Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Simple Introduction to IR's Sindhu Bhairavis

A Simple Introduction to IR's Sindhu Bhairavis

Remember the DD television song “Milae sur mera thumhaara” (where various artists including Balamurali Krishna, kamal hassan, cricketer Hirwani, lata mangeshkar, Big B Amitabh etc appeared?) long time back? ..the entire song is sindhu bhairavi ragam. You may read on with that song in mind for theoretical reference. Another excellent reference could be “unakenna melay nindrai” from simla special…that is full loaded with sindhu bhairavi flavour. OK, over to Maestro now.

First shall we roughly define how sindhu bhairavi feels? It evokes a karuna rasam (empathy) as well as a very light tinge of melancholy at times. To my knowledge, there are around 50 raja songs in sindhu bhairavi. [Raga Arohanam| S R2 G2 M1 G2 P D1 N2 S | Raga Avarohanam = N2 D1 P M1 G2 R1 S N2 S

But as usual of raja, it is not just limited to karuna rasam or melancholy, but many different emotions and colours. Once you finish reading this, you should have a very fair knowledge of sindhu bhairavi….

I think I would start with one of my all time favourites in this raga….It is “Muthu mani maala” from Chinna kounder. A meditative quality overwhelms the listeners throughout the song…ippadi oru closely knit (intricately woven) song is possible only by raja…in the charanams, the ending line SPB sings,“lesa degam soodera”…that “soodera” is excellent touch of sindhubhairavi (correlate this with “tho sur bane humaara” of the DD song mentioned earlier)

Ok, now to some very hardcore sindhu bhairavis…..listen to the following song before you go to any other sindhu bhairavi based compositions… Mani Osai Kettu from payanangal mudivadhillai…Raja, in this song, poses as a personal classical music teacher for you, highlighting the soul of sindhu bhairavi in such a riveting fashion, that too in 5 minutes flat … Another riveting tune is it is Madha Un Kovilile from Achchaani …and If you know these two songs, you already know sindhu bhairavi raga.

Take Kalyana Maalai Kondaadum Penne from Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal – What can you say about this song? Unimaginable that one can power-pack & load up a 5 minute song with so much punch, and still keep it to look very simple. …In pallavi see “sudhiyodum layam polave” and in charanams watch,”azhagaana manaivi…amaindhaalae perinbame”…

“Nilave mugam kaatu”…from Ejamaan….therein watch the line in charanams,“ unai serndhadhu kodi mullaiyae, ini endha kuraiyum illayae..dhinam theerum theerum thollaiye”….u can compare the sympathy evoked in these lines to that is “ennai yaarendru enni enni nee paarkirai”, a olden days classic set in same raga)…“Nilave mugam kaatu” song is an amazing composition, with or without sindhu bhairavi…

In the same film there is another sindhu bhairavi number …“oru naalum unai maravaadha” from Ejamaan…oh, another gem this. The entire song is soaked with the essence of the raga. You would want to notice the little nuances of sindhu bhairavi elaborated by SPB and SJ right in the pallavi (watch in “vizhiyodu imai polae”… see the thoivu evoking sympathy…)

Shenbagame Shenbagame - Enga Ooru Paatukkaran - seems Asha bhonsle wept after listening to the tune…very powerful tune in sindhu bhairavi…in the pallavi, each time “shenbagame / thenpodhigai” words are sung, different Asha (also Mano in his version) brings out various characteristic curves / flavours of the raga.

Valaiyosai Kala - Sathya – Entire song will help, but especially the first line of pallavi “thendral kaatrum veesudhu” and in charanam first line “unnai kaanaadhirukkum nodi neram…..varudam ena maarum”

The following lines in the following songs would highlight the flavour of the raga very clearly…

Aatama Sadhiratama - Captain Prabhakaran – yaarukkum theriyaadhu naan potta mudichu

Aasa Adhigam Vachu - Marubadiyum – in the very first line manasa adakki aikalaama - the word “maama”, note how it is sung…

Amman Kovil Kumbham Inge - Aranmanai Kili - Ponganum ponganum ponga soru (look at that kuzhaivu / thoivvu / elegant slide)

Arunamalai Guru Ramana - Raajaavin Ramanamaalai – charanams – “unnai aridhal perum peru, seivaen enna kaimaaru

Bommukutty Ammavukku - En Bommukutty Ammaavukku – thedamal thedi vandha thaazham poo charam

Chinna Kuyil Oru Pattu Padudhu - Chinna Kuyil Pattu (one of the best sindhu bhairavis ever !!!! that too in raja’s own voice)

En Mana Vaanil Siragai Virikkum - Kaasi - the entire song, but watch pallavi “siragugal thannal moodikollum”

Enna Marandhalum - Kadhal Saadhi (the song is jam packed with emotion !!!) – see the lines “unna marakka manam koodudhillaiye"

Enna Satham Indha Neram - Punnagai Mannan – entire song, but see pallavi’s “uyirin uyirai” every time SPB sings it…also “aariraro, ivar yaar evaro” – SPB brings about subtle styling unique to sindhu bhairavi

Enakena Oruvarum illamal Ponalum - Thaalatu – the pallavi

Ennamma Kannu Sowkyama - Mr.Bharath - ” aamamma kannu sowkyam dhaan” – stamp of sindhu bhairavi

Ilamai Enum Poongaatru - Pagalil Oru Iravu - charanam last line “indha nilai dhaan, enna vidhiyo” – brilliant

Inji Idupazhaga - Thevar Magan – “maane vaa” in pallavi

Kadalile Ezhumbura - Chembaruthi - the way the very first line ends

Naan Oru Sindhu - Sindhu Bhairavi - charanams ending “sollungale” and “kandupidi” – executive summary for the raga

Nilavu Paatu Nilavu Paatu - Kannukkul Nilavu – charanam ending ‘kanavugal kavidhaigal ragasiyam” – aaha, oru mini “haiku” kavidhai

Oh Vennilave - Aananda Kummi – the way the pallavi ends (pai podalaam)

Thol Mela Thol Mela - Poomani – pallavi end – “nenjame nenjamae”

Now you basically have an idea how Sindhu Bhairavi flows, right ? …Get on to explore more !!!

Relish Raja’s majestic Sindhu Bhairavis.


  1. Another stylish Sindhu Bairavi is in the film "Manamagale Vaa" the song "kannimanam Kettupochu sonnapadi".Janaki sang it superbly.

    Raja used it for ”விரகதாபம்”