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, and hope that other rasikas like myself will enjoy my ruminations.

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 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 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.

163 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.

      • Dear Suja, came across your blog today accidentally and cannot tell you how happy I am to find it! I am a fellow rasika like you and can identify with every word you have said about Carnatic music.
        I have a tiny problem- am not able to post a comment anywhere. Can only write in the ‘reply’ section. Not sure why?

      • Thank you for the comment. I apologise for not responding for so long..my family was undergoing a bit of a crisis in September and I was not often on the computer. I’m not sure about why you cannot post anywhere! All first time comments remain need to be approved by me due to junk mail issues, but once the first one is approved, there will be no further issues. Hope to see your comments soon!

      • Thank you for taking time to respond to my query and hope all is well with your family now. Yes, I too look forward to enjoying your blog and interacting with yourself and fellow rasikas in the comments section. Best wishes.

  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!

    The Bolly Hood

    • Hi Bolly Hood, Nice name 🙂 Sure, I’ll check out your blog..

      • Renuka Adiraju

        Happened upon your blog today by chance while browsing for some musical info. Really enjoyed reading a couple of posts.
        Keep blogging for the rest of us who mean to yet cannot begin or sustain it!

      • Thank you for visiting my blog Renuka! Sadly, I am not so active for the moment as my life has become very busy. But I have not given up hope; one day I shall return to blogging!
        Cheers. Suja

      • Renuka Adiraju

        Best wishes! Thanks for taking time to reply. Our family members are all devout followers of Pujya Sw Dayananda Saraswati. Someone asked me recently if I knew who had tuned Swamiji’s composition, Bho Shambho. I had assumed it was M. Ramachandran Mama but this person said no, and that it was actually someone from the Tamil film industry who had tuned it. He told me a name that I don’t recall now. I was trying to look up that info on Google and some links later, I found your blog! Take care, Renuka

  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.?


      • 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!
        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,

      • Aishwarya

        Hi! Brilliant blog Suja. Having said that I was so happy to read this answer to the interesting question put forth by CanTHeeRava. I started taking my Carnatic tastes seriously from about a year or so ago. On knowing that Bhakti Bhava is one of your inspirations I felt I found another Rasika much like me. Compositions of Papanasam Sivan are my current favourite owing to the devotionally overflowing lyrics put to the perfect ragas to invoke those lofty emotions.

        I love the approach and the quality of posts, when on the net we usually find quality content coming only from musicians. Not always is there space for the listener’s voice in the conversations. So thank you for creating such a place for us music lovers.


      • Hi Aishwarya, welcome to my blog 🙂 Indeed, I personally find Bhakti Bhava to be a very important aspect of my sense of connection to CM. It may be possible to appreciate CM without Bhakti, but if you come with Bhakti, CM can become a conversation between you and God. Thank you also for your kind words about the posts, it is much appreciated!
        Cheers. Suja

      • Raghu S

        Hi Suja,
        Very fascinating to listen to your story and I find a lot of similarities with myself in many ways. Would be very interested to listen to your son’s band’s composition on Shubapantuvarali!
        Excellent blog site. Amazing!
        Thank you,

  4. Shubaga

    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

    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.

  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.


    • 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.


    • 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.

  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,

    • 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

    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


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


  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.

  20. hoodiboy

    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.
    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.


    • 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!

  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.

    • 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.

  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.

  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.

    • 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.

    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!

    • 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).



    • 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

    I saw this article in this weeks hindu and thought of sharing with you immediately:
    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.



    • 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


    • 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


    • 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

  43. srini

    Suja – Expecting a tribute to Balamurali ji


  44. prabhuh

    You are doing a great work! I refer your blog for Ragamalika ragams to clarify my doubts. Please continue the contribution. Looking for your write up on Bhairavi Swarajathi (by Shyama Sasthri) and bunch of Ragamalika songs.

    • Thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog! I have been a bit inactive lately but plan to be more active in 2017. I love the Bhairavi Swarajati and will no doubt feature it one day soon. And I will keep in mind your request for ragamalikas 🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  45. GANESH B

    Dear Ms. Suja,
    I am happy I discovered your blog. I am not a tambrahm but I’ve been listening to CM for well nigh 30 years. I shall explore your blog soon, I am not tech savvy being the wrong side of 50. However, on the subject of Dikku Teriyada .. . Yes GNB is great but I also remember Maharajapuram Santhanam render it. My brother is a devotee of Meher Baba, and just today my lyric book of Suddhananda Bharati had a song on him by the latter. It is in kapi. I don’t know how to go about learning it, as we are both unlettered in CM. Of the songs in Kapi, I remember sodhanai sumaikku by Papanasam Sivan. Would you be able to get a link to the same? Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Hello Ganesh,
      Welcome to my blog 🙂 Surely music has no borders? I too am very much in the wrong side of 50, actually I should say I am on the right side of 60..I am a great fan of Maharajapuram Santhanam, he had such an amazing voice!Hmm..I forgot about Sodanai Sumaikku, its a lovely song, isn’t it! I had Bombay Jayashree’s rendition in my collection, I should listen to it again..I will make a note to write a post on it one of these days. In the meanwhile, why not listen to Enna Tavam Seydanai also by Papanasam Sivan here in my blog https://sujamusic.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/enna-tavam-seydanai/. Another well known song in Kapi is Jagadodharana which I have written about here https://sujamusic.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/jagadodharana/ .
      Cheers. Suja

  46. GANESH B

    Hello, Ms. Suja:
    Thanks for the reply. This is the first blog that I wrote to and got a reply so thanks. Yes, I shall listen to the links. I just want to tell you (if you don’t know already) about two internet/satellite radio stations of AIR Bengaluru (I live in Bengaluru). Please go to http://www.airbengaluru.com. On the right, there are tabs. Two are important. One is amruthavarshini. This is available on the radio as well. It starts at 6:00 am IST and goes on to 9:30 am IST. In the evening, it starts at 6 p.m. and goes on to 11 p.m. It is devoted to classical music both Hindustani and Carnatic. They play some great music. Last month, they aired Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan’s 72 mela ragamalika by MSS. I then recorded it off some obscure website, and have it on Dropbox. I can give it to you if you wish. The second channel is RAAGAM. This is a 24-hour channel dedicated to carnatic and hindustani. They have alternate slots of 1 hour each. Contributing stations are Trichy, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Dharwad, Tiruvananthapuram, Pune, Bhopal. I especially listen to the 8:00 p.m slot IST when it is Chennai. This whole program is presented by AIR Bengaluru. I am sure you can receive it in Switzerland. But a note of caution, though they curate great music, technically they are not very competent. They go off the air, it buffers, and are quite unreliable. But being AIR they possess the greatest archives so they play great music. Let me know if you want the Dropbox link to MSS 72 mela ragamalika.
    Once again, thanks for replying.
    With best regards,

  47. GANESH B

    Hello, Ms. Suja:
    Thanks for the reply. This is the first blog that I wrote to and got a reply so thanks. Yes, I shall listen to the links. I just want to tell you (if you don’t know already) about two internet/satellite radio stations of AIR Bengaluru (I live in Bengaluru). Please go to http://www.airbengaluru.com. On the right, there are tabs. Two are important. One is amruthavarshini. This is available on the radio as well. It starts at 6:00 am IST and goes on to 9:30 am IST. In the evening, it starts at 6 p.m. and goes on to 11 p.m. It is devoted to classical music both Hindustani and Carnatic. They play some great music. Last month, they aired Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan’s 72 mela ragamalika by MSS. I then recorded it off some obscure website, and have it on Dropbox. I can give it to you if you wish. The second channel is RAAGAM. This is a 24-hour channel dedicated to carnatic and hindustani. They have alternate slots of 1 hour each. Contributing stations are Trichy, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Dharwad, Tiruvananthapuram, Pune, Bhopal. I especially listen to the 8:00 p.m slot IST when it is Chennai. This whole program is presented by AIR Bengaluru. I am sure you can receive it in Switzerland. But a note of caution, though they curate great music, technically they are not very competent. They go off the air, it buffers, and are quite unreliable. But being AIR they possess great archives. Let me know if you would like MSS 72 mela ragamalika from Dropbox.
    Once again thanks for replying.
    With best regards,

