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.