Saturday, March 27, 2010

Seela Subhadra Devi - Poem

It is rare that husband and wife are good poets and short story writers.
Seela couple have that distinction.
After entering sixtieth year Subhadra Devi published a compilation of her poems.
It contains nearly 200 of her works.
Couple of them are long poems.
Prof N Gopi released the book at a meeting attended by serious lovers of poetry.
Candid discussion on the situation of poetry and the qualoty of the poetry being released ensued.
There was almost no time left for the poet to read her own poems.

Interestingly I read the translations of one of her poems.
Later she read out the original!!
I consider it an honour!!

Here is the poem in my humble English version.

A poem Alive

Locking the latch on the door
binding teh dreams underneath the eyebrows
I shift the tired being onto the bed

A little while rest or not
matters from yonder in the past rising like cobras
knocking on the hearts doors
Hiss, spewing embers!

Even if I want to get up with a shudder
Sleep ties the body down.

In a short while
Slowly raising and holding the eyelids
Dreams drool out a little by little
They start prancing around
words hewn with dreamy threads
Keep moving all through the night

I keep muttering in sleep
That it would ahve been good if I awoke once
To spread teh haert as paper
And make a packet of garlands of poems

When I want to move my hand still ahlf asleep,
Little baby asleep, closely clutching may hand, would shudder.

Me again into deep sleep.

When eyes open after daybreak,
Dreams hidden in them are lost!
Stanzas that I composed and concealed in the heart are lost!

Me remaining with no reaction!

When I look back,
With my poems strung in her ankle bells,
Coaxing me to catch her,
There is teh little one
Full of smiles!!

(Original poem "Sajeeva Kavita" by Seela Subhadra Devi)

Lalgudi Jayaraman - Violin

There are a few people I admire a lot!!
One among such few is Lalgudi.
He is a gentleman to the core.
I remeber back in 70s there was his concert in Ravindra Bharati.
Hall was bursting at seams.
There were people, including me, witing to enter the hall.
We were curtly told to leave.
Usually people do not leave immediatley at such places.
We were told that Lalgudi has generously accepted to have us around him on the stage.
I can not forget the day I heard him from real close quarters.
Time has made his music greater and greater.

At a later point of time I came to know him personally.
He was asked to play a Ragam Tanam Pallavi.
He was already having one in his mind.
Since the performance was in Hyderabad, he wanted tha Pallavi lines to be in Sanskrit or Telugu!
That is what a gentleman is all about.
Oh God! Did I suggest the lines in Telugu?
It was not necessary!
His knowledge of Sanskrit is great!

Here is the famous Bomaby Shankara Mutt Concert Disc album of Lalgudi Jayaraman for nostalgia sake!!


01 Sri Shankara Guruvaram – Nagaswaraavali
02 Paraathparaa – Vaachaspathi
03 Akhilaandeswari – Dwijaavanthi
04 Shankaraachaaryam – Sankaraabharanam
05 Eppo Varuvaaro – Jonpuri


Enjoy the vintage music!!

Secret - Is there any?

There is a beautifully produced red book named Secret!

It hardly contains any secret!
But, the fact would not come out until you buy and read the book.
So, you buy it!
To learn that the so called secret is after all, what you practise and were practising for ever!

I was thinking about any secret that I could tell the world and stun it.
It dawned upon me that there are none!

Apart from the follies committed galore, there looks like no secrets in my life.
The follies, I have committed, like the proverbial cat that closed his eyes when thieving, are known to many, I presume.
So, where is any secret?
There are many things that you know, but are not prepared to tell the world that you know.
You may think that only you know that information.
You may also think that all the others in the world are pining to learn it from you.
Who cares?

Many people died without telling their well kept secrets, they say.
What happened?
Nothing in particular, I am sure.
Nothing remains a secret only because you do not want anyone to know it.
Some facts are conveyed even without the efforts of communication.
Some facts are so trivial that when communicated, the owner may die of failed heart on seeing the poor reaction.

Even the little bird is sick of telling anything to anyone these days.
Maybe, the reaction would be ‘who cares?’

There are certain things classified as open secrets.
Everyone and his neighbour know them. All pretend, as if they have not even heard of any such thing. Murders take place. Scandals break out.
Day in and day out, there are things appearing in the papers.
Ask a little boy what is it all about, he would perhaps tell you things that even the highest police officers feign ignorance of.

All murderers get caught.
All the stolen money is recovered.
All the criminals get to be identified.
What happens after that is of no interest to many.
No paper prints anything about them.
Sometimes, no, most of the times, they live happily ever after.
Maybe, there is no secret about that also.

Sudha Raghunathan - Annamayya Songs

Here is one more of album of Sudha Raghunathan.
This time it is compositions of Annamacharya.


01 Ksheerabdi Kanyakaku
02 Nanati Bratuku
03 Bhavayami
04 Paramapurusham
05 Alarulu
06 Managambudhi
07 Chakkani Talliki
08 Vinaro bhagyamu
09 Dolayam
10 Srimannarayana



Vemana Padyam - Anger

కోపమునను ఘనత కొంచెమై పోవును
కోపమునను గుణము కొరత పడును
కోపమునను బ్రతుకు కొంచెమై పోవును
విశ్వదాభిరామ వినుర వేమ

kOpamunau Ghanata komcemai pOvunu
kOpamunanu guNamu korata paDunu
kOpamunanu bratuku komcemai pOvunu
viswadabhirAma vinura vEma

కోపమునను = in anger
ఘనత = greatness
కొంచెమై పోవును = will get reduced
గుణము = character
కొరత పడును = will become incomplete
బ్రతుకు = life
కొంచెమై పోవును = will be reduced

Oh Vema! In anger the greatness and good behavior will get a beating. Life will become unbearable, says Vemana simply in this poem.
Sumati satakam also comments on anger similarly.
We shall see that padyam in detail in the coming posts.

Indian philosophers said that there are six internal enemies.
They are lust, anger, miserliness, pigheadedness, desire, and lack of decency.

Though listed second in the line, anger is the result of dissatisfaction due to the other five enemies.
You behave in a particular way and look for soem reaction.
When you don't get teh reaction, you are angry!

Somebody shouts at you.
What is teh purpose?
To make you angry!
If you are angry, the other person is the winner.
if you are not, you are the winner!!

Sri Krishna in Gita tells the effects of anger beatifully. Anger will lead to false hopes. that will lead to lack of coherence which in turns results in stupidity.
Stupids will perish!!
If you control anger, all your wishes will be fulfilled. If you control anger, you can control the world.
One who is in full control of his emotions, will judge the situations carefully. On the day when such a person will also expresses anger, the whole world takes note and reacts.

People in corporate world also are talking more about emotional intelligence these days!
they have enough material here to quote in their exercises!!

