from his pocket money to buy himself one. To this he devoted every spare moment until he became quite proficient. Then he came to me and asked me for a teacher to show him the things he could not teach himself. He absorbed these lessons much better than any other training he ever did! When he turned 18 he and his friend got together and made a band where they made music which was totally incomprehensible to me! (it still is🙂 ) But finally at 21 he turned to me and said ‘Amma, I want to learn CM on a string instrument. Can you please find me a teacher?’. I was SO happy you cannot believe it!! He started his lessons on the Veena and continued very well for a year and a half. Sadly it has gotten interrupted as his job has taken him to another town. But he will continue I know for the love for CM has come into his soul. So what did I do?

        (a) Played ‘background’ music of CM whenever he was around. Instrumental because it is easier to relate to. My son started with liking instrumental first but now says he likes listening much more to vocal music. He even wants to learn it one day!
        (b) Whenever there was an interesting phrasing – fast neraval, vocal-acrobatic swarams for example – just point it out and say ‘listen listen, how clever they are!’ . Don’t ask for more than a few minutes of your son’s time, that way you can do this regularly without him being aware of it. Stealth is the key🙂
        (c) Start with ragas easier on Westernised ears like Mohanam. Ragas like Todi are harder for them to relate to. It will come, but takes time. My son also loves Revati, Shubhapantuvarali, Simhendramadhyamam, Hindolam to name a few. Is there a pattern? I don’t know..perhaps they don’t have too many gamakas?
        (d) Hindustani seems to relate easier with westernised ears because the gamakas are not so pronounced. My son’s first favourite Indian classical CD was ‘North Meets South’ with Lalgudi Jayaraman and Amjad Ali Khan. It is a great favourite of mine too, I must have listened to this cd at least a 100 times! It has Mohanam and Hindolam. Not only my son, but a few of his white friends also loved it..in fact, it became ‘the exam study background music’ to one of them who claimed that it helped him concentrate!
        (e) Never force – that was my logo !! When they turn away, let them go and then pull them back gently. All the music they hear, wherever it is from, will help them develop the musicality within themselves. Display your own love for it, talk of it. Love is catching🙂
        (f) And finally I started writing this blog for his sake, to share my love of the music with him. He may peek into it just occasionally, but when he does, I know he gets infected once more with my own passion for this music.

        That said, I didn’t succeed with my daughter who doesn’t like CM at all. She listens to old Hindi film music, the non-westernised ones, but doesn’t like any other Indian music. That too can happen. It makes me sad for I see it as my failure as a mother. But – What to do!
        Good luck,
        Suja

  4. Shubaga

    Hello,
    I came across your blog all of a sudden, I enjoyed reading about the various carnatic songs that you have written about . All of them are my favourites. Amazing job. Keep up the good work!!!!🙂

    • Thank you so much ! I am really glad you liked it. There aren’t so many Carnatic Music bloggers or even blog-readers I think, so I am glad to have an identifiable audience🙂 I shall most definitely keep writing, there is so much to enjoy in this music!!
      Cheers, Suja

  5. Gopal

    வணக்கம்
    Am eager to read the post (or series or posts) on the foll:
    “…I might one day write a post on how to develop taste for Carnatic music – where to start, what is easy listening and how to progress slowly to the more heavier aspects of this music….”

    1. What carnatic songs would be appropriate that can be played regularly so that my son (4 1/2) and daughter (2) can appreciate and develop an interest.

    2. Though I learnt violin, it was for a very brief period of 1 yr during which CA took prominence and gradually carnatic music was relegated to occasional listening. During that time I appreciated some easy-to-sing but tough-to-play krithis like “Samajavaragamana” on Hindolam. Only wish that I could have spent more time on this.

