Sunday, August 23, 2009

bansuri on the beach

Quietly, reluctantly, I drag myself out of bed as the sun's rays diffusing through the curtains and the loudspeakers blaring from the auto-stand Pillaiyar temple jointly remind me it's time to prepare for the festive day.

Stepping outside to tie the coconut frond toraNams on the door, I note with pleasure that my considerate neighbours have already drawn a kOlam for me.

I'm treated to a delicious lunch, complete with my favorite okra curry, at my aunt's home. There, I delight in the antics of my kid nephew Goutham visiting from Bangalore; he of the limpid eyes and angelic smile.

Back home, I offer hastivadanAya namastubhyam in lieu of shlokas, along with arka (Calotropis) flowers and arugam (Cynodon) leaves to the Ganesha purchased last night at taNNiturai market near the Anjaneya temple in Mylapore.

During class with Kalpakam teacher, I simultaneously revel in and struggle with the anupallavi line Anandadam tam Ekadantam of mahAgaNapatim vandE in tODi.

I catch the last fifteen minutes or so of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia's open air concert at Besant Nagar beach, an event in connection with the Times Chennai Festival. It is raining, and Panditji has an assistant holding up an umbrella. It is beautiful to see them perform, framed against the black sky punctuated by lightning streaks, pausing only to wipe their instruments dry. A backstage view is below.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

gAna vana mayUrI

Kalpakam teacher turned 87 today, Aug 15, 2009. During the veena lesson I had an opportunity to record her playing the Dikshitar kRti gauri girirAja kumAri (see video below). The imagery of the epithet gAna vana mayUrI struck me as being ideally suited to mAmI herself. Here's wishing her a happy birthday and many more years of blissful wanderings in the gAna vana.

If you have a slow connection click on this link to be taken to an mpeg version on

Lyrics below courtesy Translation and transliteration here.

गौरि गिरि राज कुमारि
गान वन मयूरि गम्भीर कौमारि

दूरी-कृत दुरितेऽति ललिते
दुर्गा लक्ष्मी सरस्वती सहिते
शौरीश विरिञ्चादि महिते
शाम्भवि नमस्ते पर देवते

नव चक्र स्वरूपावतारे
नाद ब्रह्म वाचक तारे
शिव परमानन्दामृत धारे
शृङ्गारादि नव रसाधारे
भव गुरु गुह गण पति संसारे
भक्ति प्रद वेदागम सारे
पवन धारण योग विचारे
पालित भक्त जन मन्दारे

(मध्यम काल साहित्यम्)
तव चरण पङ्कजोद्भव तत्व समष्ट्यागारे
सुवर्ण मणि-मयादि पञ्च विंशति प्राकारे
सुधा सिन्धु मध्ये चिन्तामण्यागारे
शिवाकार मञ्चे पर शिव पर्यङ्क विहारे

variations -
चरणम् -
स्वरूपावतारे - रूपावतारे
वाचक तारे - वाचक धारे
रसाधारे - रस धारे