The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Carnatic Musicians
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varsha
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#51 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by varsha » 28 Sep 2011, 07:33

Ravisri's account are not just thrilling or readable . It is our luck that a request for a photo brought him to take up his pen.

They have the touch of a rare historian . It is a great Art to be in the picture as the storyteller , and yet not make it a story of the historian himself .That ability to bring ones own ego to nothing is almost a "William Shirer" Like quality.
And see how beautifully he avoids the pitfalls of getting into the tragedies of our casteist Part . He probably knows that there are some things that can be helped and some that cannot be , when it comes to those matters .
And for those of us , for whom CM does not start and end with SSI-MSS-MMI , we can only hope that this thread will provide for a smooth narrative.
We badly need such historians .
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RaviSri
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#52 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by RaviSri » 28 Sep 2011, 14:11

MKR, your mention of the family’s barbs at people they perceived to be haughty or superior minded brings to my memory certain incidents which Sankaran would mention time and again. Sometimes it would happen that even certain innocent people would be at the receiving end. But these were few and far between. I’ll try to intersperse certain of these incidents along with some sublime ones too.

Once, Rajaratnam had come calling. All the members of the clan were present, including all the daughters and grandchildren of Dhanammal. When asked to play ‘something’, Rajaratnam played Vachaspati. A couple of minutes later, during a pause in the playing, Dhanammal asked him, “Thambi, idenna rAgam?”
Rajaratnam: idu vAchaspati ammA.
Dhanammal: apDiyA? Thambi enakku terinja EdAvadu rAgam, bhairavi, kambhOji anda mAdiri vAshiyEn!
The Nagaswaram wizard got the message, kept aside his instrument and fell flat on his face at Dhanammal’s feet. The Bhairavi he played that day was ethereal, Sankaran would say. Five minutes after he began, Dhanammal called for her tambura, adjusted it to Rajaratnam’s sruti and strummed it for the duration that the genius played Bhairavi.
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Once at a recital of Flute Sarabha Sastri, DHanammal was present with her then 10 year old daughter Lakshmiratnam. The year must have been 1898. Sarabha Sastri lived only for 32 years, from 1870 to 1902. At the end of a song, Dhanammal called out, “oru bhairavi AlApanai irundAl nannAyirukkum. apram koluvaiyunnADE”. “Who is that”, an irritated Sastri asked. “Who else but our Dhanam?”, said someone close to him. Sastri regained his composure and played a delectable Bhairavi and koluvaiyunnADE. Sankaran would often recollect this episode, saying his mother Lakshmiratnam never tired of repeating this anecdote whenever she heard Bhairavi.
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Once in the 1950s, Brnda, Muktha, Bala, Viswa, Sankaran etc., were present at a concert of Flute Mali at the Parthasarathi Swami Sabha. When the screen lifted Mali was aghast to find the family bigwigs. He then proceeded cautiously, taking care to play soulfully and also the songs that he had learnt from Jayammal. After the concert, he kept his flute, jumped off the dias and came straight to them. He asked Bala and Muktha whether they had come there to poke fun at him. He was assured that they had come to listen to him and that he had played extremely well. Another version of this same incident, or rather its extension has been recorded by K.P.Ramakrishnan, mathematician and Mali’s friend. After Mali narrated this incident to KPR and talked about the greatness of their music, KPR asked him, “When you are so enamoured of their bhANi, why do you play as you do in most concerts?” and Mali’s frank and blunt answer was, “anda bhANI enakku varamATTEngaradE”. I must add that his playing of pieces like the jAvaLi ‘sakhi prANa’ was exactly like the Dhanam version and was most sublime too.
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I hope Musiri fans will not take offence or get hurt. Anyway this incident is known to many. Musiri requested Parur Sundaram Iyer to take him to Dhanammal. He wanted to learn a few pieces from her. She started him on Shyama Sastri’s Ananda bhairavi song, pAhi srI girirAjasutE. This song begins with the plain sA pA SA for pAhi srI. Musiri repeated the sA pA SA with heavy gamakams. Thrice Dhanammal corrected him, but no, he could not simply intone the shuddha swaras. Dhanammal then told him, “IyerwAL, Athukku pOy sA pA SA pADam paNNiNDu vAngO. apram pAkkalAm." Another day she started him on the asAvEri piece, chandram bhaja mAnasa. Probably he did not understand the raga properly and kept committing mistakes. Dhanammal told him, “IyerwAL, asAvEri oru pollAda rAgam, ippo vENDAm”. Thus Musiri’s lessons with Dhanammal came to a close.
