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An elegant concert by Sudha Ragunathan
Sudha Ragunathan was in a fine form, when she gave a concert for Kartik Fine Arts on December 11, 2009. Sudha had a houseful audience at Narada Gana Sabha.

As the time was getting close to her concert, many, even with premium tickets, couldn’t fine seats. Many were moving around in search of seats. Unmindful of the disturbances around, a composed Sudha went about her task with dedicated involvement. She was, perhaps, in her best form that evening. Her voice was absorbing and the concert exhilarating. “Sami Daya Juda” (Kedaragaula) made an instant impact.

Thyagarja’s “Mariyada Gadayya” (Bhairavai) was full of bhavam. Not often heard in concert circuits, this kriti is full of lovely lyrics. Sudha sang her favourite “Ni Eranga enil” (Atana) with enthusiasm. Her Kharaharapriya alap was expansive and she decorated it with brighas. Her class and patantara were obvious. Sudha has, no doubt, developed a unique style of her own though she reflected MLV on many an occasion. Her handling of “Okapari Kokapari Oyyaramai” underscored her dedication to music. She adorned it with swaras. As she improvised it on ``Jagadekhapati mena” and “meraya shree Venkateshu mena Singaaramugaanu,” it reminded one of late M.S. Subbulakshmi, who had made this kriti popular with her mesmerizing voice.

Raghavendra Rao on violin followed Sudha with devoted attention. “Mohanakara Muthukumara (Nitimati) of Koteeswara Iyer was rendered with aplomb, raising the audience expectations. Dikshitar’s “Chandrasekharam Sada Bhajeham” (Marga Hindolam) was made richer as she chiseled it with swaras. Sudha made the manodharma sangeetham inspiring as she took Amirthavarshini for RTP (Ragam Tanam Pallavi). Her alapana was fine. The pallavi line was “Sentamil Nadenum Podinile Ten Vandu Payudu Kadinile”, set to Kanda jathi triputa talam. Pallavi was set with catchy lyrics. She sang it in ragas such as Valachi and Revati. She reversed back to Amirthavarshini ever so smoothly in an aesthetic but simple way. Tani avarthanam by mridangist Satish Kumar and Morsing artiste Raman was quite interesting to listen. Sudha rendered ragamalika compositions “Teerada Vilayatu Pillai” and “Baro Krishnayya” at the fag-end of the concert. She ended her concert with a tillana of Lalgudi G. Jayaraman in Rakesri and Vande Mataram.