Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Navaaliyoor Somasunthara Pulavar ~ Passionate Poet of Jaffna

Today ~ 25th of May 2011 is Jaffna’s greatest and finest Tamil poet Navaaliyoor Somasunthara Pulavar’s 133rd birth anniversary. He was born on 25th of May 1878 in Navaaly in Jaffna Peninsula, North of Sri Lanka.Navaaliyoor Somasunthara Pulavar lived in Jaffna from 1878 - 1953. He has composed more than 15,000 poems. His parents were Kathirgamar and Ilakkumipillai from Navaaly. He has written many inspiring poems in Tamil. He learnt Tamil language and literature from Navaaliyoor Arunachchalam master. Navaaliyoor Somasunthara Pulavar has mastered the Tamil language very well and became famous.

Statue of Jaffna’s all time favourite poet Navaaliyoor Somasunthara Pulavar. This statue was erected in 1971 by Jaffna’ famous soap makers ~ Milk White.

The following song is still popular among Jaffna Tamils:~

ஆடிப் பிறப்புக்கு நாளை விடுதலை
ஆனந்தம் ஆனந்தந் தோழர்களே!
கூடிப் பனங்கட்டிக் கூழுங் குடிக்கலாம்
கொழுக்கட்டை தின்னலாம் தோழர்களே!

பாசிப்பயறு வறுத்துக் குற்றிச் செந்நெற்
பச்சையரிசி இடித்துத் தெள்ளி
வாசப் பருப்பை அவித்துக் கொண்டு நல்ல
மாவைப் பதமாய் வறுத்தெடுத்து
வேண்டிய தேங்காய் உடைத்துத் துருவியே
வேலூரிற் சர்க்கரை யுங்கலந்து
தோண்டியில் நீர்விட்டு மாவை யதிற்கொட்டிச்
சுற்றிக் குழைத்துத் திரட்டிக் கொண்டு
வில்லை வில்லையாக மாவைக் கிள்ளித் தட்டி
வெல்லக் கலவையை உள்ளேயிட்டுப்
பல்லுக் கொழுக்கட்டை அம்மா அவிப்பளே
பார்க்கப் பார்க்கப் பசி தீர்ந்திடுமே
பூவைத் துருவிப் பிழிந்து பனங்கட்டி
போட்டுமா வுருண்டை பயறுமிட்டு
மாவைக் கரைத்தம்மா வார்த்துத் துழாவுவள்
மணக்க மணக்கவா யூறிடுமே
குங்குமப் பொட்டிட்டுப் பூமாலை சூடியே
குத்துவிளக்குக் கொழுத்தி வைத்து
அங்கிள நீர்பழம் பாக்குடன் வெற்றிலை
ஆடிப் படைப்பும் படைப்போமே
வன்னப் பலாவிலை ஓடிப் பொறுக்கியே
வந்து மடித்ததைக் கோலிக்கொண்டே
அன்னை அகப்பையால் அள்ளி அள்ளிவார்க்க
ஆடிப் புதுக்கூழ் குடிப்போமே
வாழைப் பழத்தை உரித்துத் தின்போம்நல்ல
மாவின் பழத்தை அறுத்துத் தின்போம்
கூழைச் சுடச்சுட ஊதிக் குடித்துக்
கொழுக்கட்டை தன்னைக் கடிப்போமே

ஆடிப் பிறப்புக்கு நாளை விடுதலை
ஆனந்தம் ஆனந்தந் தோழர்களே!
கூடிப் பனங்கட்டிக் கூழும் குடிக்கலாம்
கொழுக்கட்டை தின்னலாம் தோழர்களே!

கொழுக்கட்டை ~ Kozhukattai ~ Tamil traditional sweet is made at a Hindu house to celebrate the Aadi Pirappu or the birth of the Tamil month Aadi

His poem about the Scare Crow ~ கத்தரி வெருளி ~"Kaththari Veruli" (scare crow in an eggplant garden) is very famous among the children.