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Gauhar Jan, the Hindustani musician and Dhanammal were friends and mutual admirers. Jan used to stay with Dhanammal. Once, pleased and bowled over by her exquisite music Dhanammal decided to honour her. She arranged a party for her and a few other friends were also invited. Catering was done by the then famous caterers Harrisons & Co. The bill was Rs.1000. This was in the 2nd decade of the last century.
In that visit Gauhar Jan asked Dhanammal to teach her a song. Well, Dhanamml could have taught her a song in either Hamir Kalyani or Yamuna Kalyani or a Kapi or Behag. No, she taught her the suruTTi song of Thyagaraja, ‘bhajana parula’. Jan learnt and would sing it in the Hindustani style, much to the amusement of the family. One must have listened to Muktha singing ‘pAhi srI’ like Musiri and ‘bhajana parula’ like Gauhar Jan.
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The family members would tease each other also. Once Viswa gave a concert at his sister Bala’s house when he came on a visit from the US. Now Viswa had the habit of preparing elaborate notations for songs and binding them into big books. He also would forget lines of a song and while singing would consult the books. Bala, Brinda, Muktha and other rasikas were seated. Viswa came with the accompaniments and his disciple Murthy from another room. When she saw the books in Viswa’s and Murthy’s hands, Bala remarked, “ennaDA, nInga reNDu pErum kachErikku vandIngaLA, ille courtukku pOrIngaLA?” In the olden days law courts were referred to as kachErIs. It was a beautiful pun and a taunt too. None of the other members of the family ever consulted a book. This was narrated to me by Murthy.
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In 1998 at a house was a concert of Viswa. Muktha and Sankaran were present. We were also there. Muktha herself was 84, Viswa 72 and Sankaran 93. Almost at the fag end, Sankaran got up from his chair and asked, “Viswa, ‘aDikkaDi kaiyyai piDithizhukkirAL’ vAshi.” It is the anupallavi of the suruTTi padam ‘cheDikuLLE’. Immediately Muktha retorted to Sankaran, “Anna, onakkum enakkum Viswavukkum innum oru anju vayasu pOgaTTum, apram kayya piDichu izhukkalAm”. Of course Viswa played the song.
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MKR, I had sent you a mail a couple of days ago, did you get it?
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RaviSri
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#53 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by RaviSri » 28 Sep 2011, 15:25

I forgot to mention two delectable anecdotes.

It was the occasion of the wedding of Dhanammal’s favourite grandson Vijayakrishnan (elder brother of B-M) in 1935. Dhanammal had requested Tiger Varadachariar to sing at the reception. Tiger gave an exquisite concert. An emotional Dhanammal gave Tiger a silver pElA full of sugar-candy implying that his music was just that – sugar-candy. Tiger who knew the economic condition of Dhanammal, took the sugar-candy and returned the pElA. Dhanammal refused to take it back but Tiger persuaded her to keep it, saying, “Your presence and appreciation are worth more than gold and silver to me.”
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Tiger would visit Dhanammal often or he would come across Brinda-Muktha at Dr.Sitapati’s house. He would then ask them, “Hey kuTTigaLA, come, sit down and sing for me. He would then ask them to sing this padam or that and perform abhinaya for them. Muktha used to say that Tiger’s abhinaya was so delectable that it would put to shame even a seasoned dancer. Even half a century later one could detect the awe on Muktha’s face as she recounted those incidents.
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Once Tiger was slated to give a recital of Swati Tirunal kritis at the AIR. Sankaran was a Deputy Director there. When Tiger came, Sankaran asked him to give the list of Swati kritis he was to sing. Tiger it seems did not know a single Swati song. He said, “DEy Shankara, puli pashichAlum pulla tinnAduDa”, and to the astonishment of everyone he proceeded to sing Shyama Sastri kritis all the way.
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cm lover, Ariyakkudi learnt some kritis from Dhanammal, which ones I don’t know.

