Friday, December 17, 2004

Welcome to the month of maargazhi!

The month of margazhi started off couple of days back! As usual, the first thing to change during margazhi month is the morning radio programs and TV programs. As the month of margazhi is earmarked for spiritual activities only, the programmes in media also have started reflecting the same. Interesting fact to note about this spurt in spiritual activity is the fact that both the shivites and vaishnavites regard this month as holy. If the vaishnavites throng the streets early in the morning singing hymns of "Srivilliputtur Aandaal, the shivites hit the streets singing thiruvembaavai hymns written by that famous tamil saint "Maanikkavasagar" whose "thiruvaasagam" is gaining a new musical form by way of "Thiruvasagam in Symphony Oratario" pioneered by Thamizh mayyam and Isaignani Ilaiyaraja. Both the hymns have kind of similar theme and structure, i.e., both devotional in content and set as being sung by women. What sets "thiruppaavai" apart is the fact that it was written by "Sri Aandaal" who happens to be a woman from 7th to 8th centure A.D. Myths surrounding the "Saint poet Aandaal" apart, the hymns have deep spiritual meanings with a resonating sonic quality, which enables it to be set to tune in carnatic tradition in a beautiful way. For most children in brahmin families, Thiruppaavai and thiruvembaavai are some of the usual music starter courses. Towards the Christmas time (which too falling under margazhi period) Christmas carols could be heard in the street early in the morning. A sweet synthesis of an ancient indian tradition adopted by another faith. Added to all this is the expectation of Pongal festival by the month end( not to leave out pongal release movies!!).

To cap it all I shall rest by quoting Lord Krishna from Bhagwad Gita,
"Among months, I am Maargazhi".
Appropriate indeed!!

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