    • Hi Ganesh, I always try to reply to comments though it may not always be timely! I am already aware of Raagam and listen to it occasionally. I was not aware of the Amruthavarshini channel, thank you for that. The truth is there is a surfeit of music online, so much so that I can hardly keep up! Thank you for the offer of your recording. I already have a nice version of MSS’s 72 mela ragamalika.
      Cheers. Suja

  48. Guy de Chalus

    Hello Suja,

    I discovered your blog while searching for a documented history of the famous South Meets North album. I wanted to know who was the leader, the mastermind behind the concept and collaboration.

    My family is from Guyana. I grew up with a strong Indian influence on my home culture. Along with my Caribbean music, my parents exposed me to all kinds of music. For many years I’ve found myself drawn to Indian classical music. Most of my exposure was to Hindustani music. And just recently I’ve been working with an American sitarist, himself an initiated/annointed student of a great Indian sitarist

    He suggested I explore Carnatic music if I was looking for alternatives to European violin study. He thought I might really be inspired by the music. He was right!!!

    I have been happily studying with a lesser known vocal and violin teacher from Tamil Nadu. Her devotion to her faith and the joy she gets from singing have both inspired me to finally study this music. It’s been a slow (yet steady) 5 months. CRnatic music has truly inspired me,


    Thank you for reading such an extensive blog. I love your style and relationship to the music. By the way, Im Musicilovist and I think your work is amazing.

    I’d love to see a page on Kishore Amonkar and another on Suktan Khan. Thank again and take care.

    • Hello Guy,
      What an fascinating musical journey you have had! I wish you all success for a lifetime of pleasure from all forms of music! I am glad you enjoyed my blog. Musicians and listeners sit on opposite sides..yet the music binds us together as one, doesn’t it! Carnatic Music – and Hindustani Music – are very demanding to their devotees. It takes a lifetime to learn even to listen well..yet once you are in, it holds you and never lets you go.

      I do love Hindustani Music but I don’t feature it very often simply because this blog approaches music from the direction of lyrics, meaning and their relationship to oneself. In Hindustani Music, lyrics don’t hold the same importance as in Carnatic Music. But I hear you, and I shall try and feature Kishori Amonkar in the future.
      Cheers, Suja

  49. Yes, I’ve noticed the value of lyrics and the composition in Carnatic music. There are other important differences too but as with all kinds of music, I strive to see the commonalities. It’s probably a major factor in my appreciation of the South Meets North album. Also, it is a great bridge for lesser experienced listeners to access Carnatic nuances and subtleties that are missing in strict Hindustani presentations. I really enjoyed a post of the singer Jasraj sharing his stage with L. Subramaniam and his wife. I could see how moved Jasraj was by her singing and most notably by his playing which is so Carnatic in texture and approach.

    I always flirting with music. My wife has done well to share her life with all of my other “lovers.” I’m never sure how long I’ll stay with any kind of music but key factors for me are always the devotional aspects of a music, the power of it to heal, and the nature of prayer that defines the very foundation of the music itself. I have enjoyed getting to know Indian music a bit more and will spend a lot of time with your blog. It is truly masterful.

    Lastly, what drew me to Carnatic music is the role of the violin. I never want to be a leader in the music but rather a servant of great leadership. I want to be a servant of the spirit. The voice is the leader without a doubt and the other instruments surround it and clear a path for it to play and be free, for it to shine and lead. I’m up early this morning and will sit with my violin before the family rises. To you and yours, I send blessings and great appreciation for your efforts to celebrate the true spirit of music. Vanakam. – Guy

  50. Srini

    Hi Suja –

    I am glad that you have started blogging actively. When you get a chance, I would like for you to listen to this beautiful and soul-stirring “Arivaar yaar unnai” by Gayatri Venkatraman in Mukhari.

