Carnatic Music & Me – Part 2

The year 2002 is special since it was only in September 2002 that I first went for a concert of Sanjay Subrahmanyan at Siddhi Buddhi Sameta Sri Karpaga Vinayagar temple in R.A.Puram. I am not sure but I think he sang some song in Ananda Bhairavi (Marivere?) in that concert. I liked the concert and that was all.

During the December Season that year, his concert was at R.R.Sabha at 10 (or was it 10:30?) on a Saturday morning. The fact that the concert was in the morning made my sister and me go for it. We both went in our cycles to that concert. How I used to hate riding my cycle in the ever-congested Mada Streets of Mylapore! Reaching the venue, we came to know that his concert was earlier scheduled on some evening but it was later changed to a morning slot since Sanjay was to receive some award in Bombay on the scheduled day of the concert. If I remember correctly, there was a Bhairavi, Mukhari, Todi and the song Haridasulu Vedale sung in that concert. (Am wondering if he really sung all those!) Apart from that, I don’t remember anything at all about the concert except for the fact we really liked this concert of his too! Nithyasree’s at R.R.Sabha was the only other concert that I went to during the season that year. The sounds of dosa vaatthufying and other sounds coming from the canteen used to always be a constant accompaniment to all the concerts at R.R.Sabha. 😉

There were about 7-8 cassettes of Sanjay at home and except Charsur’s ‘The Magic of Trinity’, which was released in 1999, the remaining were all ‘94-‘96 ones. I started listening to those cassettes. The Trinity one became my favourite among all those cassettes – Awesome Kannada in that one! Uyyala in another cassette became my favourite & God knows how many times I have listened to it on repeat mode!

I again went to a concert of Sanjay during Navaratri in 2003 at Sringeri Bharati Vidyashram, T.Nagar and again to one during December Season that year at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. By then, I had become a fan of his. 🙂 Also, by then, I had got a two wheeler. So commuting to concert venues had become so easy.

When I tried recollecting the songs that Sanjay had sung in his previous concerts, I didn’t remember most of them. Being just a beginner, I didn’t know most of the songs and I was not able to identify many raagams. And that’s when I started noting down the list of songs. Besides helping me remember songs and their raagams, looking at the songs list was enough for me to start reminiscing about a concert. The first concert of which I noted down the songs list was Sanjay’s at R.R.Sabha in December 2003. Back then, little did I know that I would end up with two notebooks full of concerts songs list 5 years down the line! My initial song lists had just the songs and their raagams. It wasn’t until I came across the meticulously-written songs lists in Ram’s blog that I too started noting down the raagam for which alapana was sung etc.

Talking about that R.R.Sabha concert, it was in this concert that I first heard Sanjay sing Chittam Irangaadha and I absolutely loved it. I remember Sanjay’s concert at Margazhi Mahotsavam was telecast on Jaya TV on the same day as this concert. My sister and I so badly didn’t want to miss neither of the two and hence, we made our Mom record the Jaya TV one on a video cassette. 🙂 I was disappointed to see the Nilambari part of Chinnachiru KiLiye not shown fully on the concert telecast. 😡

Radio Mirchi was having special programmes lined up for December Season that year and an interview with Sanjay was broadcast and he also came on the show ‘My 98.3’. The fans of Sanjay that we had become by then, we recorded those interviews, just like how we used to record an interview with Madhavan or A.R.Rahman.

2004 saw me going for a Sanjay’s concert in January itself at Anjaneyar temple, Alamelumangapuram. But it wasn’t until December Season that year that I went for another concerts of his. Though I liked his singing so much, still I didn’t feel like buying his recent CDs/cassettes. I was happy attending his concerts occasionally and listening to those old cassettes!

By then, my sister started listening to M.S.Gopalakrishnan’s recordings. Along with her, I too started listening and we both were amazed by the maestro’s playing! Giriraja suta, Janani ninnuvina, Bantu reeti, the beautiful Begada and Bahudhari, Shanmukha Priya, Nattakurunji varnam – everything he played was brilliant! And so was his concert that we went to during the Season that year.

2004 was when the renovation of R.R.Sabha started. (And it is still going on!!) At that time, I was so bad at finding/remembering routes/directions to places. Not that I am any better now. 😛 But at least, that doesn’t stop me from going to a concert at an ‘unknown’ venue these days. Anyway, so the question was which concert of Sanjay’s could I now go for? Answer came in the form of Jaya TV’s Margazhi Mahotsavam and Music Academy Season tickets that our neighbour lent us. Sanjay’s concert at Academy was preceded by Mandolin Srinivas’ concert and even though I was there for just the last half an hour of Srinivas’ concert, I was mesmerized by what I heard!

It was around this time that another neighbour of mine lent me a couple of CDs – Sanjay’s ‘Kalyani’ and T.M.Krishna’s ‘Kshetra Tirupati’. Till then, despite hearing so many of them say that he is an excellent singer, I had not listened to TMK at all. I listened to his CD once and totally forgot about it. ‘Shankachakra’ in Poornachandrika was the song that I liked in that.

So, when did I become a fan of TMK then? Wait for the next post!

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