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A Thematic Chamber Concert was presented under the auspices of our organization Veenavaadhini, based on the Bhooloka Panchalinga Krithis of Muthuswamy Dikshitar. All the Kritis, representing the five elements i.e. space, air, fire, water and earth were sung and played by us on the veena. Sri Trichur Narendran accompanied us on the mridangam. Rajani Arjun Shankar provided word-by-word meaning and narration to each of the krithis. The background comprising of paintings of the great genius Late S Rajam, pictorially depicting each of the kritis, were made by Aparna Shankar. The two-hour programme consisted of the following kritis:

1. Ananda Natana Prakasam – Kedaram – Akasha Kshetra (SPACE)
2. Sri Kalahastisha – Huseni – Vayu Kshetra (AIR)
3. Arunachalanatham Smarami – Saranga – Agni Kshetra (FIRE)
4. Jambupathe –Yamuna Kalyani – Appu Kshetra(WATER)
5. Chintayamakandamula – Bhairavi – Prithvi Kshetra(EARTH)

The Hindu, Mylapore Times and Kutcheribuzz carried a byte about the programme. It was well attended and well received, and we are enthused to present more of such programmes in the near future. We thank all the rasikas for having attended the concert and making it a big success. And thanks Arjun for the pictures, and Parameswaran and Latha for video recording the event!

Given below are reactions from some rasikas who had attended the programme:

“I attended the chamber concert and it was really memorable. A dedicated presentation by the vainika-s. Special mention must be made of Smt Rajani’s commentary which gave lot of insight into the supreme compositions of Dikshitar. It was a n excellent idea to have veteran S Rajam’s paintings (of Panchalinga) in the background.

The efforts put in by JJ to internalise the kritis and presenting them authentically in Veena, was quite evident in their rendering.
Trichur Narendran’s Mridanga support was something special and enhanced the aesthetic appeal.

I rate this among the best thematic concerts of the season!”


“The narration, AlApanA-s, tani, and, above all, kRti renditions that adhered to MD sampradAya, were all excellent. It was especially pleasing to listen to chintayamAkandamUlakandam in grand chowkam, with the first line ending on M rather than the usually-encountered version.”

“It was a very nice concert. In fact, with narration and posters about each piece, it was a whole project rather than just a concert. Everyone had put in a lot of work for the benefit of the listeners.

Each piece was in a slow speed, making a contemplative atmosphere for the entire performance. Trichur Narendran never made any effort to hurry things along, but contributed to the mood perfectly.

The program was well attended, with the room being full, but not uncomfortably so; just right.

As a note of curiosity: not one song was in Adi Talam, which must be a very rare event. Misra, Khanda and Rupaka talams were represented.”


“A wonderful evening wherein everything fell in place. Jaysri’s Yaman Kalyani alapanai was superb and was within the framework of Jambupathe. Jeyaraj played a lovely Bhairavi preceding chintayamAkandamUlakandam and also a brief tanam. Smt Rajani Arjun Shankar’s narratives were well researched and crisp. Trichur Narendren is a class apart. His accompaniment was apt for the occasion and considering the fact that all the kritis were slow paced, he controlled the pace admirably.”

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