    I am surprised that you there are no songs by Gayatri.



    • Srini

      I meant ” Iam surprised that you have not featured any songs by Gayatri”

    • Thank you Srini 🙂 I will definitely listen to your recommendation. To tell the truth, I don’t listen to Gayatri very often so when it comes to selecting a rendition, I naturally go to my most oft-listened artists. I also confess to having a weakness for male voices 🙂 But I shall correct the omission by and by..
      cheers. Suja

  51. Srini

    Suja –

    One more wonderful composition and rendering for your listening pleasure. It is the one and only KVN and it is in Maanji –

    Listen and let me know your thoughts.



    • Thanks Srini! I have listened to one of KVN’s versions before, not sure if this one exactly. This song is quite my favourite and it is in my ‘to do a post on’ list..I especially love the original from Nandanar Charitram, the emotion just drips doesn’t it! I cannot listen to it without my eyes spilling tears almost without my knowing. The pace of KVN’s is slower and lends a slightly different mood; this is more reflective, less emotional. But that allows one to savour the lyrics and sangatis in leisure which I enjoyed. Now the song will keep buzzing in my ear all week 🙂 I just have to move it up my ‘to do list’ now, don’t I!
      Cheers. Suja

  52. Pradeep Sukhwal

    Thanks for lyrics of manglacharan odiisi dance .The lyrics on ur blog are perfect.I searched few websites but was not satisfied finally I read ur blog and liked to thank you.

  53. Srini


    Hope all is well. Long time since I corresponded with you. I happen to chance upon a wonderful rendition of Neelothpalambikaya by Alathur Brothers in KannadaGowla, a krithi that I have not heard in atleast 2-3 decades. When you get a chance, listen to this and if possible, do a small writeup. I am told that the this was a favorite of Maha Periyava and I would really like to read the saramsa from you.

    Thanks and looking forward,


    • Hello Srini, All is very well. I have not been able to spend any time on my blog due to many personal commitments but I’ll be back by and by! Thanks for the link..I will listen and see what I can make of it 🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  54. ksenapati

    It is by chance I stumbled on to your blog while searching the meaning of a Kabir Bhajan ” Janama Tera baton ….”. You have done a good job of translating the Doha. Thanks.

  55. meteorik

    Hey Suja!
    Greetings from the 2017 season in Chennai.
    Heard bhajare and was wondering about the astrological significance when I chances in this blog.
    Some great articles! I like that you offer a wide perspective (am even less versed in Carnatic than you!)
    Do let me know when you are in Chennai.

    • Hi Ravi,
      Greeting to you too! Hope you have been enjoying the season in Chennai this year! Indeed, I do stray quite far from Carnatic music in my meanderings 🙂 I am interested in words and meanings, whether it is in conversation, prose or poetry and music. Such a powerful device a word is, don’t you think? A starting point for an exploration… I am not often in Chennai but once my Decembers become less hectic I have dreams of descending for the season every year. And if my dreams become reality, I shall announce it in my blog 🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  56. Smita Jha Roy

    Hi Suja,

    You have some great articles here. One of the most genuine music appreciation I have seen online. I would love to communicate on a personal level with you as I do love to write myself. Please drop me a word at my email if you can.

  57. Hi Suja,
    A friend sent me the link to your blog article ‘Seeta Vaibhogame’ and I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed it. Apart from the bit about music, your preparations for your daughter’s wedding resonated with me. All the best for more such wonderful writing.

    • Thank you Sandhya, very kind of you! There is a commonality about such experiences, don’t you think….and though weddings are very different they also are the same..
      Cheers. Suja

  58. Hi Suja,

    I have missed your musings as you have not posted in a while 🙂 Your perspective is incisive as well as interesting and I quite enjoy reading your posts. It was pure serendipity that drew me to your page – I was searching for the Dhano Dhanno song which I learnt a long time ago in Bangalore. While reading your posts, I was struck by things we seem to have in common besides music – I am an Iyengar and I share your name although I generally go by Suju :). I am actually a musician (semi professional) trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani styles – however, my interest spans multitudinal genres and styles. I often tell my students there are only 2 types of music – good or bad!

