'Moga Mul' book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme

Books on Carnatic Music and those for / by / on musicians.
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pattu
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#1 'Moga Mul' book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme

Post by pattu »

I just finished reading this epic of a novel set in the 1940s. Amazing. The central theme is Carnatic music. The way TJ has handled the subject and the emotions of the various characters are splendid. The milieu of Thanjavur district of those times is beautifully brought out and the novel brings alive the rivers, the green fields and the villages of the region.

I would like a discussion on this book by people who have read it.

RaviSri
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#2 Re: 'Moga Mul' of T.Janakiraman

Post by RaviSri »

Truly an epic. One of the greatest books of literature written in any Indian language. The central theme of CM has been handled with sensitivity, yet with great authority too. Apart from the hero Babu and heroine Yamuna, there are many characters that are vital to the story. Like music guru Ranganna for instance. The scenes that he appears in starting from the day he accepts Babu as his disciple to his death Ranganna rides like a colossus. As TJ writes, 'avvaLavu ATchi uNDU RangannAvukku'. Babu's father Vaithi is another sterling character. And the scenes that TJ describes! The Cauvery, Kudamurutti, Kumbhakonam, Papanasam, all these come alive and take us back to 'those days'. Incredible epic indeed. More later.

PUNARVASU
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#3 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by PUNARVASU »

This novel came as a film , may be a decade ago or more. IIRC, Abhishek, Archana Joglekar did the main roles.

Shyamala Rangarajan
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#4 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by Shyamala Rangarajan »

Here is the link to the movie Moga Mul....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNGBxrO3Blw

cacm
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#5 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by cacm »

Some rasikas might know that T.Janakiraman (one of the original Manikkodi Writers along with Chitti Sundararajan & others) was one of the presiding deities of the "MANI MANDAPAM in Tiruchi(named by TIRUVALANGADU "SUSWARAM" SUNDARESA IYER; EMBAR V was another regular) where MMI & PALANI have said they gave their BEST CONCERTS. T.Janakiraman has presented an EXCELLENT NATIONAL PROGRAM ON MMI.....VKV

arasi
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#6 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by arasi »

VKV,
If it was a national program, is it possible that we can get to hear it?

This is an unforgettable novel, one would say. But the details I 'have' forgotten, over the years :( Yet, the effect of his writings stay with us like memories of an old friend. Janakiraman was a master, and his rasikatvam showed in his writings in such a fine manner.
Has this book been translated into english?

I will try and catch some scenes from the movie. Somehow, the effect of an outstanding work gets a bit altered when you see it made into a movie. Yet, ThillAnA mOhanAmbAL, though was a slightly different take from the book, was a pleasing one! So was one of Jayakanthan's stories...

cacm
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#7 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by cacm »

Dear Arasi, It is in the 2 DVD SET ON MMI CENTENARY I MADE. DID I MAIL IT TO YOU? If you didn't get it pl write your mailing address & I will send you a copy. VKV

arasi
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#8 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by arasi »

No, I don't have it. Kindly do send it! I will also send you my compositions vol:3 sung by Sumitra. If you haven't got vol:2 sung by Neela Ramgopal, I will send that also. You haven't moved, have you? We have moved, and I don't think you have the new address. Will mail you.Thanks!

cacm
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#9 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by cacm »

ARASI: THANKS! LOOKING FORWARD TO RECEIVING IT WITH YOUR NEW ADDRESS. VKV MY ADDRESS IS STILL: VKV 690 LOS PUEBLOS LOS ALAMOS NM 87544. AS my son, d-i-l & grandson are living within 3 miles from us we will be only here! vkv

RaviSri
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#10 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by RaviSri »

I don't think the book has been translated into English.

The film does absolutely no justice to TJ's Moga Mul. The script has been changed in many places and CM does not find much of resonance in the film. The theme of the film has been changed from being CM centric to love centric and the choice of actors, extremely unimaginative. Imagine Nedumudi Venu as the mighty Ranganna! What was Ranganna's character and what has been portrayed ion the film - there is an ocean of difference.

Mahendran, one of the finest cinema directors of India recently said that he had finished writing the script for Moga Mul and that he was searching for a suitable music director to begin the shoot. In Mahendran's hands I am sure, the novel and TJ will get full justice. I am looking forward to Mahendran's Moga Mul.

The ending of the novel itself is thrilling. Babu decides to travel to Maharashtra to learn HM and voice culture from a Hindustani musician who had years earlier come to Kumbhakonam. The conversations they have with Ranganna, Babu etc., and the description of their music by TJ is amazing.

RaviSri
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#11 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by RaviSri »

The title is misleading as the novel is set in the 1940s. It was written by Janakiraman in the late 1960s, early 70s, first as toDarkadai either in Ananda Vikatan or Kalki. After that it was published as a book. The title therefore should be: 'Moga Mul' by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme. The year 1940 is not necessary.

===
Moderator Note: Edited the title as per your suggestion.
===

Rsachi
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#12 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by Rsachi »

RaviSri,
Thanks for this insight, I had pressed the Pause button after about 55 min. of the Youtube movie (stretched across 16:9 from 4:3).
The movie was slow and dull and seemed to centre around the plight of women unable to enter into good marriages.
The music had very few interesting moments, starting with even the not-so-great nadaswaram..
There was some huge mismatch between words and lip movement, almost hinting at a thought-speech disconnect.

I do hope the novel gets a second try in celluloid(!) with today's talented CM music directors and singers.