    3. Have u listened to ilayaraja – “nothing but wind” and “how to name it”

    4. Are there any other popular krithis in Abhogi apart from “Sabapathikku” ?

    keep posting – namaskaram

    • Namaskaram Gopal. Thank you very much for writing. Its only when people write with comments do I get an idea of what people like to read about otherwise I keep writing what interests me🙂 Now that you have reminded me, I will certainly put my mind to writing a post on developing interest and knowledge in Carnatic music. To answer you questions :
      1. For your children, I suggest you play CDs of short devotional compositions every morning (the mind is very absorbent in the morning). CDs such as Bombay Jayashri’s Radha Madhavam (http://mio.to/D24) & Sogasujufatharama (http://mio.to/ewUY), and Sudha Raghunathan’s Alaipayuthe Kanna (http://mio.to/de1) which is one of my favourite ‘light listening’, and also Bharatiyar songs by Unnikrishnan (http://mio.to/%3DEi) are all very easy to listen to, …oh I could keep going but I am sure these examples are a good place to start. My hint : Dont play a great variety, but play the same music again and again. small children love repition and familiarity, its older children who like variety. Also show them Bharatanatyam dancing if shown on TV.
      2. Your story is a familiar one, this happens to a lot of people. I appreciate that you have little time to learn music but one always can make time to listen to music🙂 I know people who have gone back to learning music in their more mature years, when their responsibilities become a bit easier so dont despair!
      3. I have heard Nothing but Wind, its a beautiful CD. But no, I havent heard ‘How to Name It’, I will look it up. Thank you for the suggestion.
      4. Abhogi kritis – I like Nekkurugi by Papanasam Sivan, have you heard it? Here’s a link http://mio.to/BFxO . Other than that, there is of course the Evari Boda varnam which is often sung at the start of concerts. Sri Lakshmi Varaham by Dikshithar is very melodious.

      I will definitely keep posting. If you subscribe to the site by email, RSS or ‘like’ the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Music-To-My-Ears/225878097422686#!/pages/Music-To-My-Ears/225878097422686?sk=info , you’ll get updates🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  6. Ratna

    Suja — two of my absolute favorite Bollywood movies of the 00s — both the movie itself as well as the music — are Omkara and Dor. Would love to hear your thoughts

    • Hi Ratna, Omkara music was excellent; I especially liked Sunidhi’s Beedi which she has sung so very well and Rahat’s Naina. Naina in particular was on my regular playlist for a long time. But I shall quite shock you by saying I didn’t see the film! I cannot stand violence in films – this is quite debilitating for a Hindi film reviewer I know but nothing can be done about it🙂 My husband loved it and said that I should see it despite the violence but I couldn’t bring myself to. Dor on the other, I loved. Kesariya Balam is a lovely folk song which has featured in another film a long time back – Lekin – in which Lata sings it very well but Dor’s version is more authentic. But i must be honest and say I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the music.

  7. Nandini

    I came across your blog while searching for Khusrau’s music. I love your sensibilities. Wonderful blog

    • Thank you Nandini, it is indeed very pleasing when readers respond as positively as you🙂 Keep visiting – perhaps my main areas of writing, carnatic music, may not appeal to you (mone hochche apni bangali?) but I do write from time to time on filmi music as well as other genres. Hope I can keep you interested🙂 Cheers. Suja

  8. I came searching for Mere mehboob… and stayed for the accompanying entries. After reading a few more posts, Srinivasa tiruvenkata, Kanda naal mudalaay I was surprised to see that I was still on the same blog. Your curation is excellent… well… I should say, made me nostalgic.
    Thanks!