"நாமகள் புகழ் மாலை"~ “Naamagal Pugazh Maalai” is a famous collection of poems by Navaaliyoor Somasunthara Pulavar. This particular photo focuses on the close up of the book on the lap of the statue of Jaffna’s all time favourite poet Navaaliyoor Somasunthara Pulavar

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Blissful Journey In Search of LOVE

"Music fills the indefinite between the two souls” ~ Rabindranath Tagore,(7th May 1861 ~ 7th August 1941), (Indian Poet, Playwright and Essayist ~ Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913)

Emperor of Indian saxophone Padmasri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath in Colombo

Music can melt anybody’s heart; Music breaks barriers; and Music build bridges!. Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi 2011, an enchanting carnatic music festival was organised by the Colombo Kamban Kazhagam. Once more he took us to the rich and lovely world of south Indian classical music The city of Colombo witnessed the finest carnival of carnatic music for six days. Ardent music lovers thronged and waited till late night to listen to some of the finest carnatic musicians from India.

Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath has been decorating the Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi for many years in Colombo. He walked into the Raamakrishna Mission hall in Wellawatte with glittering bottle green and gold dhoti and Kurta and a matching shawl with a long coral beads chain to decorate the grand finale of Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi 2011. He worshiped audience, stage, accompanying artistes, the Naatha Vinayagar (Musical Lord Vinayagar0 who has been on the stage for six days and a brand new saxophone.

He played light classical music and deep improvisations on a sparkling saxophone.He beautifully and divinely played “Sinnan Siru Pen Pole”, “Salangai Katti Odi Vaa Vaa”, Kurai Ondrum Illai”, “Endaro Mahanubhavu” (Thyagaraja Keerthanai), and “Magudi” (Being played by the snake charmers to make the snakes dance to its tune) to name a few among many fusions. The festive goers began to furtively look around for an approaching snake in the Raamakrishna Mission Hall, and folded their legs to the chair.
When he beautifully and blissfully played “Kurai Ondrum Illai” ~ குறையொன்றும் இல்லை மறைமூர்த்தி கண்ணா ; குறையொன்றும் இல்லை கண்ணா ; குறையொன்றும் இல்லை கோவிந்தா !

It translates in English as follows:~

No regrets have I
My lord,
Lord of the Written Word,
My light, my sight,
My very eyes
No regrets,

Many ardent music lovers shed tears while listening and watching him play live. These are a few examples to show how beautifully and blissfully he played from beginning till the end. An elderly lady got into uncontrollable trance.

In an exclusive interview with PassionParade while being swayed by the Sri Lankan audience, Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath mentions “The acceptance by the audience is overwhelming. I have been drawn to carnatic music lovers in Sri Lanka. They are very enthusiastic and being part of an enchanting event. They add colour and spirit to the festival”.

Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath was awarded “Padmashri” in 2004 by the Government of India for his distinguished contribution to carnatic music. Padmashri is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India after the Bharat ratna, the Pama Vibhushan, and the Padma Bhushan. On ot observe, the words “Padma” ~ meaning Lotus in Sanskrit, in Devanagari appear above and below a Lotus flower. The geometrical pattern on either side is burnished bronze. All embossing is in white gold. As of 2010, 2,336 people have received the award. The first Padmashri title was conferred in 1954.

It takes a lot of Penance to become a good musician or an instrumentalist. One cannot become a celebrity overnight. It is sad that people these days want to steal the limelight without really going through the treacherous path of studenthood. I have worked for 20 years to learn to play the saxophone in the carnatic style.The carnatic music has a bright future, but a lot of hard work is needed” continues Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath dressed in dazzling bottle green and gold attire.

Renowned film director K. Balachander has used Padmasri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath ‘s saxophonic instrumentation for the Tamil movie “Duet”. “I played some 30 ragas for A.R.Rahman. He was not satisfied. Finally, I played Kalyana Vasantham, and he said, “Thats it”! After, DUET, I became famous” chuckles Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath.

