Sat. 22nd April, 2017

Tribute to Sivavadivel Pillai by..


“Akila Ulaga Nadaswara Eka Cakraatipathi” Thiruvaavaduturai Adiinam Sangita mahaavidwan, “Nadaswara Everest”, T.N. Rajaratnam Pillai, “Sivaji Mahal”, Thiruvaavaduturai.


‘The gem born of penance’ in Tamil Nadu, in Kuttalam in Tanjore district, the beacon of the ‘lamp of music’ , Sri Sivavadivel Pillai’s death immersed me and my family in unbearable sorrow. Sri Pillai got to fame performing in Tamil Nadu and in many other countries (many other states?). He came into the world according to the dictum of Thiruvalluvar: “Be born as great, if you come unto the world”. In Tamil Nadu, with respect, standing like a mountain, he got respect through his instrument. With the mellifluous sound of mrdangam, and shining like an ornament without interfering with the music of those gems of vocal musicians, showering his ‘torrential rains of his music’ with the tuneful tambura, he would give his ‘Miittu-c-Caappu’. He established his style of playing (‘paani’) satisfying the hearts of thousands of his rasikas. With accolades and titles he was like an ornament among the gems of mrdangam players.


“Oh Pillai! When would I see you? When would we converse? Oh, the great bard, on the banks of the river Ponni, where the flowers adorned the pastures, Oh who gained the selfless love of your guru, Sri Kuppusami, you who made the heads sway with your music, pouring sweetness in the ears, making the forest and mountains fertile by your music, like magic.. where did you go leaving the hearts here attracted by the music of your laya? With your smile like the famed ruby, Oh the virtuous one, who did service like a ‘soldier of mrdangam’ in Bharat.. did you join your good guru, (my) brother Sri Kuppusamy ? You who, by attending all our family functions, made us immerse in happiness! In your profession, like me, your guru and you held the principle of self respect, not bowing to any one (to eke out your life). Now I am left alone. You could have lived for some more time to make everyone (your disciples) play well. How can you live in this world when our enemies have to live here? It looks as though God cannot leave the habit of inviting those ‘incarnated artistes’ unto him. Hey, the beauty spilling Gem! One who was born to serve arts and bring peace to your soul, is taken away by the God of Death. I bow to the one who is now in the lap of the brave Bharat timelessly!

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