No anger please!!

A page from my diary

Here is one more page from my diary.

As you can see, it was written on 8th of July in the year 2000.
It is about work and returns.

"railways who claim that public service is their motto charge us for travel. LIC which says it will look after us, make business with our money. Teachers who are called as noble profession take salaries. Doctors don't even touch the patient without money.

Are all of them of one class?
some are the other way round!
People who feel happy to call the troubles onto their head and enjoy serving others are also there!
If you help your kith and kin, it is duty.
If you do the same to teh others, it is help!
Duty is always is on the second rung of preferences.
If one also ahs the itch to be famous and being called 'nice people' will go a step further to invite trouble, in the name of helping others.
They feel immense happiness in doing so.
If you expect returns and help some one, it is neither help nor service.
That is paid labour!
There is nothing great about it.
Even the expertise may be there, or may not be there.
What you get in return depends on the expertise.
But, if you help people without expecting returns, immediate result is satisfaction.
Later reputation!!

Ghatanam Sarvajaneenam - Drama

Please don't get bewildered by the title.
I was not there when this title was decided.
Or, I would have made it soemthing like "We are like this only!"
This is a story from any office in this country.
There are all kinds of people in this office.
You should only listen to the drama to know if you are also featured in it.
You would know half the characters of the play personally.

Best part is, it is Musical.
All kinds of music, starting with Carnatic to Hindustani, Qawwali and also Western are featured in this spoof! Nothing sounds out of place.
I remember classical musicians appreciated this drama more than the common listeners.
There is a whole retinue of people who took part in it!

Srinivasan, yes, the flute maestro, wrote and produced it.
He was humorist to the core!
He would mimic people, tell anecdotes and make people laugh without let up.
His presence would make the party a real party!!
I am not saying these things, but people said this.

Srinivasan made Kopalle Sivaram pen the lyrics to the preset tunes.
Whether you understand Telugu or not, you will enjoy them.
I request all visitors to the blog to listen to this Radio Drama.


PS: I will continue to post more radio dramas here.
I cannot announce them in the music forums.
People interested in Telugu drama and light music may kindly follw my blog, inform other people.
I also request you to suggest me ways in which I can inform more people about this treasure coming up.
For example, light music of real vintage value is in pipeline!
How do ypu like to listen to Balamurali singing Enki Patalu?

Let us enjoy good music!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sundara Kanda (Telugu) - Radio Version

Sri M S Rama Rao was a singer of yester years.
He was a playback singer in films too.
He made the Telugu version of Hanuman Chalisa and used to sing it at many places.
It became very famous.
In 70's he made the Telugu version of Sundara Kanda in lyrical form and rendered it himself.
Initially it was recorded for All India Radio.
Then, a shorter version came out commercially.
I remember, those were the days when cassette players became popular.
Any Telugu person buying a player would also buy a Suprabhatam by MS and Sundara Kanda of M S Rama Rao.
It almost became a super hit.
It perhaps continues to be in the same position for those who have listened to it.
A street in Chikkadpally, where Sri Rama Rao lived, was named after him.
Sri Rama Rao's sweet voice narrating the intricacies of the story in simple Telugu will mesmerise the listener.

Thanks to Sri SSPrakash, here is the Radio Version of the famous Sundara Kanda, for your personal listening pleasure. It runs for more than 5 hours.
Kindly note that this is not the commercial version, which is just 2 hours long.

Sundara Kanda is the heart of Ramayanam.
Hanuman is the hero of this part of Ramayanam.
I dedicate this musical rendition to all those devotees of Rama and Hanuman!!


Enjoy the bliss!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Evolution and Hair

For most part of my life, I was known as a man with the beard!
Only recently I started shaving my chin clean.
I have a feeling that having beard is more fashionable than shaving it off!
We see that all great men, (including me, Duh!!) have beards!!

I found this piece of news interesting!!

From an evolutionary standpoint, why is it beneficial for men to have facial and chest hair?

If you look at some of our relatives, we primates are a fairly hairy bunch.

Primates tend to have all sorts of interesting facial and sometimes even shoulder hair, so humans are not odd in this regard, says anatomist Professor Ian Gibbins from Flinders University.

In fact, Gibbins suspects it wasn't that long ago that we sported a pretty impressive fur coat of our own. The evidence for this comes from goosebumps.

But evolution is usually pretty prompt at getting rid of features we don't need, says Gibbins, so the reason men still have facial and chest hair is more likely due to sexual selection.

At some stage while we were losing our excess body hair either women found hairy men more attractive, or men preferred non-hairy women.

"The usual argument," says Gibbins, "is that [sexual selection] is some sort of surrogate for your overall fitness."

"So if you're a good enough feeder or hunter or breeder, or whatever it is, to have enough energy in reserve to make some flashy show then it means you're probably ahead of the pack."

Basically if you're a very hairy man and hairy men are in, you get the girls.

However there are some caveats to this argument.

Firstly, hairiness can vary quite dramatically between different ethnic groups, so to make general statements about male hairiness is fairly difficult. For example, men from a Mediterranean background generally have darker and thicker hair, whereas men of Asian descent often don't have much facial hair at all, says Gibbons.

Secondly, men and women have approximately the same number of hair follicles, what differs is the coarseness of the hairs.

We have two types of hair on our bodies: the coarse, usually pigmented terminal hair which includes our head hair, pubic hair and for men their facial and chest hair; and the finer, less visible vellus hair.

Hair growth and size is modulated by hormones, in particular androgens like testosterone, which kick in during puberty. As men generally have higher levels of testosterone than women they tend to have more terminal hair. Testosterone also increases the size of hair follicles on men's faces at puberty so that they begin to grow visible beards.

While the rise of the metrosexual have seen growing numbers of men shave, wax and laser their way to less facial and chest hair, Gibbins says don't expect a hair-free man to evolve anytime soon.

"Evolution is much too slow for that sort of quick cultural stuff," he says.

In fact, manscaping is more likely to subvert evolution than help it along.

"It's a classic example of cultural aspects completely overriding any evolutionary pressures," says Gibbins.

So the next time you're bemoaning your hairy partner don't call them a Neanderthal, just pack them off to the beautician's instead.

Science tells us many things about ourselves, only if you can ask!

Abhimanamennadu of Tyagaraja

This time the full word abhimanamu comes in the pallavi.
There is no word play.
The ragam is mentioned as Kunjari and also Vivardhani.

This should not be confused with the song Abhimanamennadu galgu rama of Patnam!
We shall deal with the song in the next post.

Now, it is Tyagraja/s compostion made famous by Mysore T Chowdaiah.


In the kRti ‘abhimAnamennaDu’ – rAga kunjari (Vivardhani?), SrI tyAgarAja pleads with Lord to have affection towards him.