RaviSri
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#13 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by RaviSri »

Rsachi, Mahendran is not in a hurry and is prepared to wait to get the right people, for his only ambition regarding Moga Mul is to see that he presents it authentically as TJ wrote it.

rajeshnat
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#14 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by rajeshnat »

RaviSri wrote: Mahendran, one of the finest cinema directors of India recently said that he had finished writing the script for Moga Mul and that he was searching for a suitable music director to begin the shoot.
Ravisri
Are you talking about mahendran who directed few classic films like uthiripookal , nenjathai killAdhE. I am not sure if there is any suitable music director right now with illayaraja not really composing that much. Mahendran has to make a big musical compromise

Rsachi
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#15 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by Rsachi »

The other problem will be that a 1940's story-line about an idealist Carnatic musician will attract fewer and fewer cinema audiences as time passes.

RaviSri
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#16 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by RaviSri »

Yes, the very same Mahendran of nenjathai kiLLAthEy and udiri pUkkaL, that great classic, one of the greatest in the annals of Indian cinema, in my opinion. Of course, as you say, rajeshnat, Mahendran may have to compromise on the musical aspects unless he gets someone who has absorbed the whole story and internalised it. Illayaraja was the composer for the film Moga Mul that is now available, but the music was a great dissapointment. Had Mahendran chosen to produce the film 10 years ago, he could have coopted V.Dakshinamurthy, that great composer who was also a vidvAn but Dakshinamurthy Swami passed away last month at the age of 93.

There will be poor audiences for the film which Mahendran knows more than anybody else, but I think he is prepared for that. If he makes the film with a music composer who has totally understood TJ's book, then we get a true classic.

rajeshnat
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#17 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by rajeshnat »

Ravisri
I am an illayaraja maha paithiyam, he is almost like a god to me . Till 1994 illayaraja with his movie veera he had his touch , from 1995 the downturn of his music just started .Incidentally this movie mOgamul is in 1995, barring the first song kamalam , almost every other song is a disappointment . With dakshinamoorthy passing away , may be mahendran can consider some one like P Raveendran (his highness abdulllah fame)too . WIth mahendran known for his extraordinary screenplay and direction, I still think he will do a good job. Certainly there is dearth of music composers , no wonder in the last 10 years plus , i am finding every movie a near and sure disappointment that makes me focus only to CM concert. Any way I will read this book , with my slow and not steady reading habit I hope to complete reading this book.

RaviSri
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#18 Re: 'Moga Mul' book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme

Post by RaviSri »

Yes, it is good to read the book. I don't think Mahendran will compromise, that's why he is waiting. Mahendran's favourite composer too is Illayaraja, but obviously he does not want Illayaraja for his Moga Mul. Over the last 20 years I have read the book about 50 times. And every time, every line reads fresh.

thenpaanan
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#19 Re: 'Moga Mul' book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme

Post by thenpaanan »

My favorite part of the novel was when the protagonist listens to a visiting musician from the north, which opens his eyes to the immense possibilities of the music. It is a very internal journey of the protagonist. I remember the letter he writes to the musician where he says in essence -- he wants to explore the depths of music and express the entire range of expression from sorrow to happiness through music, this even though he is supposed to have learned and explored all aspects of Carnatic Music. This is a radical and brave statement to make or a Carnatic Musician, where we typically believe that CM is the ultimate. I have never heard such a sentiment from an establishment musician in CM.

And forget about the movie. It is not really about the musical content of the book.

Thenpaanan

RaviSri
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#20 Re: 'Moga Mul' book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme

Post by RaviSri »

Yes, the scenes involving the Maharashtrian musicians are really thrilling and an eye opener. The expression of wonder by Ranganna, the guru, at the depth and range of their voices and Babu's frustration when the North Indian says that he, Babu, would have to work hard at`his voice for 5 or 6 years, the musicians' singing at the Nageswara temple and heroine Yamuna's reaction to that music, Babu's father Vaithi's wonderment at their music, all these are places in the book which I feel are truly examples of great writing on music. I hope to translate and post some of these scenes.

Meera
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#21 Re: 'Moga Mul' book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme

Post by Meera »

What a great novel ! Thi.jA himself used to sing beautifully just on kELvignanam, I have read and he has even reviewed concerts.He is a phenomenal writer and there are his other novels too which are truly great like marappasu ( again based on a musician),amma vandhaaL (kamal wanted to do the protaganist's role but was too old to do when he could think of it ),nalapAkam,chemparuthi,etc.and his short stories are truly amazing.

vasanthakokilam
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#22 Re: 'Moga Mul'1940 book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central t

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Rsachi wrote:The other problem will be that a 1940's story-line about an idealist Carnatic musician will attract fewer and fewer cinema audiences as time passes.
Possible but hopefully if the movie is well made, it can attract audiences. Amadeus is a good prototype to follow, though I realize in this context the story is fictional.

RaviSri
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#23 Re: 'Moga Mul' book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme

Post by RaviSri »

Thi.jA himself used to sing beautifully just on kELvignanam,
Actually, TJ learnt music formally, first from his father then from Umayalpuram Swaminatha Iyer and later from Pattamadai Sundaram Iyer.

rshankar
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#24 Re: 'Moga Mul' book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme

Post by rshankar »

I really hope that someone like Sri(kanth) from the Bay Area brings this out as an audio book like he did for ponniyin selvan (or maybe even a commercial effort like the one with 'sivakAmiyin sabadam') - that will allow many who can't read tamizh to enjoy the story as well.

ganesh_mourthy
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#25 Re: 'Moga Mul' book by T.Janakiraman-CM as the central theme

Post by ganesh_mourthy »

I am reading it and I am half way through it. On completion let me get back here.

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