Today I listened to a lovely song of Thyagaraja sung by TM Krishna.It’s full of melody and more than melody pathos. The song I’m talking about is ENTA VEDUKONDU in the raga Saraswati Manohari. I heard this song several times in the past sung by other musicians including the great Mani Iyer. However, no one brought out the agony and anguish of the lyrics(sahityam) of the composition so beautifully as TM Krishna, who rendered the piece in his characteristic slow pace. The composition is about a passionate appeal by Thyagaraja to Rama expressing his anger as well as helplessness. NERAVAL for this song is rarely heard (NERAVAL is a way of shifting emphasis on a line by repeated singing with fine variation).TM Krishna does an exceptionally great job of NERAVAL on the second line. It turns out to be the most appropriate place to do NERAVAL, if one goes by the meaning and theme of the song. The saint is basically asking questions of the Lord. He says: “Why are You not coming to my rescue? I, for one, firmly believe that the greatest happiness on earth is to have a vision of You in my inner heart”. Then comes the passionate appeal. He asks: PANTA MELARA… ENTA MODI, meaning “Why are You delaying. Why this obstinacy”?

The word PANTAM in telugu is difficult to translate. The word aptly fits the context and mood of the song. The closest translation of PANTAM is a refusal to comply without any reason! Using this expression, Thyagaraja is conveying that the Lord has no reason for not coming to his rescue since the saint is qualified in all respects.
TM Krishna, by his NERAVAL, was able to convey the saint’s anguish exactly the way he meant. While the saint has composed the song as an appeal to Rama to grant him the vision of God, TM Krishna sang for all of us seeking redemption from our day-to-day problems.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to upload TMK’s version. So, here is a fast paced rendition of the song by Jesudas.

Published in: on February 1, 2015 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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