ప. అభిమానమెన్నడు కల్గురా
అనాథుడైన నాదుపై నీకు

అ. అపరాధములన్ని మన్నింపుమయ్య
అభిరామ పట్టాభిరామ నాయందు (అభి)

చ. కన్న తల్లియు కన్న తండ్రియు
అన్నియు నీవేయని నమ్మ లేదా
నిను వినా గతి నాకెవరు లేరే
నన్ను బ్రోవు త్యాగరాజ వినుత (అభి)

P abhimAnam(e)nnaDu kalgurA
anAthuDaina nAdupai nIku

A aparAdhamulanni mannimpumayya
abhirAma paTTAbhirAma nAyandu (abhi)

C kanna talliyu kanna taNDriyu
anniyu nIvEyani namma lEdA
ninu vinA gati nAkevarunu lErE
nannu brOvu tyAgarAja vinuta (abhi)


O Lord paTTAbhirAma - the Delighter of Mind! O Lord praised by this tyAgarAja!
I am an orphan; when will You have affection towards me?
Please pardon all my offences.
Haven’t I believed that You alone are my mother, father and everything? There is none for me as refuge other than You; deign to protect me.


ப. அபி4மான(மெ)ன்னடு3 கல்கு3ரா
அனாது2டை3ன நாது3பை நீகு

அ. அபராத4மு(ல)ன்னி மன்னிம்பு(ம)ய்ய
அபி4ராம பட்டாபி4ராம நாயந்து3 (அபி4)

ச. கன்ன தல்லியு கன்ன தண்ட்3ரியு
அன்னியு நீவே(ய)னி நம்ம லேதா3
நினு வினா க3தி நா(கெ)வரு லேரே
நன்னு ப்3ரோவு த்யாக3ராஜ வினுத (அபி4)

அன்பு என்றுண்டாகுமய்யா,
அனாதையான என்மீது உனக்கு?

குற்றங்கள் யாவற்றையும் மன்னியுமய்யா;
களிப்பூட்டும் பட்டாபிராமா! என்னிடம்
அன்பு என்றுண்டாகுமய்யா,
அனாதையான என்மீது உனக்கு?

பெற்ற தாயும், பெற்ற தந்தையும்,
யாவும் நீயேயென நம்பவில்லையா?
உன்னையன்றி கதியெனக்கெவருமிலரே;
என்னைக் காப்பாய், தியாகராசனால் போற்றப் பெற்றோனே!
அன்பு என்றுண்டாகுமய்யா,
அனாதையான என்மீது உனக்கு?


ಪ. ಅಭಿಮಾನಮೆನ್ನಡು ಕಲ್ಗುರಾ
ಅನಾಥುಡೈನ ನಾದುಪೈ ನೀಕು

ಅ. ಅಪರಾಧಮುಲನ್ನಿ ಮನ್ನಿಂಪುಮಯ್ಯ
ಅಭಿರಾಮ ಪಟ್ಟಾಭಿರಾಮ ನಾಯಂದು (ಅಭಿ)

ಚ. ಕನ್ನ ತಲ್ಲಿಯು ಕನ್ನ ತಂಡ್ರಿಯು
ಅನ್ನಿಯು ನೀವೇಯನಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಲೇದಾ
ನಿನು ವಿನಾ ಗತಿ ನಾಕೆವರು ಲೇರೇ
ನನ್ನು ಬ್ರೋವು ತ್ಯಾಗರಾಜ ವಿನುತ (ಅಭಿ)

Mysore T Chowdayya's rendition on Violin.

Download link:

K J Yesudas sings the song.

Download link:


Rajam Uncles Poetry

His full name is Gudipati Rajagopala Acharya.
He is not exactly a VIP.
But, he is a great man for sure!

Once he went to the office where I was working.
He met an officer about some work. I really don't know what was it and what happened later.
At teh end of teh conversation, he casually mentioned that a relative works in the same department.
On enquiry he revealed my name.
The officer, it appears, with a shudder said, "You should have told me that! The boy you mention is our boss!"

Rajam uncle told me this and made a really interesting comment about people and relations.

I never knew he wrote poetry.
Of course, he comes from a clan of scholars.
Like the thread used to make garlands, this gentleman, too had that in him.

The follwing is an example of his poetry.
They are not really metric though!

I liked them immensely!!
I always wnated to write poetry which sounds like classical metre, but not exactly in one!

Rajam Uncle’s poems.

The Sun asthough in irrational youth trends
Too hot, ferocious, and violent revolutionary blends,
Evaporated some pond waters- waters clean and neat
And shredded rustic leaves to rumble at feet.

గ్రీష్మపు మార్తాండుడు తార్కికరహిత యువతామత గమనముల
భయానక బాడబాగ్ని సమ్మిశ్రిత విప్లవ విధాన మేళనముల
క్వచిత్తటాక కూప నిర్మల నిర్మర్మ జలములనే యిగిర్చెను
క్వచిత్ గిరిసీమా తరుపత్రముల పథికపథముల పడ రాల్చెను

The blue sky has become red hot bowl
Dusty whirlwinds frighten even an owl
Fail to fell ages old pipal deep rooted
Firm as shore side temple, after repeatedly looted

నీలపు నింగి కాగికాగి – ఎరుపెక్కిన లోహపు పాత్రవలె- మారినది
ధూళికి తెగ నలుపెక్కిన సుడిగాలి - గూబలనే బెదురజేసినది
కాని అది- అనాది, వట అశ్వత్థ తరులనించుకేని కదల్చనోడినది.
కడలితీరంపు గుడిపగిది – అది - పలు దండయాత్రలెదిర్చినది

From terminal branches almost dried out
Deep-red, twin fold, lip like, new leaflets sprout
Airing traditional flute, invisible and remote
Creating cuckoo like melody and octave note

మిక్కిలి ఎండినట్లగుపడు – కొమ్మల చిరుగొమ్మలందు వెడలె
చిక్కని కెంజాయ పెదవులవలె – క్రొంజిగురు జతలు మెదలె
దిశతెలియక మసకగ గాలికి గొల్లని పిల్లనగ్రోవి నిస్వనము
ఒకపరి కోయిల పంచకమమొకపరి పై పంచమ స్వరాగమనము

Where is that distress redressing musical image?
It is abstruse yet real, but not deserts’ mirage
Why hide and seek with me at this anxious stage
Who leads me to his footsteps and end my craze

మనసులోని వెతల మాన్పు ఆమధుమురళీ సృజనరూపమెవరిది?
కేవల భావనయైనను అది సత్యము – ఎజారి మృగతృష్ణ మాత్రము కాదది!
నాయీ ఉత్కంఠాస్తితినిజూచి ఎందులకది దోబూచులాడుచున్నది?
ఏతత్పదచిహ్నగమనదిశను దెల్పి ననుకుదుటపరచనెవరున్నది?

