Showing posts from December, 2014

Ten Malayalee’s and an elephant

A successful Malayalee, in my opinion, has either an inflated ego or is highly opinionated, and at times exhibits both characteristics. Can you imagine a situation where ten of them, well known to you, seasoned politicians, bureaucrats and people of high standing got together and accomplished something at the international scene? To hear this interesting account, I have to first take you back to the decade of the 1940’s. What on earth brought them all together? Now that is fine, but what is an elephant doing in their midst? An even more interesting aside….
1945 – The world was finally rejoicing as the terrible world war was over and the axis powers had been decimated by the allies. Life was slowly starting to limp back to normalcy but the people of Japan had an even steeper hill to climb. Douglas Mc Arthur, the allied supreme commander in Japan, otherwise known as Gaijin Shogun was on his ‘clean up and purge the old leadership’ mode. The Japanese bureaucracy was sullenly taking new o…

Sopana Sangeetham

The music tradition of Kerala – A performance for the gods
We talked about the movement of Carnatic music stalwarts and capitals, its development in Tanjore, and the part played by the Tanjavur quartet. We also looked at the contributions of the famous Shadkala Govinda Marar from Kerala. Now let us change tack and focus on a music form which was in vogue in Kerala, one that was slightly different from the Carnatic music that we covered so far. In the process we will also very briefly touch upon the language prevalent in Kerala in the medieval times, namely Manipravalam and get to know the marar community.
There is nobody who has done better research on this subject than Leela Omcherry and her daughter Deepti Omcherry. The history of music in Kerala is explained by them in such detail and anybody who is keen on the subject is advised to refer their works or listen to their lucid interviews. This article will only serve to be an introduction and is based very much on the fine and painst…