cienu, MS and Radha must have learnt a lot more songs from Brinda. I think they learnt karubAru (mukhAri) among them.
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I’ll be travelling to Trichy, Tanjavur and Tiruvaiyyaru tomorrow. Will be a week. Will resume posting after I return.
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Ramasubramanian M.K
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#54 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by Ramasubramanian M.K » 28 Sep 2011, 16:55

Ravi Sri: Great anecdotes--YES hitherto NOBODY has brought out the greatness of the family and the sweep of their Vidwath as YOU have done. We are all indebted to you--as a pseudo-historian myself, I feel we need to share our musical experiences of the past with younger forumites--the songs that you mention--Karubaru(Mukhari- Kallidaikurichi Vedanta Bhagavathar's forte my aunt used to tell me--RAVI SRI-- Now Tinnevelians can also sing!!!), Bhajana Parula(I have an old cassette tape which I am afraid to play because the tape gets stuck and I have difficulty in removing it from the machine--I should convert this into CD but I have to play it first with the recorder).==all remind us of the treasures that seem to be going into oblivion due to lack of use!!

The referring to the Notebooks incident: Young forumites should understand the almost unstated point behind the remark-- the Family's pedagogic techniques stress the need for close attention and listening before one gets to write down the notations--the Nelivus and Shulivus are the essence of the bani and cannot be easily put down in notations no matter how diligent one may be in noting them!!
One should not say "It is easy for their times because there were not so many compositions to remember--If they only they had to learn as many compositions we have learned --they merely followed the trinity's compositions whereas we have unearthed several composers compositions ".
This is not true!!

Their repertoire of krithis was vast and sweeping and it was no small feat to learn. ARASI is right in that today given the fast pace of downloading,retrieval etc there is less time for absorbing the nuances. Even today I have seen some artistes NOT referring to any notes(BJ comes to my mind).

Ravisri--I owe you a response.

"Jog" your memories harder and give us more of the gems!!!
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RaviSri
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#55 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by RaviSri » 28 Sep 2011, 17:41

I'll send 'bhajana parula sung by B-M and Vegavahini thro' e-mail once I return.
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RaviSri
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#56 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by RaviSri » 28 Sep 2011, 17:50

I once calculated, in the 1990s, that B-M knew about 800 songs. 350 of Thyagaraja, 75 of Dikshitar, 50 of the Shyama Sastri family, 150 of other composers (Tanjavur Quartette, Gopalakrishna Bharati, Patnam etc), about 100 padams and 50 javalis, besides Tevaram and Tiruppugazh songs. I amtrying to reconstruct the list again. Dhanammal knew a lot more, about 1000 it seems.
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RaviSri
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#57 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by RaviSri » 28 Sep 2011, 18:02

Once in 1991 or so, B.Balasubramaniam who was learning from Brinda then (and who was learning from Viswa also) asked her whether he could record his lessons or at least notate them. And she replied, "Balu, ask me a line a 1000 times. I'll teach you, but record, no, I wont allow it. You record in your mind, that will be permanent. If you record, you'll think, "I have the recording, I can listen to it tomorrow and learn'. And that will be that. Notations as far as our bhANi is concerned are not very useful. Forget recording or notation. You notate eveything in your mind. You will not forget for your life"

Balasubramaniam is now professor at the Ethnomusicology Dept at Wesleyan University where Viswa taught.
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cmlover
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#58 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by cmlover » 28 Sep 2011, 20:13

