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Dr M Narmadha - Stunning Shankarabharan
21 December, 2013

- Vidya Raju

Srinivasa Sastri hall, situated at the heart of mylapore, but inside there is a serene atmosphere with a small number of seasoned rasikas.. may be this is the reason why every musician holds this hall close to their heart.

Dr. Narmada, who adorns many feathers on her cap (a musicologist, musician, linguist), started her violin concert on 17 12/2013, tuesday at Sastri hall, with an invocation to Lord Ganesha, a koteeswara iyer krithi, Varana mukava in ragam hamsadhvani set to adhi thalam. 
which was followed by the Thiruppavai of the day, Vaiyathu Vaazhveergaal.

Dr. Narmada, who follows the Parur style in her renditions played Nannu kanna thalli in ragam sindhukanada aka kesari a composition of Saint Thiagaraja, this is one of the krithis on Dharmambike by Thiagarajar.. The saint pleads to the Devi, O Dharmambike! Narayani! are you not my fortune.. we could experience the same plead from the violin of Dr. Narmada.

Ilalo Pranatharthi in ragam Atana, the ragam that depicts courage, makes one sit up and listen was the next piece. she played a brief alapanai and after the krithi swaras that followed. The mrudhangist and the Ghatam vidwan were very supportive. One thing is that, the artiste always enjoys her playing and plays with a constant smile on her face. 

The vasippu or playing the violin by Dr. Narmadha transported us to another world, a divine one. She plays the violin with utmost devotion and each and every swara was perfectly placed  showing her dedication and asura saadhagam. She didnt attach extra mike to the instrument which shows her confidence over her fingerings. The soft rendition was clearly from the Parur bani or her Father Late MSG Sir's tutelege and the other aspect is that she does not use flashy techniques.
Hiranmayeem Lakshmeem in ragam Lalitha, Muthuswamy Deekshithar krithi was the next in the line, she pampered Goddess Lakshmi thro this rendition. Then, came a fast one, Nena runchinanu annithiki in ragam Malavi a krithi of Saint Thiagaraja.. the mood shifted from calmness of lalitha to the briskness of malavi. Oothukadu Venkatasubbaiyer's compositions are always a delight in concerts, the words flow like a steady river, thus was the Pal vadiyum mugam in nattakurunji, a steady flow of a river and the next one was Ennai nee maravadhe in Amruthavarshini we indeed need rains badly in madras, a composition of Sudhananda bharathi, popularised by MMD. was like a superfast express. the swarakorvais were superb.

Sankarabharanam, Lord Shiva's Abharanam or jewel Yes, it was also the jewel of the day's concert. Sankarabharanam alapanai was as heavy as velvet but as light as silk in texture the fragrance of Shankarabharanam is going to be there in the rasikas mind for a longer time. She played a small thanam (Parur style thanam is always a treat) followed by krithi Enduku pedhala another gem of Thiagaraja. The thani avardhanam by the mrudhangam and ghatam artistes was well appreciated.

The thukkadas are always a joy to listen, to lighten the mood she played a bajan of Thulisidas in Desh ragam, followed by English note and Sindhubhairavi, bhagyadha lakshmi baramma. Never realised the concert has come to an end. Two and half hours spent musically. Madipakkam Suresh was on mridangam and Pudukkottai Ramachandran on ghatam.

Dr. Narmada proved that she is indeed the The peerless Genius MSG's daughter.

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