His bold and lushly interesting stories blissfully told through the saxophone. I feel like walking smoothly on a red carpet whenever I listen to him. He makes us smell the sounds of saxophone through seven tracks. I was in search of love and I found my love through a beautiful and blissful series of saxophone” DushiYanthan could not help blushing the truth.

Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath performs at Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi 2011 in Colombo

Padmasri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath spends most of his time in intensive practicing and innovating notes.

I have decided to skip my dinner in order to listen and watch Padmasri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath’s live performance. I do not want to miss any moment of the show” shares Arumugam Rajaratnam.

Padmashri Dr.Kadri Gopalnath ~ charming,simple and spirited musician stole the show. Swayed audience did not want him to stop playing although the time was 10.30pm.

It is a rare opportunity to enjoy carnatic music under one roof. Music breaks barriers. People have suffered a lot due to the three decades long war, which was brought to an end two years ago. We have missed numerous opportunities to enjoy arts and culture due to the war. Our culture and tradition is unmatched and invaluable. Now, we need to recapture what we have lost to heal our hearts and minds” elaborates Arumugam Rajaratnam with emotion and tears.

I continuously enjoyed the six days of music held in Colombo. The evenings were enchanting. Festival such as this encourages younger generation to treasure our rich culture and tradition” shares Gayathiri Selvarathnam.

More photos and videos of the Sri Raama Naama Gaanaamirtham ~ Isai Velvi 2011 can be viewed on 72157626713591202/

Friday, May 06, 2011

Festival of Everlasting Prosperity and Eternal Success

Night's darkness is the bag that bursts with the GOLD of the dawn” ~Rabindranath Tagore, (7th May 1861 ~ 7th August 1941), (Indian Poet, Playwright and Essayist ~ Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913)

Specially made beautiful fresh flower garlands for the festival

Lovers of GOLD are celebrating the festival of prosperity and good fortune.The word "Akshaya Tritiya" means the never diminishing in Sanskrit, and the day is believed to bring good luck, eternal prosperity and success. Buying gold is a popular activity on “Akshaya Tritiya”, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity. Gold and gold jewelry bought and worn on this day signify never diminishing good fortune. There are a few legends behind the celebration of the festival. One legend is “Akshaya Tritiya” traditionally the birthday of Lord Parasuraman, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

"The hand that gives is the hand that gathers" ~ is a timeless truth. One of the important Secrets of the universe for manifesting material success is to first give with a pure heart. This act according to the Vedas brings back the money manifold. On “Akshaya Tritiya”, the returns are not just manifold, they are infinite. Gold stands for goodness, purity, wealth and social standing in some cultures; there is an added aura of sanctity and divinity.

The jewellery shops are traditionally decorated in style with fresh flower garlands and bunces of Banana at the main entrance. Shops opened earlier than usual to cater the customers and served sweets and hot drinks such as coffee or tea.

"Gold is an investment. Jaffna Tamils have been investing in gold for many decades. They see gold as a life long asset. I always make it a point to invest big or small in gold on this auspicious day. It brings joy and prosperity. I buy jewellery for my fiancée.It shows a symbol of love and affection" says DushiYanthan while blushes away from camera.

The auspicious day fell on the second day of the new moon in Hindu month Siththirai on Rohini star on 6th of May 2011.“Akshaya Tritiya” falling on a Rohini star day is considered more auspicious and the day becomes specially sacred.

Bananna trees, bunches of Banana, fresh flower garlands and "Thoranam" decorate the main entrance

Lalitha Jewellery ~ pioneers in fine gold jewellery since 1951. They are world renowned for the unique craftsmanship and commitment

Traditional Hindu welcome at the main entrance

Shanthi Nilimini is seen busy with business

Akshaya Tritiya is one of the most widely celebrated festivals by the Hindus

Sugar cane candy and roasted Bengal gram are kept at the entrance to welcome the customers

Nishantha Perera, Jaganathan Sivananthan and Shanthi Nilmini are working out a price for a customer

Customers are seen busy buying gold

Hindus believe that buying gold on this auspicious day will multiply their wealth

Heavy downpour stopped for shopping