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Saturday, June 03, 2017

The 4 ghazal Maestros and their styles – My Perspective

One of my good friends had jocularly initiated a discussion in facebook about a Ghazal rendered differently by multiple stalwarts and how a particular version did not appeal to him. I started replying which expanded beyond the norm of a “comment” and decided to write it as a separate note. An aspect that unfailingly creeps into composing or performing is the character or personality of the artist. In here I try to present my perspective of the 4 great ghazal maestros whose songs I have been most familiar with.

Mehdi Hasan

My interpretation is that for Mehdi Hasan ghazal was "serious" business. Many ghazals like "koobakoo phail" (Apologies but I actually like Rajkumar Rizvi’s version of the same tune more than the Mehdi’s original itself !) and "abke ham" extol the seriousness of contemplation. Ideal for a ruminating listener with a glass of his favorite spirit in the solitude of the night, the intent of the delivery was to ensure that while the traditional raag system would be respected, delicious deviations lightening the scope would be an integral part of the embellishments. Thus this usually meant a certain level of “preparedness” was expected off the listener before he could indulge in the fine-wine world of Mehdi Hasan sahib. Not surprisingly, I have found most ghazal aficionados beginning with the rivulets that the other artists are, gradually upping their ability to savor more expansive idioms and nuances thus enriching their preparedness before they finally ensconce themselves in the sea of Mehdi Hasan’s complex melodies. And this is a confession.

Koo-ba-koo phail gayi by Mehdi Hasan

Abke Ham bichde by Mehdi Hasan

Ghulam Ali

For Ghulam Ali it is all story-telling peppered with a lot of smiles. He has the uncanny knack of engaging the listener in a fictitious conversation where he makes the listener feel that the artist is presenting his art with all humility but constantly gently reminding him that the artist is always the more important contributor to that conversation. This is a beautiful balancing act which if goes wrong would generate revulsion from the listener. But he perfected it to such an extent that it resembles a guided tour into the world of the poet's lyrics supported by just-enough vocal gimmicks to ensure that any listener - trained in music or otherwise - discerning or not- would feel the richness. One could liken his repertoire to a university where melodies of varying degree of difficulty are available depending on the seeker. One good example is " faasile" where he says "main use mehsoos kar sakta tha...(pregnant pause) choo sakta na tha". Another one is "main tera kuch bhi nahin hoon..magar itna to bata. Dekhkar mujkhko tere zehan mein aata kkyaa hai ?" . That "kyaa hai" is probably the most incisive question to the beloved rendered with the precision and smoothness of a surgical cut. In many ways I have felt listening to a new ghazal from Ghulam Ali Saheb is like enjoying a multi-layer cake. He reveals the poetry - usually unheard – so meticulously layer by layer that finally arriving at the central core of chocolate goodness the listener attains salvation. Very measured in studio-recorded versions, he is mischievously adventurous when live, thus making him, in my humble opinion, the epitome of Ghazal singing.

Faasile Aise bhi by Ghulam Ali :  (Note 5:35)

Apni Tasveer by Ghulam Ali :  (Note 5:44)

Jagjit singh

Jagjit singh abhorred that technical expertise which would compromise and sometimes even corrupt the intended meaning of the poetry being rendered. To him, every ghazal was a meditative and -safe to say - a spiritual experience where he imbibed each word of the poet and enunciated it as if he were the poet himself! The primary difference between Ghulam Ali and Jagjit Singh- i feel - is that with every Jagjit ghazal the listener felt that the listener was central to the conversation. Given some tunes were eminently hummable for everybody (" honthon se") irrespective of the pedigree, it offered even a musically-challenged listener to "own up" the song and helped him in his contemplation. In other words, Jagjit's renditions just became the listener's where the latter's "mind-voice" could traverse the relatively nuance-free passages and allowed him to vicariously be the singer himself. (Mostly) simple tunes elegantly composed within an octave and delivered in a laid-back manner with no vocal gimmicks or high-octane singing ensured no distraction to the listener from the central theme of the song. What, as a performer/composer, I found was that this simplicity was a facade. The emotive renditions of these relatively "simple" tunes are quite challenging when actually attempted because Jagjit had actually perfected the art of vocal-dynamics and enunciation and enshrined them in each of these songs. Portrayal of emptiness in "Aakash ka soonaapan" - the contemplative "let go" in "sochta hoon ki kahoon tujhse se magar..(pause) jaane de" (apni aankhon), or the beautiful advice given in “baat niklegi” to weather all criticism (“log zaalim har ik baat ka taana denge”) and hold on to the central thread of life (“unki baton ka zara saa bhi asar mat lena”) without ever giving away your state of mind (“varna chehre ke taasur se samajh jaayenge”) to the lumpen and sundry. Of course, there is this general criticism that he over-simplified the ghazal tunes, but what the detractors must remember is that it is through him that Ghazal as an art form came to be known to many in India. Thus his service in popularizing this artform is unrivalled.