Apparently we will have a short respite during Ravi Sri's absence.
Perhaps that time can be used to digest the anecdotes he has strewn so far and raise pertinent questions trying to understand the Family and the 'rigid' era they lived.
One haunting question in my mind is the 'cause' of Dhanammal shunting between Luxury and Penury.
The look as is evident from the pictures ( and the life-style described) is as belonging to that of a Royal Family. And indeed she appears generous to a fault rewarding /helping/promoting her disciples and other musicians of her day. Apparently she had rich patrons - not unusual in those days. But then the patrons also used to shift their allegiances based on whims. The classic example is the 'real' story behind Dharmapuri's Sakhi Prana which captures the pathos of 'the client shifting allegiance'...
Those were the signs of the times of that bygone era which was golden at the same time tinged with dross.

Any insights....
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varsha
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#59 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by varsha » 29 Sep 2011, 06:35

Insights
Income Greater than Expenditure = Property in Mylapore
Income Lesser than Expenditure = Penury .
Penury , which the society discussess endlessly , with a total lack of taste or respect for those who have suffered it. Remember we are listening to a story from someone close to the family .

And then there is the penury of the rich . Vacant spaces in large houses . Silence between members of the same household . Ancestral Homes being pulled down within months of the demise of the patriarch- to make room for non-penurious property for descendants .

And then there is the richness of the song . Of the Laughter . Of the richness of purpose which scared the hell out of dubious seekers of knowledge . Of the unseen single drop of tear that the poor may have to hide and laugh it off , when it confronts such questions time and again .

Ah ! the penury of the rich .!!
The sound of rustling bank notes versus the queue of a full generation to put the letter BM on their CV's .Even if they were chased away by the sisters , when approached for lessons.

Plain Silly , indiscreet questions that are not in the spirit of these deliberations. In fact sickening .
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fduddy
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#60 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by fduddy » 29 Sep 2011, 08:22

CML
In a long time there is some sensible meaningful discussion happening here. The discussion is AROUND THE RICH MUSICAL LEGACY/TRADITION OF THE DHANNAMMAL FAMILY.This definitely is not a place to discuss the penury/sufferings of the family or their life style etc. My request to you would be to refrain from starting such saddisctical discussions here in this thread.If you think it should be still discussed, please start a new thread . NO DIGRESSIONS PLEASE!!!
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RaviSri
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#61 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by RaviSri » 29 Sep 2011, 09:13

One last post before I leave, since I thought I should clarify. varsha, the sisters did not chase away anyone. Muktha, never. Brinda did it once and only once to a disciple who whilst learning from her, started learning from another musician belonging to a totally different style. She felt that the student would be caught between two stools. That too Brinda did not chase the student away from her house. She only stopped teaching her. The student was always welcome to the house and the student did keep in touch with Brinda till the latter's death. I have written about this in the August 2007 issue of Sruti. It was not the mistake of the student but that of her father who foolishly sent her to another guru.

About the Dharmapuri Subbarayar song, 'sakhi prAna' I'll write about it after I return. I think my next post will be on October 5th or 6th. Please keep posting all of you.
Last edited by RaviSri on 29 Sep 2011, 09:21, edited 1 time in total.
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anandasangeetham
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#62 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by anandasangeetham » 29 Sep 2011, 10:36

Dear Sri RaviSri Sir,

On the anecdote of Sri Tiger giving a concert of ST at AIR...I am not able to get the point / understand....can you elaborate please.

thanks

Dear Sri CML.... I am sure you meant recess and not respite...
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varsha
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#63 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by varsha » 29 Sep 2011, 11:26

