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Many meditative moments

V. BALASUBRAMANIAN

VEENA Punya Srinivas brought out the mood of each raga with confidence and poise.

PHOTO: B.VELANKANNI RAJ

EFFORTLESS: Punya Srinivas.

The noise from the huge wall-mounted fans at Chinmaya Vidyalaya’s auditorium, Anna Nagar, gave you a feeling of sitting near a reservoir whose sluices are open. Nevertheless, it became immaterial once the veena concert of Punya Srinivas bega n, for she took the audience with her as she played a captivating ganaragamalika varnam (‘Inta Koopa’-Adi-Kalahasti Venkatasami Raja). Ambidextrous, Punya alternated between chatusram and tisram in two speeds.

It was heartening to see young veena students who had turned up for the concert, seriously discussing the varnam as it progressed.

Seasoned artist and Punya’s husband D.A. Srinivas proved he was no less proficient, as he laced the varnam with brilliant nadais and arudis on the mridangam. It was revelry once N. Guruprasad (ghatam) joined in.

After the varnam, when one was just getting ready to immerse oneself in the beauty of the raga Lalitha, Punya chose to play only a brief outline. But the soulful rendition of ‘Hiranmayeem’ (Rupakam-Dikshitar) made up for it. She took up Nalinakanthi for elaboration, a clever move. This raga has always been a favourite of veena vidwans and it was no different that day, what with a mixture of slow paced and rapid-fire phrases. Particular mention must be made of her improvisations in the anupallavi of the kriti ‘Manavi Nalagincha’ (Adi-Tyagaraja). Srinivas and Guruprasad embellished it further.

Appropriate treatment

Punya, adopting a gayaki style, delineated Thodi in all its splendour with meditative rests between sancharas that showcased the raga’s colour. Incongruous to this was a light tanam that followed without any impact. Thankfully, that mood did not extend itself to the kriti phase. ‘Emi Jesitenemi’ (Chapu-Tyagaraja) with an inherent vilambakalam was given the appropriate treatment.

Taking the time factor into account, Srinivas plunged into the kuraippu phase right from the word go for the tani. Combining well with the ever cheerful Guruprasad, he wove myriad patterns with real vigour. Guru’s anticipations were only too perfect.

Padmavathy Ananthagopalan of the Anna Nagar Music Circle Trust has been doing a lot to promote classical music in Anna Nagar and its neighbouring areas. While appreciating the artists generously in her concluding speech, she said, “I was moved by the quality of a veena concert in AIR’s Arangisai which I listened to recently. Having missed the announcements, I called up AIR to find out the details of the artist and today’s concert is the result.” A meritorious selection indeed and Punya Srinivas proved a worthy disciple of Kamala Aswathama.

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