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Concert at Delhi – A surprise comment from an old timer!

Just got back from a concert at Delhi. After the concert an old timer came up tome and said “Thank you so much for singing Brindavanam iduvo in Suddha dhanyasi. The last time I heard it was by Thurayur Rajagopala Sarma at the Margazhi bhajanai conducted by Papanasam Sivan around the Kapaleeswarar temple more than 40 years ago!” I just replied that I am fortunate there are still people who have heard those things, can remember and identify with the same after so many years. Personally for me, I came across this song some 20 years ago at the same Sivan bhajanai group during Margazhi. Sethalapathy Balu sang an unbelievable “Oorilen kaani illai” viruttam in Suddha dhanyasi followed by this song. I loved it so much that I got a recording and learnt it up immediately. Unfortunately in all these years I don’t think I ever sang that song in a concert. Then last week I was due to sing for Nadopasna and it was Gokulashtami day. So I thought it would be nice to sing it then. It was some time but I remembered all those sangatis and was quite sure except that I had completely forgotten the beginning words of the anu pallavi! I kept trying to remember but could not. I was confident I could locate the lyrics online but it was not to be. Finally I decided to call Papanasam Ashok Ramani to get help. We kept singing the song together on the phone because we had both heard Balu mama sing it in the bajanai. Unfortunately he also could not remember the anu pallavi. He promised to call back after checking with his mum Smt Rukmini Ramani. Finally after 15 minutes he called and gave me the lyrics and I managed to sing it in the concert that evening. One rasika even came up to me and said that it was very close to the Balu mama version and that he had a recording of it also. I am happy I got down to tracking the lyrics and singing it and it gave me even more satisfaction that someone who had heard the original version was still around to listen to what I had to offer! I never realised that the song had been sung by Turayur who was well known for his composing efforts. The lyrics were by Suddhananda Bharati and I am sure Turayur must have composed the tune. Sometimes just digging up something from the past can still be fresh and new to another generation of listeners!


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