Honthon se by Jagjit Singh

Apni aankhon ke by Jagjit Singh   (Note 5:03)

Baat niklegi by Jagjit Singh   (Note 2:23)


While Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali are the “gentlemanly” singers whose renditions resembled sophisticated conversations, many of Hariharan’s renditions portray the teasing romantic. In many ways, Hariharan is to Ghazals what S.P. Balasubramaniam is to playback especially in the romantic genre. There is always this “Hey baby..Look at me..Will ya” kind of youthful exuberance that is distilled and delivered in the songs like “Mujhe phir wahi yaad”. His subtle smile at “sunaa hai hamein wo bhulaane lage kyaa hum unhein yaad aane lage hain” is more a youth’s tease than a “matured” gentleman’s mellowed reflection. With youthfulness at heart comes the brash audacity to experiment and this is best encapsulated in his penchant for vivaadi swaras in most of his ghazals – the epitome being “dard ke rishte”. I have personally noted he favors the peppering of “teevra madhyam” in many of his ghazals. His ghazal “log kehte hain” and its associated sargam phrases, his delectable detour in the “jinhein bhoolne mein zamaane lage hain” to caress the teevra madhyam note and revert to the soul of the preceding line, his tantalizing riddle to the listener who looks lost finding the shadjam in “kyaa khabar thi ke main is darja badal jaaoonga” – all embody that restless experimental spirit. The album “Kaash” with its title track was sort of a revelation. If Jagjit was the first artist to understand and accord the weight of modern orchestration to back up the ghazals (Jagjit Singh’s violinist-arranger Deepak Pandit deserves a special mention here), Hariharan can be safely claimed to take it to the more experimental level (“Urdu Blues” as he called once) ably supported by his long-time arranger friend Jolly Mukherjee. Of course, with experiments come some results which are not entirely pleasing to the ears traditionally trained towards savoring a melody in a particular fashion. For example “patta patta buta buta” delivered by Hariharan while showcases his extreme capacity for “murkis”, does not offer as much justice to the lyrical aspect as does Ghulam Ali’s. The ghazal – a reflection by a forlorn lover – must ideally be delivered with pathos whereas Hariharan’s rendition is bouncy and appears to be simply a display of singing talent. It is indeed surprising to note that it comes from the same artist who has displayed beautiful sensibility to lyrics in another ghazal which has a similar mood : “Hamne kaati hai”

Mujhe phir wahi yaad :  (Note 2:30)

Kyaa khabar thi 

Kaash aisa

Hamne kaati hai

And for a comparison of the same ghazal rendered by all the three. Patta Patta Buta Buta by :

• Hariharan :

• Ghulam Ali :

• Mehdi Hasan :

Digression: One general criticism on Hariharan is that his pronunciation is not “good”. I consider this a slander by all those who throw this comment without understanding some of the most subtle points in pronunciation. Anybody who is familiar only with Bollywood Hindi has absolutely no standing to cast any aspersions on Hariharan’s pronunciation simply because the diluted Urdu of Bollywood is far from the original pronunciation. The gold standard of Urdu (and Hindi) pronunciation is Jagjit Singh. The many aspirated consonants that are part of Urdu are best heard in Jagjit’s renditions where he makes the subtle distinctions between क and क़ or ग and ग़ crystal clear. For example - hayā yak-laḳht aa.ī aur shabāb āhista āhista. These distinctions are important since they could paint a totally different meaning. For example सागर is sea whereas साग़र is wineglass. Hariharan correctly sings साग़र है मेरा खाली which means the wineglass (and not sea) is empty. However, I do agree there is some inconsistency in his pronunciation. For example in “mujhe phir wahi yaad”, there is an occasional destressing at the “jhe” of “mujhe” which makes it sound like “muje”. There is also this issue of musical inflections and language intonations being misconstrued as issues in pronunciation. While in these globalized times with the advent of artists like Shankar Mahadevan and Hariharan, the strict boundaries between Carnatic and Hindustani inflections are beginning to loosen up in popular hindi songs, a heavy Carnatic inflection in hindi / urdu song or an intonation which is characteristically South-Indian still reminds a listener of sambar even if he cannot really “smell” it – as in even if the pronunciation is correct he feels it is not.