  9. nailekhak

    Hi Suja- I stumbled upon your blog when googling some bengali & kannada songs sung by MS for my daughter’s arangetram prep. I don’t have any music training, but of course I love listening to all kinds of music. I love listening to Carnatic, Hindustani, filmi, and lately western classical music as well. You have an excellent collection of informative articles, and I hope to visit your blog for many answers that I keep seeking to music related questions. I liked your take on re-incarnation btw. Keep up the good work.
    Thanks & Regards

    • Hello! Thank you visiting my blog, I am glad you find it of interest🙂 I write to a very niche audience after all, so I am always happy to meet someone with similar interests! Do visit again,
      Cheers. Suja

  10. CNS

    I have listened to a lot of carnatic music at a very young age but the disconnect was so big that after a gap of 66 years only I made a switch when I turned 76 last year – after my mother’s death. She was from a musical family and good at singing. Until her Death at 93 she was listening only with a headphone, though.
    Today I have a collection of ,over 1200 songs [80+ ragas] – all from the net. Many are duplicares in different voices. I am so glad to say my 24 hour day passes so nicely that this will be my pass-time till I pass away.

    For most of the songs I have managed to get the lyric – again from the net.

    Long live – those who contribute to the net – a feed for small birds like me tto ‘peck’!

    • How interesting your story is ! Did it have a feeling of ‘coming home’ when you took to listening Carnatic Music after such a big gap? Perhaps this is also a way of maintaining that connection with your mother, as it is for me. Maybe one needs a bit of age to appreciate CM fully, the audience is normally only ‘mama mamis’ , not just today but in the years past as well. Evidently these ‘mama mamis’ did not come to CM concerts when they were younger either! You are in good company🙂

  11. Ravi

    Hello Suja,

    I stumbled upon your blog a while back and meant to leave a note expressing my gratitude for the illuminating entries you post. Alas, I got distracted and didn’t get a chance. Let me rectify that now and express my thanks for the splendid work you do.

    Since I don’t have any formal training in Carnatic music, when I read posts such as yours that expound on the topic, it enhances my knowledge. I am also delighted to share some of our blog entries with my children who were fortunate enough to receive formal training in Carnatic music (though both were born and brought up in New York) at a young age. They appreciate your blog as well. So, thank you on their behalf.

    When I came back to post this thank-you note, I read your Dec 20, 2012 blog entry on “Asai Mugam.” For a minute, I thought you were writing about neuroscience when I read your opening paragraphs on memory and emotions. I might as well have been reading champions in that field, such as Vilayanur Ramachadran, Oliver Sacks or Joseph LeDoux. Wonderful.

    Now, about “Asai Mugam.” Thank you for posting O.S. Arun’s version. I hadn’t heard his version before and was delighted to hear it. You may want to listen to another version, a fusion piece, by two young ladies who were brought to my attention by my daughter. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib3r6mPD3aY&feature=channel_video_title. I think they sing well. I liked their version and I hope you do as well.

    Thank you.

    Ravi

    • Hello Ravi, Thank you so very much for such a wonderful endorsement to my blog! I am very grateful that you have taken the time to write such positive comments, it gives me the impetus to keep devoting more time and energy towards my blog. Given that what I write about doesn’t have a wide audience appeal, I sometimes wonder if it is worth the effort for the very small and limited readership. It is good to know that my blog feels meaningful not only to an adult audience like yourself but also to the younger generation. I am indeed pleased🙂

      Thank you for the link to another version of Asai Mugam, I will definitely listen soon🙂

      Let me take the opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year.

      Cheers. Suja

      • R. Kunnakkat

        … and a Happy and Healthy New Year to you, Suja, and to your readers!

        Looking forward to reading your future posts.

        Take care and stay well,

        – Ravi

  12. Jay

    Hello Suja,

    It was while searching on Raag Dwijavanthi that I fortunately discovered your blog. You’ve done an absolutely classy job presenting Indian music that many of us can relate to. In my short time at the site, I enjoyed the section on Bhajans and could relate to the story of your mother preparing to sing at the local bhajan event. And reading of your gratitude to Australia wherein you narrate your experience with the medical system, I as an immigrant who left the shores of India more than 2 decades back read those experiences with a sense of awe, considering the challenges most Americans, let alone immigrants face with the medical system over here.

