Recently I started reading about karNAThaka sangItam and am trying to understand the composure of rAgAs. I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of my favourite film songs and classical kritIs are from this wonderful rAgA nATTai.

The feeling of bliss that comes from nATTai is to be experienced. jagadAnanda kArakA jaya jAnaki prANa nAyakA from tyAgarAjA stands tall as the signature of nATTai. Among film songs, I was really happy that unknowingly, lot of my favourites are from nATTai – narumugaye (Iruvar), gOpAnganE AtmAvilE (bharatam), tanga magan ingu (bAShA), aiyangAru vITTu azhagE (anniyan), dil sE rE (rAg jOg, which is similar to nATTai), and semi classical film songs swaminAtha paripAlaya (chitram)

Thinking back, I realize that the feeling that intoxicating effect generated inside me on listening to all these songs was similar – that of happiness, pride, drive, and a soothing calmness. This is apparently due to the closely spaced notes – the vivAdi rAgA (Link to Isai Payanam)

Really happy!

Here is a link with all the youtube videos and explanations.


Yeh jo desh hai tera (This country that is yours)

Before leaving India, I didn’t quite comprehend the meaning of this famous song from the movie Swades, where the protagonist is a scientist at NASA working on the Global Precipitation Mission.

This particular song paraphrases all the arguments that run through my head now and then, especially when the going gets tough.

Argument 1:

Life is telling you, you have achieved everything,
Now what’s left?
Looks like happiness has been showered on you
But you’re far from your home
Now come back oh crazy one
Where at least someone will call you their own
And will call out to you

I have an amazing memory foam mattress, the ambient temperature is perfectly set around 20-24 deg C. There is no dust, there are no mosquitoes, and everything is clean, neat and orderly. I can’t be happier. Yes, it seems life has showered everything on me in this wonderful country – security, peace, happiness. But as the song reminds, I am far from home. All the people who care about me, are back home. I just live in a highly comfortable house; it is not home without there at least being someone who will call me their own. That is only at home. For this I have to go back, I am the crazy one! I eat whatever I want here, sometimes it tastes better than what I have eaten in India, but what is food, if it is not cooked without motherly affection? Even if it is plain porridge and cabbage, if my mom is feeding me, what else do I need? That love is the real taste in the food!

Argument 2: (This comes in a dialogue between the protagonist and his counsel in between the song)

Leave emotion. Tell me what you will do after going back. Don’t be a hopeless romantic. You don’t know anything yet to go back and make any difference. It is just your mind’s method of coping up with work stress and home sickness that makes you think so.

Now I totally understand why NRIs (Non Resident Indians) love this song. I had moist eyes listening to this song.

Seemingly rational brain vs seemingly emotional brain – who wins? Only time will tell.