Friday, January 20, 2012


Music does weird things to you. One of 'those' is, it can make you cry for 'absolutely' no reason. It is not to be confused with, 'happy for no reason' tears. I am talking about the tears that you would find rolling down your cheeks in the most ridiculous situations such as having a crazy/naughty time with friends at a discotheque. YES. That is what SINDHU BHAIRAVI does to your senses. If you let 'her' in your life, you will have to show the exit door to 'arrogance'.

She humbles you and makes you realise how much ever you succeed in life, 'you shall ever be at the mercy of her charm' in the most graceful and assertive way that, you would quickly surrender to her as if hypnotised.

 AAROHANAM (ascending swarams) : S R2 G2 M1 G2 P D1 N2 S

AVAROHANAM (descending swarams) :  S N2 D1 P M1 G2 R1 S

The variations in Sindhu Bhairavi explored by Charulatha Mani

As much as ,SINDHU BHAIRAVI can be confused with ragam Thodi, she can be easily identified if lent a patient ear. Though R2 and R1 appear to give a character to the ragam, you can feel 'her' only when the swarams come together in a certain pattern. One of them is  N2 S G2 M1 P D2 P that sparks up the fire. The other pattern that purely belongs to her is N2 S R2 M1 R1 S (it ascends meticulously to M1 and descends mellifluously to S). The journey from M1 to R1 and lingering on to R1 for a few seconds is all it takes to make one rise from the highest of thrones and by the time it culminates in S, you would end up in prostration before her.

Plentiful facets and superlative renditions of SINDHU BHAIRAVI exist in Indian and Middle East music. Its popularly known as 'Bhairavi' in Hindustani music (not be confused with carnatic Bhairavi). As Shrimathi Charulatha Mani clarifies, it is not an Indian born ragam. Its adapted from the Middle-east and was popularised in Hindustani music.

 Some famous cine songs:   Maargazhi thingal allava, naanoru sindhu kaavadichindu, Jiya Jale / Nenjinile nenjinile (hindi and tamil versions respectively), Mile sur mera tumhara, Phir mile sur mera tumhara, Sapnon se bhare naina, Chingari koi badke

Everytime I experience her, I let her play with my emotions. I let her hit every nook and corner of my body and mind for hours and finally merge one with my soul. She calms my mind. She abates my anger and restlessness. She absorbs all my negative vibes until there is nothing negative left to emit. She makes me turn into a new leaf. She makes me re-think and re-live.
The day I embraced SINDHU BHAIRAVI, I knew I had changed for the better.  I forgive my enemies. I confront them. I apologise to them. I accept them. And I wait for the day when they too would acknowledge her and be humbled by her ethereal form.

MORAL: The best way to be your better self  is by submitting yourself to her in 'every sense'. SINDHU BHAIRAVI shall 'eternally' become your positive half.

P.S: If you boast of being a 'tough nut to crack', then let me tell you. She has the power to make even a stone emote.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Anaadi Anantha THODI

Have you ever wanted to experience a fatal fall in a never ending, bottomless and a huge crevice on earth and still  be 'living blissfully'??? No I do not need to get my head examined, but you need to believe me and listen to THODI. Also before I forget, to all those who are not coherent with the Sankrit language, 'Anaadi' means no beginning and 'Anantha' means no end. If you have been rubbishing this concept until now, then THODI is going to compellingly disprove your belief.

AAROHANAM (ascending swarams) :      S R1 G1 M1 P D1 N1 S

AVAROHANAM (descending swarams):   S N1 D1 P M1 G1 R1 S

ARTIST : Guitar Prasanna

SONG: Thaye yashoda
ARTIST: Sudha Raghunathan
MOVIE: Morning raga

An easy observation tells you that all the swarams are in their primary most state (except S and P as they are homogeneous in nature anyway). This is the speciality of this ragam. Any one would be under the delusion that this must be the most simplest raga given the primary state of the swarams. TRUST ME. If there is a soul out there who can render THODI in a 'anaadi anantha'way, I would consider him/her as the '11th avatar' in Indian mythology (ironic but that is not the point).
I 'trip' everytime there is a shift from 'S' to 'R' to 'G'. You need to pause at 'G' and acknowledge its presence. Its a RULE and the best part is this is one rule you would accept whole heartedly and follow religiously! Similarly you need to stop by and say a pleasant 'hi' to 'N' while ascending and descending the swarams apart from spending some quality time with 'G' on your way back to 'S'.