Both the versions are written by uncle himself!!
I am proud of him!!

T R Mahalingam - Flute

Those were Ramanavami days like now.
Mali Sir was staying at Hotel Dwaraka.
Not many knew that he was around.
One evening, may be he was alone and thought of going out.
He hardly knew Hyderabad.
Neither he cared to know people.
He came down from the room, and asked an autowallah to take him around.
They were going around.
At one place, in a Ramanavami pandal, a girl was singing classical music.
Mali sir promptly got down from the auto, asked him to wait and entered the place.
He happily sat there listening to the girl.

Next day when he told us about the adventure, we asked him about the place.
He said "I never enquired!"
We tried to tell him that going out alone was a bad idea.
He brushed it aside and more over told, "The girl sang really well!"
Did anyone, let alone the girl, know who was there around and who was listening?
That was Mali for you!!

Here is an excellent collection items by inimitable Mali Sir.


01 Raghuvamsa - Kadanakutuhalam.mp3
02 Entaranee-Harikambhoji.mp3
03 Ninuvina-Navarasakannada.mp3
04 Sarasadala_Nayana-Khamas.mp3
05 Paridanamichite-Bilahari.mp3


Sumati Satakam - The Mouth

ఇమ్ముగ జదువని నోరును,
నమ్మాయని పిలిచి యన్నమడుగని నోరున్
తమ్ములబిలువని నోరును
గుమ్మరి మనుదవ్వినట్టి గుంటర సుమతీ

immuga jaduvani nOrunu
nammAyani bilici yannamadugano nOrun
tammula biluvani nOrunu
gummari manudavvinaTTi gunTara sumatI

ఇమ్ముగ = very well
చదువని = not read
నోరును,= mouth
అమ్మాయని = saying Oh Mother!
పిలిచి = calling
అన్నము = food
అడుగని = not asking for
నోరున్ = mouth
తమ్ముల = brothers
పిలువని = not calling
నోరును = mouth
కుమ్మరి = potter
మను(మన్ను) = earth
తవ్వినట్టి = dug out
గుంటర = a pit
సుమతీ = oh the wise one!


Oh, the wise one! Man has to study well to be wise. He should call out for the mother with love and respect and request her for food. He should show all his love for the people younger to him and always call them to his fold. For all these things, the organ in the body to be used is the mouth. If one does not do all these good things with the mouth, it is only comparable to a pit from which potter has already dug out the useful mud.

Vemana uses the word Chaduvani, which roughly means one that does not read out. It could also mean study. Vemana has used as many classical expressions in his verses as he used colloquial ones. So, we may interpret the first line of this poem as the mouth which does not read out a poem or prose well, or one that has not studied the books well. Calling out for mother and asking for food is the common thing that even as a child we learnt. There is also saying that unless called even the mother would not give food. Here, perhaps Vemana means that one should know the art of asking for his needs and requirements. If you do not ask and expect others to fulfil your needs, you will only be unhappy. If you ask, there is a possibility that the needs will be supplied. A mother would always wait for her child to ask for food. If you ask, she would only be too happy to feed. After you learn the art of asking what you want, you should think of those who are yet to master the craft. You have your little brothers and sisters looking for your guidance and leadership. You should always plead their cases also. If you don’t do these things, the voice tool you have is useless. The mouth that does not do good things and is used only to eat is like the pit from where the potter has dug out the mud. A pit is a pit. It could be of some use. But the one from which the useful mud is removed is good for only dumping waste. The mouth thus will be a dumping pit and the food eaten is equivalent to garbage.

What a way of putting ideas!!

Sudha Raghunathan - Tyagaraja Songs

Sudha initially wanted to become a doctor, but the thought of performing dissections so repelled her that she gave up the idea. “It wasn’t that I was a bad student. My dissections were always neat and my diagrams were perfect, but I always found myself fainting at the sight of blood!”

She proved her prowess both in academics and in music and now, stood at a juncture where two roads diverged - there was ‘something’ that was needed to push her onto the road less traveled by.

Enter Padmavibushan Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. M.L. Vasanthakumari, hailed by many as a musical genius, a doyen of Carnatic music. In 1977, Sudha won a Central Government scholarship that gave her the opportunity to come under the wings of this master of a great parampara. From this point on; there was no turning back. Sudha had the golden opportunity to provide vocal support to MLV for about a decade.

Of MLV, (as she was affectionately called by all) Sudha often said “Music was only one of the few things she taught me. She taught me how to live life to its fullest.” Sudha, with a touch of nostalgia, vividly recalls how while singing an Ashtapathi in ragamalika, there would come a sangathi in Yaman Kalyani at a higher octave. Spontaneously, MLV would stop and allow Sudha to take over. “She was such a generous person on stage….in some sense it also reflected how she was in life as well.” From 1990, Sudha’s rise was phenomenal, and following her Guru’s demise, she has been considered as MLV’s vaarisu.

Sudha is a top ranking artiste for Prasar Bharati, Chennai and performs at important events of All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Music had now taken centre stage but for Sudha it would not be at the cost of her academics. She holds an M.A. in Economics. Being such a vivacious, versatile and highly talented individual, it’s no surprise that Sudha won the award- Outstanding Student of Ethiraj College, for three years in succession- an achievement which for a long time remained unmatched. She was the Treasurer and later the Vice President of the Students Union and won the prestigious ‘Service to the College’ medal.

Today, Sudha Ragunathan is known for her beautiful vocal tapestries, soaring solos and unusual timbres. Her creative expression in Carnatic music has no par. And, her music is known to flow straight from the heart, dripping with classical divinity.

In the world of voices, can you hear my song? “The enthralling, enchanting voice of Sudha and her entrancing harmonies have graced several 'kutcheries' and celebrations. She was the auspicious voice at the first live broadcast of the National Program Series of concerts hosted at Chennai.

This is a write up I found on sudha's personal website.
I am told people throng to her concerts to see the jewellery and the silks she wears.
I am also told that leading jewellers and silks sellers use her as a brand ambassador.
I am happy for Sudha!!
If cricketers and actors can make money endorsing things, why not a musician?
And how many musicians are capable of doing that?

Now. here is an album of Sudha with Tyagaraja items in it.


