THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Dasosmi Sree Ganapatheham’, Ayamkudy Mony sang from his heart the varna set in ‘khandachappu thala’. He was rendering the ekaraga concert in ‘mechakalyani’ raga as part of the 26th anniversary of the Navarasam Sangeetha Sabha the other day at Ayodhya Nagar, Sree Varahom.
"We have few ‘krithis’ on Ganesha in ‘kalyani’ raga. So my friend Prasad Anchal wrote the lyrics in Sanskrit for me,” said Mony in a chat after the concert.
The vocalist followed it up with a string of kritis in Kalyani as the concert sought to elaborate a single raga to its fullest.
He started his concert with an ‘adathala’ varna, ‘Vanajakshi.’ He also rendered the Thyagaraja krithi ‘Vasudevayini' in 'Aadi’ thalam, ‘Nijadasa varada’ by Pattanam Subrahmanya Iyer and Shuddhananda Bharathi’s ‘Kannane en Kanavan’ in ‘aadi’ thalam.
He was accompanied by Muttathara Ravindran on violin, Kadakkavoor Rajesh Nath on mridangam, Kottayam Unnikrishnan on khatam and Divya on thamburu. “Raga ‘Mechakalyani’ is a ‘sarvakalika raga’(that which can be sung at any time, irrespective of seasons),” says Mony. “I learned music in a ‘gurukula system’. I used to stay in my guru’s house and used to spend almost all my time with him. But now the system is very different and the new generation is not always very dedicated,” Mony said.
Mony worked as a Lecturer in Government Music College, Palakkad and had retired as the Assistant Professor of Sri Swathi Thirunal College of Music, Thiruvananthapuram.
Mony is not among those who feel that the younger generation get more opportunities through reality shows. “It does help in finding talented persons. After a while, everyone forgets about them and the victory in the show does not help them survive the challenges”, he says.
He points out that ‘Mechakalyani’ raga was popularised by the late musicians G Devarajan Master and M S Baburaj through film songs. Baburaj’s ‘Thaliritta kinakkal’ (Moodupadam), and ‘Swarna chamaram’ (Yakshi) by Devarajan are examples. Among the new generation music directors, M Jayachandran is one of his favourites, adds the veteran Carnatic musician. Mony had won many accolades. The latest being the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award (carnatic music) for the year 2009.
Mony has also won accolades for composing ‘Christugadha’ similar to Cherusseri’s ‘Krishnagadha’.
Prof Mathew Ulakamthara wrote the lyrics. It won the Ulloor Award and was also translated into Tamil by one of his students.
He learnt music mainly from Vechoor Harihara Subrahmanya Iyer. He also learned under Puthukode Krishnamurthy, Neyyatinkara Vasudevan, Parassala Ponnammal and Mavelikkara Prabhakara Varma. Mony has conducted concerts all over India and in the UAE.
The Navarasam Sangeetha Sabha is helmed by M Jayarajan, a freelance photographer, who finds joy in investing his earnings in cultural events. The Sabha also commemorated Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and cine legend Sathyan.