    In any case it was nice to read your post once again and share in your joy. I would love to establish a personal connection if possible.

    Here’s to reading your next post!



    • Welcome to my blog Sujatha! How nice to meet someone who shares one’s name, ethnicity and a love for Indian music 🙂 Unlike you I am not a musician and don’t really ‘know’ music. I just tell myself that I too play an important part of the musical life cycle for does not music need both a performer with heart and a listener with passion? I would be pleased to set up a personal connection. You can get in touch with me at sujamusic at live dot com.
      Cheers. Suja

  59. Uma

    Dear Suja, I came across recently your blog. Very well written. I enjoy reading your blog. While I am not a music artist definitely enjoy music listening especially CM. Your contributions for music lovers is remarkable.

    Cheers, Uma

    • Welcome to my blog Uma! Thank you for your kind comment. Like yourself, I too am just a rasika so we are on equal ground 🙂 I look forward to interacting with you in future blog posts.
      Cheers. Suja

  60. Meera

    What a gem of a blog. I’m a fan!

  61. Deepa Ram

    Dear Suja

    Very interesting to read your experiences.
    I chanced upon this blog of yours as I was trying to get some ideas on typical NRI experiences when they come to Chennai for the music season.

    Interestingly, my husband Ram and I are US citizens living in Chennai and are curating exclusive Margazhi exprriences for discerning audiences like you.

    Would like to talk to you and hear more on what we could do better as we get about finalizing our concepts and services.

    Our endeavor is to provide a wholesome cultural immersion experience centered around Margazhi and want to make sure we put in the right ingredients with some valuable inputs from people like you.

    You could reach me at +1 732 672 0526 if you are comfortable to.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Best Regards
    Deepa Ram

  62. Gopal

    Taste matters; The depth,width & the sincerity mind boggling

  63. Hari

    Madam, Really loved your blog on “Azhaga” song. If you permit me, can I share your blog on Facebook especially in context of how TNS sir sang this patricular song?

    • You are welcome to share my blog, I’ll be interested to hear your comments about TNS’s rendition.
      Cheers. Suja

      • Hari

        Thank you so much for you have done explaining the words and meaning of this wonderful song.
        TNS’s rendition from my point of view is ultimate and I was moved when I heard the way he sang “Adaikalam”. If you haven’t heard, please listen to this on Youtube: https://youtu.be/m3RZCH8qnFk

  64. I have heard one of TNS’s rendition, but I don’t know if this is the one. I will definitely listen to it, thanks for the link.
    Cheers. Suja


    loved your blog! thanks for including different genres! You are so inclusive in your consciousness ! i don’t have time to go through your favourite songs in one go but would love to do so in leizure. Pl share links to your faviourite quawalis and sufi songs if you could. Thanks!!!!

    • Thank you Neeraja! I should have a page with just song links, shouldn’t I..let me see how I can incorporate that into my blog. I have been very busy with family events – my son got married yesterday! But I shall soon be back with posts again..
      Cheers. Suja

  66. Lakshman

    I look up your blog sometimes. It is very informative. In the song navasiddhi peTrAlum, there are additional caraNAs. Here are the lyrics as found in the printed text book of N.Shivan’s compositions, edited by Saraswathi Ram. Keep up the good work!!!
    navasiddhi peTrAlum. rAgA: kharaharapriyA. cApu tALA.

    P: navasiddhi peTrAlum shiva bhakti illAda narargaL verum shAvi
    evar budddhiyum taLLi suyabuddhiyum illAdu iruppavargaL perum pAvi
    C1: nAthan aruL marandu bOdham illA kUttu naDippavar verum shAvi
    NItmati aNiyum shivanai ninaiyAmal iruppavar perum pAvi
    2: pApamum puNyamum keNiyAmal paNattirkkE parappavar verumshAvi
    kOpamum lObhamum koNDu nalla guNattai kulaippavar perum pAvi
    3: tAi tandai manam nOgha sheiginra guru drOhat-talaivargaL verum shAvi
    nAi pOla evaraiyum shIri shaNDaiyiDum nalam keTTAr perum pAvi
    4: kETTum kaNDum anubhavittum uNmai uNarA garvigaL verum shAvi
    vATTamillA gati koDukkum nIlakaNTharin aruL illAr perum pAvi