    Your writing is thorough and is a product of extreme attention to detail that is very impressive and rarely seen these days. If I may recommend, a site that has good playlists http://www.youtube.com/user/dhanyasy

    I listened to Sankaranarayanan’s rendition of Dwijavanthi and Kumar Gandharva’s jini jini bini. Beautiful! I hope to listen more and learn more.

    Namaste!
    Jay

    • Hello Jay,
      Thank you for your very encouraging comments, they mean a lot to me since I write to a largely invisible and quiet audience🙂 I am very glad that you have joined my readers and hope you will visit often. And thank you for the link to the youtube playlist, I shall certainly explore it when I have a few mins to myself.
      Namaste,
      Suja

  13. Hi,

    I have been visiting your music blog in the last few days and benefit immensely. Have been wanting to submit a detailed e-mail and did not manage. So atleast thought would drop in a small thanks note for the blog that you are maintaining.

    Best regards,
    Magesh

    • Thank you Magesh for your kind comments. I am glad that you find it of use. Please do return again, I will be happy to have your feedback.
      Cheers. Suja

  14. it’s a warm surprise for me to find a site like this with exquisite music in it’s deeper sense.

  15. Narasimha Raj

    Suja,
    Was it C.Rajagopalachari who once said “Happy the man(woman) who can accept the charming emotions of music without analyzing the charms”?
    I’m one of those ‘happy’ persons, who doesn’t understand the ‘raaga, taala, layaa,etc., and yet enjoys listening to music which is pleasing to the ears – irrespective of whether Carnatic, Hindustani, Sufi, or any other
    – be it vocal or instrumental.
    Your Blogs have made it easy for me to access ‘a treasure trove of music’ – without having to ‘dig’! Thank you. Keep it up
    In the ‘evening’ of my life, listening to music is ‘one of the tonics’ which keeps me going in my otherwise loneliness!
    God Bless you.
    Narasimha Raj
    Feb.10, 2013

    • Thank you Raj, I am somehow very touched by your message. It makes all the time I spend on my posts worth the effort if it gives pleasures even to a few people. Thank you for writing such a lovely comment. I hope to see you in this blog-space often, sharing common interests is a great way of banishing loneliness from life isn’t it?
      Take care, Suja

  16. Akhila K Ramesh

    Hello!

    I was looking for a documentary about Indian Music! If you have one, can you please share one.

    Thanks,
    Akhila

  17. saras

    Dear Suja,
    Came by this blog by accident and how glad I am that I did! You have a fan here from Malaysia, unschooled in Carnatic music but loving it all the same.

    • Welcome to the blog Saras🙂 I too am an unschooled in Carnatic Music and have been loving it for more years than I can count so you are in good company🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  18. usha

    What a pleasant discovery by my daughter ! Made interesting and nostalgic reading on a rainy Mumbai afternoon!Though dismissed as possessing tinny voice after learning carnatic music for 3 yrs, couldn’t really escape the onslaught from the radio and the sister learning a few kirtans to impress the ‘boy’! Found myself always humming ‘Sri Satya narayana” in Shubha pantuvarali. Quite melancholic like a mukesh number!
    Saint Thiagaraja’s kirtans are outpourings of devotion or music? Lose interest when artists sing them to show their expertise sans devotion. Something like ‘amaidiyana nadiyinile odum odam’ and ‘ennai yaar enru enni enni nee parkirai’ don’t really allow you to enjoy them due to the frenetic pace at which they are sung, though the analogy is not complete! Wonder what is the ragam behind the latter song? Love Anuradha Sriram’s ‘ellame sangeetamdan’.
    Also wonder what is a ‘besur’ or ‘apaswaram’ that makes us cringe when we hear it? Even a person not trained in music recognizes it! Are the ragas sound pathways in our brain and a besur is a derailment?

