இந்த மாத ஸ்ருதி இதழ், ஓவியர்/பாடகர் சிறப்பதிழாக மலர்ந்துள்ளது.
ஸ்ருதி பத்திரிக்கையின் contributing editor-ஆக 20 வருடங்களுக்கு மேல் இருந்தவர் ராஜம். ராம்நாராயண், ஜானகி, ஸுதா என்று ஸ்ருதி குடும்பத்தினர்கள் எழுதியுள்ள கட்டுரைகள் நெஞ்சைத் தொடுகின்றன. 80-களில் ஸ்ருதி பட்டாபிராமன் ராஜத்தைப் பற்றிய எழுதிய கட்டுரையும் மீள் பிரசுரம் ஆகியிருக்கிறது.
இவை தவிர, என்னை மிகவும் கவர்ந்த கட்டுரை ஓவியர் (ஹிந்து புகழ்) கேஷவுடையது.
collector’s item-ஆக மலர்ந்துள்ள இவ்விதழைப் இங்கு பெறலாம்
இச் சிறப்பிதழில் வெளியாகியிருக்கும் என் கட்டுரை கீழே.
I can neither sing nor paint. Yet I regard myself as S.Rajam’s disciple, as I sincerely hope to follow his bani of living life (Raja Margam). I met Rajam sir on a Vijayadasami day in 2006, when I interviewed him for my GNB book. Despite poor health, he gave me a detailed interview.
He was painting a Saptamata series then. When I pointed out that his depiction was significantly different from the early Chola sculptures, his eyes lit up. An ardent admirer of Chola and Pallava art, he couldn’t wait to see the photographs of those sculptures. From then on, my visits to Chennai were never complete without a session with Rajam sir.
Rajam sir had the rare ability of objectively analysing music. He did not let the person behind the music influence his analysis. His accounts of the likes of Ambi Dikshitar, Papanasam Sivan, and Madurai Mani were a real treat. It was as if he was living those moments again. Every time I asked him about his experience of learning from Mylapore Gowri Amma, he sang “Tiruvotriyur Tyagarajan” and “Ettanai sonnalum”. The way he mimicked Gowri Ammal’s abhinayam is unforgettable.
I have watched him teach from close quarters. Each session was a peek into his creativity, as he would spontaneously unfold sangati after sangati even in the rarest of the kritis.
I had the good fortune of seeing the Saptaswara paintings bloom from the details mentioned in the ‘Sangita Kalpadrumam’ of Muthiah Bhagavatar. To watch the way Rajam sir went about his research and the layers he created literally and figuratively to depict all the details was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We would discuss something in a very casual way and the next time I visited him, Rajam sir would have painted something based on our conversation. Once I asked him if the similes mentioned in kritis were realistic. Rajam sir responded with an extempore line drawing of the kriti “Anta Rama soundaryam” (See Illustration), depicting the various similes and their correlation to an attribute of Rama.
For the past six months, I have been involved in making a documentary on Rajam sir. Despite his difficulty in moving about, Rajam sir gave me the utmost cooperation and often suggested frames and lighting during the shoot. He also created some paintings exclusively for the documentary. Our crew and I were shattered when we realized that Rajam sir wouldn’t be around when we screen the documentary.
A few months ago, at 91, Rajam sir wanted to paint all the 108 karanas. He also said, “I painted the trinity long ago and the painting has become famous. Only a few days ago, I realised that I hadn’t painted the Tamil Isai trinity”. He wanted me to look out for details on Marimutha Pillai. He also wanted to depict the entire Soundarya Lahari through his paintings. I’m sure he had much more in his ‘to-do’ list.
The last wish he expressed to me when I recently met him at Isabel Hospital was to celebrate ‘Kotiswara Iyer day’ annually. I hope his disciples will fulfil this wish. While I cherish the many wonderful moments I had with Rajam sir, the very thought that he won’t be around when I visit Chennai next is difficult to deal with.
அந்த ராம் சௌந்தர்யம் கிருதியில் வரும் உவமைகள்
அரவிந்த மலர் – காலுக்கு
அட்சயத் துணி – முழங்காலுக்கு
துதிக்கை – தொடைக்கு
பூமி – விரிந்த மார்புக்கு
கமுகு மரம் – கழுத்து
மலை – புஜங்கள்
பவளம் – வாய்
மன்மதன் – அழகு