Mannur Rajakumaranunni, scholar of Chembai Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, is the recipient of the Chembai Smaraka Puraskaram this 12 months
“What may be extra valuable for a musician than to obtain an award within the title of his personal guru,” stated Mannur Rajakumaranunni when Guruvayur Devaswom selected him for the Sree Guruvayurappan Chembai Smaraka Puraskaram, 2020.
The octogenarian obtained the award on November 24, after which he led a small staff of musicians within the rendition of the Pancharatnakirtanam. The 2-week lengthy annual Chembai Music Pageant, that often sees round 3000 musicians from throughout the nation taking part, couldn’t be held this 12 months because of the pandemic.
Identified for his virtuosity as a vocalist, music instructor and music director, Rajakumaranunni was initiated into music by his mom Chinnamani Nethiar and was later educated by Vellinezhy Subramania Bhagavathar. Beneath Desamangalam Venkiteswara Bhagavathar’s tutelage, he changed into an acclaimed vainika too. However what made him extra in style was the collection of lecture-demonstrations on music, each vocal and veena, that had been broadcast by Akashvani. They proved his expertise in explaining the nuances of Carnatic music to the uninitiated in an intelligible means. He has carried out live shows each in India and overseas. Even at this age, his voice is agreeable and the approach, masterly.
He got here into cinema in 1975, when lyricist and director Sreekumaran Thampi invited him to sing the Ashtapadi, ‘Radhika Krishna’ for the movie, Mohiniyattam. The tune, directed by maestro G. Devarajan, catapulted him into mainstream movie music. The tune, ‘Allavin Thirusabayil’, rendered by him within the movie Jayikkanayi Janichavan fetched him recognition. As a music director, his songs for the TV movies Nangemakutty, Uchaveil, Sthree, Vararuchi and Thunchathu Ezhuthachan had been fascinating. Together with the late L.P.R. Varma, he performed the function of a veena artiste within the serial Swami Ayyappan. Price mentioning on this connection is his scoring of music for Isavasyopanishad, which was launched as a CD.
Assembly the grasp
Rajakumaranunni’s assembly with the legendary vocalist Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar was unintended. Whereas at house in Chembai village, Bhagavathar as soon as occurred to take heed to Rajakumaranunni’s live performance on the radio and was impressed. On enquiring, he discovered that the musician belonged to an illustrious household in Mannur in Palakkad. He additionally occurred to be the son of his buddies, the well-known musicians, Ramavarman Thampan and Chinnamani Nethiar.
The Chembai Music Pageant organised by Guruvayur Devaswom is a continuation of Bhagavathar’s musical legacy. Yearly, till his loss of life, the maestro carried out on Guruvayur Ekadasi on the temple. A big contingent of musicians, younger and outdated, used to accompany him to Guruvayur.
Bhagavathar invited Rajakumaranunni for the subsequent Ekadasi live performance. To his shock, he was allotted 20 minutes as towards the 5 minutes given to imminent artistes. Bhagavathar was seated within the entrance row. The primary composition the younger singer selected was ‘Saphalamakkidenameejanmam’ of poet Muralikrishnan Bhattathiri. Rajakumaranunni had composed it in Saraswathi raga.
Bhagavathar praised his musical prowess and made it some extent to show him every time the 2 met in Chembai, Guruvayur, Chennai or Palakkad. Rajakumaranunni was additionally invited to accompany Bhagavathar, who used to introduce him to listeners as his grandson.
Bhagavathar’s final live performance was at Poozhikunnu Sree Krishna temple in Ottappalam in 1974. On that day, he requested Rajakumaranunni to supply him dakshina after which blessed him by putting each fingers on his head. Bhagavathar additionally insisted that he attend the Ekadasi competition yearly. The obedient disciple has been following the guru’s recommendation to this present day.
This 12 months, Rajakumaranunni was dismayed when the competition was cancelled. “It was Bhagavathar’s blessings that I used to be chosen for the award; or else I might have damaged the promise I made to my guru,” stated Rajakumaranunni. A chemistry instructor by occupation, Rajakumaranunni retired as principal of the Authorities Trainer Coaching Institute in Kumarapuram, Palakkad. In 1995, he obtained the Nationwide Award for Academics.
Amongst his many awards and encomiums, it’s the title ‘Raga Ratnam’, conferred by Bhagavathar on him, that he treasures essentially the most.
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