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Rajesh Vaidya - audience pulse
19 December, 2019

Rajesh Vaidya, as he played on the vina got the audience mesmerized. The concert itself was punctuated with many sessions of applause from rasikas; some of them even stood up and clapped. His choice of krithis belonged to the truly familiar, familiar with all. Beginning with a thundering Pancharathna “Entharo Mahanubavulu” in Sri ragam he seemed to change gear with Ganamoorthe’ in the raga Ganamoorthi. Both are known Thyagaraja krithis. (Need I say that?) Then he launched Sudhamayi Sudhanidhi in Amruthavarshini of Harikeshanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar, again a song that has been sung at a great pace from the time of GNB (G N Balasubramaniam). The audience was having a great time regaling at this kind of carnatic-sequence.

In the meanwhile he would often rest his one hand on the vina and play swaras on an infinite spiral without any meetu (plucking of the strings). This was sheer wonderment for the audience. In the same manner he would traverse to the rightmost part of the instrument where the frets are placed closely. He would play here which would produce a shriller sound than normal. And these too clinched the attention of the audience. He would also build crescendos one after the other that would entice the audience in a great way.

There was yet another phase in the concert where he was again able to capture the rasikas’ hearts in an equal measure, in a different manner. Here too his choice of the songs mattered. Beginning with the MLV favourite Muralidhara Gopala in Mand by Periasami Thooran, Rajesh released a mix of middle-level  bhajan-like songs that could gel well with all kinds of  rasikas. It commenced with the evergreen ragamalika Theeratha Vilayattu Pillai. Here he was able to capture and display the lyrics, a la violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman, for the lines Echil Paduthi (எச்சில் படுத்தி) Pinnalai Pinnindru Izuppan (பின்னலைப் பின்னின்றிழுப்பான்) and Azagulla Malar Kondu Vandhe (அழகுள்ள மலர் கொண்டு வந்தே) . The songs of this segment, janaranjakam (ஜனரஞ்சகம்) all the way continued to come unabated as if the flood gates were opened (மடை திறந்த வெள்ளம் போல்). Here they are: Bhajare Yadhu Nadham a Sadhasiva Brahmendrar’s composition, Two songs popularized by Lata Mangeshkar viz. Sri Ramachandra Kripalu Bhajamana and Thumak Chalat Ramchandra, Thunbam Nergayil of BharathiDasan, Chandrasekara Isa composed by Anai Vaidhyanatha Iyer and and M S Subbulakshmi’s Maithrim Bhajatha.       

The robust drum-team of Bangalore Praveen on the mridangam, Praveen Narayanan on the Tabla and Saihari on the Ghatam, now blowing hot, now blowing cold, alternated their turns enjoying every bit of this presentation as it progressed.

This concert was held at Sri Parthasarathi Swami Sabha on 18th December, 2019 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

S Sivakumar

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