Sunday, 5 April 2009

SINGING FOR RAMANAVAMI

I never expected my calendar to be highlighted by festivals like Sivarathri and Rama Navami! Festivals I did not do much about, for they did not require much activity in the kitchen – unlike Sri Krishna Jayanthi and Vinayaka Chathurthi. Both these festivals meant a lot of work preparing the special offerings (‘neivedhyam’) to Krishna or Vinayakar.

But how much work is really required to make ‘paanagam’ ( jaggery dissolved in water, and flavoured with crushed cardamom and dried ginger powder), ‘neer moru’ (salted buttermilk with curry leaves and crushed asafoetida) to offer Sri Rama! Or observe a fast for Siva!

This year however these two events marked a special – our group Gangamritham singing at temples.


Last week on Rama Navami, April 3, we sang at the Raja Annamalaipuram Karpaga Vinayaka Temple. The temple is well maintained and an aura of sanctity pervades it. There are other deities here apart from Sri Siddhi Buddhi Samedha Sri Karpaga Vinayakar. We were able to witness the abhishekam and evening pooja at all the sannidhis before starting to sing.

Our guru Ganga had taught us a good collection of songs on Rama. She had also painstakingly taught us verses from Tulsidas’s Sri Rama Charita Manas, set to music by her guru, which encapsulated the Ramayana, in different raagams and thaalams. This was to be the highlight.

For the first time, we had a proper stage (albeit small) to sit on and sing. We were introduced individually! (See picture) And we had a bigger audience than usual, all seated comfortably on chairs (this included my mother, my sister-in-law and my recalcitrant husband, who shocked my friends by putting in an appearance). The audience was appreciative, applauding at the end of each song. Our accompanists for the day were Harini on the violin and Umayalpuram Kalyanasundaram on the mridangam. We missed Vidya and Padmini - two of our group who could not make it.

Since a couple of my regular reader friends had requested me for a recording, here is a very brief one. I requested a friend to take the video on the camera.

The picture is not good, you tell me how it sounds.

13 comments:

Kamini said...

Your group sounds wonderful, Raji - you have been very modest about the quality of your singing. Thanks for sharing this with us.
And that was very sweet of your husband to show up!!

Indrani said...

It sounds good too!

Anonymous said...

you sound very good- you should have more shows.

Viji said...

How lovely - left me wanting to hear more : )
You are terrific simply terrific all of you . Hope once I can listen to a performance too

Pradeep said...

So relaxing and soothing music... wish it was longer...

Chandramouli S said...

Awesome lot you are, ma'am! Wish I had attended it. I love Ramanavami for Pânakam! [chuckles] I did Râma pûja at home and it felt really good. We never usually do a special pûja at home before but this year, I decided to. I feel fortunate.

kallu said...

Great Raji. Wonderful way to enjoy festivals and your days.spreading it to other people too!

Swarna said...

Raji, sounds right, and the quality of the pic imparts the message of who is most important - the Lord who you sang in praise of.

harimohan said...

tks for that music byte ,it brought me back to my childhood days near kapali koil in mylapore when i used to train with pazani vijayalaksmi and stopped with varnam ! panakam taste still lingers to me from weddings .
your group is great and the songs are full of devotion ,living in UAE and only hearing the mullah blare at intervals it was a treat to me

Maddy said...

the group sounded very good - as hari aptly puts it we miss all that stuff being stuck in some remote parts of the world.. thanks for reminding us where the roots are..

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Thank you, everyone.

Kat said...

The Gangamritham team's song was superb. Was lovely to hear them in unison, in one voice.

The accompanimetns too were wonderful. Thank you for the video clip. Could've been longer!

Ashvin said...

so uncle finally made it..

Sociable