Raaga thoughts

Are raagams *fixed* ideas that get approached by songs or are they *flexible* that they *bend* to accommodate the vagaries of the song? ( This thought was inspired by listening to a very meditative Ramanatham Bhajeham in Panthuvarali sung by KVN. He seemed to be focussing more on the aesthetics of the song structure than the grammatical structure of Panthuvarali itself. Was Panthuvarali alright but very much a Panthuvarali informed by Ramanatham Bhajeham. Hard to describe in words the actual musical effect. The “linearity” of Panthuvarali as the 51st melakarta raagam was somehow gone but it was totally Panthuvarali alright without violating the “grammar” of Panthuvarali. Seems to lend more credence to the after the fact imposition of the Melakarta system.) How much is a raagam characterized by the *stretch* of the sangathis ( this inspired by the Surutti that followed the Panthuvarali. The master presents a leisurely Githarthamu.)

Dileep Premachandran on Sehwag

Dileep Premachandran has a lovely tribute to Sehwag here:

http://www.wisdenindia.com/cricket-blog/happy-38th-sehwag-floating-butterfly-stinging-bee/226202

We will never forget the Sehwag of 2004-05 and 2008-10, though. A soft-spoken man with no time or patience for theatrics, he ripped apart pretty much every single notion we had about opening the batting in Test cricket. Others like Graeme Smith were perhaps better across a variety of conditions, but Sehwag, like the floating-butterfly-and-stinging-bee Muhammad Ali, was the entertainer and path-breaker.

For a brief while, in the first decade of the 21st century, India were the best team in the world: the batting greats: Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman and the incomparable SRT, the spin bowlers: Kumble and Harbhajan (but don’t forget the support spin bowlers like Karthik, Pragyan Ojha etc) and the magnificent swing and seam bowling of Zaheer Khan.