Friday, September 30, 2005


The other legendary raga that I adore immensely is the Bhatiyar. I am pretty damned sure everyone of us has heard it and some of us even remember it. Remember "poorab se surya uga" --the ad for literacy sung by Kavitha Krishnamurthy on DD??

yup! Thats the one! Almost too easy to identify.. you really cant miss the energy and freshness of this one! A classic morning raga!

Incidentally, this raga has been tried on by Unnikrishnan. He has tuned an annamacharya kriti "nanda nandana" quite beautifully to Bhatiyar (he calls it Bhatyari).

There seem to be no film songs in this raga though I heard one old ghazal on radio with combination of Lalit (Tu hain mera prem devatha) and Bhatiyar (Hindustani classical singer Jitendra Abhisheki has actually come up with a jod-raga called Lalith-Bhatiyar).

Most usage of Bhatiyar in the light classical arena, it seems, has ben done by Ghati composers...

Anyways, for some inexplicable reason, I took "Sri Gananatham bhajamyaham" in Kanakangi from the movie Sruthilayalu, and retuned it to Bhatiyar, much to the horror of Bhargavarama...

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Hindustani raga Shankara is one of the most august ragas with insurmountable grandeur. Very easy to identify, it is highly surprising that carnatic musicians have not explored much into it. The only composition that I can cite from the south is a music piece from the movie Maayaabazaar coutesy Ghantasala--A ragamalika (Shankara is starting raga, and the most prominent) heard when Balarama is accorded a royal welcome by Shakuni and gang. It follows similar notation to that of the following song from Sehgal:

Most people from the south have also heard Shankara (albeit unknowingly) in one of the forms of Hanuman chalisa.

Here is an experiment in Shankara--It is still in concept stage (not sure how to give notes... this raga has some meends). Also, lyrics may need fine tuning.

p: Sham karatha Shankara!
Triloka dyuthikara!

a: Mahesham Bhavesham bhave
Shambhave Shubhakara!

c: Mahaarudranaaraayana ugra roopa
PraLayaagni hoomkaara naada swaroopa
RaNadundubi jayajayadhwaanakara!


Monday, September 19, 2005

A very small story

(the story has been lying in my vault for a long time now, sent to me by kedar long back)

A small idol of Ganesha, a picture of Rama and family, and another small idol of Saraswathi were the first thing Varun saw as soon as he opened his eyes that day, as he did everyday—but it wasn’t day yet; only the lights in the hall were switched on. It was only 5:30 in the morning, and he almost never got up before 7:00, in his life of 8 years. He felt refreshed at once and got up from the bed. He walked into the hall. He knew, his father was taking bath, from the chants he said during his bath. His mother was out in the backyard in a silk sari and she was picking flowers. She just had a “head-bath” as it is called in our country and had her towel wrapped on her head along with her hair. He went into the kitchen which also had a compartment for Gods. His grandmother was making something out of black-coloured mud.

“What are you doing grandma?” he inquired

“I am making two idols of oxen. It’s “poLa” today.” She told him without lifting her head, engrossed in her work. He vaguely remembered they were talking yesterday night after supper about getting up early today because it is some festival.

“It is a festival of the country-side. On this day, people pay their respects to the farm animals which sustain them. We used to celebrate it on a big scale in our village when I was young. Now very few even remember it,” she mused pausing for a moment, and then resumed her work.

Varun and his little brother Ashvin always liked to celebrate festivals—major or minor. The younger one showed more enthusiasm of the two even though he was only beginning to understand what was going on. He just had to be there at the puja, he had to be the one to ring the bell while giving aarti (though his hands use to tire easily), and he had to be the one to give theertham to all others in the house (Prasadam rights, he ‘gifted’ to his elder brother out of his fabled generosity). Now he was fast asleep. The puja was about to begin and the elders would not allow Varun to wake up his brother—A recipe for calamity of the worst kind.

Varun quickly took a bath and attended puja and aarti (he already knew most of the common aarti songs by heart). After a while, Ashvin woke up and found his brother already dressed up for school. He wondered a bit at this, but was still sleepy. Varun was careful enough not to say anything at that time. After a while, Varun heard loud wails and saw brother coming out of the kitchen crying. He immediately knew what had happened—Ashvin had come to know of the festival puja and aarti. And now, there seemed to be no end to his crying. His parents and grandmother tried to console him with words and promises of next time, but the crying wouldn’t stop. Varun sat for his breakfast contemplating how to bring the situation in control. He finally struck on an idea, but hesitated whether it would work. Well, he knew the only way to see if it worked was to test it. He went to his brother whose eyes were still watery and said something in his ear. The crying stopped, but it was sometime before he could smile and be in his usual sunny disposition. They went to school and the day passed on. When his father came back that evening, he was relieved to find everything normal.

After supper, all of them sat together awhile and went to bed. But after sometime, the two brothers got up and went stealthily into kitchen. They had their own plans. About half-an-hour later, a familiar aroma filled the house, and a faint ringing sound was being heard. Varun’s mother got up and hurried into the kitchen. She was puzzled by what she saw. Varun wore his father’s silk dhoti (almost perfectly) and was performing puja just like his father. Sitting beside was his brother who seemingly took care of all arrangements from flowers, sweets for offerings, incense, and all. These were arrayed in front of him in the most disciplined fashion. Ashvin was sitting with his eyes closed and his little palms joined together. There was such sincerity and devotion in his face that she thought not all the temptations and dangers joined together would dissuade him from his present state. She didn’t disturb them. She went back and came back with her husband and mother-in-law. They saw the two perform the puja very quietly from the corner of the room. And after puja, Varun started singing aarti in his sincere voice, and the elders looked at one-another in silent admiration and felt proud of their children. Of course, Ashvin got to ring the bell and he relished it with utmost delight even though he was dead tired and sleepy. And then Varun offered theertham and Prasadam, and gave some to his little brother. They were about to fold the ceremony for the day when the elders suddenly walked into the kitchen to the surprise (and a little embarrassment) of the children. But they simply took aarti and prasadam with same devotion and seriousness that the children had and kissed the children.