Point Taken.
I did not mean to say they chased people away . Their concept of a heirloom was different from other valuers of riches , perhaps . It is a recurring theme that repeats itself in the various schools in HM of that period , where the custodians really felt that valued legacies will be twisted and distorted in line with individual tastes and inadequacies .
After hearing Bala's Mayamalavgowla , I can see traces of that ingenuity in so many succeeding masters . And can also get a glimpse of how they must have felt about the improvisations .I am personally neutral between the need to preserve and innovate , though.
A good friend of mine who used to be a regular here, once told me that Mukta saw him at her window eavesdropping ( while she was practising ) and invited him inside , to learn from her . Even then , whenever he had to pass in front of Brindamma's door , he would have his heart in his mouth . And it was amazing for me to see how this guy would get goosebumps -remembering those days - years after they happened .
A real trail blazing family - this.
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cmlover
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#64 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by cmlover » 29 Sep 2011, 19:07

Thx Ravi Sri
Sakhi Prana has been my all time favourite. I would love to hear about the 'inside' story.
Have a relaxing 'recess' and come back with renewed vigour to continue your gripping anecdotes.
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Ramasubramanian M.K
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#65 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by Ramasubramanian M.K » 29 Sep 2011, 22:12

A little side digression apropo CMLover's Post #59(Forumites please indulge an old man!!! -I promise to link it in some way to the Artistes-patronage-economic issue being debated in these posts!!)

In 1974 I wrote an article in Shanmukha Magazine "THE 'RISE OF THE CULTURE CONSUMER AND THE FALL OF TASTE IN CARNATIC MUSIC( the words Rise and Fall were in Quotes!!)

Basically the article as it was written after the Sixties when except for SSI, all the other stalwarts had passed away and the relatively young violinists like TNK,LGJ and MSG had started their own solos and chose to do very little accompaniments(not that KVN,MDR,RK.Nedunuri etal did not perform or get good accompaniments)there was a general lament about how Music has died after the stalwarts--the same kind of caterwauling that a renowned scholar like Ranga Ramanuja Iyengar was indulging in EARLIER --saying how music had deteriorated after the 1930's(an indirect dig at the ARI/SSI/GNB era).

When it came to patronage in the olden days, I wrote:

" lament by the old timers also takes the form of extolling the patrons of the past. The legacy of art produced with the help of patrons---Rajas,Zamindars is so rich that a myth has grown up about it.This myth is often propagated by the "cultural elitists". We are told that the patrons of yesteryear were more sophisticated,more knowledgeable(although they may have been less educated in the "formal" sense and more "high-minded" and "decent", than those that exist today. Samuel Johnson's definition of a patron as "COMMONLY A WRETCH WHO SUPPORTS WITH INSOLENCE AND IS PAID WITH FLATTERY" does not seem far-fetched in the light of artistes themselves about patrons who were blind,bull-headed and boorish. One of the reasons why these myths live on is because while patrons' triumphs live their blunders are by and large forgotten. Patrons who were boorish enough to support the mediocrities of the past fade into richly deserved obscurity. Only those who guessed right are remembered. The history of patronage is thus biased and selective. There is no reason to believe that the patrons of the past were superior to our own.

There are many reasons why so many intellectuals scholars and art lovers regardless of caste,creed or political persuasion warm upto the elitist line. I believe it is their sense of violated exclusivity. Once upon a time they could go to a concert hall or a museum without having to "jostle' with the "rabble". Today these self-styled cognoscentis cannot bear the sight of the "Johnny-come-lately" music listener who incidentally also happens to wield some economic power, acquiired not by inheritance but by his own toil. IT undermines the elitists' sense of superiority and their exclusivity has been rudely violated. If Shanmukhananda sabha has grown from a tiny avant-garde institution into floursihing respectability and if this a cause for lament for some elitists, the threat may be more to their self-esteem than to art,
The elitist line also appeals to all of us who would love to sentimentalize and romanticize the past and secretly hate the present. When a music scholar of yore despairs of the so-caled appalling taste of the age we have a right to ask that has little to do with aesthetics. Is it implied that aesthetic atrocities have not been perpetrated in the past even during the halcyon days and even by the most cultivated of aristocratic elites"--End of quotes from the article.

