"RAMANA - ANANDA RAMANA"
Date: 13th Sept 2014, 6pm
Venue: Sobha Lake view Club, Bengaluru
Veena: Master Ramana Balachandran
Mridanga: Vidwan B C Manjunath
Ghatam: Vidwan S N Narayana Murthy
“Maanikya Veena Upalaalayanteem” ….thus begins the great stotra by Mahakavi Kalidasa, in which he describes Goddess Saraswathi as the one playing the Veena made of emerald……and if one was yearning for a personification of this stotra, it happened on the evening 13th September 2014 at Ranjani Fine Arts. This time it was the child prodigy Shri Ramana Balachandran holding the Veena . He was supported on the Mridangam by Vidwan Shri B.C.Manjunath and on the ghatam by Vidwan Shri S.N.Narayanamurthy . As the artists were getting ready, there were whispers around and the kids started moving on to the front , filled with curiosity on seeing a child take the stage. And then the magic began.
Ramana started with the Thodi Varnam ‘Eranapai’ composed by Shri Patnam Subramania Iyer. He sang the varnam in different speeds including Tisram and quite instantly , the melody he created started captivating the audience. A crisp rendering of Vallabhanaayakasya – a popular Dikshitar Krithi in Begada followed next. The next piece was Shri Thyagaraja’s masterpiece ‘Teliyalerurama’ in Dhenuka. An elaborate rendering of Saragunapalimpa – a krithi in Kedaragowlai by Shr Ramnad Sreenivasa Iyengar followed. This was complete with Alapana, Neraval and Swaram in 2 speeds. The percussionists along with Ramana enthralled the audience with their adept rhythmic exchanges in the Kalpana Swaram phase. Annapoorne – A Dikshitar Krithi in Sama was rendered next.
If the audience thought that the magical moments were coming to an end, well, they were in for a surprise. Ramana announced that he was going to render a Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi(RTP) in Durbari Kanada composed by his father Shri Balachandran and this drew a lot of exclamations from the audience. And why not ? Here was a Veena performance of the highest order and hence this rare RTP was more than welcome. The Pallavi line started with ‘Ramana Ananda Ramana’ and was set to the intricate Khanda Triputa Talam. Minutes of divine magic unfolded. The audience was taken into a different world, as everyone was literally glued to their seat. This young child’s Vidwat came forth yet again as he converted the Raga into an ocean of divine sounds. The tani avartanam and exchanges by the percussionists followed and befitted the tone set by Ramana.
After the RTP , Ramana rendered Shri Sadasiva Brahmendrar’s Pibare Ramarasam in Ahir Bhairav and concluded with the Mangalam and a short hymn on Shri Ramana Maharishi . More than 120 minutes of heavenly music and the audience were left speechless.
The picture of Shri Ramana Maharishi in front of the veena and the total involvement of Ramana’s parents and then Ramana himself with the Maanikya Veena – one can’t help summarizing with the Shyaamala Dandakam
Maanikya Veena Upalaalayanteem (One who plays a Veena of emerald)
Madaalasaaam Manjulavagvilaasaam….(One who is busy with activity, One who can talk honeyed words,…”)
-- Narayanan Iyer