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Nagaswaram legend Karukurichi Arunachalam’s trailblazing journey

Nagaswaram legend Karukurichi Arunachalam’s trailblazing journey

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N.A.S. Sivakumar’s guide unravels attention-grabbing sides of his character and music

N.A.S. Sivakumar’s guide unravels attention-grabbing sides of his character and music

Fifty-eight years have handed since he died, and there are usually not many right this moment who would have listened to him in individual. He was not a politician with a crowd following. Nor was he born right into a group that has a legacy of music. He died when he was solely 44. But the pure magic of nagaswaram maestro Karukurichi P. Arunachalam’s music has survived and captivated individuals for over half a century and made his delivery centenary a memorable occasion within the historical past of Carnatic music.

The guide,  Nindrolirum Minnal (A lightning that continues to glitter; Atcharam Pathippagam), by N.A.S. Sivakumar explains what made his music particular and his stature within the Carnatic and movie music world. The guide, a compilation of articles revealed throughout his lifetime and after, affords glimpses into the musical journey of a nagaswaram participant from a small city, who conquered the music world via sheer expertise. Within the Fifties, he charged Rs. 1,000 for a live performance, and going by the letters he wrote to his buddies informing them about his live performance schedule, he appeared to have carried out on virtually all days besides when he was travelling.

Writing a few live performance held in Gopalapuram Sangeetha Sabha in 1954, late E. Krishna Iyer had stated that “he drowned the rasikas within the flood of music for 4 and half hours.” Arunachalam was accompanied by M. Arunachalam on the nagaswaram and Nachiyarkoil Raghava Pillai on the thavil.

 Karukurichi Arunachalam; with Nachiyarkoil Raghavapillai (special thavil), K.M. Arunachalam (nagaswaram), Ambasamudram Kuzhandhaivel, and Perumpallam Venkatesapillai (thavil)

 Karukurichi Arunachalam; with Nachiyarkoil Raghavapillai (particular thavil), Okay.M. Arunachalam (nagaswaram), Ambasamudram Kuzhandhaivel, and Perumpallam Venkatesapillai (thavil)
| Photograph Credit score: From the guide ‘Nindrolirum Minnal’

“They painted the fantastic thing about ragas equivalent to Bhairavam, Husseini, Pantuvarali, and Kalyani. Every phrase and great thing about Kalyani raga kriti, ‘Ethavunara’ deserves one lakh rupee,” wrote Krishna Iyer.

Karukurichi Arunachalam appeared to have achieved what the nagaswaram gamers of the composite Thanjavur district couldn’t. He was fortunate to have Thiruvavaduthurai Rajarathinam Pillai as his trainer and accompanied him for a few years. “Some fifty Arunachalams got here to me as college students. Solely this Arunachalam has turn into my inheritor,” clarinet participant A.Okay.C. Natarajan has recalled Rajarathinam Pillai as saying.

Imbibed his guru’s type

Whereas he imbibed the type of rendering raga elaborately from his trainer, his type of taking part in keerthanas had the contact of each nice vocalist, significantly G.N. Balasubramaniam. The keerthana, ‘Kandan karunai puriyum vadivel’, popularised by Mani Iyer assumed a brand new dimension when he performed it on the nagaswaram. ‘Thamarai pootha thadakamadi’ is one other track. Sri Lankan Tamil author A. Muthulingam has narrated an incident, how he and his pal went from one live performance to a different to document the track. His pal preferred the track, as a result of the face of his girlfriend, who would at all times be morose, would gentle up when he rendered the track.

An vital side of the guide is the pictures collected by Sivakumar. The personalities seen with Karukurichi Arunachalam clarify his shut relationship with politicians, movie actors, industrialists and different personalities. There’s a {photograph} of Kamaraj sitting on the dais with him on the Congress convention in Chennai. He performed in Delhi and obtained a memento from Jawaharlal Nehru. President S. Radhakrishnan attended his live performance throughout his go to to the Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai. Puttaparthi Sai Baba had visited Kovilpatti on his request.

Arunachalam shared a particular bond with N.S. Krishnan, Sivaji Ganesan, and Gemini Ganesan, who alongside along with his spouse, sponsored and unveiled the nagaswaram vidwan’s statue in Kovilpatti.

Gemini Ganesan and Sivaji Ganesan with Arunachalam

Gemini Ganesan and Sivaji Ganesan with Arunachalam
| Photograph Credit score: From the guide ‘Nindrolirum Minnal’

Actor T.S. Balaiah was additionally near him. His daughter Ambujam recollects that her father, overwhelmed by his taking part in at her sister’s marriage, eliminated the ring, studded with 13 treasured stones, from his finger and introduced it to Arunachalam.

Whereas the Gemini Ganesan-starrer  Konjum Salangai, that includes the track ‘Singaravelane deva’ grew to become a sensation, he couldn’t play within the movie  Thillana Mohanambal, with Sivaji Ganesan within the lead position, as a result of he was not alive when the movie was made. There’s a image of each Sivaji and Gemini holding nagaswarams and posing for {a photograph} with Arunachalam. The guide additionally carries an interview of singer S. Janaki, through which she reveals that she and Arunachalam recorded individually for ‘Singaravelane deva’. “They recorded his portion first. Later I listened to it carrying an earphone and rendered my portion in tune with the lilting and mellifluous sruthi.”

Two articles by writers Ki. Rajanarayanan, and Ku. Alagirisami, the childhood buddies of Arunachalam, make the guide a collector’s merchandise.

However it was DMK founder and late Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai’s obituary that sums up Karukurichi Arunachalam’s greatness. “At the moment I don’t really feel like studying something. I used to be discussing with buddies his nice qualities,” he wrote on the maestro’s premature demise, leaving a sense of what may need been if he had lived longer.

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