Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha inaugurated its 124th year celebrations with ‘Ramabhajana’, a special concert by Ranjani and Gayatri to commemorate the consecration of the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi mandir in Ayodhya. The event was held at Narada Gana Sabha manin hall. Charumathi Raghuraman on the violin, Sai Giridhar on the mridangam and S. Krishna on the ghatam provided able support.
They sang to a full house kritis by Dikshitar, Tyagaraja, Arunachala kavirayar, Badrachala Ramadasar and Papanasam Sivan to highlight the bhakti mood.
They began with a sloka before rendering Dikshitar’s ‘Ramachandraya dasoham’ in raga Dharmavati. This ended with a quick swara soufflé and set the tone for the evening.
Ranjani’s Sriranjani alapana paved the way for the familiar, ‘Maru palkagunna vemira’ (Sriranjani, Tyagaraja). Racy niraval at ‘Dari nerigi santa sillinatti’ ended in a long, rapid swara exposition emphasising ‘Dha’. It drew a huge round of applause. Charumathi’s violin repartee complemented the duo’s thought process and singing.
Next came the Rama Nataka keerthana by Arunachala Kavi, ‘Sharanam sharanam endrane’ (raga Sourashtram).
Gayatri began a highly-nuanced Kambhoji raga, singing notes in the upper octave with full energy. She unfolded the alapana before rendering the emotive piece, ‘Emayya Rama’ (Kambhoji, Badrachala Ramadas). An exquisite korvai ended the kalapanaswara section. This set the stage for a crisp and efficient tani avarthanam by Sai Giridhar and Krishna.
It was then time for the RTP. Ranjani began with a raga alapana in Pantuvarali with strikingly aesthetic phrases. Gayatri took over with higher octave excursions of the raga till she blended it into a wonderful tanam. The pallavi, of course was in praise of Rama, ‘Rama bhajana lola Anjaneya bhakta phala abayya meeyya Sri’ (Chaturasra Jhampa tala in tisra nadai). The ragamalika swarakalpana that followed was beautifully structured.
Ranjani and Gayatri hit a rapturous note with the viruttham ‘Nadiya porul kai koodum’ in Ragamalika including Mohanam and Mand as a precursor to the piece, ‘Ramanai bhajithal noivinai theerum’ (Papanasam Sivan).
The concert concluded with their speciality an abhang, ‘Tujhe naam majha mukhi aso deva’.