By the time this article is printed and published am sure Kerala would already be bouncing back to normalcy. Our friends in Kerala have gone through a lot of hardships and heavy losses in terms of material, physical and emotional damage . No amount of soothing words or support can be considered enough at the present circumstance.. We all are together in our prayers to the people who have made that land “ Gods own country “,
My tryst with Gods Own Country is very special. Both my parents are from this wonderful land . I have been performing in this land since 1977 .
Music runs in the very core of this land of multiplicity . A land traditionally called as the Parasuramakshetram, Kerala is a true example of pluralism . Though there are multiple cultural impressions and amalgamations, in the way of life ,the musical thought of this land has remained unchanged . Be it folk music , lullabies, film songs and of course the traditional music - the fragrance and taste of Karnatik music is visible in this land like no where else . The awareness among the Keralites for the sound of Karnatik music is like how bee gets attracted to honey in a flower . It is so natural for them to find their joy in the sound and essence of music of Raga and Tala . The way they understand and enjoy our music is an experience to behold .
Their many art forms like
Pulikalli,Onapottan, Koodiyattam ( a 2000 year old Sanskrit traditional dance ) Thirayattam, Kummattikali , Chakyar Koothu,and Kalaripayattu ( a martial at form which is also considered as an art form). is a reflection of that phenomena
If we look at all the art forms of Kerala - we will see distinct flavour of rhythm and music closely connected to the sounds of Raga and Thala. Ragams like Kedaram, Arabhi, Anandabhairavai, Neelambari, Devagandhari etc and rhythmic cycles of Misra, Kanda and of course the cycle of 4 runs in the DNA of the various art forms of Kerala . They way they look at life itself as a musical experience is a big example to the outside community to look at life . The sounds are very powerful and yet the artistes and the audience are both subtle and expanded in understanding the dynamics of each other . A land meant for celebration - yes life is a big celebration for the people of Kerala .
From the Kalpathy Car festival, Thriusur Puram , Vaikathapan festival, Pungunnam Sri Rama Temple festival, NIshagandhi festival, Paiyannor Thurreyam festival by Swami Krishnananda Bharathiji , Of course Swati Tirunal festival at the Navaratri Mantapam in Trivandrum , Chemabai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar festival in Guruvayoor Temple and many more really many many more festivals, stand as a example to the interest and involvement of the people of Kerala in being part of the art and culture of the land ..
I have performed in Kerala under different circumstances and occasions and every single experience has enriched my experience of music and in turn my life .
The way they acknowledge your skill in elaborating a raga or a swara prasthara with a slight nod or by exclaiming the word ( Kollaam) or their disapproval with their unique sound by twisting their tongue - Yes the people of that state are unique in every way. The outside world may not necessarily be aware of some fantastic musicians of that land but for a very few who made it big because of their migration to more visible cities. Every village or district in Kerala have some kind of festival where in our traditional music and rhythm is celebrated in its full glory. From Palakkad to Trivandrum and Shoranur to Talapaady - the sound of music is fused with the pulse of the people and one can hear the sound of music in different form of their folk art . Yes, art is a way of life for the people of Kerala. As artistes, fans and admirers of this great land ,we send our prayers through our music for a very speedy recovery from this calamity and wish to see the land in its full glory once again .