The Pensieve

If you have something to say, I might be saying something as well


June 2013

14. Brindavana Saranga

So this post is B for Brindavana Saranga. A raga with an appeal to any kind of audience and at any time, in my opinion.

It is the janya of the giant family of Karaharapriya with a scale as:

Aarohanam: S R2 M1 P N3 S

Avarohanam: S N2 P M1 R2 G2 R2 S / S N2 P M1 R2 S

There are heavy classical songs, however, it is best suited for post-main part of the concert. Some famous songs in Brindavana Saranga include:

  • Rangapura Vihara, Sowndara Rajam, Swaminathena by Dikshitar
  • Kamalaptha Kula by Thyagaraja
  • Enta Matramuna (part of the song) by Annamacharya
  • Kaliyuga Varadhan by Periyasami Thooran

Have sung Aasai Mugam Marandhu Poche, a Bharathiyar song, a version that is set in BS, tuned by my dad (and I did not know that till now :(), in the below link.

Owing to its pleasing and emotional effect, just like Desh, it has been used / influence used in a lot of movie songs by a lot of music composers.

Pon Ondru Kanden from Padithal Mattum Podhuma – Vishwanathan / Ramamurthy

Singaara Kanne Un from Veerapandiya Kattabomman – G Ramanathan

Maadathile from Veera – Ilayaraja

Konjum Mainakkale from Kandukonden – A R Rahman

Radhai Manadhil from Snehithiye – Vidhyasagar

Ye Samba Ye Samba from Pandavar Bhoomi – Bharadwaj

Nenjankootil from Dishoom – Vijay Antony

Urugudhey from Veyil – G V Prakash

Saavan Aaye Ya Naa – Dil Diya Dard Liya (hindustani touch) sung by Mohamad Rafi and Asha Bhosle.

Howver, there is this never ending debate that the raga Brindavani and Brindavana Saranga are one and the same or not. Let me not delve into that topic in this post, hence knowledgeable people might find some of the songs mixed and repesented under the same raga title. #disclaimer

– Until next,

Vid πŸ™‚


13. Vasantha

This post is about the raga Vasantha. One of the oldest raga in vogue for more than a thousand years, it is said; suitable to be sung in the evening.

It is derived from the 17th melakartha (parent raga) Suryakantham. The scale is S M1 G3 M1 D2 N3 S / S N3 D2 M1 G3 R1 S. As you can notice, it is a PA varjya (sans) raga.

Kritis in Vasantha include:

Ramachandram Bhavayami by Dikshitar
Seethamma Maayamma by Thyagaraja
Kodu Bega Divyamathi by Purandara Dasar
Natanam Aadinaar by Gopalakrishna Bharathi

This sound cloud link has a song by Dasar sung in Vasantha. Do listen and give feedback…

Movie songs that have used Vasantha include Andhi Mazhai Pozhigiradhu from the movie Raja Parvai … Kanden Kanden from Pirivom Sandhippom … The latter’s link below:

The previous post in the series can be found here.

– Until next,
Vid πŸ™‚

12. Charukesi

My last post in the series was Lalitha, and now it is C for Charukesi.

This raga, I feel, has an emotional appeal in both Hindustani and Carnatic Classical. This is the 26th melakartha ragam in the scale chart, thus has all 7 swaras.

Aarohanam: S R2 G3 M1 P D1 N2 S

Avarohanam: S N2 D1 P M1 G3 R2 S

Charukesi is called Tarangini as well, and a raga that can emote both devotion and pathos to the listener easily.

Kritis in this raga are few, listed below are fewer still…

  • Aadamodigalathe by Thyagaraja
  • Kripaya Palaya by Maharaja Swati Tirunaal
  • Varnam by Lalgudi Jayaraman

The link below contains a swara piece that I had learnt to perform in an event called Nadabrahmam, composed by Chandrakanthji. I ended up not participating in the main event, still the song lingers…

Now to the only part that most of you read – movie songs in the raga Charukesi. There are some really popular ones, very versatile handling of the raga.

  • Vasantha Mullai from Sarangadara
  • Manmada Leelayai Vendraar Undo from Haridas
  • Aadal Kalaye from Sri Ragavendra
  • Thoodhu Selvadhaaradi from Singaravelan

And…. Udhaya Udhaya, a brilliant ARR composition from the movie with the same name… happy listening!

Next up is – V for… Until then,

Vid πŸ™‚

It just happened

I can never write like this… All I can do is reblog πŸ™‚


Mobile phone text message or e-mail


The phone beeped and she quickly grabbed the phone. Little did she know that this beep was going to be valued a lot more than most of the beeps. They clicked and the conversation went on. Tons of random bits were exchanged to know each other better. They finally realized they were a great match. Finally she made the first phone call, the voice on the other end sounded so full of life. It did not feel like the first time. She fell in love with the person the same day. She values the relationship and hopes it remains forever.Β 

PS: picture from google images

View original post

Vid’s life in 6 words

Now that is definitely a challenge… To describe your life in 6 words, and to look back at it sometime later and not regret it… Atleast that is what I percieved out of the videos and reading on the net.

