June 2009


A lot of popular ragas and compositions which feature regularly in carnatic music concerts. It is not uncommon to run into elaborate renditions of ragas like tODi, bhairavi, SankarabharaNam, kalyANi, kAmbhOji, kharaharapriya (“the big six”), as well as pantuvarali, pUrvikalyANi, mOhanam, madhyamAvati and many many others of similar stature. Even though some complain about the seeming monotony or repetition of the ragas, most Carnatic music aficionados never tire listening to the ragas and the compositions they are intimately familiar with and love!

However, there is also a special charm when musicians present new concepts. Many musicians of the current as well as previous generations have sought to go against the usual theme, and present rare ragas. For example, you find musicians like T.S. Kalyanaraman handle rare vivAdhi mELas with ease (as well as invent new ragas). In the recent generations, handling of rare ragas are much more common.  Although, there are  certainly exceptions to this, a big majority of these fall into ragas which are usually completely new to us in the sense we may not have heard renditions of them at all.  It does make them special.

However, even more special to me  are the times when a musician does something unique/different/new in a raga that is not exactly of the “completely new and rare” kind. It is most special to me when the raga is something that I like, and I want to hear artists try something elaborative in it, a want that is usually not satisfied. I have a few examples of these in my collection, and I thought I would share them here.

Here is the first one.  Try to guess the raga and the artist. Let me know what you think of this piece.

(Download here)

(Answer below)
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All one needs to do is listen to a good kharaharapriya and one is in heaven right on earth.  I am in a trance now. Even thinking of words to describe it disturbs the mood, the serenity, the moment. Enough said.

Upgraded my iMac to Mac OS Leopard yesterday.  Yes, really behind the curve, I know. I had no pressing need so far. Now, I got a good deal on the Mac Box Set with iLife 09 (mainly for GarageBand) and iWork 09.

The upgrade itself was smooth – popped in DVD, and let it do its thing and in about 1 hour it was done.  But … it cannot talk to my wireless router (Belkin Pre-N – a somewhat old router).  I tried fiddling around for an hour late into the night but no cigar.

I am now really ticked off!! This is because Tiger was able to connect to it, and have been using it with Tiger for like 3 years now.  I upgrade, and it doesn’t !$%$$@ work!  Have googled.  No answer – except the same old idiotic answers from mac-heads (to others having similar problems) which fall in the following pattern:

1. It obviously is a problem with the router.  (Yeah sure. And how come I had no problems with the Mac for 2-3 years. In case you dont realize, it never can be a problem with Apple for these folks)

2. You should have bought Airport extreme and you never would have had this problem (Yeah sure. Just avoid the main issue. It worked fine with Tiger. Besides, no one likes being forced to shell out money when they don’t expect to do so).

I point my fingers directly at Leopard – at Apple.  I cannot understand how it became incompatible between Tiger and Leopard. All I can think now is  Grrr…. ! No freaking excuses Apple! Fix your mess! XP to Vista may be like having a heart transplant, but I dont’ want going from Tiger to Leopard be like going to a dentist! Not when your ads (PC vs. Mac) indicate otherwise. Fix your $#@%! mess!

Anyway, unless I can figure this out, I may have to buy a router.  Not that bad really, but since this wasn’t part of the current plan, it really, really, ticks me off.  Like I said, I don’t like being forced to shell out money. It was working fine with Tiger!!

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