Saturday, August 19, 2006

Kamboji or Thodi?

This is a funny incident that goes back to my early days in listening to Carnatic Music, sometime around 1999 or 2000. My repertoire of ragas that I could recognize was very limited and it was very difficult for me to identify a raga during the alapana itself. I somehow did better during the krithi, especially if the krithi was similar to a popular song in that raga. Also, I used to predominantly attend the concerts of TVS and he used to sing a lot of MMI songs. So, identifying the ragas was not a problem.

My brother and I decided to attend a concert of Trichur Ramachandran once. Since Krishna Gana Sabha was nearby, we sneaked in during the middle of the concert. After singing KaLala nErcina, he took up a raga for elaboration. That was when the fun started. We tried identifying the raga. First, we thought it was Kambodhi since that was the raga we were most familiar with. But after listening some more, we decided it was Thodi but we weren't sure. We continued to try and fit in other ragas like Bhairavi, etc. but still we thought it didn't really sound like any of the ragas we had recognized. Finally, we decided it must be either Kamboji or Thodi.

There was a Mama (Uncle in Tamil) sitting in front of us. Apparently, he had identified the raga and was enjoying it with gusto. After much deliberation, we decided to risk the embarassment and ask him. I slowly whispered into his ears "Mama, idhu Kambojiya illa Thodiya?" (Uncle, is this Kamboji or Thodi?). He gave us a "What the heck?" look and thundered "Ayoo, idhu Saveri"!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. That was funny!!

    When I read about Saveri I remebered one quip by KVN some years back.

    When asked about the saveri raga....he said ???? ???????? ???????.....???? ?? ??????????....(The name itself itself is ri...that is it)