Some famous carnatic songs : Raave himagiri kumari, Bharathi maamava (one of the 9 navarathri kritis),
                                              Thaye yashoda, Kaarthikeya gaangeya.

Some famous cine songs :       Gangai karai mannanadi

MORAL : Somehow, I strongly believe that anyone who becomes a staunch devotee of Thodi and develop an obsession for it should attain 'Nirvana'. PERIOD.

P.S. : If you think its about time you concentrated on your 'deep inner-self' and carry an attitude, 'to Hell with the world', THODI is highly recommended for an intense trigger.WORD.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Irresistible DESH

INDIA.....???? I am not sure! I am still not sure if i am IMMURED to the fact that this raag has succeeded in defining INDIA nonchalant of the numerous patriotic songs composed in this raag.

DESH....lets see....TULSI+......NIMBU(lemon)+....1 n a half spoon of HONEY+....adequate water!
Cant feel more healthy after consuming it right??? Well then DESH is that very feel! You play it in the prisons everyday and the prisoners are bound to come out REFORMED.

Aarohanam :   S R2 M1 P N3 S
Avarohanam :  S N2 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S

 Thunbam nergayil - Sanjay subramaniam

Lets not get into the gender of this raag. We shall be sparing some serious UNWANTED confusion. Desh is the very SOUL. It exists within every being. I believe souls are gender less and generate vibrations that cannot be defined and can only be felt. DESH would enchant you to such an extent that you would start smelling the fragrance of roses and lilies while a midst a very rotten environment! Take it from me!

After exposing myself to a myriad of renditions and also learning from my own experiments with the raag, I INFER that N3 in the aarohanam and N2 in the avarohanam are the TORCH BEARERS. There is NO WAY you get the feel or the hang of the raag devoid of the swaram N(Nishadam). And there is no other way of singing this raag without including N.

Some famous carnatic/hindustani compositions: Nanda nandana, Thunbam nergayil, Hey govinda   
                                                                        hey gopala, Ethanai kodi inbam.

  MANY famous film compositions                 : Vande maataram, desh mere desh mere, Noothana 
                                                                        nee noothana, kanave kalaiyathe, Soona soona,
                                                                        Kesariya baalma.

I feel like enjoying watching the silly cute and innocent self-engaged plays of a naive child. Whenever the swarams are played or sung in a rapid succession, it immediately projects a visual of a child running helter-skelter in search of its mother! DESH is liberating...either momentarily or forever! Its directly proportional to how much you let it sink into you and cleanse you!

MORAL : If you are 20 and finally learnt to tie your shoe lace in one go and want your parents to feel proud of you...then DESH is the apt catalyst!

P.S. - In case DESH doesnt work on your target, then please be convinced that they are E.T. and run for your lives!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Effeminate KALYANI

TAKE MY WORD FOR IT! If u find me talk softly....walk consciously ... laugh melodiously...sit gracefully...behave delicately...there shall be 2 reasons behind this face of mine.

1. An irresistible and very gentlemanly GREEK GOD!(POONAL is compulsory any which ways!!!)
2. Soaking myself in KALYANI ragam for one whole day.

The latter is THE most probable!

Kalyani ragam, to me, is THE most DELICATE and FRAGILE ragam. When sung the right way, I feel as if Ive had a glass of chilled sweet lassi! PURE PLEASURE! You want it to last forever...So u keep licking every droplet of lassi sticking to the glass till the limited area your tongue can reach and keep smacking your lips! Thats the effect the ragam has on me!
Kalyani is VERY REAL! There is no other face to it! Absolutely no confusion in deciphering any song based on this ragam. Its simple, straight forward and highly attractive! Its self contained and stands for itself! It caresses me like a cool breeze and exhilarates me!