01 Evarani - Nadachintamani
02 Muddumomu - Suryakantam
03 Samajavaragamana - Hindolam
04 Dayarani - Mohanam
05 Brova bharama - Bahudari
06 Manavi aalakincha - Nalinakanthi
07 Nidhi cahala - Kalyani
08 Adamodi - Charukesi
09 Gandhamu - Punnagavarali



Lakshman Aelay - More Paintings

Before Laxman Aelay chose to become a professional artist, he was a signboard painter and then a much sought after and respected designer and illustrator of books. His work was highly thought of within Telugu literary circles, but soon the painter in him compelled Aelay to enroll in college for a degree in Fine Arts, even though he had already received a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Laxman Aelay was born in the Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh in 1964. He received his BA in Painting from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University College of Fine Arts in Hyderabad, and took up full time freelance painting straight after that. Laxman's paintings are nostalgic, depicting the rural people he grew up amongst. His source of inspiration has been the live of these poverty stricken people from his village - Kadirenigudem.

Recently, Aelay switched over from using white, black and shades of gray, which he preferred in his paintings, to using vivid colours to depict flowers, jewellery and traditional clothing. His earlier preference to paint on large sized canvases and papers has also been abandoned, and his latest works are much smaller and compact. Aelay has received international recognition as well as several awards and gold medals for his works. These include an award from the Hyderabad Art Society in 1995.

This young and talented artist held his first solo show at the Indian Council of Cultural Relations Art Gallery in Hyderabad in1999. Laxman has participated in several important exhibitions of paintings including 'Contemporary Deccan - A New Generation of Artists,' held in Hyderabad in1999 and the 7th Group show at the Surya Art Gallery, Hyderabad in 2000. He has also represented the country in an international exposition organised by TAANA in Chicago, USA in 1995.

I am sure this is not a latest brief about Lakshman.
Anyway, we are more concerned about seeing his works!!
Personally, in paintings, I like the rustic colors and themes.
Let us enjoy good works of art!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bhamakalapam - Radio Version

It is a pleasure to present to the music lovers, this Kuchipudi production, specially recorded for All India Radio, a few decades back. Bhamakalapam is the first and foremost item in the list of dance dramas under the style. it is also perhaps the most popular one among the performances of any Kuchipudi dance troupe. Kuchipudi is a style of dance dramas, earlier called as Bhagavatams. It is perhaps because the stories revolved around Bhgavan Vishnu. Bhamakalapam and Golla Kalapam are the two dramas which are popular even today.

(A painting by Sri Goli Sivaram. Click to see it bigger.)
For those who really do not know much about this dance form from Andhra Pradesh, here are a few lines about it.
It is unfortunate that not much information could be found either about Bhamakalapam or Kuchipudi dance in general. All that available is sketchy articles here and there. What si given below is from Wiki and it is pathetic that only this is the information available.

I would urge those with some good information about teh dance form to send me the same so that we can make it available to all.

Kuchipudi is a classical dance form from Andhra Pradesh, a state of South India. Kuchipudi is the name of a small village in the Divi Taluq of Krishna district that borders the Bay of Bengal and with resident Brahmins practicing this traditional dance form, it acquired the present name.

With the dance form attaining perfection by the time of Golconda king Abdul Hassan Tanesha, Kuchipudi brahmins are said to have received 600 acres (2.4 km²) of land as an endowment from Tanesha for the great presentation before him.

Siddhendra Yogi is said to be the first scholar to give it the current form of dance drama. Bhamakalapam is one of his celebrated compositions. He also reserved the art to males by teaching it to young brahmin boys of the village. However, in modern times, the art has been dominated by women.

The performance usually begins with some stage rites, after which each of the character comes on to the stage and introduces him/herself with a daru (a small composition of both song and dance) to introduce the identity, set the mood, of the character in the drama. The drama then begins. The dance is accompanied by song which is typically carnatic music. The singer is accompanied by mridangam (a classical South Indian percussion instrument), violin, flute and the tambura (a drone instrument with strings which are plucked). Ornaments worn by the artists are generally made of a light weight wood called Boorugu.

There is a little more information from a book.

The recording being presented here was produced under the supervision and the participation of Sri Chinta Krishna Murthy, doyen of Kuchipudi art form. It has none other than Sri Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna and Kum Srirangam Gopalaratnam in the lead roles.

Here is the link:

This is the beginning of regular uploads of famous Telugu Radio Dramas. I really do not know how all the art lovers will come to know of it. Inform me if there is any group on the internet which will be interested in such uploads.
You may also tell all the art lovers about this effort. I will also bring here a lot of telugu light music from yester years.

Help me in making people happy!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Manamu Kavalenu Talli - Harikesanallur

Here is the second song with the word Manamu in its Pallavi.
 It is not exactly meant to ask Manamu kavalenu.
Just like the Tyagaraja song,
Here also, we can see the composer palying on the words.
He starts with manamu but comes back to Abhimanamu.
Here Muttaiah Bhagavatar went a step further and ended teh song asking for "Bahumanamu".
What a fine word play!

maanamu kaavalenu

raagam: shahana taaLam: roopakam

Composer: Harikeasanallur Muttayyah Bhaagavatar

Language: Telugu


mAnamu kAvalenu talli mahiSAsuramardhini abhi
మానము కావలెను తల్లి మహిషాసురమర్ధిని అభి


Anati nI vicciti gada ambA nI sannidhi koluva
ఆనతి నీవిచ్చితిగద అంబ నీ సన్నిధి కొలువ


parula mATa nammi ceDina pAmaruDu nEnani
పరులమాట నమ్మి చెడిన పామరుడు నేనని

vadalaka sarivArula dUruDa dussangamu cErinadencaka
వదలక సరివారల దూరాడ దుస్సంగము చేరినదెంచక

sthiramugA nI caraNasEva cEyuTakanugrahinci brOvu
స్థిరముగా నీ చరణసేవ చేయుటకనుగ్రహించి బ్రోవు

paramEshvari harikEsha bhAmini guha janani bahu
పరమేశ్వరి హరికేశభామిని గుహజననీ బహు

Listen to the song in the sweet voice of Sri T N Seshagopalan, an expert on Muttaiah Bhagavatar's compositions.

Download the song from the link below.


U Srinivas - Mandolin (RTP and Todi)

Born on February 28, 1969, in Palakol in Andhra Pradesh, U. Srinivas is frequently billed as Mandolin Srinivas. Chitravina Ravikiran plays the chitravina while others have vina, violin, clarinet or even fiddle as calling cards. And the Tamil composer Cook Srivivasalu gained his name through working as cook at the temple of Sri Minakshi! U. Srinivas's father, Satayanarayana Raju, taught him initially and his natural talent soon blossomed. He made his first public appearance at the age of nine. He proved a revelation and was hailed as a child prodigy. Srinivas was the first to use the mandolin in Indian Karnatic classical music. He has recorded extensively and his recorded output traces a rising graph of excellence. His instrument has little to do with Neapolitan or flatback mandolin models. His is a five-string solid body electric model more akin to the electric instrument played by the American mandolinist Tiny Moore than traditional acoustic models. U. Srinivas has recorded extensively -- perhaps too extensively, especially in his younger days.