    • Oh I seemed to have missed replying to this comment! My apologies! Thank you very much for sharing the other charanams with me, I shall be adding a note to my blog entry with the lyrics immediately. I am a great admirer of your contributions in numerous sites of Carnatic Music sir; and am grateful you have taken an interest in my blog.
      Cheers. Sujata

  67. Chanced upon your amazing blog by chance, amid my peregrinations. Hope to be a frequent visitor hanceforth.

    • Thank you very much for your comment, I look forward to interacting with you in future posts 🙂 I am very busy with real life events now, but I hope to get back to regular posting very soon.
      Cheers. Suja

  68. Sajith Bhaskaran

    I am really thankful for the information you are providing here. I am also an ardent student who tries to learn how the light songs are created. Its a delighting exercise for me to know how the songs are composed and of course, the raags used. Since I belong to Kerala, my interest undoubtedly is malayalam songs. This blog is really useful for me for reference.
    Wishing you all success
    B Sajith

    • Thank you Sajith for your comment. I’m afraid I don’t know much about light music in Kerala but those based on ragas are always a delight to listen to! Good luck with your endeavours!
      Cheers. Suja

  69. KKRaman

    Thank you so much.
    I learned Carnatic music when we was young.
    I am recollecting ragas learned in my younger days
    I don’t hv FB and only email or what’s up
    Best wishes

    • Thank you for your comment. In these times of isolation, it is lovely to think back on childhood memories, and especially so if that includes music!
      Cheers. Suja

  70. Hello mam, could we get your mail id to contact you?

  71. Radhakrishnan

    Absolutely fascinating Blog! Thank you!
    I’m a disciple of Balamuralikrishna and K V Narayanaswamy. Such different styles and yet I love both styles.
    I’m ex S African now in the UK.
    Your blog is almost like a reference work. Thank you once again.
    best regards

    ps my site is under construction! http://www.maestroofmine.com

    • Thank you very much for your kind comments! What a privilege to have studied music with maestros such as BMK and KVN! A blessing indeed! I read your blog; you have had a very interesting musical journey. I look forward to reading more of it as you continue.
      Cheers. Suja

  72. friendrasika

    hello there !
    I really like what you are doing.. can you translate ennadaina vintina by Dr.Balamuralikrishna .. 🙂

  73. jay rammohan

    Hi Suja, have you heard Balaji Shankar ? He is an awesome carnatic music singer. If you listen to his songs, you will fall in love with his renditions. Jaya

    • Yes, I have heard of Balaji Shankar though I have not heard much of his music. There is so much music and so little time to listen to it all! But you have reminded me, so I am checking youtube…ah there is a madhuvanti, how can I resist? Listening now!
      Cheers. Suja

  74. Lalitha

    Good morning,
    One of my students introduced your blog to me today.
    I am amazed and words fail to express my deep appreciation to the wonderful repository that you have created…
    Yes, one meets another at the time that is supposed to be. Not a minute less or more.
    Thankyou …
    I am Ms Lalitha from Tumkuru, Karnataka, aged 63.My twin and I live together.
    I am a learner by profession and in that journey have met wonderful minds and that keeps adding up….the latest being you. I know not your name.


    • Hello Lalitha,
      I am happy that you have come to ’visit’ my blog! My name is Suja and we are very close in age, I’m just a year younger. A learner by profession? That’s intriguing! Welcome 🙂
      Cheers. Suja

  75. ramanpar75@gmail.com

    Dear Suja, Excellently organized. Thank you. The rest of us must be so thankful to folks like you that take time to bring carnatic music together like this. I chanced upon your site by accident. I was looking for lyrics and notations for a charukesi varnam and landed here. My deepest salutations to you for such a wonderful contribution to music.

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