S.Saketaraman @ Ramana Kendram, Chennai

Venue: Ramana Kendram, Alarmelmangapuram, Mylapore, Chennai

Date: 17 June 2007

Organizer: Ramana Kendram

Vocal: Vid. S. Saketaraman

Violin: Vid. Charumathi Raghuraman

Mrudangam: Vid. Trivandrum Balaji

List of songs:

1) mAl marugan (varNam) – hindOLam – Adi – tanjAvUr shankara iyer (O)

2) karuNAnidhiyE – bauLi – misra chApu – pApanAsam sivan (OS)

3) cintaya mA kanda mUlakandam – bhairavi – rUpakam – muthuswAmi dIkSitar (O)

4) kalyANa rAmA – hamsanAdam – Adi – UthukkADu venkaTasubbaiyer (ANS)

5) kanna taNDri nApai – dEvamanOhari – Adi – tyAgarAja

6) Emi jEsitE – tODi – misra chApu – tyAgarAja (ANST)

7) mAlOn maruganai manrADi maindanai & two other verses (viruttam) – sahAnA, shanmukhapriyA & behAg

muruganin marupeyar azhagu – behAg – kanDa cApu – sUrajAnandA

8 ) tAm tAm taka (tillAnA) – vAsanti – misra cApu – lAlguDi g. jayarAman

9) nI nAma rUpa mulaku (mangaLam) – saurAshTram – Adi – tyAgarAja

(Key: O=raga outline, A=raga alapana, N=neraval, S=kalpana swaram, T=taniavartanam)

Moorthi siridhaanalum keerthi peridhu (form might be small but fame is large)“. This is how the organizer introduced Vid Saketaraman. It is indeed surprising at times as to how a person with such a frail frame can produce such a strong voice !!

Vid Saketaraman started the concert with Sri Tanjavur Sankara Iyer’s beautiful varNam in hindOLam mAl marugan“. Sri Papanasam Sivan’s “karuNanidhiyE” was then rendered nicely with kalpanA swarams at the pallavi line. Vid Charumathi Raghuraman accompanied very well for this song playing in the lower octave for some of the lines and this I thought gelled very well with the vocal. The start of a bhairavi rAgA outline saw many people letting out loud gasps. “bhairavi for the third song itself?” seemed to be the question in everyone’s minds. But many looked satisfied when Vid Saketaraman chose “cintaya mA” and were found busily scanning the pages of their raga/kriti guides, searching for the song.

After bhairavi came the hamsanAdam alapana. hamsanAdam is a raga I like a lot (the modern version; not many sing the older version) and needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed the alapana by both the vocalist and the violinist. Every time someone starts singing a hamsanAdam alapana, my mind starts speculating “kalyANa rAmA“, though what ensues quite often is “baNTurIti“. This time however, I was rewarded when my favorite song in this raga “kalyANa rAmA” was actually taken up. It was a very neat and impressive rendition with neraval done for “rAghava raghurAma rAmA” and kalpanA swarams put alternatively at “rAghava” and “janakajA ramaNa“.

The main song was “Emi jEsitE” in tODi. Neraval was done for the anupallavi line “kAma mOha dAsulai .. ” and kalpana swarams were put at “shrI rAmuni“. A good taniAvartanam was played with an eDuppu of 0.5 beat before samam (for “shrI rAmuni“) by Vid Trivandrum Balaji.

Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman’s tillAnA in vAsanti and the traditional mangaLam brought the curtains down and saw Sri Saketaraman scurry off to catch the train back to Bangalore. His sister Vid Vishaka Hari was present listening to the entire concert. Such is the adulation audiences shower on her that most mamis present there flocked towards her after the concert got over making it a bit difficult for lesser mortals like me to find their way out. I left thanking heavens that her presence had not been announced in the morning papers beforehand.

7 thoughts on “S.Saketaraman @ Ramana Kendram, Chennai

  1. Yes,yes our Rasikas can go overboard sometimes! They shower so much adulations.Yet, they never seem to understand they ought not to coolly get up and walk during Tani or speak on mobile phones. Seems a good list.But,I would have preferred some other Thodi Krithi for main.
    You were lucky,as you say.No advertisement about Vishaka Hari’s presence.Else,I don’t think you would have even got inside,leave alone coming out.

  2. Speaking of mobile phones, the mic/amp guy in the concert was repeatedly getting calls on his mobile phone. He had put his phone in “loud ring” mode for reasons best known to him. This meant that he got a loud buzz every time, irritating the people sitting near him.

  3. Nice Posting . It was indeed a good concert except the Thodi (too frequently u hear ). Had he taken Kedaragowlai , I would have stayed till end. Also i was thinking of Syama Sastri (for todi main), when he took up “Emi jesite”.

    As far Visakha Hari, rasikas should be happy to hear a program some time in Sept at NGS ( announced by the organiser)as she had cancelled her current month programs as she has just got in “family way”. At least I could spot couple of faces who are Visakha fans having made it for the concert, though they do nt attend all.

    See you today at Samajam — Sanjay Concert


  4. Sriram ji,

    See you there.

    BTW, I guess we attend too many concerts here which means that some of us get slightly put off whenever a raga we hear often is taken up.

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