This post has been published as a part of ‘CBC’s Six-Word Memoir Tag’. Read previous post by Prashanth here. Prash is an Engineer by force; Techie by choice; Writer by passion; (Decent) Singer by voice; Orator by speech; Mainframe techie; Loves Warsteiner (beer); AP(E) by nick; Dreamer by sleep; Blogger by chance and altogether fun !!


Well, in 6 words, my Life is a


Thanks to all who have been a part of creating my Harmony; or Pandemonium; or both!!! ahem, lol, thanks a million πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚ ❀

6 word memoir

Next comes Gils’ post. Someone whom I am honored to introduce …
He is the tigers empty cage; the mysterys final page; the strangers lonely glance; the heros only chance; the undiscovered land; the single grain of sand; the christmas morning toy; the gin in the gin-soaked boy… Okay that is what he calls himself.

Gils has been blogging for nearly 8 years now (oops) and his trademark is his humor and wit, I feel. He is known for his timing witty comments / posts whatever be it, and we at CBC chellama call him the “Humor King” πŸ˜€ At the sametime, I don’t think there is anyone he knows whom he has never been cursed by, because he teased them sometime somewhere… no no, all the time, everywhere… So you better be careful there! Over to Gils!

– Until next,

Vid πŸ™‚

To rationalize Fears

It all started with a conversation, as usual, and Harish told this phrase in passing. It got me, and I have been trying to assimilate it since then.

Fear is an emotion that is inevitable in all of us. We are afraid of the unknown, the uncertainity and sometimes even when things happen the way as is expected to. Fear is also the notification that we get to be cautious, and is necessary as well.

We humans have been pacifying fear of anything by converting it into a worshippable entity. The sun, heavenly bodies, rivers, sea, trees, great men, have all been God-personified at various times. Maybe that is where the term God-fearing came into practice.

But it does not stop just there. How much ever civilized we get, we still have something or the other to still be afraid of. Will I get accepted by my people for whatever I do? Will this thing happen just as I want it to? What if my efforts don’t fruit? What if it is not worth the risk? Being scared of cockroaches / lizards / scorpions / teachers / bosses / death… So all our negative energy is from fear; if we are to understand our fear, then we can lead a more happy life (quoting Harish here.) How true!

But sometimes, fear gets over-rated. It stops us from doing productive stuff. It is at this time we need to put a break and figure out what went wrong. I would say, first try to list a description of the thing that scares you. Then, why would it be a cause of fear to you. And finally what can be done to overcome it. However, there are these things tht are inevitable and cannot be overcome, which is when we got to learn to live with it.

Say, I fear publishing a certain post, afraid of what my fellow bloggers might think of me if they read it. It might be because there are people around who are waiting to pounce upon and comment the moment I post it; it might also be because my post is not all that worthy.


I was reminded of this sentence from Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. The heroine, in a problematic – situation, would try to remember the solution instead of thinking of one; first believing that there exists an answer to this problem, makes it much more easier to find it, as per the book.

Idhallam sollarthukku nalla dhan irukku la!?

– Until next,

Vid πŸ™‚

11. Lalitha

Any Tamil movie fan will be familiar with Lalitha Kamalam of Unnal Mudiyum Thambi. Did you know that there was a song in the movie on the same raga, Lalitha?

Idhazhil Kadhai Ezhudhum Neramidhu … which exudes the genius of Ilayaraja in every phrase πŸ™‚

Lalitha belongs to the the Mayamalava Gowla janya (15) with the scale as –

Aarohanam: S R G M D N S
Avarohanam: S N D M G R S

There is just one song that I am aware of in this ragam – Hiranmayeem Lakshmeem by Muthuswamy Dikshitar.

Another song I chanced upon, Nannu Brova by Syama Sastri. Find below a video clip by TN Seshagopalan.

My previous post in the series was Karaharapriya. Next up, C for …

– Until then,
Vid πŸ™‚

10. Karaharapriya

After a long time, getting back to the raga series. After Hindolam, the ragam I chose to write about is Karaharapriya, the first melakartha (parent) raga in my list as of now. Something that stuck me as a surprise is the fact that this raga has not been used by both Muthuswamy Dikshitar or Syama Sasthri, two of the Trinity of Carnatic Music. Only Thyagaraja has dealt with it in a lot of compositions.

