July 2009

Here is the seventh one in the series (click here for the sixth one). It is a bit different from the earlier ones since it is not a very rare occurrence to hear elaborations say compared to the earlier one. But you are not going to run into elaboration in this raga every time it is presented. However, the raga is a haunting, complex one, and thus to me it is always a special occurrence when elaboration is done in it.

Here is an alapana which seems rarer to me than kalpanaswaras in this raga – and this one is a detailed one. You should be easily be able to guess the raga and the artist, but that is not the point.  This alapana is simply exquisite – bringing in all the myriad hues (hackneyed carnatic review term alert!) of the raga!

(Note: All Audio Courtesy – Sangeethapriya)

Here is kalpanaswaras that is part of the same rendition. Since the raga is fairly well known, I am not taking out the refrain:

The mood and tempo there is sort of trance like – isn’t it? Now, here is how the King of Swaras does kalpanaswaras for the same song:

Now doesn’t that make you tap your feet in excitement? I also love the part where he “eggs” the violinist (who actually is more than equal to the task in this) with his trademark “Tatta ta ta ta” 🙂

Oh, btw if you found this particular entry in Rare Treats as “a let down” compared to others, because the raga is all too well known and thus “not much of a challenge to guess”, you have simply corroborated my earlier post What’s the Raga 😉

(Answer below)


Here is the solution to Carnatic Cryptic Crossword Puzzle #6:

Here is the sixth one in the series (click here for the fifth one). It is kalpanaswaras for a relatively rare raga, and thus one for which elaboration is indeed rare to come by. But the raga is not a “new” one – so to speak. I am unable to find any alapana for this raga and this is the only one I could find that has kalpanaswaras.

First I present the excerpt of the kalpanaswaras that has just the violin part:

Can you guess the raga? If you were like me, it is possible that you arrived at an answer, and are perhaps wondering While not uncommon, elaboration for this isn’t really that rare a raga Arun!

But wait! Listen to the vocalist and the violinist doing that iteration (with refrain of the krithi taken out):

Now, if your answer still holds, congratulations! However, some of you may now be scratching your head, as the answer your arrived for your first clip could be one that has no pa, and here of course the vocalist starts bang on with pa ! Now, the violinist probably used pa too, but it is of course dead obvious when the vocalist actually says it 🙂 ! I do not know if this is due to the obscurity of elaborations in our raga vs. this other raga, but to my ears, the violinists’ response give’s very strong whiffs of that other raga.

Anyway, did you guess the raga? Can you guess the vocalist (a contemporary artist)?

(Answer below)

Here is Carnatic Cryptic Crossword Puzzle #6 (Here is Puzzle #5):

Note: Original post had some typos in clues 14A and 9A w.r.t # of letters in the answer indicated next to the clue. This had been fixed now.

Carnatic Cryptic Crossword #6

Please check this page for hints, guidelines etc. I will post the solution in about a week.

Saw a cool sight outside our house the other day and captured it live on my new camera, the Panasonic DMC-FZ28. This camera can also capture video in HD (although the one below is a low-res version).

Not bad for a camera – eh 🙂 ? I am quite happy with it. It’s automatic setting for taking snapshots does a very good job indoors and outdoors – which is a huge improvement from my earlier Nikon pocket camera which was horrendous 100% of the time indoors. In addition, the DMC-FZ28 also allows full manual control if needed (have not played with that). One complaint is that for some strange reason, I am having blurred results with my close-ups more often than I expected. This in spite of holding the camera steady. But then perhaps I need to reduce my caffeine intake.

The video capabilities of DMC-FZ28 is quite impressive considering it is just a camera – the 18x optical zoom comes in quite handy with videos. So much so that I returned the Creative Vado I had bought (for just a toy). I think this camera beats the pants out of both Vado HD as well as Flip – I think much better picture, and way more control including an 18x optical zoom compared to say 2x or 4x. The audio of course is  unimpressive (like Vado and flip). It just picks up from the built-in mic – no external control. But after all it is still only a camera.

For “special moments” etc. I think using the camera to capture a 5 minute excerpt video, watching it and forgetting about it is much better than recording 30-40 minutes of home videos every now and then and them gathering cobwebs (it has been so for us). Anyway, that is my current thinking.

The camera is about $300 – but I had enough credit card points to get it for free. So no complaints here 🙂

Here is the fifth one in the series (click here for the fourth one). It is an alapana and kalpanaswaras for a raga, for which elaboration is rarely done, but the krithi again is reasonably well known. The artist is very well known – a legend.

Audio Courtesy: bilahari

Can you guess the raga? Need more hint? Here is a portion of the kalpanaswaras

Can you figure out the mela and the structure?

Here is an alapana sketch by a different artist (for a different krithi), who is also fairly well known, perhaps more so posthumously:

(Audio Courtesy: A 😎 gentleman)

(Answer below)

Here is the solution to Carnatic Cryptic Crossword Puzzle #5:


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