Posts Tagged ‘Chellammal’

Bharathi and Carnatic music

October 3, 2008

In his latest encore piece, Sriram Venkatkrishnan writes about Bharathi, his interest in Carnatic music, his death and the tributes paid to him at that time (with special reference to that paid by T S Satyamurti), and how his songs became part of every Carnatic musicians repertoire:

Bharati himself was passionate about classical music, writing about it and in one memorable tract even chiding musicians for singing without understanding the import of the lyrics.

There is a school of thought that holds the view that Bharati was the first and perhaps best among the long line of Carnatic music critics.

The acknowledgment by the world of his genius however lay in the future. Bharati breathed his last on September 11, 1921, surrounded by his immediate family and a handful of friends, his physical form emaciated with illness and the traumatic incident concerning the elephant in the Sri Parthasarathy Temple, Triplicane..

The Hindu on September 12, 1921, devoted part of its editorial to the passing of Bharati and it is worth quoting in full: “We regret to learn of the death of Vara Kavi Subramaniya Bharati at his residence in Triplicane last night. The deceased (sic) was an ardent nationalist, a great thinker, a stirring speaker and a powerful writer. He is the author of a number of Tamil works including “National songs.”

One of the photographs that accompany the piece is that of Bharathi and Chellammal; while Bharathi is standing upright with his head tilted towards her, one can see Chellammal being pulled towards the poet — which makes her stand at an angle to the vertical; and, of course both are looking straight ahead into the camera. A nice piece and a beautiful photo. Take a look!

PS: By the way, the Carnatic criticism pieces of Bharathi are such fun to read! I do not know if English translations of them exist though.