Some of his and other songs in Karaharapriya are:

  • Chakkani Raja (Thyagaraja)
  • Rama Nee Samana Mevaru (Thyagaraja)
  • Pakkala Nilapadi (Thyagaraja)
  • Paramukhan Enayya (Papanasam Sivan)
  • Okkapari (Annamayya)

A rightly sung Karaharapriya is supposed to bring out the karuna rasa. It is the 22nd melakartha raga. The name Karaharapriya means “loved by Siva who slayed Khara the demon”. This raga is in use in various country Music such as Greece, Arabian, and in Paalai lands of Tamizh, says Prof. Janakiraman, musicologist.

Movie songs in this raga are a miscellaneous list…

  • Madhavi Ponmayilaal in Iru Malargal
  • Maharajan Ulagai Aalalaam in Karnan (not featured inΒ  the movie)
  • Sangeetha Swarangal in Azhagan
  • Maapillaiku Maaman Manasu in Netri Kan
  • Poo Malarndhida in Tic Tic Tic

This really crazy song in Karaharapriya for you … Believe me, crazy is the word … the song features a loose ponnu and an ara loose doctor :P… plus the magic of (late) TMS!!

– Until next,
Vid πŸ™‚

Experience with Music Royalty

Yes, he is royalty… He is a Prince… He is Rama Varma from the Maharaja Swathi Tirunaal dynasty…

I had an opportunity to attend a 2-day workshop a few days ago at the Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, conducted by 2 music enthusiasts and good samaritans Ms. Jaya and Ms. Ramya (believe me, they were pro when it came to organizing). The Workshop was on Rare Kritis taken by Prince Rama Varma (aided by his disciple Amrutha Venkatesh who archived the entire process). Find below my musings and learning from the workshop.

Difference between Hindustani and Carnatic:
We push a note from the lower note in general, say a RI or a NI in Carnatic. Whereas, in Hindustani, most of the notes are pulled from the upper swara. Say NI is taken from the upper SA, and more heads will nod as it is aesthetically provided.

Wits abound:
The Prince was full of harmless funny remarks all along without much ado, and we would find ourselves smiling.
One such example was when he started the Sadasiva Brahmendral kriti, he had asked the students for the Mudhra (signature) of the said composer. Somebody said it was “Parama Hamsa” diligently. He appreciated and then asked, “So what would you call a Sadasiva Brahmendral song that is sung very very badly!?” When we were all blinking, wondering what the answer could be, he replied, “Parama Himsa… depends how you want to treat your audience now… Hamsa or Himsa!”

Importance to Detail:
Couple of examples from what I observed is all I can say. But just imagine, if we could see so much detailing in a couple of days, I wonder why I have never listened to him more till now 😦
Many syllables , GA for instance, I thought he was telling with a ‘N’ sound… like nga… For long I did not realize that it was getting aligned to the Sruti, which I sincerely believe now, that it is.
Loads of tips to hone our singing were given – from singing PA varjya raga without having PA in sruti.

A video of us learning Sarvam Brahmamayam below… (courtesy musiquebox)

On Carnatic Music and Interest:
In our Music, silence is very under-rated, he says. This reminded me of a Shashank’s concert where 2 people sitting behind me were talking thus: “The only difference between Hindustani and Carnatic is, in Carnatic they will sing very fast.” And I had to do a facepalm in my mind 😦

In the words of Prince Rama Varma –
Silence is very under-rated. The performers don’t give the importance to a long ‘kaarva’, instead think that heavy, fast brugas establish our superiority over music. The lay people who appreciate old Tamil classical songs, say that these classical concerts are drab and annoying. We in turn brand them illiterates gnana shoonyam). In reality, the gnana shoonyas are us! Incase you give a half aavarthana of silence and your accompanying artise might not follow the same, please warn him before hand in the green room!!, he said πŸ™‚

The songs I learnt under his tutelage those 2 days were:

1. Nottuswaram by Muthuswamy Dikshitar
2. Sarvam Brahmamayam / Misra Kamas by Sadasiva Brahmendrar
3. Thillana (Kadhana Kudhugalam) by M. Balamurali Krishna
4. Aliveni Enthu Cheyvu / Kurinji by Swathi Thirunaal
5. Ekkati Maanusha Jenmam / Revagupti by Pedha Thirumalacharya (son of Annamayya)
6. Thillana (Ahiri Bhairavi) by M. Balamurali Krishna
7. Rama Krishnaru (Thilang) by Purandara Dasar
8. Kadham Chale / Desh (Hindi Bhajan) by Surdas

The only glitch in the whole workshop, was that, I had already learnt one of the songs in a different raaga, which turned out to be an unfortunate coincidence. However, it was an overall enthralling and illuminating experience. Hope to attend more in the future.

– Until next,
Vid πŸ™‚

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: