CHENNAI: In a house situated on the nondescript lanes of Jalladiampet, Sowbhagyalakshmi stays opposite a temple built for the late V V Sadapopan — carnatic music singer, composer and music educationist. Singing at the temple daily, she continues to remember him decades after his demise.
Sowbhagyalakshmi, through the Trust – Sri Sadagopan Thirunarayanaswami Divya Prabhanda Patasala started in the singer’s name — propagates Thyaga Bharathi songs for which Sadagopan was widely remembered. They are Tamil rhymes for children composed using basic carnatic ragas designed to impart values to children.
“The lyrics of these songs teach love, compassion and non-violence in a subtle, non-preachy way. They are a reflection of his character and his love for children. They can learn values by merely repeating the song,” says his daughter Radhika Sridhar who, along with her sisters, made a repertoire of his songs.
Sowbhagyalakshmi, through the trust— Sri Sadagopan Thirunarayanaswami Divya Prabhanda Patasala started in the singer’s name — propagates Thyaga Bharathi songs. Targeting children, whom she feels would be the perfect audience, she conducts summer camps in schools and composes songs for mentally-challenged children in special schools.
She feels that even adults respond well to them.
Besides the songs, Sadagopan was known for his knowledge of Carnatic music. Along with Sowbhagyalakshmi’s late husband, Srirama Bharathi, who was his disciple, he brought out a book called ‘Spirals and Circles’ that explains the concept of carnatic music and thought processes associated with it.
Sadagopan was also a professor of music at the Benares University and travelled to European countries to deliver lectures, said his daughter Radhika. “He composed kirtanas with Thirukurals as the base and has infused tunes into devotional compositions like Thiruvaimozhi and Nalayira Divya Prabhandam,” she adds. Carrying his legacy forward, Sowbhagyalakshmi and her husband propagated Thyaga Bharathi songs and went on to compose tunes for Nalayira Divya Prabhandam, a compilation of verses. After Srirama Bharathi’s demise, she continues the practice along with family and close associates. With the singer’s centennial birth anniversary approaching in February 2015, the Trust will conduct a special function in his honour.