Running a long haul race
By Sudha Jagannathan
Form is temporary, but class is permanent. Not for nothing, she has remained an important constituent of the December concert circuit for so many years. Elegance marked Sudha Ragunathan’s performance for Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha on December 27, 2019. Her raga alapana in Kharaharapriya was exquisite, laden with brighas. Her akara sancharas in the upper octaves was bright and melodious. She brought the beauty of the raga to the fore with her creative technique.
Sudha is humility personified. A star artiste for many seasons now, she has long reached the pinnacle, and won many an accolade .Her perseverance and consistency are a revelation, and hold a lesson or two to aspiring young singers. The way she effortlessly handled each and every raga and sahithyam with an insight spoke of her rich tradition. And, she deserves a salute for keeping the rich tradition of her guru MLV, and fostering it.
The main piece Pakkalanilabadi of Thyagaraja reinforces her class. Kanden Seethayay in Vasanta, Vadavaraiyay Mattaki from Silapadikaram of Ilangoadikal in ragamalika, Aayiram Aayiram in Charukesi of Neela Ramamurthy, made famous by guru MLV, and a folk song in Marathi in praise of Krishna and Rukmini have all made for a very pleasant evening. A Tiruppavi pasuram “Vanga Kadal” and a fitting Thillana in Hamir Kalyani made for a largely fulfilling listening experience for the audience.
It is encouraging to see many youngsters among the audience. With so many avenues for diversion present in this devices-driven modern times, the presence of these youngsters in such a traditional art event is heartening. Sudha Ragunathan did acknowledge this discerning trend.