Sunday, 24 June 2012

Poetic Lions..

The young lady describes her meeting with her beloved- ‘Aththaan, en aththaan avar enniththaan..eppadi solvenadi!’(it is very difficult to translate this in English since the subtle nuances will be lost, but still this is the gist: ‘Man, My dearest Man, he came to me and…how can I say what happened after that’!).

These days-when ‘Daddy Mummy Veettil Illai’ and ‘EvaNdi Unnai Peththan’ are sung with pride by small kids in gaudy attire in ‘Super’ singing shows(in the presence of shameless parents)- ‘Aththaan..’ may not appeal to the senses of couch potatoes.

However, thankfully, there are still a lot of people around, who with their aesthetic sense appreciate the finer elements in life.There are also people who are like the Cat on the Wall.Unable to decide which side to go, they take the easy way out.The reasons could be many-upbringing, lack of opportunities, ignorance..

I am sure if such people are exposed to the songs of Kannadasan constantly, their life itself will be transformed.

What is it that it makes Kannadasan so special?

1. Simplicity- He never decorated his poems with needless adjectives and superlatives.The words were very simple which can be easily understood not just by the cognoscenti but also by the uninitiated.

2. Versatility: There is not a single subject which has been left untouched by the ‘Kaviyarasar’- Love, Compassion, Affection, Philosophy, Spirituality, Motherhood, Fine arts..

3. Depth: Since he had an in-depth knowledge of all the subjects-including practical knowledge in all aspects of Love-, he was able to go deep into any subject resulting in meaningful words.

4. Brevity: No long winding words despite having the liberty to do so-since those days tunes were set to the songs and not the other way round.He was able to bring out the essence of the subject with just few words.

5. Spontaneity: He hardly racked his brain.Words came in torrents and it was up to the Music Director/Film maker to use what they felt suited the situation. Please recall that in my last year’s special post, I had mentioned about 20 plus charaNams for the song ‘Yezhu SwarangaLukkuL’ putting MSV sir and KB in a quandary.

6.Openness: His life was like a open-book. His songs too have that honesty and openness but again not at the cost of aesthetics.

These are just some of the aspects of that great poet called Kannadasan.

This Blog bows to the genius of this poet on his birthday.

The various aspects mentioned by me equally apply to another gentleman  whose songs are being discussed in this Blog.

 ILaiyaraaja and Kannadasan had a very special relationship. Though the association ran just for about 5 years, the combination brought out some immortal songs.

Let us now look at one of the songs, which by all means is a rare gem.

The film ‘Pattakkaththi Bhairavan’, remade from the Telugu film ‘Katakatala Rudraiah’ flopped miserably at the box office and not without reasons.However, the film had some immortal songs always cherished by Yours Sincerely. Today’s gem is also from this album.

The song sung by two friends describes about their new found love.Not surprisingly, a kind of rustic innocence runs as an undercurrent in the song. But what is surprising is the ‘North Indian flavour’ in the song.

The song set in Sindhu Bhairavi- one of the most favourite ragas of the composer- starts with the flute that pierces our hearts. It then gives an impish smile even as the arabesque Mandolin gives the impetus.

‘Nenjukkulle singakkutti nikkuthu ammaadi ennadi seiven’ sings Suseela.
‘What did he do to you to cast a spell’ asks Janaki.

The strings flow like a river with the Shehnaiswaying like a boat. It meets the accordion on the way and the two are involved in a small question-answer session.The Mandolin appears as like the playful fish.

The first CharaNam says ‘Love is blind’.

In the second interlude, the flute glides, swirls and spirals.The western instruments like the accordion, electric guitar, and trumpet gallop while the strings move with a flourish.

The second CharaNam says ‘Talk as much as you like with him and then take a breath’.

The virulent Shehnai, the lightning Strings and the speedy Guitar, in the third interlude make us see the intermingling of all major genres- folk, western classical, pop.

The erotic third CharaNam says ‘The honey is ready to gush out from the flower’.

Subtle emotions, feelings expressed aesthetically with spontaneity.

Does this not typify the two geniuses whose compositions will continue to be etched in the memory as long as the Sun and the Moon exist?

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