Saagar hai mEra :

The attempt here portrays some general characteristics of the Maestros. This in no way means they have cocooned themselves into a particular style to the extent of becoming predictable – especially Hariharan who is synonymous with surprises. All were capable of stretching beyond their norm comfortably. For example Jagjit Singh’s rendition of “Tum Nahin Gham Nahin” could easily be mistaken in style for Ghulam Ali’s. Similarly the style of composing in “Dil mein ik lehar” of Ghulam Ali – I have felt always – is similar to a Jagjit Singh’s simpler tunes like “Honthon se”. Hariharan’s “Dar-o-Deewar” rouses in me the same sadness that Mehdi Hasan’s “Ab ke Ham Bichde”. “Rafta rafta wo mere” of Mehdi Hasan and “aks chehre pe” of Hariharan open the same vistas in my mind where a measured “gentlemanly” romantic expression in the praise of beloved is delivered.

Tum Nahin

Dil mein ik


Rafta rafta

Aks chehre

Thus while the personality of the artist largely looms over their works, it is in no way an “objective” criterion to classify them since most of these eminent artists have also done songs that defy the popular perception. What I however insist is that while the spectrum of their contributions may be wide, the weightage over the entire spectrum is not uniform. Of course, this depends on the listener’s perspective as well. For example one may wish to associate Salil Chaudhary with a penchant for carefully structured jumps between successive lines of a song without compromising on the continuity as a signature. However he was also capable of “aajaa re aa..nindiya tu aa”. Yodelling and fun songs – the signature of Kishore Kumar ? How about the pensive “Wo sham kuch ajeeb thi ?” Only classical / comedy songs by Manna Dey ? How about “Hasne ki chaah ne” or “kasme vaade” ? Thus this caveat is important while trying to analyze artists.

And then there are other stalwarts like Pankaj Udhas, Anup Jalota who I have not mentioned anything about. Nor have I attempted to mention anything about the female singers like Farida Khanum whose contributions are just as valuable. The above passages derive strictly from the list who I dote on – almost on a daily basis.. if not every moment of my life.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Autism : Embrace, do not Sympathize

The summery evening in Chennai was forcing the residents to seek refuge in malls and restaurants where the centralized air-conditioners assuaged the exhausted souls entering them. My friend Mohan and I pulled ourselves into a fine but hardly populated Italian restaurant whose fine tapestry with its laid-back lighting and mild music in the artificial coolth, provided a much needed relief from the aggressive weather outside. True to our innate space-hogging instincts, we grabbed a table for 4 and occupied 2 chairs. Ridiculously failing in the attempt to catch-up all the lost years, we savored the delicious broccoli soup sporadically blowing over it to mitigate its hotness.

A family of three including a 4-year old boy entered the restaurant. While the husband and wife, catching a glimpse of us, hesitated to come further in, the boy came scurrying towards us. He had a curious gaze and just before he could say something his father embraced him and whisked him off to another table.

In no time, the boy started whimpering and growling as he was forced to sit on the chair. His mother tried a variety of things – from cellphone to candy - which seemed to calm him only temporarily as his crying would return with a greater force. The father grew increasingly uncomfortable and approached the manager next to our table and asked: "Can you please give us quickly a chocolate fudge ice-cream ?"

"Preparing hot fudge could take time since it has to boil over. Would you like just a chocolate ice-cream instead, Sir ?"

"Whatever that is quickly possible please" - the father muttered and retreated quickly to his table.

I was surprised that a parent would order an ice-cream at the start of the dinner however maudlin and stubborn the child could be. A surge of moral superiority engulfed my mind as I pondered how ineffective modern-day parenting had become. Mohan’s chatter derailed my thought-train as we geared up to order the main course only to be interrupted by the high-pitched crying of the boy which made it impossible for me to concentrate on anything but the scene at his table. Unsettled by my curious and slightly admonishing gaze, the boy's mother quickly looked away as a sense of gloom appeared to have descended on her.