    Usha Sampathkumar

    • Hello Usha, Welcome to my blog🙂 I am glad you found it interesting – we seem to share an attraction to Shubhapantuvarali, I too love Sri Satyanarayana.

      You raise some very interesting questions here. What is more important in Carnatic Music – technicalities like raga & laya or devotion & attitude? Excellent question. Answers may vary but for me, it has to be both. I focus a lot on meaning and devotion in my blog, yet I am the first to avoid a singer if they are not technically correct. I remember Bombay Jayashri once commenting when asked about devotion that when she sang, she thought only of the music. Is that too not a type of devotion ‘Nadopasana’ ? Yet when artists show off too much technical artistry and forget the devotional aspect, that doesn’t touch the heart. You have made a very valid point here, and it is very relevant to my blog. Thank you.

      As I do not get to see Indian TV, I am not familiar with Anuradha Sriram’s program you mention.

      Another good question about apaswarams. There seems to be something hardwired in the human brain re: frequency intervals which we find musical. Why else did the concepts like, for example, the octave develop quite independently in different parts of the world from historic times? Our ears are more finely tuned than we are. I remember always not liking the harmonium accompaniment, thinking that something sounded not quite right..it was only much later I discovered is that we are used to the just temperament tuning of the Carnatic instruments and instruments tuned to equal temperament sound different!

      Thanks for commenting. cheers. Suja

  19. S.Narasimha Raj

    “There seems to be something hardwired in the human brain re: frequency intervals which we find musical. . . ”
    Rightly said, Suja. There is no escape from RHYTHM! – Our heart beats to varying ‘rhythms’ and it runs through our senses. We sense ‘rhythm’ or the lack of it quite sub-consciously!
    Music – vocal or instrumental – is indeed ‘Communication’ with message, meaning, moods & melody (‘melody’ – a combination of raga, taala, laya etc., and the ‘tone’ of the vocalist or the ‘tuning-in’ of instruments). Add to them the ‘histrionics’ (body language of expressions, gestures & postures) of the vocalist/s or instrumentalist/s ( if seen while hearing/listening to the performance.
    Effectiveness/Appeal of the ‘Musical Communication’ depends on the Musician as well as the listener. Well, that’s basic!
    Best Wishes.
    Raj

  20. Hi Mam,
    Excellent blog.
    Your blog has helped me learn more about Indian classical music.Keep up the good work.🙂

  21. Srinivaas G

    Amazing blog ma’am. I am a plain music listener too, and am interested very much in the meaning of the songs. Your blog is very helpful der. Please continue the good work. Please try your hand at Oothukadu’s Saptaratna kritis. I have been trying hard to find the meaning for these 7 songs.

    • Thank you Srinivas and welcome to my blog🙂 Yes indeed, I have had my an eye on many of OVS songs including the Saptaratnas. I will definitely translate them one day. Thankfully his songs are in languages I know fairly well🙂 actually I started translating Madhava hrdi khelini but I found it to be rather risqué quite unlike normal Carnatic songs and more like Jayadeva. I hesitated and decided not to publish it so as not to offend the predominantly conservative fans of this music, in which I include myself! But I shall try some of the others. Cheers. Suja

  22. Hello ma’am, came across your blog while looking for info on ‘Pibara ramarasam’ which I listened to from Karthik’s ‘Music I love’. I was intrigued to find the meaning as its ‘bhakthi’ and the ‘raga’ touched a chord. Am new to Carnatic music. Your note on the song was really helpful and I thank you for for this impressive effort.

