Karnataka is fortunate to have a number of excellent sugama sangeeta artists starting from the time of Kalinga Rao. Based on my personal experience in two neighbouring states, the following for sugama sangeeta is not very uniform throughout India. In my observation, there is a large following for both classical music and filmi music in Tamil Nadu, but not so much to semi-classical form of music. In Maharashtra, on the other hand, Marathi film music is almost non-existent, but cultural centers like Pune reverberate with classical music, and sugama sangeeta is quite popular.
It is a totally different story in Karnataka. Filmi music is popular. (Where it isn’t?) Although fan following for classical music is below the levels of what I think it should be at, tahnkfully sugama sangeeta artists have been quite popular from decades. And rightly so.
If you are a music fanatic, it is hard to pick one song that is your most favorite. It is a tantalizing task. Just like asking an avid reader to pick just one book. I don’t think I can answer either of these question witout a ‘but’ or an ‘if’ or a ‘so’ 🙂
However, the song ದೀಪವು ನಿನ್ನದೆ, ಗಾಳಿಯು ನಿನ್ನದೆ -‘deepavu ninnade, gaaLiyu ninnade’ by K S Narasimha Swami seems to be a very popular among the visitors to my blog. Every day since I wrote a post about this song about five months ago, I have had one or two search engine hits that are looking for something like ‘deepavu ninnade lyrics’ or ‘deepavu ninnadu ke es na’ or ‘deepavu ninnade gaaliyu ninnade’ ‘deepavu ninnade words’ etc. You get the idea. In fact, this has been the most visited post in my blog, contributing about one tenth the total number of visitors who have ever come to this blog.
Given that many of my posts are about music, and a number of songs are actually are mentioned in these posts, I have to come to a conclusion that ದೀಪವು ನಿನ್ನದೆ is one of the most popular kannada bhaavageetes – if not the most popular.
I like this song too. The background music is very apt, and sets the mood for the lyrics very well. However, if I am asked to pick just one bhaavageete – would I choose this one? I think not. When I have a limited choice, I think I would go for something much brighter in treatment; din ki pooria or bhOgavasanta does not just cut it.
Then what would my choice be? May be ಉಡುಗಣವೇಷ್ಟಿತ ಚಂದ್ರ ಸುಶೋಭಿತ (uDugaNavEShTita) or ಎದೆ ತುಂಬಿ ಹಾಡಿದೆನು (ede tumbi hADidenu) – incidentally both poems are written by G.S.Shivarudrappa. And no, I just don’t like the music composed by Ashwath for ‘ede tumbi hADidenu’ – Or was it Mysore Anantha Swamy’s? Either way, that is not the best tune for this song in my opinion. Instead I like the other tune for this song that I have known for a long long long time -which I knew much before I even knew C Ashwath’s, or Anannthaswamy’s name. Coincidentally, the tune I am talking about is based on the raaga Kalyani (or Yaman, if you are from north of river Tungabhadra), just like the song uDugaNavEShTita is.
I don’t know the composer of that tune for ‘ede tumbi haaDidenu’ but suspect it could be Padmacharan. His fancy for Kalyani/Yaman is well known. I desperately searched the internet for any audio links for uDugaNavEShTita and ede tumbi haaDidenu ( the version I am talking about) – but no avail. Either my search skills are very bad, or the songs are not that great. I would it rather be the former than the latter!
So for those who have never heard these songs, I have to leave it to their imagination. And for those who have actually listened to these, no doubt they would agree with me that these indeed are two great songs 😉 !