"Ice-Cream, Ice-Cream" - the screams grew stronger and showed no signs of abating. The mother's lips trembled in helplessness as the boy desperately clenched his teeth in the middle of his throes and pinched himself evoking a sense of pity in me. Simultaneously but unexplainably a wave of anger came over me when I saw the mother ranting animatedly to the father. He rose and approached our table when I let rip a cheeky but sufficiently loud comment to Mohan:

"What a travesty ! Modern day parenting seems to be only creating ill-disciplined children "

The father untouched by the comment, literally snatched the ice-cream from the manager and rushed back to his table which furthered my irritation as I wondered if I should have said something stronger. But Mohan's facial contortions seemed to clearly disapprove of my comment.

The moment the ice-cream was handed to the boy he erupted into an inconsolable cry with "don't want " being parroted regularly in between. My patience was wearing thin as I contemplated approaching the boy and giving him an earful. His mother now was at her begging best to calm him down. While the conversation itself was unintelligible, the scene that unfolded clearly told me that the boy was adamant he would not eat the ice-cream that was given to him in place of the hot-fudge ice-cream. His mother's efforts to carry him outside the restaurant failed as he knocked-off the ice-cream cup, lay on the floor and threw a tantrum waving his hands and legs vigorously.

With some effort his parents got him off the floor and his mother managed to hold him tight and exited the restaurant. The father pressed a 500 rupee note in the hands of the waiter and followed suit. I remarked to the waiter:

"You must be now so familiar with many types of customers"

"Sir, yes. They are our regular customers who usually sit at your table and what happened today is unprecedented"

"Seems like a spoilt child. How else.."

Mohan interjected : "Have you heard of autism ?"

While the word sounded fleetingly familiar, I was clearly unaware of what it really portrayed and that drew me into a momentary silence as Mohan continued:

"That boy could be autistic"

"How do you say that ?"

"Only an educated guess. From what I observed. From what I gather, we occupied his regular seat and that upset him tremendously"

"Well… is that even a matter ?"

"Not for us. But for the boy it could have been a shocking and depressing event. Autistics like repetition. That creates a sense of security to them. Any deviation from their norm can affect them heavily and they cannot reconcile as fast as others can"

"So was he trying to occupy our seat? Were his parents trying to give him ice-cream to appease him? "

"Autistics are not stubborn. They are insecure. Will you, apprehending that sitting in a new place could be dangerous, remain and act calm ?"

I blinked in silence and blurted : "How do you know all this ?"

"From my daughter's school which admits autistic children along with the general non-autistic ones"

"But admitting children with under-developed brains... "

"Autism does not necessarily mean sub-normally developed brains. Autism is a general term to indicate a differently developed mental faculty. It is a spectrum which could include people who have under-developed mental abilities. But it also includes many people who could rival Einstein in intellect"

"But I find it difficult to believe that normal kids could be in the same class as autistic kids and still learn well !"

"What is normal? You and I are considered "normal" by world standards. But are we alike? It is totally unnecessary to label and ostracize the autistics"

"So autism is not a disability ?"

"It is not necessarily a disability. Autistics are simply differently enabled. This is no euphemism but a reality. Taking this view, many countries consider autistics as differentiated and not debilitated"

My mind was filled with the thoughts of the boy and I suddenly trembled as if I had subsumed the boy's apprehensiveness.

"In my daughter's school there are a few children in every class who do show developmental delay"

"Are they not an impediment to the other kids?"

"No. It actually has made my daughter a more compassionate and empathetic individual. She has a better understanding than I had at her age about life--that life is not just a rat-race towards materialistic goals."

“While I do not advise my children to sit next to a studious child or not be friends with those who are not rank-holders, I find it difficult to believe that two students at two different levels of development can be in the same class."

" You are still trying to see this as black and white. A class of 30 students has 30 levels of development and not just 2. The problem is not with the stage of development, but the way we perceive it. Unfortunately our perceptions are marred by our pre-conceived notions about the success of a student--attending an institution of prestige, getting good grades, etc. We fail to recognize that what we learn from the books does not prepare us well socially"

I nodded, "Agree. I went to school because that was the norm. I feared the exams because others did. Before I could understand what I really liked to study, I was past 30."