AAROHANAM (ascending swarams) :     S R2 G2 M2 P D2 N3 S
AVAROHANAM (descending swarams): S N3 D2 P M2 G2 R2 S

SONG : Pankaja lochana
ARTISTS : Ranjani-Gayatri



Every swaram in this ragam is worth lingering on to! But the most mystic swaram of all is M2! Its infatuation on P is very obvious and every composition sounds incomplete without the proper utilization of M2! Each swaram is capable of sounding extremely melodious on its own without the adjacent swaram's support. It is more of an evening ragam. When Iwant to smell the essence of the mud rising just before the ultimate intercourse between the earth and the sky in the middle of a very clammy weather, KALYANI is THE solution!

Kalyani gives all the warmth a mother would give her child. This is a very common feeling amongst music lovers and listeners. Hence many of the carnatic compositions on goddesses make use of this ragam.

Some famous carnatic compositions: vanajaakshi (varanam), vaasudevayani, pankaja lochana, evaram atukuthura, shive paahimaam ambike

Some tamil cinima songs : Kaatril varum geethame, enna samayalo (its a raga maalika basically),
                                       Kalaivaaniye, Doraguna itu vanti seva (telugu movie-sankarabharanam).                                       

I have observed that Male singers do a lot more justification to Kalyani than the female singers! This is one case which denies the fact that ONLY A WOMAN CAN UNDERSTAND ANOTHER WOMAN.
But whenever I romance Kalyani, it expresses that I have been very satisfying and judicious. PERIOD.

MORAL : Kalyani has the ground breaking capacity to make a hippy girl carry an off-shoulder gown with utmost grace!

P.S. - The ultimate intercourse between the earth and the sky is nothing but the RAIN you 'just not poetic' creatures!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mysterious BHAIRAVI

"Kaarulaavum seerulaavum mithilaiyil... kanni...."

HEY WAIT! (rewinding half a second)....."MITHILAYIL..."...mi-thi-la-yil....and here the swaram goes as
S (mi)-N (thi)-D (la)-P (yil) WHY did i stop at this word??? because the IDENTIFYING CHARACTER of ragam BHAIRAVI is expressed right at this word. S N1 D1 P.

THIS is why i find the ragam MYSTERIOUS! When I listen to just these 4 swarams in succession, i feel blind-folded and made to FEEL the most beautiful statue of a mortal...(well you will have to wait for the gender revelation!).
The lines I quoted at the start of this article is from a very famous TAMIL carnatic song 'Yaaro Ivar Yaaro' composed by one of the unforgettable composers ARUNACHALA KAVIRAYAR.

AAROHANAM(ascending swarams) : S G2 R2 G2 M1 P D2 N1 S

AVAROHANAM(descending swarams): S N1 D1 P M1 G2 R2 S

SONG : Yaaro Ivar Yaaro
ARTIST : Sanjay Subramaniam


The 'D' highlighted in blood red is the CULPRIT behind the mystery! To be more accusing its 'D1' in the avarohanam which is one of the four swarams under the syllable 'la' in the word 'mithilayil'.
While ascending (aarohanam), the swaram 'D2' sounds gay...the way a student would emote on hearing that the teacher is absent! Ragam bhairavi very well conceals the suspense! The climax of the ragam i.e. while descending (avarohanam) carries 'D1' expressing the DARK and VILLAINISH face of Bhairavi!
Bhairavi is very MASCULINE in structure with a FEMININE ulterior. The feminineness is experienced while singing 'G2'. The 'G2' of ragam bhairavi is very delicate and dependent on a stable base in which case it is 'R1'. It cannot be sung with a linear tone. Hence while singing the swaram 'G2' one should sing it as R2G2R2G2 which leads to fluctuation of 'G2'.

For carnatic music learners and listeners!!! Very famous compositions like Viriboni (varanam), Lalithe, Upacharamu etc exist that are enough to make your hair grow HARD and ERECT on your skin!

MORAL: I love MYSTERIOUS personality. I shall marry the MANIFESTATION of 'D' of Bhairavi!

P.S: Girls might find it really tough to wax at such times so strictly no bhairavi during beauty hours!