Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Images of Krishna..

Kannan(or Lord Krishna) has a magnetic charm. People get attracted to him so easily that at times one even tends to forget the ‘divine’ tag.

Periyaazhwaar, one of the 12 Vaishnavite saints treated him as his child.

AandaL-daughter of Periyaazhwaar- considered Krishna as her lover.

Subramaniya Bharati went one step ahead and made him his servant, his master, his guru,his lover…In fact he even created a feminine version of Kannan and called her(him?) Kannamma.

There are many others including Poet Jayadeva and Meerabai and Muththiah.

The first two names sound very familiar.But who is that third person?

Muththiah was born in a small village in Karaikudi district who ran away from his home during his early teens. He became a great follower of the Dravidian ideology and became an atheist.

And what does this atheist has to do with Kannan?

Nothing much except that one day after reading the verses of AaNdaL, he became a devotee of Kannan and changed his name to Kannadaasan.

Yes, I am referring to the greatest lyricist Tamizh cinema has ever had.

I had already written about him and the synergy between him and Raaja sir in one of my posts in this blog.
Truly a Genius!

Whenever and wherever possible, he would ‘drag’ Kanna (or Krishna) in his songs.

Today, we are going to see one such song.

And what a song it is..

It is a competition between lyrics, tune, orchestration, and the voice.

The song is ‘Kannan NaaLum Podum Vedam..’from ‘Ilamai Kolam’(1980).

It is based on Gowrimanohari ragam.It is generally a soft ragam that gives us peace and tranquility.

But the Emperor of Film Music shows us a completely different dimension of this Raga here. In fact, he poses a challenge to the Emperor of Film Lyrics.

Listen to the first two lines in the Pallavi. You will know what I mean.

It goes as very short phrases with each phrase almost sounding similar and suddenly it goes up like a crescendo.

Imagine the Music Director singing phrases like ‘Thaa Na Thaa Na Thaa Na Thaa Na Thaa Na Thaa Na Thaa Na Thaa Na Thanananaa Thana Thanananaa Thana Thanananaaaaa..Tha Na Na..Tha Na Naaa..’to the lyricist.

The great ‘poets’ of today would have walked around parks like Thiru.Vi .Ka Park(in Chennai) at least for one week before coming up with suitable words. Or they would have written ‘Naanum Paarthen Neeyum Paarththe Avanum Paarththan AvaLum Paarththaa..’

The Lion(of poetry) replies to the Lion (of Film music)-Kannan NaaLum Podum Vedam KangaL engum Pennai Thedum Gopalanin Antha KolangaL Thaan Nenjil Aanandamagum..Hey Krishna!Jey Krishna!!

And yes..just before this Pallavi is the prelude. And what is that prelude?

A sweet aalap by the evergreen Janaki.

What can one say about the first interlude?

Jazzy to start with..
Flute peeps in suddenly with a Carnatic flavour.
It is then the violin in typical Hindustani style.
Bass Guitar rounds it off in Pop style.

In the first Charanam, it is the Saree and the Garland.
Gowrimanohari wears a beautiful Saree wearing a garland of Swaras.

Beauty at its best in the second interlude as the seductive bass guitar races ahead with the synthesizer following very closely.As we begin to get lost in this beauty, the Violin in Hindustani style appear from nowhere giving poignant images. The question and answer session between the Violin and the Harmonium(?) makes us raise lot of questions.

Is it a poignancy of parting and separation?
Or is it nostalgia?

Is it the sadness?
Or is it the compassion?

I would say a feeling that cannot be put in words.

Just like the feeling when one gets to see the different images of Krishna..

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