Carnatic in Corona Times – Episode 8

Every day I seem to get a news item or a post from a friend about various cures for coronavirus. However absurd the suggestion for a cure is, all my friends and relatives embark on a discussion of how real this news item is. This reminds me of a song by Swati Tirunal which is a conversation between two people who are watching the ceremonial parade of an idol seated on a lotus being brought out of a temple in Kerala, southern India. The two are playing a guessing game whether the idol is that of Indra, Chandra, Surya, Shiva, Kubera and finally after a series of negation realize it is none other than Padmanabha. The song is in Manipravalam, a mix of Sanskrit and Tamil and a precursor to Malayalam and is one of the Utsava Sampradhaya krithis.

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