The Dhanammal family despite plenty of opportunities to seek patronage(with potential strings attached) chose not to let their art be enslaved or commercialized/ If in the process they had to endure penury , today WE are all well off in that the traditions in singing,pedagogy --have been preserved . Lastly my above quotes from the article should not be interpreted to imply that the connoisseurs of Dhanammal's music were boorish or bull-headed!! On the contrary they ought to be applauded for their taste and musical judgement!!!!


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cmlover
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#66 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by cmlover » 30 Sep 2011, 03:44

MKR
Thanks for that eloquent quote from your 1974 article with avant-garde ideas comparing the two eras though your references to the IT vs the elitist is anachronistic at that time. Truly the season has changed today where the pasteurized 'legacy' can be preserved intact in El Dorado (thanks to the vision of VVS and friends).

I was however looking for the preservation of the legacy under its torch-bearers under the most adverse patronage system that prevailed in the late 19th and early 20 century hoping RaviSri could throw some light. The odds of survival in those casteistic-gender-dominant miliieu was indeed astronomical, but survive it did.

fduddy is right that the discussion if RaviSri agrees can be relegated to a fresh thread but as a true CM historian you would agree that the History is not complete if you ignore the dark sides...
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varsha
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#67 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by varsha » 30 Sep 2011, 17:21

the History is not complete if you ignore the dark sides...

http://www.historians.org/info/aha_history/cread.htm

The Social Responsibilities of the Historian
By Conyers Read, AHA President, 1949

Presidential address delivered at the annual dinner of the American Historical Association on December 29, 1949.
From the American Historical Review, Vol. 55, No. 2. (Jan., 1950), pp. 275-285.

Excerpts for the impatient reader . Nothing like reading the full text for the true seeker .
Quote ....italics are mine

The impelling force that brings us together tonight is a common interest in history. For some of us this interest is a professional one, for a large number of us it is a cultural one, for all of us it is what I shall call a pragmatical one. There is the history we disseminate, the history we absorb, the history we live by. I intend to consider tonight the first and the third of these categories and the relationships between them--that is to say the responsibilities of those who disseminate history, to those whose pattern of the past is one of the most important factors in their present behavior and in their future plans and hopes.
.........
In the long run the teaching of history has to justify itself in social terms, that is to say in terms demonstrably significant to the average citizen.
.......
Half a century ago a certain rich man built for himself a palatial residence on the outskirts of Philadelphia. It was in the grand manner. Even the spigots of the bathtubs were plated with gold--all of it designed simply for the greater comfort of this certain rich man and his progeny. Today, that same mansion has been converted into a chemical research laboratory. In some such fashion the ivory towers we have erected for our private enjoyment, if they are to survive, must be converted into research laboratories. Learning without reference to social living has no more claim upon social support than any other form of self-indulgence.

But there is much more to the matter than that. Historians and their critics have long been conducting a running fight between those who contemplate the past as an objective reality, which by diligence and dispassionate judgment can be described as it actually happened, and those who see the past simply as a projection of the ideas and interests of the present upon the accumulated data of remembered experience. The former group envisages the past as something finished and complete and unchanged; the latter group sees it as through a glass darkly, a colored glass at once translucent and reflective, in which the light which comes through is not clearly distinguishable from the light which is thrown back.

We can, however, distinguish between the accumulation of data and the selection and arrangement of data, between the factual basis for the judgment and the judgment itself. And it can hardly be denied that every act of selection and every act of arrangement constitutes a judgment and implies the criteria for a judgment. The difficulties begin to appear when as historians we attempt the synthesis;

The changing interpretations of the past have on the whole arisen less from the discovery of new facts than from the imposition of new interpretations on old facts. …. Are we, for example, mere implementations of biological urges destined to no more significant end than the banquet chamber of the earthworms, or are we divinely created in accordance with a divine purpose and containing within ourselves the potentialities of eternal life? Our answer to this question will have a profound influence upon our personal and social behavior.

