S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Carnatic Musicians
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Rsachi
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#1 S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by Rsachi » 19 Feb 2013, 16:31

Thanks to Dr. VKV, I was able to buy the Kalakendra DVD on S. Rajam and watch it.
Congratulations to SB Khanthan and Lalitha Ram. They have produced a long documentary and tried to capsule the man's multifaceted genius. A number of distinguished musicians, artists and others describe him and his greatness, as it touched them, in reverential joy. But I feel the labels are all like flowers that adorn a beautiful deity in such a way that we feel finally the flowers are only a token of our devotion, they can hardly embellish the true beauty of the idol.
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I learnt to my astonishment that Sri Rajam-
...Learnt music from Balu Dikshitar, Ariyakudi, Gowri Ammal, Papanasam Sivan, Muthiah Bhagavatar and Madurai Mani Iyer and many others.
...Learnt Purandaradasa krithis from Smt Lalithangi and won a first prize at MA in his teens, where she also competed and was placed second.
...learnt art and later visited Ajanta and decided to chalk out his own path with watercolours and brushes
...mastered and taught 72 melakarta compositions of Koteeshwara Iyer
...tuned Sarvam Brahma Mayam in Madhuvanti
...was a famous, extremely handsome, film star when S Balachander, the brother was much younger and unknown
...could draw at 70 as he could draw at 25, and sing too the same way
...taught a song to anyone who asked, even someone on the street opposite BVB in Mylapore
...discovered the beauties of so-called Vivadhis and sang them so positively as to earn praise from SSI
(That's like a master discovering hidden beauty, flowering potential and fragrance in plants we long neglected in a well-tended garden showing off the roses and dahlias)
...created masterly multilayered watercolour works to embody the visualisations of Dikshitar and Thyagaraja and others...
...was least rewarded by the Carnatic community for his unremitting labours of astounding creativity.....

Yes, the labels fall off this man. Should we hail the era and milieu that gave birth to this man, or thank God that we breathe the same air that he breathed?
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cacm
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#2 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by cacm » 19 Feb 2013, 23:48

Dear R,
"A minor Comment: ...could draw at 70 as he could draw at 25, and sing too the same way"
In Reality he entered the Hospital a few days before he passed away. His routine even then was to either paint or sing (mostly teaching some one) and I was there just hours before he entered the hospital. He was painting to meet the deadline for a request as well as an illustration for "Hinduism" magazine of KUAI to which he was a regular contributor. Also he discussed and sang in detail the nuances of the rendering of JANAKIRAMANA by Kanchipuram Naina Pillai, TNR and MMI and his RENDERING IN Washington D.C.Area concert in 1981 which was brilliant to say the least......Within a few hours he was in the hospital and Cleveland V.V.Sundaram, his wife Gomathi, & myself were visiting him. He would respond by squeezing the hand to acknowledge who was talking to him but was recognising persons till the very end.........It would be nice if persons who have met him, dealt with him etc RECALL their associations.
It is a pity that there has been only one public exhibition of his paintings and that was in 1981 at Los Alamos, NM, USA for a month with over
2000-mostly American Scientists(famous) and painters from Santafe attending & being astounded by his CREATIVITY. Incidentally he inagurated the Exhibition with a SCINTILLATING Concert, arranged the exhibits himself ASTOUNDING the curator of the museum who is an expert curator etc. An AMAZING experience. The LEAST his students can do is to arrange an annual event exhibiting his paintings along with a symposium about his music as a performer & teacher.......VKV
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varsha
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#3 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by varsha » 20 Feb 2013, 07:12

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Rsachi
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#4 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by Rsachi » 20 Feb 2013, 08:50

Thanks Varsha!
As your name suggests, a deluge of years of collection!
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thanjavooran
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#5 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by thanjavooran » 20 Feb 2013, 20:16

Varsha Avl,
Many thanks for sharing the precious collection.
Thanjavooran
20 02 2013
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mahavishnu
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#6 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by mahavishnu » 21 Feb 2013, 11:56

Wonderful pictures, Varsha.
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cienu
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#7 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by cienu » 21 Feb 2013, 17:08

Thank you Varsha for sharing your pictorial collections of the genius.
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hnbhagavan
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#8 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by hnbhagavan » 23 Feb 2013, 21:57

Dear Friends,

Thanks to RSachi and friends providing insight to the life and work of S Rajam - a multifaceted personality.Perhaps those of us in Bangalore could not attend many of his concerts.The paintings are great and it was interesting to hear his entry to films too.
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Rsachi
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#9 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by Rsachi » 23 Feb 2013, 22:01

For those yet to watch this video:
http://bit.ly/SRajam
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Purist
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#10 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by Purist » 24 Feb 2013, 12:47

A great tribute to the genius. His approach to life (mentioned at the end of video) is as
effervescent as his art and music.
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sathreya
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#11 Re: S. Rajam - greatness that defies labels

Post by sathreya » 17 Sep 2018, 21:46

Would it be fair to say that the descriptions of the navagrahas (atleast 7, excluding rahu and ketu) found in Dikshitar compositions, greatly helped S.Rajam with his painting of the same, being as he was, a fine exponent of Dikshitar kritis himself ?
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