Wednesday, January 06, 2021

kara dhRta vINA


fingers traverse frets 
pull, caress, glide across strings 
goddesses listen

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kaarthigai Deepam

crouched in her balcony
she gazes at the street
agal vilakkus*
line compound walls,
illuminate kolams and staircases
in flickering geometries
of ritual auspiciousness

flames fickle
destined to
die a slow death
as oil surrenders to wick
or a quick one
from a wayward
Marina gust

no flame quite so steady,
she realizes,
as her everyday
kaarthigai deepam**

inscrutable glow of
cigarette butt
as he unflailingly assails
her neck, breasts, thighs
burning her with a precision
astonishing for someone
so drunk

*Earthen oil lamps
** see here
***Image source: Wikimedia 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vijayadasami 2012

Friday, April 06, 2012

s'rI gurunA pAlitO'smi

It has been a year since my Guru Smt Kalpakam Swaminathan passed away. Among the many ways I've been remembering her today is through this rendition of s'rI gurunA pAlitO'smi. The song is part of a studio recording made by Kiran Kannappan and friends from SwaraSamuha in Bangalore in 2005.

Mami's trips to Bangalore for concerts at Ananya and Bangalore Gayana Samaj, the Veena Seshanna award, and her chamber concerts at Kiran's home, were among the high points of her last few years.

She never ceased to remark at the enthusiastic response she received at her public and private concerts in Bangalore, and felt that such a response for veena music was not to be found in Chennai. She was also overwhelmed and moved by the warmth and affection from Kiran and his family, at whose place she stayed during her trips.

Monday, January 23, 2012

abhayAmbA jagadambA

Just discovered some youtubed excerpts of a 2007 concert of Kalpakam teacher in which I had accompanied her. The rAga kalyANI followed by MD composition abhayAmbA below:

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Vijayadasami 2011

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ganesha Chaturthi 2011

Preparations began Wednesday with shopping for a clay Ganesha (no paint!) and accoutrements at Thannithurai market on Royapettah High Road.

The puja Ganesha (above) basked in the attention along with the rest of our collection, including the painting by Amma, a Titwala MahaGanapati (far right) that is 30+ years old, dancing Ganesha from Kiran, and others acquired or gifted over the years. shvEta gaNapatim vandE was sung, in lieu of mantras.

Post-puja, I worked on some qualitative data analysis,

while C got better acquainted with her iMac,

and the blue gouramis and zebra loaches did their thing in the balcony aquarium, oblivious to the devotional music blaring from the aut0-stand Pillaiyar temple.

I also had a music session with one of Kalpakam teacher's students Smt Sivasree - with the song of the day being shrI gaNEShAtparam chitta nahi rE rE.

All in all, a pleasant chaturthi.

Friday, May 06, 2011

dusky business deals

... and other gems from the brochure of the Delhi hotel at which I'm staying, typed up just the way they appear in print:

The guest rooms at [hotel name], provide an ideal setting for complete relaxation and recline, as every room overlook the plush green ambience of the surroundings.

Five spacious & aesthetically done up halls and two grandiose lawns are just right for all the celebrations...

For the epicure, [restaurant name] is nothing less then an excursion.

The elaborate buffet caters not only to the need of the busy corporate clients but also to the locale.

The conference rooms offer modern amenities viz., fast speed internet, (computers, printer, scanner, projector) on demand, flip charts and uninterrupted power supply, required for dusky business deals.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Smt. Kalpakam Swaminathan 1922-2011

gAna vana mayUrI is no more. Kalpakam teacher passed away today (April 6, 2011) at her residence in Madras at the age of 88. I would like to remember her through this rendering of siddhIshvarAya namastE.

Monday, December 06, 2010

dessert haiku

strawberries quiver
fresh cream glides over ripe curves
in luscious embrace