Know your raga: Pantuvarali – Soul-stirring & special

A melodious rage that is free-flowing like a river, Pantuvarali has always remained the favourite of music-lovers and musicians. It is called Kashiramakriya in the Muthuswami Dikshitar school.

The Hindustani music equivalent of Kamavardhini is the Poorvi thaat. Purists prefer to designate it as Kamavardhini. It literally means that which increases desire.

IN CLASSICAL MUSIC

Saint Thyagaraja has composed several kritis in this raga. His Raghuvara Naanu, Ninne Nera, Vadera, Saramegani, Shambho Mahadeva, Siva Siva Sive Ena Radha, Aparama, Sundaratara Deham, Naradamuni and Shobane are popular.

Muthusami Diskshitar’s Ramanatham Bhajeham and Visalakshi and Swati Tirunal’s Sarasaksha Bhadrachala Ramdas Ennaganu Rama Bhajana are admired by music-lovers.

IN FILMS

Pantuvarali is close to the hearts of several composers. Vani Jayaram sang ‘Yezhu Swarangalukkul’ in Apoorva Ragangal set to music by M S Viswanathan.

Ilaiyaraaja has used Pantuvarali too. ‘Rojavai Thalattum Thendral’ from Ninaivellam Nitya (sung by SPB and S Janaki) is set on this raga. ‘Ninnai Saranadainden’ in Bharathi and ‘Piraye Piraye’ in Pithamagan are popular. However, popular song in this raga is ‘Om Sivoham’ from Naan Kadavul.

A R Rahman’s ‘Hai Rama’ from Rangeela is an example of how such an ancient raga could be infused with contemporary flavours and presented to the youth.

NT Bureau