We have enjoyed some interesting music of  U Srinivas recently.
I am bringing another two tracks here.

A fine Rgam Tanam and Pallavi in Amruthavarshini
and an equally interesting Todi (Enduku Dayaradura) are on offer.



T M Tyagarajan - Todi

T M Tyagarajan was a great musician.
I never had the chance to attend his live concerts.
His was an academic approach to music, if I am right.

Here is an article from The Hindu's pages.

Sangeetha Kalanidhi Thanjavur Mahalingam Pillai Thyagarajan was born on May 28, 1923, in descendant of a very special artistic lineage.

After his initial training under his father, he joined the privileged stable of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. A vidwan of extraordinary musical wisdom, exemplary character and excellent culture, TMT occupied an exclusive elevated plane.

When he was a mere boy of six, Malaikkottai Govindaswami Pillai, the outstanding violinist of those times, predicted a bright future for Thyagarajan and blessed him. His maiden concert was at Thiruvaiyaru at the age of eight and no less a stalwart than Dakshinamurthi Pillai accompanied him on the mridangam. The vidwan had many strings to his artistic bow, as a performer, guru, composer, tunesmith, administrator, and so on.

Semmangudi who groomed and honed TMT’s praiseworthy skills, once told this writer that rather than TMT being referred to as his disciple, he was more privileged and proud to be known as TMT’s guru. His contemporaries such as K.V.Narayanaswami, B.Rajam Iyer, T.Brinda, S. Ramanathan, Thiruppambaram Swaminatha Pillai and others held him in high esteem. M.L.Vasanthakumari, D.K. Jayaraman and other musicians enjoyed singing songs tuned by TMT in their concerts. His cerebral activity was something exceptional that was well exemplified in his kriti pangeedu of Chengalvaraya Sastri, Ramaswami Sivan, Aanayya, Periyasami Thooran, the arutpas of Vallalar Ramalinga Swamigal, Thayumanavar, Guru Surajanandha and Manikkavasagar’s ‘Thiruvembavai’. He added rich gloss to the compositions of Sadasiva Brahmendra, Narayana Tirtha, and particularly the Ashtalakshmi songs for which he provided tunes that were the acme of melody. TMT was the Principal of the Teachers College of the Music Academy and the Principal of the Central College of Carnatic Music in Chennai. He was indeed a Principal with high principles. The Annamalai University, Chidambaram and the Madurai Music College were fortunate enough to have TMT adorning their faculties. TMT’s music was an extension of tradition that was judiciously and beautifully combined with pertinent innovations. His raga suites had an individualistic style, with neither aesthetics nor grammar taking a back seat.

I bring you T M Tyagarajan's excellent Todi rendition.
There is also an extra track after Todi.


Let us enjoy good music.

A Page from the Diary

This is what I have written on July 11th in the year 2000.

Once again, I was in my literary writing mood. So, the language is classical.
After all I am addressing the self.
Then It has to be this kind of language.
I am anyway known for my simple expressions when it comes to regular writing.

Like the sleep and hunger, anger is also natural to a human being.
And it has to be so.
There are many ways to express anger.
It is said that one's anger is one's enemy.
But, then, heeding to this adage, all being devoid of anger is impossible.
The key point is, how do you express the anger pent up!
On whom do you do it?
When in anger the person will not have the sense of thinking baout anything else. Patience and discrimination would have alreday been lost.

There would be a target to one's anger.
it is better to express the anger than keep it in mind and alter all your reactions towards that person.
It is mean to find fault with people in open meetings.

It goes on like that.
I am an angry man.
Interestingly I know when i am anger!!
Who cares if you are angry?

Boyi Bheemanna - Great Poet

“With the hut of the gardener, ever
Compare royal palace and feel hopeless”

తోటమాలి కుటీరముతోడనెపుడు
రాజభవనము పోల్చి నిరాశపడకు

Says Boyi Bheemanna, the Telugu poet extraordinaire!
I knew this person only a little.
I can remember his quivering voice reciting poetry saying “The huts are afire!”
Somehow, such people are forgotten very easily!
That is the weakness of human memory.

Yes, he was a poet who wrote on the hut people.
As usual in the beginning he also was a poet of romantic genre.
Even when writing about the lowly flowers, he chose the meter fit to describe the best of the flowers!
Why, even Marigold can be the best flower if you can see its beauty!

నవనవోత్ఫుల్ల బాలకైరవ సమాజ
మింక తన్నొల్లదని, శరద్వృద్ధుడెంద
మగిలి, హిమతమి జింది, పాషాంగణమున
పూచెననుకొందు బంతిపువ్వులుగనిట్లు

శరదవసానసంధ్య తమిజార్చిన కోర్కెల మూర్తులివ్వి, మి
ణ్గురులుగ వ్రాలి, చెందొవల గుండెలుత్రావి, విభాతవేళకే
మెరుగునటుల్ వసించు, వికసించు, రచించు వధూవిభూతులన్
తరుగని శోభలివ్వి, సరదాలరథాలివి, ముద్దబంతులే

Can anyone dare translate these thoughts and lines into another language without losing the essence? Impossible, according to me!

వచ్చినదే తామరసము
త్రచ్చినదే ప్రేమరసము
ముచ్చటగా వెదికి వెదికి
తెచ్చినదే నీ పెదవికి

గుండియలో గూడుతట్టి
కోకిల గొంతెత్తి నేడు
ఆనందము గజ్జెకట్టి
అందియ మ్రోయించె చూడు

This is an example of poetry when Bheemanna was yet to come into grips with his own style. Later he came to be known as a champion of the oppressed!

బాధలు బెంగలెరుంగని నీతో నీతో
బాతాఖానీ నాకేలా
మందకు కొంచెం తడవైతే, కా
మందులు కూకలు వేస్తారు

Why do I indulge in a dialogue with you?
Who does not know pain and pathos?
If I am late at the herd a little
Masters will shout at me?

Says the heroine when the hero asks her to talk to him!

That is the essence of Bheemanna and his poetry!

పాలపిట్టలా తోటలు కోటలు
పాలించాలని ఉంటుంది.
కొడవలి నిత్యం కొరకొరమంటూ
గొంతుమీద కూర్చుంటుంది.

Desire to rule the parks and forts
Like a lark, is sure there!
Sickle sharpness as it is forte
Dangles on the neck forever!

రోజులు గడిపేకంటే
రాజుకు పనులేముంటై
రాజుల సేవలు చేసే
రైతులకే పనులన్నీ
సోమరి సోమన్నలకే

More than spending the days
What work is there for the king?
Only for those in their service
Toil, they are always working!
To the idle and the haves
Are reserved all the good tidings!

