Category Archives: Lalgudi GJR Krishnan

Tamadam Tagadaiyya

This delay is not suitable, O compassionate Lord! Help me, O Lord Muruga!  This is right opportunity to govern this lonely and wretched one with lowly qualities! O son of Shiva unseen by even Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma! O Lord of sweet Valli! O Kanda who delights ladies! Please come quickly and bless me that I will always be protected by the spear and the peacock!

Murugan2Welcome to my first post in 2014! If you have been lucky enough to attend the December Season concerts, you are no doubt enjoying a breather at the moment. But for fans like me who live in lands barren of the music of our hearts, January is the time for trawling the net, looking for any music that has filtered out of the Season. And thus my last week was spent in listening to the Margazhi Maha Utsavam telecasts that Jaya TV has loaded on youtube. My gratitude!

While on the topic of music on the internet, I spent many hours recently fixing my old posts which featured videos on youtube – and there were many. For some reason, these old videos, loaded by fellow rasikas,  featuring telecasts from past years have been removed for ‘copyright violation’. Disappointed terribly, but understanding the right of the copyright owners for any income from their programs, I tried to find out how much advertising income they may stand to lose by these ‘pirated’ videos. Though I couldn’t get exact figures, it seems that the ad revenue is between $1 to $5 per 1000 views. Examining the latest videos loaded by Jaya TV, I see that the highest viewership is less than 19,000, most being far fewer. So we are talking of a revenue between $20 to $100 for the latest videos. How many hits do you imagine old videos would get? Perhaps a tenth? This translates to a revenue between $2 and $10. Is it even worth the time and effort for the copyright owners to load these for such small amounts? I doubt they would bother.  Instead these old performances, some gems amongst them, will lie forgotten in some corner of their offices somewhere, never to be seen again. Who profits from this? Nobody! I mourn the loss of all that lovely music buried forever. Please, copyright owners, I beg of you – allow your telecasts to be loaded by others if you have no intention of loading them yourself!

Whew! I feel better for having had a rant!

The concerts I watched this year have been of middling quality, with more disappointments than pleasant surprises. One of the renditions which stand out is the energetic presentation of Tamadam Tagadaiyya by Abhishek Raghuram. It has everything I like in a good piece of music – a great voice and instinctive musicality, a lilting melody interspersed with surprising and sometimes breath taking improvisation,  a well written song with interesting word-play, alliteration and sweetness of meaning, head-nodding rhythms and a magic something which brings it all together. I have his CD Kailasapathy in which he renders the same song but nowhere near as well. This rendition is a keeper.

In this song, the poet-composer Lalgudi Gopala Iyer has created an enchanting melody in Raga Mohanakalyani. Click here to know more about the raga. For those unfamiliar with this composer who is the father of Maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman, here is a short article in Hindu about him. Written as a plea to Lord Murugan, the lyrics demand that the Lord not delay in coming to bless him. The melody is truly catchy and Abhishek Raghuram, Vittal Ramamurthy and Neyveli Narayanan make Mohanakalyani weave and dance with joy. Listen from 7:40 to 23:14 in the link here : “” . Sorry, you need to see it in YouTube as Jaya TV seems not to allow this link to embedded. Pity!

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

Footnote (Lyrics and Translation) :

Composer : Lalgudi Gopala Iyer
Raga : Mohanakalyani
Language : Tamil

தாமதம் தகாதைய்யா
தயாபரா துணை முருகய்யா

தாமச குண தீனன் ஆன
தமியேனை ஆள  தருணம் இதைய்யா

மாலும் அயன் காணா மஹாதேவன் மைந்தா
மது வள்ளி தேவா மாது மகிழ் கந்தா
வேலும் மயிலும் எந்நாளும் என்னைக் காக்கவே
வேகமாக வாரும் வரம் தாரும்


tAmadam tagAdaiyyA
dayApara tuNai murugaiyyA

tAmasa guNa dInan Ana
tamiyEnai ALa taruNam idaiyyA

mAlum ayan kAnA mahAdEvan maindA
madu vaLLi dEvA mAdu magizh kandA
vElum mayilum ennALum ennaik kAkkavE
vEgamAga vArum varam tArum


This delay (tAmadam) is not suitable (tagAdu), O Compassionate (dayAparA) Lord (ayyA)! Help me (tuNai), O Lord Muruga!

This is right opportunity (taruNam) to govern (ALa) this lonely (tamiyEn) and wretched (dInan) one with lowly qualities (tAmasa guNa)!