    • Welcome to my blog Rasmi. I am glad that my post on pibare ramarasam was useful to you in appreciating the song better. It’s a lovely song, isn’t it? I hope it inspires you to explore a bit more into this wonderful world of classical music which many of you young people ignore🙂 it’s a good world, much safer, kinder, loving, blessed than the world outside. A little haven, to my mind. Please visit again. Cheers. Suja

  23. Hi Suja,
    I would like to appreciate your efforts for the excellent, amazing blog of yours. Truly I could not log off from the net going through the collection.
    You should have spent a great amount of time in collecting, translating, and updating the blog, and it is well worth it.
    Generally I listen to Carnatic Music and thanks to you I was going through the great Barathanatiyam performance of Mrs. Priyadarshini Govind and was stunned by the abinayams and expressions.
    Thanks to you once again, I have learnt something new today.
    Keep up your great work.
    Cheers
    Balaji Lakshminarayanan

    • Hi Balaji,
      Though I spend the time on this blog out of my own passion for the music, my efforts feel validated when readers like yourself write a few words of appreciation, so thank you very much🙂 I will continue to feature music and dance as long as I am able, do come back!
      Cheers. Suja

  24. Dear Ms.Suja

    I came across your blog while searching for lyrics and meaning of some song I like. I used to wonder about the salacious nature of a number of songs like Alaipayuthe. Thank you for pointing out the feminine-masculine metaphor of jivatma-paramatma. This explains a whole lot of Hindustani music as well.

    This blog is a labor of love – thank you for your selfless service to all lovers of carnatic music.

    -sriram

    • Hello and welcome to my blog! Indian devotional poetry has never been shy; some poetry is quite racy and starling to our current day morals and ideas. The Radha-Krishna love theme in North India is one example. Shiva-Shakti theme in tantric cults is another example. The lyrics in Carnatic music are mostly from 18th century onwards. By then we had become more conservative. Oothukadu from a century before seems more bolder! It’s very interesting, as we normally think that older is more conservative! Not always true🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  25. Ambika

    Hi Suja,

    I just love your blog. Can you please write on the wonderful kirtan SRI CHAKRARAJA SIMHASANESWARI ??

  26. Velamur

    Like others I too chanced upon your blog. You are doing great initiating the uninitiated into the wonderful world of Carnatic music. All the best to you and your family in 2014

    • Welcome to my blog! Thank you very much for your kind comments🙂 I try and share my pleasure in this wonderful world of music with others, hoping to encourage everyone to listen, enjoy and share their own knowledge and experiences. I hope you continue to visit and share your experiences too! Happy New Year!
      Suja

  27. Kavitha

    Like most of your visitors, I also stumbled upon your page in facebook and eventually into this blog. I grew up in Srirangam and so got initiated into appreciating and listening to carnatic music. I wouled like to expand my very meager knowledge and awaiting for your posts on “appreciation of carnatic music” Your research on the background of a particular song and also your choice of rendition of that particular song enhance my experience. Thank you for such a wonderful job.
    Kavitha

    • Hello Kavitha, welcome to my blog! Thank you very much for your very kind comment. I am very pleased when readers such as you find my blog enhances their own pleasure in the music. I seldom write specifically about music appreciation really. Instead I try to connect the normal experiences of life, ideas, moods, emotions, feelings, stories etc to a particular song. My underlying idea is that Carnatic Music should play the ‘background score’ to the story of our own lives. Hopefully my posts will help you make that personal connection to this beautiful form of music.

      So you grew up in Srirangam, do you say? My paternal grandfather’s home was in Srirangam, right on the agraharam! I used to visit in my childhood but on the passing of my grandfather, my grandmother went to stay with my uncle and I never went back to Srirangam again. I dearly wish for the opportunity to visit one day.
      Cheers. Suja

      • Kavitha

        I saw your post about Srirangam and felt very sad. I am so very fortunate to grew up in Srirangam during my shaping years. I fell in love with Sriranganatha temple (not just gods) and unable to get the same satisfaction in any other temples. Srirangam gave so many musicians, poets, authors….U.Srinivas, Sujatha, Vaali, etc. You can see the impact of Srirangam in their writings.