మేడలు మిద్దెలు ఉన్నా
మెత్తని పానుపులున్నా
హృదయం లేనప్పుడు
వృధయేగద బతుకంతా

Though you have manors and mansions
Beds smooth with comfort
When lacking the heart and passion
Life is a waste is not it?

There is some material available on net about him.
He died on 16th December 2005.

The obit note in The Hindu has the following details about him.

Born in Mamidikuduru in East Godavari district, he was a former Member of the Legislative Council from 1978 to 1984, journalist and teacher before embarking on his literary feats. He was awarded Padma Bhushan. His work `Gudiselu Kalipothunnayi' bagged the Sahitya Akademi award in 1975.

Let us enjoy good poetic works.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My uploads to Sangeethamshare

Friends, for those who do not frequent Sangeethapriya, here is the latest list of concerts uploaded to my folder there!!

I have, in an earlier post, listed the concerts upto No. 31.
Here are the rest!


034-Prapancham_ Sitaram-Flute-Old_Disc
036-KBSundarambal-Vocal-Old Disc
038 NSSrinivasan NPM 270788
058-Maharajapuram_RSS 83
061-Bombay_Sisters AKK RR NGR
062-Chembai_Old_disc_ 240909
065- Deleted
076-Universality of Music

The link:

Let us enjoy good music!!

Kadri Gopalnath - Saxophone

He came to Hyderabad and performed at RRLabs auditorium.
There were hardly 15 people in the hall!
Anyway, the concert was by AIR and it was broadcast later!

Now RRL has become IICT!!
Kadri became a rage around the world!!

A write up on Kadri from sources on the net!

Kadri Gopalnath - Saxaphone Chakravarthy

Kadri Gopalnath was born in Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka. He acquired a taste for music from his father Thaniappa, a nadaswaram vidwan. Young Gopalnath once saw the saxophone being played in the Mysore palace band set. Thrilled on hearing the vibrant tone of the saxophone, Gopalnath decided to master it. It took him nearly 20 years for him to conquer the complex western wind instrument and he was eventually crowned as the "Saxophone Chakravarthy".

Kadri Gopalnath has enthralled audiences in India and abroad for decades by adding a melodious dimension to this western instrument meeting the demands of Indian classical music. What Kanyakumari, who has created a niche for herself as a distinctive violinist, offered was not just support to saxophone. The two instrumentalists played with perfect understanding presenting the ambience of an instrumental ensemble to the listeners. This harmonious experience was taken to new height, especially in swaraprasthara.

Here I bring to you an old LP of Sri Kadri Gopalnath.




Let us enjoy good music!!

Kondapalli Seshagiri Rao - The Painter

I travelled with him all the way to Warangal and back to Hyderabd in a matter of a day.
We sat together in the vehicle both ways.
We talked without break about art and other related matters.
He showed his interest in modern digital techniques and asked if I could restore soem of his old paintings.
As an enthusiast and not as an expert, I said, Yes!

I tried to call on him. I did call on the phone.
No, he was not able to link up!
Both my lethargy and his old age never allowed us to meet again!

The other day, all of a sudden, Sudhama called and said, there is a book release function.
We went teher and found Sri rao hale and hearty!
Anyway, it was no occassion to make my efforts to talk to him.
I will get back to Sri Rao!

Meanwhile I present a few words about him and a few paintings by him!!

Kondapalli Seshagiri Rao was born Jan 27 1924 in Mahaboobabad a town near Hyderabad , AP, India . He was born to Gopala Rao and Ramachudamma.

Dr. Rao's interest in art began early in his childhood when he was encouraged and groomed by his teachers. At that time Hyderabad was lead by Nawab Jung Bahadur. He supported Dr. Rao's education at the School of Fine Art . His excellent works were already well recognized. Dr. Rao went on to study at the famous Shanti Niketan. He worked with the famous Nandalal Bose. In 1984 he retired as Head of Department of the same Fine Art College.

Today, his painitngs adorn many prominent locations in different countiries. Some of thsose include the Salarjung museum, Mythri vanam, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Hyderabad , AP, India , the Indian embassy in Washington DC, USA , Sri Venkateshwara Temple in Pittshburgh, PA.

During his career he has completed over a thousand master pieces. Subjects of these vary from mythological stories, epics, historical events and daily life. He worked with oil paintings, wall murals, aqua texture paintings and many other forms. In fact he is credited as the pioneer of aqua texture paintings.

Accolades as prestigious as the Hamsa award have been bestowed upon him. But to him and those around him, his life's work and its inspiration are of the most value.

He recently celebrated his 83rd birthday at his family home in Hyderabad , AP, India . To this day, he can talk endlessly about the wonderful works of art he brought to life. At this age, his penchant to understand things around us has not waned. His favorite television channels include Discovery, National Geography and such!
(Click on the pitures to see them bigger! They are really big!!)

His daughter-in-law Mrs. Niharini brougt out a book of his essays on Indian Art.
That was preceded by anoher one about him also I am told.
Let me look for them and bring more details about him next time.
Let us enjoy great works of art!!

First Person Singular - P R Ramachandra Rao

This person is worth knowing!
I knew him for a long time.
Thanks to a benefactor couple, he came to me for assistance in some writing.
That till his end, he stuck with me for the service is a wonderful thing.
He passed away at around the age of 96!
Mind you, he was working when he was taken to the hospital for a brief stay!
His book Kavipanchakam came out and he was preparing a miling list to send the book for reviews.

The subject of this post is a book by him and about him!
First Person Singular, is an interesting title.
Had I been the person writing this book, it would have become a tome of thousand pages.

Mr Rao was a journalist of highest order.
He worked in England as one.
He was the one to start the style of supplements in news papers.
He was a lawyer of the highest order.
He practised law till the end of his life.
He was teacher of English.
He was an expert on Indian Architecture and lectured on teh theme at around hundered Universities.
He wrote profusely about Indian art and architecture with authority.

He knew peopel at all the laeding museums of the world on fisrst name basis.

With all the experience behind him, he produced some wonderful TV documentaries on Indian Arts.
The latest was on Folk Arts of AP.

But, interestingly, the book about himself, still remained a small volume.
It is wonderful to know that the existence of a museum at Nagrjuna Konda is thanks to Sri Ramachandra Rao.

How do we thank him?
How do we know more about him?
There is no way!!
Not many people know him.
Those who do, would never forget him.

I am sure this page will amke you wonder what exactly it is!
This was our next book to come out!
If English is by Sri Rao, yours truely did the Telugu translation.
When and how would it be published?

