IIM Bangalore played host to Padma Bhushan Prof. TN Krishnan on Aug 21. The concert organized by SPICMACAY was a curtain raiser to Yamini, their flagship event that happens on the eve of Republic Day. A Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee, Prof. Krishnan is an era in himself with an unparalleled ability to bring ragas alive and cast a magical spell on the listeners. He is regarded as one of the “Trinity of Carnatic Violin” for his immense contribution over a career spanning 8 decades.
The concert began, after a small delay as mridangam vidwan TAS Mani could not make it to the concert, with the traditional lighting of the lamp by the director, Prof. Raghuram and the maestro himself. The Ghatam exponent Shri. Vaikkom Gopalakrishnan took over the mridangam duty and Prof. Krishnan began the concert with ‘Vatapi Ganapathim’. Composed by Muthuswami Dikshitar in Hamsadhwani raaga and set to Adi Tala, the panegyrical hymn is traditionally sung at the beginning of many Carnatic music concerts. The maestro then moved the audience with his rendition of Tyagaraja’s ‘Nada Tanumanisham’ in raaga Citta Ranjani.
The discerning audience reaped rich benefits when the veteran brought out the endearing and pleasing appeal of Shree Raagam. It was sheer bliss listening to him perform ‘Endaro Mahanubhavulu’, one of the pancharatna kritis of Thyagaraja. The Pallavi of the kriti ‘Endaro Mahanubhavulu-andariki vandanamulu’ has the meaning ‘Salutations to all those great men in the world”, and the violin virtuoso certainly had the salutations of everyone present for this rendition of Thyagaraja’s timeless classic. Someone from the audience had requested for a presentation of raaga Bhairavi, but Prof. Krishnan announced that the “supreme director” had him play Shree Raagam instead. Fans of Purandaradasa also had something for joy as the next kriti performed was ‘Jagadodharana’ set in Kaapi raaga.
We also had a surprise at the concert as Prabhu V, an FPM scholar, volunteered to play the ghatam and we had one of our own performing with the doyens of Carnatic music. With encouragement from Prof. Krishnan, Prabhu performed the ‘tani avartanam’ with Shri. Vaikkom Gopalakrishnan. The maestro then ended the concert with the traditional mangalam, a prayer for the welfare of humanity. Post the concert, Prof. Krishnan formally released the poster for Yamini, SPICMACAY’s flagship event.