        I hope you get the opportunity with God’s kripa.
        Kavitha

  28. Narasimharaj

    “Music should play the ‘background score’ to the story of our own lives”
    Suja, you have said it right – as they (so too your ‘prefaces to posts’ & comments from your followers) trigger ‘memories’ of people, places, happenings and happy moments and encourage sharing experiences.
    Best Wishes.
    Raj.

  29. This Blog is a great find for all music lovers in India, particularly, in the south, I am amazed at the amount of research and thought that has gone in bringing out the finer nuances that help appreciation. Thanks, Suja, for the wonderful effort and service to this great cause of Music

    • Thank you for your very kind comment, Pattabhiraman🙂 When I research into a song like Vadavaraiyai Mattaki which takes simply hours of study, I do sometimes question myself re the cost-worth proposition; after all, there will be no more than a handful of people whom it would interest. Yet, I find enough value for myself alone; so perhaps it is a ‘for me, by me’ kind of blog but if others find value, I am well pleased🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  30. Narasimha Raj

    “I find enough value for myself alone; so perhaps it is a ‘for me, by me’ kind of blog but if others find value, I am well pleased🙂’
    Suja, true, – there is no greater ‘reward’ than ‘self-appreciation’ – to be happy/elated at the effort put-in, the result that emerges and the ‘sharing done’ and count it as the real ‘Returns’! All the rest – appreciation/comments/corrections etc from others – is a miniscule ‘bonus’!
    The moment I saw your featuring the rendition of Vadavaraiyai Mattaki by ‘Amma MSS’, I was in great ecstasy.listening to her.
    Keep ‘pleasing yourself with your posts’ – knowing fully that there could at times be none or a finger-count of responses.
    Best Wishes.
    Raj

    • Thank you again Raj, for your encouragement and support. From a very young age I had realised that the greatest pleasure comes from striving to do something well and learning, so I agree totally with you.
      Cheers. Suja

  31. i do not know whether u are an carnatic artist. are the cafrnatic artist who sang carnatic song in ANJALI a program in AIR. I have heard only part of the program. someone gave the commentary in the program. nadopasana was very good regards krishnan

  32. Chanced upon your beautiful blog today Suja, I am very impressed with what you have been expressing, an inspiration for me especially now since I am trying to express certain krithis through what I paint. Keep up the great work!

  33. Elis

    Hello, I would like to discuss something via e-mail. Please send me your e-mail adress. Thank you.

  34. Nayantara

    Hi there! I just stumbled across your beautiful blog by chance. It is so good to see someone pay this much attention to lyrics. I saw that you had not seen many versions of Maharaja Swati Tirunal’s Neelambari song Anandavalli.
    Here is an old recording of Prince Rama Varma singing it.
    (He composed the chitta swarams for that, that artists like Sanjay sing, by the way)

    If you are into lyrics, then you will find a lot of treasures in Varmaji’s renditions.
    Like these two songs for example.
    Evarani

    Two Annamayya songs

    So sorry if I dumped too many songs on you, but I was just so happy and excited to see your blog!
    More power to you and your kind!
    Have a great day!
    Nayan

    • Thank you Nayantara for your kind words with such positive energy🙂 I will listen to your links today; it seems that you are a great fan of Prince Rama Varma? In fact, I was quite keen to feature a Swathi Thirunal song tuned by him in Vakulanbhatanam but the lyrics I sourced seemed wrong as the Sanskrit didn’t make sense (or my abilities in translating fell short!). I tried requesting for the lyrics in the Swathi Thirunal website as well as Varmaji’s youtube channel but got no response. As I don’t live in India, I can’t access new books easily so I am rather limited.. But I shall continue my quest🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  35. srini

    Suja – When you get a chance, please enlighten us with your explanation on Karnaranjani. I have been listening to this and somehow this ragam has taken over my music time. The 2 songs that I have heard that have made me listen to them over and over again are Vanchathotuna by Sri TNS (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuY4y3AxxrQ) and Om Namo Narayana (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrYthysoooU).

