Its been almost a month since I blogged. I went on a beautiful trip to New york city to meet my brother after 1.5 years and had some great fun :). Back in Ann Arbor and still hunting for jobs. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the lifetime collection of a 60 year old which has enriched my music collection to a whopping 150 gigabytes of unadulterated classical music.:) If any of you guys need any krithi, please contact me and I will be honoured to share the treasure :) Yesterday night was wonderful as I jammed with Hari till 4 a.m. and had the pleasure of listening to two of Hari's friends(and now mine too)- Ramaa Ramesh from chennai and Shreekrishna from Bangalore(now in Georgia tech) and ofcourse the guitar god himself on the guitar too. Heard a wonderful thodi,kalyani,surutti,devagandhari and saranga. Thanks Guys!! Upon forceful demands, I sang this very krithi in kambhoji( I hope they pardoned me for the lacklustre rendition) and it is more than apt that I discuss this graceful krithi by Papanasam Sivan written in mellifluous tamil describing the beauty and divinity of Lord Nataraja, the God of Dance.
Aadum Deivam Nee Arulvaai
Idadhu paadham thooki..Aadum
Sivan address Lord Shiva as Dancing('aadum') God('deivam') and sings " Oh Lord!! Dancing with your left('idhadhu') leg('paadham') raised('thooki') in the air, please bless me('arulvaai')". It is a simple single line of beautiful tamil completely describing the Lord. As I always say, the attractive looping scheme of writing of Papanasam sivan is enchanting with further demonstrations of this quality of his compositions in the anupallavi and charanam. Kambhoji itself being a wonderful raga with brilliant scope for improvisation, this simple pallavi is subject to some beautiful phrases which take you to another dimension. You can listen to a beautiful version of this song rendered by Sriram Gangadharan sir rendered in typical G.N.B style..click here
Naadum Adiyar Piravithuyar ara veedum tharum karunai nidhiyae..Natam (aadum deivam)
Sivan describes the mercy that the Lord showers on his devotees here as he sings "Oh lord..being the embodiment of mercifulness and charity('karunai nidhi'), you help those devotees('Adiyar'-people who prostrate at your feet('adi')) in need('Naadum') by destroying('ara') the sins and sorrowness('thuyar') of taking this birth('piravi') and providing them('tharum') with shelter('veedu')." Sivan writes with such exquisite grammar which allows the lyrics to beautifully entwine with the raga and the tala yet preserving the sublime meaning. Once again, this single line presents a wide scope for improvisation and he again shows his prowess with the looping rhyme scheme as the anupallavi ends with a natam('dancing') and the pallavi starts off with aadum combining to become 'natamaadum'.
Shubham sher kaaliudan aadi padu tholvi anji
Thirusheviyyil anindha manithodu vizhundhaaga maayam kaatiyum thirupadham Uyara thookiyum.
Viri prapancham muzhudhum aatum nin-thirupaadham thanjam ena unai adaindhaen.
Parindhen thindaatam kandu parisu tharum thurayae sabhai naduvil tha dhi mi endru.. (aadum deivam)
I must confess this is the most appealing tamil I have heard in my life. In the charanam, Sivan begins by describing the playful and cheeky qualities of the Lord followed by showcasing yet again the merciful qualities of the God. He addresses an incident which takes place when Lord Shiva dances with Goddess Kaali. I have to bring in some mythology here to explain the entire depth of this incident. As we all know, Goddess Kaali is described as an extremely violent and 'ugra' form of Parvathi, Lord Shiva's consort. Once, after defeating the two demons Sumbha and Nisumbha, the Goddess takes refuge in a forest. There, she joins other fierce companions and they terrorize the entire area. A few of Lord Shiva's devotees, unable to perform penance in the forest because of this destruction by kaali and her friends, pray to the Lord and request him to help them out. Lord Shiva arrives and challenges Goddess kaali to a dance contest with Lord Vishnu as the judge. The contest is said to have gone on for hours with the Goddess matching every posture of Lord Shiva. Here, Lord plays a small trick on Goddess Kaali by pretending as though his ear-ring has fallen down and hence lifts his leg to perform the great Ananda Tandavam dance exposing his Genital area taking advantage of the fact that Goddess kaali, being a respectable woman, cannot lift her leg high, thus "defeating" the Goddess and subduing her.
Papanasam Sivan beautifully describes Lord Nataraja in the charanam alluding to this incident as "To bring peace and harmony('shubham sher'), contesting with Goddess Kaali('kaaliudan aadi') and fearing('anji') utter('padu') defeat('tholvi'), pretending as though('maayam kaati') the pearl-studded ear-ring('mani thodu') has fallen('vizhundhaaga') from the Lord's('thiru') ear('shevvi'), He is dancing with the auspicious('thiru') leg('paadham') high('uyara') up in the air. Realizing that this auspicious feet of the Lord is the one controlling('aatum') the whole('muzhudhum') wide('viri') universe('prapancham-comprising the 5 elements'), I surrendered('adiandhaen') at your feet('thiru paadham') and took shelter('thanjam'). Taking mercy('parindhu') and seeing('kandu') my('en') troubles and confusions('thindaatam'), Oh Lord, You are the authority('thurai') giving('tharum') me the gift('parisu') of watching you dance in the middle('naduvil') of the stage('sabhai') to the beats tha dhi mi." Once again looping back to the pallavi in that characteristic "sivan style"
This is exquisite Tamil at its best and I am at a complete loss of words to explain the beauty. With all due respect to the English language, even after using an online thesaurus(thanks to my limited vocabulary), I still find it unable to capture the bewitching and intoxicating charm of the tamil used by Shri Papanasam Sivan in this beautiful krithi. I tried my best and I hope my explanations proved satisfactory to the readers and hopefully I was able to touch atleast the surface of the soul etched in this krithi. Please do post your comments and suggestions so that I can improve. I am jetting off to cook lunch and will continue to revel and drown myself in more music. I am listening to this wonderful krithi 'Kumaara swaaminam' composed by thalaivar Dikshithar in 'Asaveri' and beautifully rendered by shri Sanjay Subrahmanyan now. Please click here to listen. I plan to take up the majestic 'Kamalamba Navavarnams' one by one and analyze all of the 11 krithis in detail. Till then..keep listening and take care. Ciao!!