Thoughts on the match at Rama Seva Mandali featuring Sangita Kalanidhi Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Although I have seen the man many a time at different events like the Litfest, morning academic sessions at the Academy etc. it’s been three years since I heard a LIVE concert. The reason being I have given up trying to get a ticket which is as unlikely as someone dropping a bag full of money at my doorstep(oh wait! Election time…).

I felt truly blessed to be at the concert which I consider is such a landmark concert such as the 1982 Lalgudi concert at the Krishna Gana Sabha. The joy in his face was infectious and like he’d mentioned a couple of days back on twitter about how the audience sing along with the artist when a popular varnam is sung, I got to see many old mamas & mamis sing along the Jalajaksha varnam.

That was followed by a Nattai Vritham. Item 2 at a concert & a vritham! Quite a pleasant surprise to me & the Pallandu Pallndu that followed is something I will remember for a lifetime. The swarams were like a raging Varuna trying to recreate a deluge but this time, a deluge of joy!

The next three ragas & the sequence is something I’ve never heard in a LIVE concert, again in a very interesting way. Mukhari, Kambhoji & Todi. That Todi is easily the best I’ve heard in a LIVE concert. It is one of those Todis that stood out in its entirety, full of originality and his own masterclass signature phrases and style and it is in the league of Brinda’s Alapana for Gajavadana or Unnikrishnan’s Alapana for Kaddanuvariki or S Ramanathan’s Vel Edutha Kaiye or TN Seshagopalan’s Tanigai Valar. They have the stamp of these artistes and Sanjay sir made it completely his own!

Begada is an all time favourite and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Somehow I had this déjà Vu sort of feeling that it would be Mohanam RTP and it wasn’t rather surprising! :) The RagamAlika swarams and the Sindubhairavi song that followed the splendid kalpanaswarams were soul stirring.

A soothing Behag & a majestic Dhanashri amidst a few minutes of power shutdown that sort of gave it a Navaratri mantapam feel made it memorable too in its own way.

This concert would stay in all of our minds for a long long time and I can’t wait to get my hands on this on the recording which may come on Gumroad next year or God knows when but till then the Todi and kambhoji and Sindu Bhairavi will keep lingering in my ears.

Yes! This is a photo I will frame and put in my hall. Thanks a ton sir for making my evening so fondly memorable!

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