O son of Shiva (mahAdEva) unseen (kANA) by even Lord Vishnu (mAl) and Lord Brahma (ayan)! O Lord (dEvA) of sweet (madu) Valli! O Kanda who delights (magizh) ladies (mAdu)! Please come (vArum) quickly (vEgamAga) and bless me (varam tArum) that I (ennai) will always (ennALum) be protected (kAkka) by the spear (vEl) and the peacock (mayil)!


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

Arul Seiyya Vendum Ayya

Svanubhava JaffnaI have been admiringly following T.M.Krishna’s cultural initiative Svanubhava for the last couple of years. His initiative aims to contribute towards the further education of the students of  performing arts of India. It was inaugurated in Chennai in 2008 and since then there has been a festival each year with free concerts, lecture demonstrations and discussions at Kalakshetra. Last year the programs were webcast so I had the pleasure of watching them all the way from Switzerland. In 2011 the festival was taken to Delhi and this year they had a festival in Jaffna, Sri Lanka last week. The programs are being webcast this week, each for a 24-hr period, and I have been following them. To learn more about Svanubhava events, join their community in facebook. It is indeed a praiseworthy initiative; my heartfelt admiration to T.M.Krishna and his team!

Today I watched the lecdem by the accompanying violin artist Nagai Sriram and percussion artists Ganapathy Raman and Papanasam Sethuraman on the intricacies of supporting the principal artist. It was quite interesting. This was followed by a short kutcheri by T.M.Krishna. He started with a very brisk and scintillating Arul Seiyya Vendum Ayya in the rare Melakarta Raga Rasikapriya and then continued with the short Sevikka Vendum Aiyya in Andolika. His main piece was Kana Kan Kodi Vendum in Kamboji. I especially enjoyed the neraval which TMK performed with verve and energy. This was followed by  Eppo Varuvaro, a Thillana in Behag and Parukulle Nalla Nadu. All his music selection was in Tamil, quite logical considering the audience in Jaffna. If you have the time today, you may be able to view the concert yourself.

The composer Koteeswara Iyer (1870-1936) is well-known for the fact that he composed in each of the 72 Melakartas. To know more about the raga Rasikapriya, click here. In this composition, he prays for the blessings of Lord Muruga. ‘What is this illusion which makes us think of instable body as being immortal? Bless me that I may live thinking only of you as being everlasting’ he says. To see lyrics and translation, see footnote.

Listen to T.M.Krishna’s wonderfully lively performance below :

To listen to an instrumental version, I found only one in my collection showing how rarely this song is performed! Here is GJR Krishnan on the violin.


Footnote (Lyrics) :

அருள் செய்ய வேணும்/வேண்டும் அய்யா- அரசே முருகய்யா நீ
அருள் செய்ய வேணும்/வேண்டும் அய்யா

மருளுரவே என்னை மயக்கிடும் மாய வல்
இருள் அறவே ஞான சூரியன் என வந்தோர் சொல் (அருள்)

நிலையா காயம் இலையே இதனை
நிலையென்று எண்ணுவதென்ன மாயம்
நிலையென்று உனையே  நினைந்து நான் உய்ய
alternate: நிலையின் துணையே நினைந்து நான் உய்ய
நேச கவி குஞ்சரதாச ரசிகப்பிரியா (அருள்)

aruL seiyya vEnum/vENDum ayyA -arasE murugayyA nI
aruL seiyya vEnum/vENDum ayyA

maruL uravE ennai mayakkiDum mAya val
iruL aRavE jnAna sUriyan ena vandOr sol (arul)

nilaiyA kAyam ilaiyE idanai
nilai enDru eNNuvadenna mAyam
nilaiyenDru unaiyE ninaindu nAn uyya
alternate: nilaiyin tuNaiyE ninaindu nAn uyya
nEsa kavi kunjaradAsa rasikapriya (arul)


Please bless me, O Lord Muruga!

I am deluded by liquor which is but poison and gambling (deceitful dice). It is said that you are the remover of darkness, O effulgent abode of knowledge, so bless me O Lord Muruga.

What is this illusion which makes us think of instable body as being immortal? Bless me that I may live thinking only of you as being everlasting. Your loving devotee Kunjara Dasa (signature) in Rasikapriya raga.



Filed under Carnatic Music, Compositions in Tamil, Koteeswara Iyer, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan, T.M.Krishna