The matter extends even further than that, for their history inevitably indicates trends which they expect to be projected into the remote future. The ultimate fruit is implicit in the seed or, to apply an old saw, as the twig is bent, the tree is inclined. This fact may be distasteful to us, but I think it is beyond dispute. Therein, I believe, lies the social responsibility of the historian, by which I mean anyone who undertakes to interpret the past to the present. I emphatically include novelists and playwrights and above all radio commentators......................................
Unquote
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RaviSri
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#68 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by RaviSri » 08 Oct 2011, 12:58

For those who did not understand Tiger's joke:

Tiger did not know a single ST song. He would mostly sing only the songs of the Trinity. When AIR called him to sing ST songs, he accepted, the absent minded person that he was. He was reminded by T.Sankaran that he had to sing ST songs that day. Since he did not know any song of ST, he told him, 'Sankara,puli pashichAlum pulla tinnAduDA (Sankara, the tiger even if it is hungry will not eat grass), meaning that he did not consider ST a major composer, since he knew that his contemporary Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar (who was younger to Tiger) and Semmangudi very much his junior had tuned most of ST songs. Tiger considered only the Trinity as composers, none else.

arasi, thanks for understanding. BTW, who is the eavesdropper? I might know him/her. If it should be a secret, so be it.

The 'sakhi prANa' story is like this:

Once Dharmapuri Subbarayar had to go to Dharmapuri to attend to some domestic problem. He had his family, wife, children etc., there. He took leave of Dhanammal, saying he would be back soon. It so happened that Subbarayar could not return for about six months because he had to attend to some property disputes and other things. After about 2 months, Subbarayar wrote to Dhanammal that he might be late in returning. But the letter came back to him. So did subsequent letters. Dhanammal and family had fallen on bad times, owed money and had to sell the house in which they were living. She and her daughters had to move into different houses.

When Subbarayar returned after six months, he found out the truth. He made enquiries and went to where Dhanammal was staying. Full of remorse he explained his position and why he was late. "it is all right Swami", replied Dhanammal. Subbarayar gave her some money. With some more money provided by the Dare house people, Dhanammal bought the Ramakrishnan Street house. Subbarayar was not satisfied. He told Dhanammal that physically that was all he had to offer her. But he was now going to present a ‘jewel’. And he composed ‘sakhi praNA’. It is as if a nAyikA is lamenting the absence and the broken promise of her lover. But the actual meaning is the above story.
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cmlover
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#69 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by cmlover » 08 Oct 2011, 17:09

Thx RaviSri for the complete 'sakhi prana' story!
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Aditto
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#70 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by Aditto » 08 Oct 2011, 21:32

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_x22PPVAEk

Please check the link. I will not give any description here.
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Aditto
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#71 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by Aditto » 08 Oct 2011, 21:33

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vasanthakokilam
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#72 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by vasanthakokilam » 08 Oct 2011, 21:53

>cienu, MS and Radha must have learnt a lot more songs from Brinda. I think they learnt karubAru (mukhAri) among them.

Cienu, RaviSri: karubAru versions from both point to that lineage also. Can we get that confirmed? That will be great to know. Thanks.
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RaviSri
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#73 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by RaviSri » 09 Oct 2011, 12:16

Wednesday, October 5th was Saraswati Puja. Though late, an anecdote:

Every year on Saraswati Puja day, the whole of the Dhanammal family would assemble. After the puja, Dhanammal, her four daughters and her four grand-daughters would sing vINApustaka dhAriNi in unison. Tambura would be strummed by either Muktha or Bala or Abhiramasundari. The male members of the family had to sit quiet and listen.
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RaviSri
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#74 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by RaviSri » 09 Oct 2011, 12:17

What do you want to know about the lineage? The question is not clear.
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arasi
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#75 Re: The Dhanammal Legacy - with Family Photos

Post by arasi » 10 Oct 2011, 07:00

RaviSri,
Welcome back, and thanks for sharing the Saraswathi PujA ritual at Dhanammal's household!
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