Friday, September 25, 2009

Celebrating Shankarabaranam-2- Maanasa Sancharare with Murali Venkatraman

Write up by Murali Venkatraman

“Have you read all these books ?!”

My mother exclaimed innocently looking at the many cartons of books I have ranging from highly technical ones which ran for thousand pages or more to ones which were pocket-sized that captured popular science in an interesting way. I was stunned for a moment since I did not know how to answer. I took a look at my big collection and responded:

“No amma. I hope I will read them some day”

She got busy with kitchen work and had forgotten the conversation. For her it was just a curiosity as to how much her son could study.

But the question reverberated in my mind. Why do I have so many books some of which I may never be reading ? For example, I have books on mathematical logic,topology etc but given my time constraints, I wonder if I will ever get to read them. It led me to an important decision – “No more books until absolutely necessary”. My mother’s simple innocence-laden question pushed me to rethink about my attitude towards buying books.

While talking about the life of the poet-philosopher-composer Sadashiva Brahmendra one cannot but admire how a simple instruction from his mother-in-law transformed his life from one of a possible ordinary family man into someone who moved freely like a gypsy and composed beautiful songs with deep philosophical thought. It may be a folklore, that his mother-in-law’s words “Don’t come inside the house” on the night of his marriage consummation, made him rethink about his real pursuits in life.

However, consider another related question : “What is the purpose of life if there is one at all ?”. This seemingly simple question has been addressed for centuries and people are still trying to find an answer. With brahmendra, the simple instruction/question did have a deep impact on the man who finally came to the public domain and we were blessed with an exceptional poet. Thus seemingly simple innocent questions/instructions may bring about some dramatic irreversible transformations.

Read more about Sadasiva Brahmendra here :

Link 1
Link 2

To quote my mentor Dr. Bosco Emmanuel:

“Pioneers of science always asked and addressed simple questions. How did D. J. Thouless arrive at the branching in the theory of percolation ? He just asked a simple question. What will be the conductivity of carbon if I randomly punched a few holes in it ? He took a carbon sheet and punched a few random holes in it, measured the conductivity and plotted a graph of the conductivity versus available area. He finally ended up being an exponent in percolation theory "

In this beautiful song which is set in the ragam shyama, which is a cousin of shuddha saaveri and aarabhi, Sadashiva expounds beautiful descriptions of a divine being (krishna) when he himself is in a state of trance. He instructs the mind to roam in the field of universal consciousness (the Brahman) aided sweetly by the music.

In the movie, this comes as a lullaby that the sishya sings for the guru. The director K. Vishwanath had tastefully used a break in the song in the guise of sishya forgetting the lyrics. This invariably invites the voice of guru (SPB) and an uninfringing melody which gently rocks the listener is born. In our version, I have expanded the song a little more to allow more room for the male singer to savor.


maanasa sanchararE
brahmaNi maanasa sanchararE

madasikhi pinchaalankruta chikurE
mahaneeya kapOlajita mukurE

shri ramaNeekucha durga vihaari
sEvakajana mandira mandaarE
paramahamsamukha chandra chakOrE
pari poorita muraLeeravadhaarE

(courtesy :


Oh, Mind ! Undertake your pilgrimage in the Brahmam !

The locks of Brahman, is adorned with the plumes of an exhilarated peacock (mada sikhi)! The cheeks of the Supreme One outwit the brightness of a mirror !

He sports around in the fort of the breast-hillocks of Mahalakshmi (Sri). For his devotees, He is a Kalpavriksha in the court yard (mandira Mandaare) Supreme ascetics (paramahamsa) delight in that face-moon (mukha chandraa) as a partridge bird (chakore – with obvious reference to the chakora bird that thirsts for moonlight) Oh, Mind! May your pilgrimage be complete in this Brahman that fills everything with the flow of the music from His flute(murali) ! !

