Story of Rama

Drinking the nectar-like story of Rama is equivalent to ruling a kingdom.

This is the essence of Tyagaraja’s song “Ramakatha sudha rasa” in the raga Madhyamavati. Recently when I was invited to give a concert on Tyagaraja’s compositions, my biggest challenge was the sheer breadth of choice of songs that the composer’s prolific output offered! Tyagaraja’s compositions stand out for their lyrical simplicity and depth of emotion. Raga Madhyamavati is considered an auspicious raga and usually sung at the conclusion of a concert. However, “Ramakatha” is a slow-paced song that is often presented as a main piece, as I did in my concert. The lines “Bamamani janaki soumitri” from the anupallavi of the song, describe Sita as “a gem among women” and has ample scope for neraval. Here is a rendition of “Ramakatha” by stalwart Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.

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