Darbari Kanada, raga of the royals. Roots in the shruti-box of the Carnatic, branches in the gharanas of Hindustani music. A raga the color of the night sky, evoking the depths of the soul to raise in harmony with the Universe. Sarvam ekam, ekam sarvam. All is One, One is All.
Shankar Tucker makes fusion fashionable with this collaboration with Vidya and Vandana Iyer. Composed by Periasamy Thooran, elements from across oceans melt into a fluid, melodious stream which soothes the sub-conscious and lightens the spirit.
A humble attempt at a translation of ‘Nee Nenaindal’ from Tamil to English follows, with lyrics from Shankar Tucker’s page.
Nee nenaindal agadadu undo
Nirajadala nayani mahalaksmi
Once You have determined
That it be so
Is there anything in the Universe
That cannot happen thence,
O lotus-eyed Goddess Mahalakshmi?
Manida vazhkkaiyile inba tunbam
Mari mari varuvadum un seyal andro
In man’s life is pleasure
In man’s life, pain
Turns do they take to metamorphose
All by Your will and Your doing alone
Ella perumaigalum irundalum adu
Unnadi vanangnmal nilai perumo
Even if we have with us
All the sucesses in the world
How oh how will we retain them,
Without worshiping Your divine feet?
Unnarul parvai illadavarkku
Ulagile vazha vazhiedu amma
And those beings on whom
Your benevolent gaze does not fall
How else can they live in this world,
O Mother of all?
Does Raag Darbari strike a chord with you? If so, you would perhaps enjoy:
Soulful Ud Jaa Bhavar sung by Manna Dey in the fifties;
Kishore da’s peppy Pag Ghungroo Bandh Meera from the movie Namak Halal;
and the eclectic A R Rahman composition for 127 hours, Acid Durbari.
And the mesmerizing Iyer sisters: Vidya and Vandana, heroines of the Carnatic Renaissance. If you’re reading this, please make more music! We love you! Munbe vaa en anbe vaa! (Come before me, my beloved!)
(For Ni, gypsy princess, and K, who got me hooked to Tucker’s brand of magic!)