(courtesy: )


Song : Maanasa Sancharare
Composer / Lyricist : Sadashiva Brahmendra
Originally sung by : Vani Jeyaram, S. P. Balasubramaniyam
Orignally Arranged By : K. V. Mahadevan
Movie : shankaraBharaNam

Singers: Meera Manohar, Murali Venkatraman
Karaoke/ Arrangement :
Murali Venkatraman
Mixing : Meera Manohar

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Celebrating Shankarabharanam - 2 - Maanasa Sancharare with Murali Venkatraman- REUPLOADED | Upload Music

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yaaravan- Original composition by Balamurali Balu

In the last couple of years, I have been very fortunate enough to have worked on quite a few originals- for composers through the Blogswara platform. Originals are great, has no boundaries, have the ability to make it your own, and needless to say most artists are way more passionate in this since you are part of the creative team :)

Bala approached me with this song a while ago and when I listened to it, found it pretty interesting. Thanks Bala, really appreciate you trusting my abilities and letting me explore the melody/feel however I wanted to :-)

And, here’s what we came up with.


Song: Yaaravan Yaaravan
Original music, lyrics and arrangement: Balamurali Balu
Originally rendered by: Meera Manohar & Balamurali Balu
Backing Harmonies: Meera Manohar & Balamurali Balu
Mixed by: Balamurali Balu & Meera Manohar


Yaaravan yaaravan
En nenjilae paainthavan
Kaadhalai sonnavan
enai kaayamum seithavan
Uryir thanthavan
Enai kondravan
Avan nallavan
konjam kettavan

Un kangal ennai paark a oru nodiyil uraigiraen
Un moochin veppam thaaka urugi naanum karaikiraen
Unakkaaga vaazhathaanae thudikiraen
Nee sol uyirai naanum tharugiraen
Idhu kaadhal enbatha
illai saathal enbatha
En vaazhvin arthamum neethaan
en vaazhkai michamum neethaan

Un peyarai ezhuthida naanum vairamuthu illaiyae
Un peyarai sollida naanum isaingyani illaiyae
en kaadhal neelam vaanam ellaiyae
Solvatharku vaarthai ingu illaiyae
Unai thee thee enbatha
Illai thanneer enbatha
sudum venneer enbatha sollada….
Sri raamanin vedathil manmathaa….

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Yaaravan Yaaravan- Original composition by Balamurali Balu | Online recorder

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mayilirahae ( cover version ) with Pradip Somasundaran

A very beautiful romantic number from a rather lousy movie Ah Aah!! ARR has his real talent to rope in those perfect voices for his numbers and this is no exception. Naresh iyer identified with the 16+ dreamy eyed girls when he debuted in the Tamil music industry. Have never cared too much for Madhushree's voice. Like Sadhana Sargam's tone, infinitely better :)

Those of you who haven't watched this song, Please, I sincerely urge you to catch it on youtube so you can laugh your guts out :D Pity you-- ARR, one of your most beautiful melodies pictured this way.

Thank you Pradip, for asking me to sing this with you.

Song: Mayilirahe
Film: Anbe Aaruyire (Ah Aah)
Music A.R Rahman
Lyrics: Vaali
Original Singers: Naresh Iyer and Madhushree

Covered by: Meera Manohar and Pradip Somasundaran

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mayilirahae | Online recorder

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Munbe Vaa ( cover version ) with Karthik Nagarajan

Been more a year since I have had this song on my list, fervently searching for that voice which would re-create the magic that Naresh Iyer weaved when it released. And, I was fortunate enough to find Karthik Nagarajan, thanks to Sindhuja :-)

To me, this song is probably one of the best romantic melodies ever done by ARR, ofcourse not to mention Surya being featured :P

Thanks Karthik, it was really fun working with you, and here’s to more collaborations!

Movie: Sillunu Oru Kaadhal
Originally sung by: Naresh Iyer & Shreya Ghosal
Original music by:
Cover version by: Karthik Nagarajan & Meera Manohar
Female Backing vocals : Meera Manohar
Male backing harmonies: Karthik Nagarajan
Mixed by: Meera Ma

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Munbe Vaa ( cover version ) with Karthik Nagarajan | Online recorder