Then they took the sleepy children back to their rooms, wondering if there was anything more from life that they needed.

-- Kedar

Friday, September 16, 2005

Osmania Biscuit VIII-- Lingam Yadav vs. Obul Reddy

He hates him-- I swear he hates him like hell! He even conspires to kill Obul Reddy. Lingam secretly believes I think about Obul more than I do about him! Poor Lingam's raat ki neend has been haraamed because of his morbid antipathy towards Obul. He tried lots of pseudo-innocuous machinations to get the address and/or phone number of his adversary from me, but he failed... not because I didnt want to give it to him, but because I myself didnt know where he is/was! I hardly know Obul for God's sake!!

But that wouldnt satisfy him... He thinks I am protecting Obul from him.

I still remember that day when I first saw the name 'Obul Reddy' in the paper... I actually had a good laugh because that was the first time I heard the name! Lingam, though, was a little circumspect in his reaction... and later I told him about how I went to even meet him, but alas! I could find him, and how I got into CBIT because of Obul Reddy (though accidentally), his condescending smirk was quite obvious! The third time, when I said I wanted to meet Obul once, that did it! His rage knew no bounds, and he swore he will kill that ******** !!
That day, he looked more dangerous than
1) the green-gochi clad "Ekelex Mahabali"
2) the duo of Veerabahu and GhanOdara
3) Veera Paandya Katta Bommana
4) or even Suryam for that matter who has only 2 of those instead of 3!!!! (Oops! sorry.. cudnt resist!).

Yup! we all saw the scene flabbergasted! Poor Jumman miya got to bear the brunt of his anger when Lingam's gutka was sprayed all over his kurta as a fractal image (only I know how much I tried to take that kurta from him!). Jumman was so depressed that he didnt fix "tube-lightla srinivas's" scooter in his "A1-mekanik" shop lying there fro a week already, which infuriated Srinivas to no end and he didnt go to "idly pavan's" place to fix some elctrical problem they had, resulting that they didnt have electricity all day and missed the cricket match, which dint please Idly's uncle Yellaji (dont ask me! thats a pet name among the really really Andhra folks!), and he hit the 'Ironing boy' Dasaratha, which made his mother launch a two-and-a-half hour long invective against the "sharma residency" which later petered down into muttered curses and spits in a vectored direction.

Which got me thinking, what has all this got to do with poor Obul Reddy, whose only fault was that he got the rank 2347 in EAMCET-1997, one ahead of me.

Nevertheless, I know I have to stay tuned for the Ragnarok, the epic final battle between Lingam Yadav and Obul Reddy, and some even argue the magnitude of this surpasses that of even QuickGun Murugun's and RicePlate Reddy's battle!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Tempest of Manna.

3 people.

Me and a couple of 'muh home boys' (thats friends in african-american!) were walking towards commercial street on Sunday eve around 7 PM when it happened. And how everyone ran here and there... makes me remember that line from Molla Ramayanam-- sandula gondula doori sattumi lemin! (On seeing the humiliating fate of the kings and princes who tried to lift Siva DhanuSa, the other suitors ran helter-skelter and hid themselves in bylanes to escape that insult!).

It rained so heavily, so all of a sudden, that we were completely caught unawares.

Now, we are standing under the porch of some shop waiting for the rain to abate. Mahesh, the eldest one, is desperately looking for autos.. no one wants to come to either CMH road or Domlur, and if they are ready, they are asking for 60-70 rupees (it would normally take abt 30/-). So he is in a circular loop and thats about him... and the other guy Nitin, well... he is so frustrated that he starts looking at the wet babes (did I mention they were wet?) to take his mind of the current "predicament".

Anyways, what do I do? I dont take notice of anyone at all, and start making up some tune in Miya-ki-Malhar ( "bole re papihara" is in that raga). And I proudly declare to Nitin... "this is a Malhar." And he looks at me angrily and says ," its raining and and you sing malhar?? Are you nuts??" (Not that it rained heavily because I sang Malhar, but you know how people like to have a scape-goat!).

And then it dawned on me how Cacophonix the bard must have felt in that village... savages! Barbarians! ...Sigh! I promptly changed track to Basant Bahar. Soon, I realised I was tilting more towards Basant and Bahar was increasingly left out. And Basant gave way to the closely allied Panthuvarali... and slowly the r1 and d1 dissappeared and I was left with...


A tune slowly materialised, and I started adding words to it. I finished it today.
It comes out this way:

p: nannu kaana rava, veyi kanula deva!
ilalOna neeku, satevvaru....

a: nee mahima juupi, nannu brovaleva,
Indra Mahendra Surendra Devendra

ch:vidyutvajra dhara, Shachi kanthi kara
sarva dukha hara, vRtra samhara...
viraminchu nee mahapraLayavarshini
tilakinchu naa gaana Amruthavarshnini.

This is my first telugu experiment.

As usual, I am having nightmares with the tala part (shooting for Adi). Anyways, I have nost mentioned the swaras here... (an open invitation for all to use this sahityam to whichever tune. Imagine... you can be a part of the only kriti dedicated to Indra!). Any corrections, improvements to the lyrics are always welcome.


PS: It was just a rainy evening... its very interesting how people make such a big deal out of it!