    Thanks,

    Srini

    • I have made note of your request Srini and will try my level best. I was rather amused to read of your ‘raga-addiction’ as it were…I often go through the same thing! Sometimes ragas get into your head and ensnare you in such a way that you can hardly think of anything else, don’t they? However I confess that I dont listen much to this raga. I have a version of Vanchathotuna by TNS but he is in much better voice in the link you have given. Unfortunately it ends abruptly…I hate when they do that, uploading only part of a rendition is simply cruel! I enjoy this lovely thillana played by Ganesh & Kumaresh, I wonder if you have heard it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGi0VHyze8s . Its from their excellent Cd called Manoranjani which has an outstanding RTP in Ranjani….
      Cheers. Suja

  36. Hi,
    I heard this for the first time today and immediately thought of you:

  37. srini

    Hi Suja –

    Happy holidays to you and your family. Here is a very old recording of Maharajapuram Santhanam from DD, India. This is a pancharagamalika on Vinayaka, considered the equivalent for pancharatna kritis of Thygaraja.
    The Ragamalika Vinayaka is the same order in which Saint Thyagaraja’s Pancharatna keerthanai are composed and sung. Enjoy and feature this when you get a chance!!

  38. Lakshman

    Suja: Do you happen to have the notation for the mishra shivaranjani tillAnA that Santhanam has composed? Thanks.

  39. kpks

    Hi,
    I saw this article in this weeks hindu and thought of sharing with you immediately:
    http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/nagarathnamma-was-the-revolutionary-woman-behind-the-mandapam-built-near-thyagarajas-samadhi-at-thiruvaiyaru/article8163198.ece
    Why do we only study about kings in our history lessons? why not great musicians?

    • Hello again kp, good to hear from you again! Hope your son’s interest in Music, whether Western or Carnatic, continues to give you pleasure. What an interesting article you have brought to my attention! Thank you! You are right, we never learn about so many of the great artists and musicians who have been the cultural foundation of our country over the years. Better to learn about those who created than those who destroyed, don’t you think? !! But I did learn something today, my thanks to you.
      Cheers. Suja

  40. srini

    Hi Suja –

    I was surprised to find that you had not featured any songs on Chembai. Hopefully this will be a start.

    Please listen the Chembai singing Rakshamaam. Exhilirating experience.

    Thanks,

    Srini

    • Hi Srini,

      I must confess, somehow I have never listened much to Chembai. Thanks for prompting me to correct this error! I am listening to your recommendation as I am replying to you! Hopefully I will soon get an opportunity to features his music.
      Cheers. Suja

  41. Sumati M

    Hi suja

    I came upon your Twitter blog while searching for something else and your take on Carnatic music is similar to mine. I am an ardent Rasika and not had formal training in it. And I love your blog. Will keep coming back for more.

    God bless

    Sumati
    Bangalore

    • Hello Sumati, welcome to my blog! I am always very happy to meet fellow Carnatic Music rasikas and discuss their thoughts, impressions, experiences etc. A pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled, isn’t it!! Please come back often,
      Cheers. Suja

    • Hello Sumati,
      Welcome to my blog! I am always pleased to meet fellow Rasikas and hear their views and experiences. Please do come back often, looking forward to further interaction with you.
      Cheers. Suja

  42. Sumati M

    Hi Suja
    It is the Carnatic spring festival season in bangalore. Attended Sudha Raghunathan concert today. Truly enchanting. I went with a close friend whose son is a violin and vocal artist and performs regularly. I was telling her about your blog and the one about Madhaymavati ragam and it was truly enlightening.

    God bless

    Sumati

    • Hello Sumati, Let me first apologize for my delayed reply, I have been travelling and sadly neglecting my blog! So Sudha Raghunathan is still in good voice? I haven’t heart any recent kutcheris, I must trawl the net soon! Thank you for mentioning my blog to your friend, very kind of you :)#
      Cheers. Suja

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