Gajanana, Vinayaka, Ganapati, Ganesha all bring to mind the beginning of a concert with ragams like Hamsadhwani and Naattai dominating the musical landscape. In the early nineties I had a number of opportunities to give vocal support to my Guru Shri KSK’s concerts. The first song that I sang along with him was Re re manasa in Nattai composed by Cheyyur Chengalvaraya Sastri. KSK mama had just taught me this song and he was singing a concert the next week. Since he had asked me to sing along he decided to include this piece at the start. I was thrilled because that was the only song I knew in that entire concert!!! Still he was quite encouraging and made me sing kalpana swarams for a few songs. I also happily started mastering the art of miming along, having watched several film stars do it on the silver screen. Coming to Re re manasa, the song has a lovely lilt with rhythmic madhyama kala passages even at the start of the anu pallavi, a rarity I should say. Cheyyur also brings to mind memories of a golfing project that my Audit firm was invloved with and a crazy drive that I took back to make it in time for a concert at the Sastry hall. And no I did not sing Re re manasa that day! Please remember the composer name, it will be useful in a future musical trivia quiz you might be tempted to participate in.

 


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