Friday, June 25, 2010


Here is the music maestro V. Dakshinamurthy,unmindful of the hue and cry of the age,reluctant to fame,positions and controversies. Yes,the master beyond par excellence. All time favourite of music lovers who blended malayalam film songs with carnatic music,made them evergreen;a devotee of music.

A nonagenerian,'swamy',he is affectionately called takes life as a compassionate,delicate feeling. I met him at the Garuda Appartments, with his younger daughter Parvathi and family , which is on the north gate of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum. I learned, for those who are pious at heart,old age cannot catch them easily. He presents a moving symbol of this fact ,energetic walking,movements, nonstumbling dulcet
voice,compliant,godly demeanour and radiant eyes. The old age of this perpetual traveller too is clear and undefiled.

He began, where is truth? My be he is quite conscious of our tarnished surroundings. He answered it as nothingness. Nothingness is the prime truth, the yogic essence says Swami. If there is real music ,it is God itself. He compares God to a merciful sea incessantly pouring out music. Sangeetha Ganga has no other way but to merge with the sea of music. As a music enthusiast his bliss lies in searching for the God with undying form of music.

His eloquence fills with spiritual plenty. In the contemporary world where spiritualism is played as trump card to win fame and fortune, among spiritual superstars who become best sellers in American market,this devout musician stands alone because of righteousness and creative goodness.He hasn't any wishes but for the immaculate naturalism,that is his spirituality. And his music is the completion emerging out of the depths of that spirituality.

Swamy always remembers what his Guru Venkitachalam Potti had said. 'Knowledge is like water in a well. It replenishes again, the more you draw,the more it supplies. Swami has no disciples in the Gurukula system but there are numerous informally. Just as his Guru advised he shared his knowledge to others and hence his life is gratified.

He spends his time travelling, to the dear and near in Chennai,Trivandrum, Palghat and to many temples. They satisfy him and in such fruitful journeys,places, time never bothers,he said. 'I don't want
to compare old and modern film songs. Likes and dislikes are creations of the mind. It's not easy for sound to become a song. Song is a completion,perfection. Sound is the beginning. Unfortunately most of the songs remain as sounds',he added.

When asked how he spends a day,what Swamy said became his definition of music. He turns every moment a chant through meditation. That is how the day goes. The tail end of the rosary is in the musician's hands. The song as kite, tied by its thread is in the infinite sky.Once chanting ceases songs vanish.Then what's music? He was silent for a moment, 'it's nothingness'.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

കാട്ടില്‍ പോകാം


മരം മരത്തോട്‌ പറയുന്ന ഭാഷ
മേഘച്ചെവികള്‍ വട്ടംപിടിച്ച്
കേള്‍ക്കുന്ന ആകാശം

പൂക്കള്‍ കാണുന്ന സ്വപ്നം
പകര്‍ന്നാടുന്ന മഹാഗണി
പുഴുവിനെയും അട്ടകളെയും
തലോടുന്ന നിഴലുകള്‍


നിശബ്ദത വരച്ച്
പരുന്ത് പറക്കുന്നു

ആ നിശബ്ധതയ്ക്
നിറം കൊടുത്ത്
തുംപികള്‍ പാറുന്നു.


പച്ച ഫ്രോക്കിട്ട്
പച്ച റിബണ്‍ കെട്ടി
നൃത്തം വെക്കുന്ന
കൊച്ചു പെണ്‍കുട്ടിയായി
ഒരു മരം . ഒരുപാട് മരങ്ങള്‍

പച്ചയുടെ ചരിത്റം
പച്ചനിറം കാന്വാസ്സില്‍
മരങ്ങള്‍ അഴിച്ചിട്ട
കാറ്റില്‍ പറക്കുന്നു .


സ്ഫടികവെയില്‍ ചില്ലിനപ്പുറം
ഇപ്പുറം കാടിന്റെ ജലച്ചായ.

രണ്ടും കണ്ടു നില്‍കുന്ന

മരങ്ങള്കു താഴെ
കറുത്ത മണ്ണില്‍
പാഴായ കാല്പാടുകള്‍


കാടിന് നടുവില്‍
സ്വസ്ഥം മലര്‍ന്നു കിടക്കുക .
കാറ്റിനെ കാണാം .

കാട്ടുപോതതാകുന്ന കാറ്റ് .
കിളികളാകുന്ന കാറ്റ്.
മരമാകുന്ന കാറ്റ് .
ശലഭമായും കാറ്റ്.
കാറ്റിനൊപ്പം യാത്റ.


