Parassala Ponnammal @ Ramaseva Mandali, Fort High school , 2008

Sunday Morning , 13th April, 2008 -
Vocal - Smt Parassala Ponnammal
Violin - Dr Jyotsna Srikanth
Mridangam - Sri Ravishankar Sharma
Ghatam - Sri Dayananda Mohite

My first impression on seeing Smt. Parassala Ponnammal was of a grandma with a sweet smiling face. She is one of Semmagudi SrinivasIyer's senior disciples and blessed with a rich, deep and sweet voice which belies her age. (She is almost 85) I am of the opinion that vocalists like T.N.Sheshagopalan, whose was the most dismal perfomance at the RamaNavami festival this year(more on that later), ought to listen to veterans like her to know what Shruti Sudhdham is all about. My grandma was an avid fan of her music and used to listen to her performances on AIR regularly.

There were hardly 10-15 people in the audience and I was saddened at the like warm support provided by Bangalore audiences to such a senior artiste. It was their loss anyways as they missed one of the best concerts at the Ramavanami festival.

01 Varnam - Nattaikurinji - Ata Talam
02 Mooladhara Kshetra - Mayamalavagowla - Not sure who the composer is - Adi
03 Bhajare Manasa - Abheri - Mysore Vasudevachar, Adi
04 Ninnu Nera - Pantuvarali - St. Thyagaraja, Roopakam, Neraval and swarams at Veda shastra Purana.
05 Marivere - Ananda Bhairavi -ShyamaShastri , Misra Chapu - Vintage SSI style rendition
06 Anjaneya Raghurama - Saveri - Swathi Tirunal - Adi
07 Thillana - Hamsanandi - Swathi Tirunal? Adi
08 Bhujagasayino Nama Mangalam - Yadukulakamboji -Swathi Tirunal

My friend Shridhar and I turned into photographers and took many snaps on a digital camera handed over by one of Ponnamal's students who was accompanying her. (I forgot to take the email ID / contact details of this aunty as I wanted to procure digital copies of the photos taken by us.) We left the venue with Ponnammal's YadukulaKamboji ringing in our years. I also kept wondering how Ponnammal would have sounded when she was much younger and have resolved to procure vintage recordings of this great artiste.


Abirame said…
i can't believe only 1-15 people turned up to listen to such an amazing musician...that's really disgraceful..when you consider that she is really awesome! I wish I could have been there!
Anonymous said…
I am Babysreeram, from Trivandrum. I am greatful to God for being born and brought up in Trivandrum, a seat of music. I have heard a lot of concerts of this grandma. She use to sing briskly, and a brief alpana of any raga with its complete essence as to match with the kalapramana of the raga, that is her speciality. Kalapramana sudham is her musical character. But see it became a fashion and trend of the audience to attend the concert of madras artists only. She got recognition only in this age. We should be ashamed of this. See, my belief is good music is here and there , but it is not reachable, we have to search for that. Let it be like that. In future, an artist having a less number of concerts will be considered as the best. h a ha ha
AMIT said…
Good post about this musician.

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