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Soulful Songs (Thaye Yashoda)

‘Thaye Yashoda’ from Morning Raga (Raagam) movie, composed by Manisharma/Amit Heri, written by Oothukadu Venkata Subba Iyer, sung by Sudha Ragunathan and Violin lead by Ranjani Ramakrishnan. Can there be a better song to start a day than this? I don’t think so, listing to this song sipping your morning coffee in the early morning sun is blissful.

Most of the Thaye Yashoda song in Morning Raaga is filled with Swaras and Alaaps. The main two lines of this movie song,

'Thaye Yashoda udan Ayarkulattuditta
Mayan Gopalakrisnan Seyyum Jalattai Keladi'

is a classical song, an inspiration taken from Oothukadu Venkata Subba Iyer Kavi who originally wrote and composed Thaye Yashoda long back in 1700s. He is one of the lesser recognized amongst Carnatic composers (unlike Trimurthy's Tyagaraja or Muthuswami Dikshitar or Shyama Sastri). The Music Academy Madras Experts Committee noted that 'Venkata Kavi's (1700-1765) compositions filled a gap between Purandara Dasa (1484-1564) and the Carnatic Music Trinity of Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri, who lived around 1760s-1840s. When comes to this movie song, only the first two lines were taken from Venkata Kavi's and rest of the song was composed by Manisharma & Amit Heri.

The music and the flow of this song in terms of translating the classical version into the latest trendy fusion is simply brilliant. The main version written by Venkata Kavi was composed in Thodi raagam. Similarly, Manisharma was inspired with the same classic piece and composed this classical fusion in Thodi raagam. Based on the movie characters and situation of the song, it was appropriate that an existing Carnatic Song was taken and turned into a Fusion style.

This song in the movie, starts off with Alaap/Swaras sung by Sudha Ragunathan garu. She has rendered this song very skillfully. After Sudha Ragunathan completes her Alaap/Swaras, the violins start out with gusto. I love the capriccio of violins at the outset of the song. Ranjani Ramakrishnan has played the Violin part in this song and she was well known for her work in being the sole Violinist in Morning Raaga movie (2004). When the string piece reaches its fervid heights, Sudha very beautifully starts out singing Thaaye Yashoda. After the Pallavi, the western style English lyrics starts off creating a trans of foot tapping involvement into the song. Here, we will listen few westernized instruments like Drums, Pads, electronic guitar, Casio/Synthesizer to bring the fusion impact in the song.

Then comes the real excitement of this song, the final Swaras sung by Sudha Ragunathan garu. She has definitely showed her Carnatic experience by singing the whole one and half minute of Swaras with such an amazing ease. That is ‘Padma Bhushan’ Sudha Ragunathan for all the Carnatic music lovers.

Also as the story demands, the lead character played by 'Shabana Azmi' was trained extensively in Carnatic music and hence the singing level had to be matched. Especially, the start of the Violin followed by Swaras 'Sa Sa Ri Sa Ri Sa Sa Sa Ri Sa Da' takes you into a good feel. To add to this, the composer also tried to show the real beauty of Thodi raagam in this song Swaras particularly, the notes 'Ri', 'Ga', 'Da', 'Ni' to be noted. After the Swaras, the final 'Thaye Yashoda' bit towards the end always gives me goose bumps. Just divine!

Thaye Yashoda song will remain as the best compositions of Manishama and Amit Heri. ‘Mother Yashoda, there isn’t anyone in this world like your son’ is what is being said in this song. I want to end by saying that there isn’t a song as soulful and as divine as this song. Just wow!





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Soulful Songs (Keeravani)

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