"Not all children attend school with an academic intent. Some do so because they feel comfortable in the company of the known. It provides them with a sense of security and a calm atmosphere. The boy we saw could be one among those who fears new people and situations."

"But will it not be difficult for the other kids if he makes a ruckus in the school?"

"Initially yes. But to assume that he will make a scene every day is wrong. Schools which seek to integrate these children with those with special needs, perform an extensive research on their backgrounds. They talk to the other children of the same class and their parents and prepare them mentally to support this larger integration effort. A helper is assigned to each child with special needs to facilitate this effort. The class stands to benefit immensely if it were to get a teacher who doubles up as a special educator."

Mohan's words slowly constructed in me a scenario where all children were growing to become independent and—simultaneously--compassionate individuals. The acidic words I spilled thoughtlessly on the boy’s father weighed on me heavily as I my bowed involuntarily.

"I see you are thinking about the boy. But I believe his parents are used to verbal tirades like yours"

"You mean--my words would not have hurt them?"

"The words may have. But the courage of the parents to still take a chance to help their child integrate into the larger society is commendable."

"They ordered ice-cream for him. But even after getting the ice-cream he was screaming 'ice-cream'. Why was that?"

"Communication problem. What he says does not necessarily convey what he intends to. For example, you may know a few words in Hindi and may be able to say them well. That does not however mean you know and understand Hindi well. He may have associated the word ice-cream with the regular waiter serving a cold-gelato as his father and mother watched. Unfortunately, today his father moved from his usual place and a different gelato was served by him after discussion with manager. This is not what "ice-cream" means to him. That made him anxious. The only comforting factor was his mother's caress and body-language. Pardon me for saying this but spare a thought for the boy's parents. Whatever be the face they put in the wake of a scene, they are as human as we both are. They are uncomfortably aware of our prying eyes which could add to their guilt of not having handled the situation properly. "

Mohan's words were smooth but I felt them lacerating like a surgeon’s scalpel. I confessed whole-heartedly, "How pathetic of me to have judged them wrongly without a thought ! I am really ashamed of my small-mindedness."

"Did not intend to hurt you. Just presume that the child was not 4 but 2 years old. None of those tantrums would have been unacceptable. I sometimes feel that my daughter is growing too fast for me to savor her childhood. Consider the boy's parents to be blessed since they are seeing their child grow slowly allowing them this luxury."

"That is just a mollification of the actuality."

"No. What I am trying to say is that your sympathy is useless and must be duly dismissed from your mind. What they need is your whole-hearted acceptance."

That induced a pregnant pause as Mohan's words echoed in my mind with the intensity of a fog-horn only to be interrupted by the sight of the family reappearing at the restaurant's entrance. The boy came running towards us and Mohan promptly got up and asked him : "Would you like to sit here ?". The boy silently sat on the chair and started rolling the pepper-mill in his hand.

Mohan transferred our plates to the next table as I got up and said to the father : "Please feel free to sit here". A smile fleeted through his face as I struggled to work up mine to reciprocate.

(Based on a short story written by @Lalitharam Ramachandran in Tamil : )

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

A review on Vishni and Harish Ravindran's arangetram

I wrote a review on Vishni and Harish Ravindran's arangetram in Indian Link:

Simply outstanding

Indian Link

Linking India with Australia since 1994: newspaper | radio | digital

April 06, 2017 / by  / 0 Comment

Brother-sister duo Harish and Vishni Ravindran present a captivating arrangetram, writes MURALI SANKAR VENKATRAMAN

When I first heard Vishni Ravindran play in 2012, she was a soft-spoken Year 9 student whose calm and sincere countenance belied the curiosity to experiment and expand the musical idioms through the veena. That concert then, while predominantly melodic, had its share of outliers; and whenever they appeared, they were accompanied immediately by a subtle, almost imperceptible, frown on her ever-polite face.
It gave away that she was self and music-aware. The occasional disconnect between thought and execution was no doubt attributed to the enormity of the task – wielding the oldest string instrument of India with the finesse that it demanded – which she was just beginning to unravel.  Harish, her (then) kid-brother, hung around, probably coaxed by the promise of an extra dose of candy by their ever-inspiring mother Shanthinie.
Fast forward to 2017, I was flabbergasted by a confident young woman, a student of medicine, playing the very same veena, this time with admirable deftness. Harish, now a Year 11 student and built like a sportsman, accompanied his sister on the mridangam majestically and meticulously. 
Harish and Vishni Ravindran.Indian Link
This time round, some 600 people had gathered to hear the siblings on the occasion of their arrangetram, held last month.  When the curtains went up, the stunning decorations, done with the eye of an aesthete, provided a beautiful but laconically contrasting backdrop to the artistes on stage.
The concert started with a varnam in raga Kaanada – not usually a “starter raga” – composed by Srinivasa Iyengar. Vishni did well to showcase the muktayi and chitta swarams, instilling an eagerness for the numbers to follow.
A languid aalap in Shanmukhapriya followed where her now warmed-up fingers extolled the raga’s gamakams in an assured and elaborate manner. “Siddhi Vinayakam Anisham”, a Dikshitar kriti was well rolled out and the kalpana swarams that followed later established her pristine understanding of the raga and its swara constructs.
While panchamam occupies a central position as it would in any melakarta raga, Vishni also flashed panchamam-free passages involving just madhyamam and dhaivatham which evoked a sense of restless eagerness in the listeners’ minds that unconsciously yearned for the embrace of panchamam to relax.
Harish accompanied brilliantly, adapting his play to sound as close to the meter of the complicated swara passages thrown at him.  All in all, Shanmukhapriya, which lasted close to 20 minutes, erased any doubts and set the bar high for the rest of the evening.
Harish and Vishni Ravindran.Indian Link
Guru Thanjavur Murugaboopathi acted as the rhythm-keeper; the young performers occasionally threw him a look during the difficult rhythmic passages.
While Thyagaraja’s Shree ragam composition “Endaro Mahanubhavulu” was presented “as is” without any extra ornamentations and was fairly satisfying, I felt the gamakas in the passage “chanduru varnuni anda chandamunu” could have been a tad better.
But for that, this song by the virtue of its chittai swaras provided the first opportunity in the concert to hear violin (Shri Mullaivasal Chandramouli) and veena in total unison – it defined bliss.
“Janani Ninuvina” in rejuvenating Reetigowlai ragam and misra-chapu taaLam paved way for the ever-enticing, vibrant “Raghuvamsa Sudha” in Kadhanakuthoohalam – a modern metric for assessing a vainika in delivering rapid chittaiswara passages.  Vishni’s occasional excursion into “two note” chords, borrowed from western music idiom and popularized by Vaidya, was a treat to hear.
Harish and Vishni Ravindran.Indian Link
While Kadhanakuthoohalam has been allowed in the modern times to “harmonise”, Bhairavi and Todi – the two veritable benchmarks to assess the erudition of a Carnatic artiste – are handled by almost every artist in the traditional monophonous manner.
Vishni’s aalaapanai, taanam, neraval and the dialogue of kalpanaswarams with the violinist for the kriti “Balagopala Palayasumam”, definitively declared her rightful belonging among the promising best in the genre.
Harish’s thani avarthanam in adi thalam (2 kalai) that followed was a beautiful display of how it can be split into an admixture of thisram, misram, and khandam sub-parts and merged back tallying the correct rhythmic count. The question-answer session between the mridangam and ghatam (Shri. Chandrasekara Sharma) drew huge applause from the crowd.
Harish and Vishni Ravindran.Indian Link
Vishni carefully explained the taalam of a tough ragam-taanam-pallavi in Karaharapriya composed by her guru Prof. Pudukkottai Krishnamurthy and went on to give a stellar rendition ably accompanied by Harish. The ragamalika taanam, neraval, sanchaaram, ragamalika kalpanaswarams and kaalapramaanam reinforced our belief in their musical acumen.
Brindavani thillana of Dr. Balamurali Krishna was clearly a dancer’s interpretation on veena and a testament to Vishni’s rigorous training in Bharatanatyam. The energy and vivaciousness was unmistakable and when it ended, it brought a smile on everybody’s lips.
Shri. Murugaboopathi and Dr. Ramachandra heaped deserving praises on the duo and attributed their stupendous performance to “never missing homework”.
In a nutshell, simply outstanding: the Ravindrans are bound to make a huge ripple in the field of Carnatic music.

Photos: SJ Images (