18 November, 2013

Rishta - The Bond of Love by Tharangini

(Image courtesy : tharanginihk.com)

Thaani Daani Thadhari Daani …… Dhim Tha Daana Dheerena …….
This is pretty much what’s been on my mind since Saturday night.  Try as I might (not that I’m trying at all, truth be told), I am not able to get this rhythmic, cadenced piece of music out of my mind.  It’s not just the fact that it is on my mind, it has been pulsing inside my head, it is recurrent, pretty much like a CD playing a single song on a loop. 
Saturday night saw Tharangini present Rishta – The Bond of Love, to its audience.  Tharangini teed off with the sublime Vaishnana Janato Tene Kahiye Je Peer Parayee Jaane Re (One who is a Vaishnav, a devotee of Vishnu, knows the pain of others), a bhajan composed by Narsinh Mehta in the 15th century.  By the time this number was done and over with, by the time Gandhiji had walked off the stage, I, for one, had goosebumps.  If I knew one thing for sure, it was this – we were in for a ride of a lifetime, that evening.
What followed can only be described as a musical roller coaster over the next two hours – some numbers had people smiling, yet others brought about a sense of wistfulness and one, in particular, sure would have made a lot of people think long and hard, if not accept the only certainty that life has to offer.  It was eclectic, varied, assorted and about as diverse as music could get.  There was an extensive mix of music, of beats, of instruments that conveyed one strong, underlying fact that has always been present but not openly acknowledged – the fact that music is an universal language, the fact that music transcends barriers in terms of nationalities and languages, the fact that music is unity in diversity. 
Saathi Chalo was a number that was so apt and pithy, in the context of what we see around us, just about everywhere in the world today.  Fights, strife, conflicts …. this number, with its very strong patriotic feel brought on distinct pangs of nostalgia, of wistfulness, one of longing for the erstwhile days when strife was not the language spoken so commonly and widely.  Yet, it its own way, the number had strong chords of hope, it was an entreaty, a petition for people to unite and find strength in unity.
Shyaamavaanil Edo was a number which, with its underlying music, theme and ambience transported me back to my home state of Kerala.  The graceful Mohiniattam that accompanied the chorus served to add to the beautiful tone and atmosphere set by the song.  The little Kaikottikali was the icing on top of the cake. 
The trio of compositions by Jairam – Zindagi, Rishta, Maut stood a class apart.  The musical scores and sound mixing were absolutely exemplary with the background scores complementing, supplementing the beautiful, soul-stirring lyrics in each of the numbers.  Each number had a distinctly different feel.  
Zindagi paid tribute to the colourful riot that is life and it could not have been better said – sometimes stationary, sometimes moving at breakneck speed – if there is one thing life is – it is unpredictable, it is irrepressible and most importantly – indomitable.  We are the ones that dance to the tunes of what we know as this journey of life, was the underlying message of this number.   One just had to love the brisk beat to this number that just served to enhance the depth of the already beautiful lyrics.
If Zindagi set the tempo, Rishta followed soon – mellow and calm, yet rich and melodious.  It was a number that wove a rather sensuous garland with words and tunes, one that explored the sentiments in relationships.  It was a beautiful composition that represented and personified the fact that bonds are what life is all about and bonds do not need long speeches, they do not need constant oratory.  All that is needed for two hearts to beat as one, all that is needed for love to blossom and sustain a relationship is at times just a fleeting glance, a sublime smile, an eternal companionship.
Maut brought the audience face to face with the only certainty that life has to offer – Death.  Mixed with haunting melody, it sure must have made people delve deeper and think about a concept that is often swept under the carpet.  If there is one thing no one wants to come face to face with, it is Death.  Yet, if there is one inevitability, if there is one thing that life presents to us with a certitude,   it is Death. 
Just as people were lulled into a eerie quiet, almost as if sensing a fat man on a buffalo lurking in the shadows, there was a sudden shift in the mood with the foot-tapping Taani Daani, a Tarana – yes, the very same number that is doing the rounds inside my head even when I am in the middle of lessons today.  Musical notes have been floating through my head when I least expected it, my feet would start to tap as though they have a mind of their own, in the middle of a phonics lesson J and I’m pretty sure I caught many an amused little face during my lessons today because they must have been wondering why today's lessons were making me a more happy person than they usually do. This should just be able to give one an idea of exactly how catchy that number was.  To sum it up in one word, it was absolutely brilliant.  Even more so given the fact that the entire number is set to Bharatnatyam Jatis and Tabla beats.  Awesome !  To add further hints of flavour to this marvellous number were dancers from Cosmic dance, with their dance beats in perfect rhythm to the jatis from Tharangini.  This one is not about to fade from my memory banks for a while, if at all it does !
Vara Veena brought back memories of music lessons that I used to take.  My Periamma used to ask me to sing this almost every single time, to begin the lesson with.  So yes, lots of fond memories there and the song, dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, is an absolute evergreen delight.  What took this to an entirely new level was the way in which this classic Carnatic song was fused with Mou Li Hua.  Also adding another dimension to this number was the fact that Vara Veena was set to Chinese musical instruments whilst Mou Li Hua had Indian Instrumental music.  The graceful dancers added yet another beautiful dimension to an already rich canvas, enhancing the panorama for the audience.  Music truly transcends language barriers and this was a rather beautiful way of proving that.
Tharangini could not have come up with a more fitting finale than the foot tapping Tharang anthem.  Set to a disco(ish) beat, it set scores of feet tapping and spirits soaring.  .  If there was one thing the show proved to the audience that evening, it was the fact that music is indeed a universal language – music rises above all the barriers that mankind has managed created amongst themselves. 
I can only imagine the kind of practice and preparation it must have taken, to put together something on this scale, not to mention the discipline and commitment that would have been required.  Among other things, the one thing that stood out was the fact that each and every member of Team Tharangini was enjoying themselves to the fullest.  To all of you who were involved in bringing forth an evening that is going to stay etched in our memories for a long long time – our heartfelt gratitude. 
Just as words are an expression of linguistic reason, music is an expression of feelings, of passion, of a revelation of the innermost.  Plato, the Greek philosopher, once said :
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
On Saturday, Tharangini gave the audience all that and much more.  
Kudos, Team Tharangini and here’s to many many more.
Thaani Daani Thadhari Daani …… Dhim Tha Daana Dheerena ……. J

1 voice(s) said so:

Jairam Parameswaran said...

Wow Gauri, SPEECHLESS! Truly!!! ANything I write here is only going to take away from this marvel. WHat a amazing and moving write up. I am sharing - EXTENSIVELY