കാട്ടില്‍ ചെലലും കവികള്‍
എഴുതിയ കവിതകളെല്ലാം

ഒഴിഞ്ഞ കടലാസ്സില്‍
അവര്‍ കവിത കണ്ടെത്തും.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


The Alvars, who laid the foundation for the Vaishnavite movement, were the pioneers of the religion of love. Along with the rest of the country, South India was feeling the impact of Jainism and Budhism during the few centuries before, and in the early centuries of, Christian era. It was during this period ,Alvars with sweet melodies in the popular tongue on their lips, wandered through Tamil land.Thus was set in motion a new revival of Bhakthi movement.
The precise dates of the different Alvars cannot be determined. But it is generally agreed that they lived at different periods during the three centuries beginning from A.D 500.Their influence was mainly confined to the Tamil speaking areas ruled by the four kingdoms of the Pallava, Chola, Pandya, Chera. According to tradition the Alvars were Twelve in number. It is significant that most of them were of humble parentage, and did not attach any importance to caste. However, the character of their lives inspired by divine love endeared them to the people, and differences of caste or position were washed off before this tide.
It was their bhakhti literature that attracted Sri Natha Muni (A.D.824-924),the first of the acharyas of Vaishnavism towards them .The doctrine of self-surrender, later developed by the acharyas , was derived from the Alvars.The acharyas were well-versed in Sanskrit and Tamil.They had a thorough knowledge of the Vedas, Upanishads, and other scriptures. Sri Ramanuja belonged to this line of acharyas.Sri Natha Muni took upon himself the task of popularizing the songs of the Alvars.He classified and arranged them metrically, to be chanted in temples side by side with the Vedic hymns. These poems of great beauty are known by the name 'Divya Prabandham’, numbering over four thousand. The twelve Alvars were:Poigai,Bhutattar,Pey,Tirumalisai,Nammalvar,Madhurakavi,Kulasekhara,Periyalvar,Andal,Tondaradippodi,Tiruppan, and Tirumangai.

*' Bhakthi Poonga' , a tamil book by G. Ethirajulu Naidu, Dr. N.V. Krishna Warrier's introductions to' Verakkuru', a book based on the early Tamil literature ,a translation of Sangha poetry in Malayalam,translation of early Kannada poetry , M.Govindan's study on Mahakavi Tholan ,Ponnambalam Arunachalam's "Philosophical study on East and West",Ayyappapanicker's and D. vinayachandran's studies on thina concept, Satchidanandan's in depth study on Bhakthi literature and his poems on the same subject are available and I request to read them along with this note.

*Thanks for the Tamil language,which is part of my life.


Nammalvar occupies the formost place among the Alvars.Out of his contribution of 1296 verses to the Divya Prabandham ,his magnum opus,Tiruvaimoli,contains 1102.He was born to a vellala (farmer) couple at Karungur-called Alvar Tirunagari now- in Thirunelveli district .His earlier works ,Tiruviruttam, Tiruvasiriyum ,and Peru Tiruvandadi , contain 100,7,87 verses respectively.

Enemies rejoice,dear one suffer,
Death covers everything, men are deceived
Riches ,friends, high heritage,
Dear sweet heart,and one’s own dwelling,
All are left behind; quick Death carries
All ,with suddenness.
O what is this Nature
That spreads destruction?
Like bubbles on water, this life never abides;
Monarchs, surrounded by regality ,disappear unknown.

O seek His lotus feet ,the only refuge.

The great magician,
Tricky thief,
He ,a mystery poet disguised,
Entered my life and heart unseen,
And filled my whole being.


Tirumangai was the last of the Alvars. Born to a kalla couple,he was named Nilan, owing to his blue complexion.He has to his credit a number of works, Peria Tirumoli, Tirukkuruntandakam, Tiruneduntandakam, Siria Tirumadal, Peria Tirumadal, and Tiruvelukutrirukkai. His verses a total 1360,thus contributing the largest share to the four thousand verses of the Alvars.

He who destroyed the evil demons,
Aided by monkeys and bears,
That Lord, who is my honey and milk,
His name did I utter.

Torturing your body
And imprisoning life,
And throwing all the
Five senses in agony,
Why do you dry up in fiery austerities?
Reach Chitrakuta where flora and fauna
Smile in adundence.
And there
Devote yourself to His worship.


