So the topic that has been frequenting me recently is, how music conveys emotions. I heard novices of classical music identify emotions to phrases being sung in a packed-hall in IIM Ranchi, I conversed about how a raga as nice Mayamalava Gowla convey pathos in a song like Manam Irangadha, I read about Atana being personified as a stealthy-caressing-gentle lover.

Initially, it is amazing. It is even a tad confusing. We cannot just map a feeling to a raga just like that. I mean, words mean nothing here, you need to listen to understand. It would be empty enough if I wrote a table down saying Neelambari is for sleeping, Mohanam is for joy, or whatsoever. Generally that might be what the raga emotes, however, it is the way a phrase is sung that actually speaks out.

In similar lines, there is this song called Adhuvum Solluval by Subbarama Iyer. It is a padam set in the raga Sowrashtram. If you ask me, I would say Sowrashtram is one of the most drab, colorless raga I ever knew. But, it has been wisely used to paint a vivid and enthralling pictures of jealousy in the said song.

The song is set like this: two women gossip about a third who is not in the scene. This lady is said to have been poor and below in status than one of the gossiper, but now she has got sudden riches and flaunts it big time, causing the jealousy.

I especially love the charanam. That is where all the drama is. She talks about how this poor girl who used to come to borrow things from her, now has a mansion with superior furniture and silk sarees filled-wardrobe; about how the house is full of help maids and she is full of pride.

It goes:

enneramum inge vandhu nagai endrum thuni endrum iraval kaetta naal poche
enakkedhiraga avalukku sanna karai itta meddhai veedundaache
unnadam unnadamaga kattilaachu medhaiyachu
uyarndha raga magamal pattu pudavayum achu
thannaivida bhagyasaali kidayadhendru ennamachu
thaniyaay irundhavalku thaadhi maargal undachu
(adhuvum solluval aval anegam solluval aval mel kutram ennadi, adiye podi)

Listen to Ms.Geetha Raja (from whom I learnt this song) sing the song, here.

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

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