Even the book about him, is out of circulation.
He printed it and distributed it.
Like many great people, Rao played his cards close to his chest.
That quality of him made the world poorer by many things.
He had big library of video tapes which could become a source of many more documentaries.
Some University should come forward and impress his heirs about teh value of teh material. There were some attempts with results. Broken hearts!

People of Rao's ilk do not come often!
If we don't know him, it is a pity!!
There are only a few things with which I feel helpless!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A tribute to Ariyakkudi

Sri T S Balakrishna Sastrigal composed a poem in honour of Great Sri Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar.

It is sung by an ardent disciple Sri Palghat K V Narayana Swamy.

Here is the text of the composition.

SrI viSNu pada - rAgamAlikA

TS Balakrishna Sastry Composition

stanzA 1: rAgam: yamunA kalyANi (yaman)

SrIviSNu pada chintana bhakthavaryam SrIvaiSNava kula praSuna prabhAvam
శ్రీ విష్ణు పద చింతన భక్తవర్యం శ్రీవైష్ణవ కులప్రసూన ప్రభావం

sangIta ratnAkara padmabhUSaNam sadguruvaram naUmi rAmanujAkyam
సంగీత రత్నాకర పద్మభూషణం సద్గురువరం నౌమి రామానుజాఖ్యం

stanzA 2: rAgam: nAdanAmakriyA (bhairav)

aSESa vidvath jana rAja maNDitam viSiSTa vaitALIka tAraka ASRyam
అశేష విద్వజ్జన రాజ మండితం విశిష్ట వైతాళిక తారకాశ్రయం

SuSiSTa SiSyamara pAlana vratam sadguruvaram naUmi rAmanujAkyam
సుశిష్ట శిష్యామర పాలనవ్రతం సద్గురువరం నౌమి రామానుజాఖ్యం

stanzA 3: rAgam: navarOz (no known uttarAdIya rAga/rAgini equivalent)

Siva guruguha gIta manOharam prabala prabhandhAdi kIrtanakaram
శివ గురుగుహ గీత మనోహరం ప్రబల ప్రబంధాది కీర్తనకరం

SuSRutilaya sukhagAtra gAyakam sadguruvaram naUmi rAmanujAkyam
సుశృతిలయ సుఖగాత్రగాయకం సద్గురువరం నౌమి రామానుజాఖ్యం

stanzA 4: rAgam: punnAgavarALi (no known uttarAdIya rAga/rAgini equivalent)

santata SouSilya sadguNa sAmpradam sukhabOdha bhOgya purvapuNya yutam
సంతత సౌశీల్య సద్గుణ సాంప్రదం సుఖబోధభోగ్య పూర్వపుణ్యయుతం

rAga gnAna viSESa lakSyalakSNam sadguruvaram naUmi rAmanujAkyam
రాగజ్ఞాన విశేష లక్ష్యలక్షణం సద్గురువరం నౌమి రామానుజాఖ్యం

stanzA 5: rAgam: kApi (kAfi)

saha gAyaka bRnda samstuta prabhum sahachAriNa vinOda chATu vAkyam
సహగాయకబృంద సంస్తుతప్రభుం సహచారిణ వినోద చాటువాక్యం

nija guru pada sEvita SiSya varyam sadguruvaram naUmi rAmanujAkyam
 నిజగురు పదసేవిత శిష్యవర్యం సద్గురువరం నౌమి రామానుజాఖ్యం

stanzA 6: rAgam: sindhubhairavi (bhairavI)

SrItyAgabrahma SiSya kulAbdhi chandram SrInivasa pada sEvita antarangam
శ్రీత్యాగబ్రహ్మ శిష్యకులాబ్ధి చంద్రం శ్రీనివాస పదసేవితాంతరంగం
bhAratIya kalA pravINa bhASvaram sadguruvaram naUmi rAmanujAkyam
భారతీయ కళా ప్రవీణ భాస్వరం సద్గురువరం నౌమి రామానుజాఖ్యం

Here is the song in the voice of Sri KVNarayana Swamy to listen and download.

Let us enjoy good music!

Computer To Recognize Beauty

"Beauty," goes the old saying, "is in the eye of the beholder." But does the beholder have to be human?

Not necessarily, say scientists at Tel Aviv University. Amit Kagian, an M.Sc. graduate from the TAU School of Computer Sciences, has successfully "taught" a computer how to interpret attractiveness in women.  But there's a more serious dimension to this issue that reaches beyond mere vanity. The discovery is a step towards developing artificial intelligence in computers. Other applications for the software could be in plastic and reconstructive surgery and computer visualization programs such as face recognition technologies.

From Mathematics to Aesthetics

"Until now, computers have been taught how to identify basic facial characteristics, such as the difference between a woman and a man, and even to detect facial expressions," says Kagian. "But our software lets a computer make an aesthetic judgment. Linked to sentiments and abstract thought processes, humans can make a judgment, but they usually don't understand how they arrived at their conclusions."

In the first step of the study, 30 men and women were presented with 100 different faces of Caucasian women, roughly of the same age, and were asked to judge the beauty of each face. The subjects rated the images on a scale of 1 through 7 and did not explain why they chose certain scores. Kagian and his colleagues then went to the computer and processed and mapped the geometric shape of facial features mathematically.

Additional features such as face symmetry, smoothness of the skin and hair color were fed into the analysis as well. Based on human preferences, the machine "learned" the relation between facial features and attractiveness scores and was then put to the test on a fresh set of faces.

Says Kagian, "The computer produced impressive results -- its rankings were very similar to the rankings people gave." This is considered a remarkable achievement, believes Kagian, because it's as though the computer "learned" implicitly how to interpret beauty through processing previous data it had received.

Beauty is Golden

The notion that beauty can be boiled down to binary data and interpreted by a mathematical model is nothing new. More than 2,000 years ago the Greek mystic, philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras observed the connection between math, geometry and beauty. He reasoned that features of physical objects corresponding to the "golden ratio" were considered most attractive.

"I know that Plato connected the good to the beautiful," says Kagian. "Personally, I believe that some kind of universal correctness to beauty exists in nature, an aesthetic interpretation of the universal truth. But because each of us is trapped with our own human biases and personalized viewpoints, this may detract us from finding the ultimate formula to a complete understanding of beauty."

Kagian, who studied under the Adi Lautman multidisciplinary program for outstanding students at Tel Aviv University, says that a possible next step is to teach computers how to recognize "beauty" in men. This may be more difficult. Psychological research has shown that there is less agreement as to what defines "male beauty" among human subjects. And his own portrait, jokes Kagian, will not be part of the experiment.

"I would probably blow up the machine," he says.

Kagian published the findings in the scientific journal Vision Research. Co-authors on the work were Kagian's supervisors Prof. Eytan Ruppin and Prof. Gideon Dror.
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