Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Kapali Koil Brahmotsavam

Mylapore, the oldest neighbourhood of Chennai sees many cultural and religious festivals every year and the month of Panguni is especially particular as this is the month the brahmotsavam is conducted in Kapaleeswarar Temple.

This is the first time i will miss watching the Adhikara Nandi of Mylapore Kapali Koil as i am in London now. I usally make it a point to go to Mylapore for viewing the Adhikara Nandi during the Kapali koil Brahmotsavam in Mylapore for the past 10 years. I reach there at about 6:30a.m before crowds throng the place. The brahmotsavam is conducted for 10 days during the tamil month of Panguni and follows the schedule below.

Day 1 - Flag hoisting
Day 2 - Adhikara Nandhi
Day 3 - Chavudal Vimanam at 8.30 am and Rishabha Vahanam from midnight onwards
Day 4 - Pallakku in the morning and Yanai vahanam
Day 5 - Ther
Day 6 - Arupathu moovar
Day 7 - Ainthirumenigal festival in the morning and evening
Day 8 - Thirukkalyanam
Day 9 - Uma maheswarar Darshanam after Thirukkalyanam in the morning
Day 10 - 13 Vidayatri festival

During Adhikara Nandi day, the idols of the temple are taken in procession on all the four mada streets. Different points in the Mada street have a toy of garuda bhagawan tied in a rope hanging with a pot full of flowers in his hand. When the deity comes near the Garudan, the Garudan is made to swing as if he is in a oonjal and when he comes close to the deity as a result of the swing, the pot of flowers is showered on the deity by the Garudan amidst the chants of namah sivaya. As Papanasam Sivam wrote, "Kaana kan kodi vendum".

You can also spot a lot of prominent personalities during this festival who were either born in Mylapore or reside in Mylapore. I have seen writer Balakumaran, Umpire Venkatraghavan and a lot of NRI's shooting the event on their camcorders. The old houses on the mada street, the javvu mittai that is sold, the gypsies selling pasi malai etc, thavil/nadaswara ghoshti and the old maamas in full white veshti and a kadhar white sattai sipping coffee and having pongal in Karpagambal mess opposite to Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan are a delight to watch.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Poove Ilaya Poove...

For the past 6 months I am hearing a song, each and every time it is new to me. It is one of the greatest among tamil film songs, atlest for to me.I doubt whether it got its due respect among critics.

The song is "Poove ilaya poove" from the film kozhi koovudhu. Prabhu and silk smitha would have acted for this song.

Ilayaraja-Vairamuthu combination touches its zenith in this song.

It is one of the best from malaysia vasudevan. If SPB would have sung this song, I doubt whether the song would have had the present form.

Very regrettably I dont know the ragam behind this song. May be vasu can help on this.

What ever be the ragam,only a maestro with fantabulous skill can tame the ragam like this song.


Poove ilaya pooveVaram tharum vasanthameMadi meedhu thengum thene
Enakku thaane...Enakku thaane...

You should notice the high pitch during the lines 'Enakkuthaane....' Fantastic, when it combined with background percussions.Wait, the real joy will start during the charanam.

People should notice the merging point between the BGM and the charanam, fantastic! Ofcourse similar blendings can be seen in few other ilayaraja songs, but this is perfect.

Kuzhal valarndhu alaiyanadheIravugalin izhaiyanadhe
Vizhi irandum kadalanadhe-------------The difference pitch here will be too good.Enadhu manam padaganadhe
ilam palingu nagam peyarthedheNila adhil mugam paarthadhe
Enikkum thene...Enakku thaane...

Fantastic lyrics from vairamuthu. What an imagination! Only he can think of "Vizhi irandum kadalanadhe..enadhu manam padaganadhe" for this tune. It is one of the best from vairamuthu, his lyrics melted with the tune in such an excellent way.It makes me think that really tamil people missed many great songs because of vairamuthu-ilayaraja personal fight.

Flute bit:
The flute bit after the first charanam will be very good.
Here one more I would like to note is the use of chorus.Indeed, if you notice in detail the chorus in this place merges with the charanam in due form.Excellent one!.

Charanam 2:
ilanchirippu rusiyanadhuAdhu kanindhu isaiyanadhu
Kuyil magalin kuralanadhuIrudhayathil mazhai thoovudhu
Irupuruvam iravanadhuIrundhum enna veyil kaayudhu
Wow, these lines are too good. Just think,
"Iru puruvam iravanadhu"
irundhum enna veyil kaayudhu

Here vairamuthu tells about the eyes as "veyil kayudhu", height of kavidhai.
Last but not the least, picturisation. As we know, many of the best songs were picturized in a pathetic way across tamil films. Right from MGR/Sivaji films upto early nineties, we can see many examples.

Though this film (kozhi koovudhu) came by early eighties, fortunately the picturization was good, if not better.The continuous single shots of prabhu and silk justifies this great music/lyric along with the slow motion of horse riding.

I do not know technically the lens or shade used in this song. But they definetely was different when compared to films came in that age.I do not know who is the cinematogrpaher.But kudos to him, he justified this great song with his camera.We can get a 'joy in a gloomy day' experience which the song tries to create.We can forgive the yobo get up of prabhu for this picturization.No comments about silk.In fact i think different combination of prabhu(in different makeup)/silk justifies this song sequence in a great way.

This combination reduces the dumbness of the picturization, which prevails in many contemparary songs (best example: 'Pani vizhum malar vanam' song from Ninaivellam nithya song sequence,karthik and the newface (daughter of gemini ganesan) will be dancing for a inhumane choreography).