Kulasekhara is well known for his celebrated Sanskrit hymn Mukundamala. He was the son of the king of the Chera kingdom, corresponding to the present Kerala state.His tamil work Perumal Tirumoli consists of 105 psalms, divided into ten sections.

Shall that day dawn when lovers of the Lord,
With songs enchanting on their lips,
Shall dance together in ecstasy?
When the ground shall
Turn muddy with their tears of joy,
In that holy Flood ,holier than the Ganga,
When shall I roll in delight?


A particle of sand the earth is,
The ocean, a little drop,
Fire, a tiny spark twinkling,
Vayu,a feeble breath,
And space a mere minute hole.


They think of this fleeting world
As if full of eternal good;
They who always greedily brood
Over food and raiment for this fleshy mould.
O save me from their company ,
They travel in evil avenues.


Periyalvar was born to a Brahmin family in Srivilliputtur, in the kingdom of the Pandyas. His only work known as Tirumoli contains 461 stanzas. Most of these refer to the Krishna incarnation.

The flock of deer
With tremulous eyes,
Their mouthfuls of grass slip off
At the call of Krishna’s flute;
They stand enchanted like
Deer in a picture.


O fool,you call your sons
With earthly names, of mortals
Who reach dusty graves.
O call them with His numerous names,
The blue one,the cynosure of all eyes.


A reference has already been made as to how Periyalvar found a a female child under a ‘tulasi’ bush in his garden. He brought her home, and his wife, too, was overjoyed .They named her Goda (in Tamil,Kodai). The word means ‘she who was born of Mother Earth '.
Andal 's mysticism has been compared to that of Mirabai and St.Theresa.Her two works are Thiruppavai and Nachiyar Tirumoli,containing 30 and 143 stanzas respectively. They have found an esteemed place in Tamil literature.

O my dear cuckoo,
Are you unaware of
Lovers grief?
My bones are all softened.
My spear-like eyes
Remain unwinked for days many.
Caught in the sea of distress,
I look for that ferry boat,
Called the Lord of Vaikunda.
Would you not call Him of golden hue,
Whose banners bear the royal eagle?


To C.R. Parameswaran

This place of the dead.
Here the air is only rarely touched with life.
When it stirs,we shiver.
Cold sweat collects in a sticky pool at the base of the spine.

---Gavin Barrett

A journey to Bhopal a few years ago. The affected poor seems more alienated.Diminishing defenses. Irresponsibility of local governments. Withdrawal of writers and cultural leaders. Alzheimer's affected civil society. Yes C.R. What you have said is quite true,we are dead and gone.

In fact this is not only the problem of Bhopal,but also of Chattisgarh,Orissa ,Nandigram and Bihar.......where the same had occurred in a way or other. This is not book knowledge but the experiences of an illiterate man who wanders through the villages of India. I was flabbergasted at the sad plight of the villagers,increasing rate of HIV patients in the rural population of Orissa. And numerous N.G.Os thrive on harvesting them and the business grows globally. This going to be yet another sore wound. Till then,nobody 'll turn towards them including politicians,cultural workers,administrators and others.Poverty,caste descriminations,lack of drinking water,atrocities against women are some of the problems of Chattisgarh . Our democracy has nothing to say and they turn deaf ears to their cries.' When democracy fails, the public seek the help of insurgents',opines noted sociologist James W. Lethe in his book 'Death in Globalization' .

What about Kerala? The adivasis are manipulated cruelly,silently. Recently I've been to their settlements in Podiyam,Pattanippara to script a documentary and short film directed by Pramod Payyannur. The subject of the project was the exploitation of Adivasis. Their life harassed by middlemen are beyond mentioning . Their identities too were looted for political gain. This is also another source of future chaos. On the one side there's globalization,development spree, internet,info-tech, and on the other the cast out public, and the marginalized sectors. This is the' sociological dualism' of John O.Neikirk. The end result of this is not inventive but disturbing. We're going through such a situation now.

No doubt,all of the said problems need to be solved democratically. If we are to call those who work for broadening the concept of democracy, to get it to grass root level,are patriots, then sorry to say, that is an endangered species. We should have to receive its transgressions . And it is apparent that no one has the right to evade it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


-There is no place called Bhopal.
No Union Carbide
No one was choked to death-

Hats off to Indian democracy,
Congrats! administrators of India,
Salute Indian judiciary,
Who brought this truth
After 26 year long research.

The country is capable enough to silence
the lying people
the laments
with army operation.