Ranjani & Gayatri on Youtube : brilliant performance Tamil song in raag Behag

Ranjani & Gayatri

Ranjani & Gayatri

Sometimes you hear music and right from the start you can’t get enough of it. Its beauty and its emotional content overwhelms you and you want to experience the musical sensation over and over again. The sounds you hear reverberate in your soul, seem to satisfy an inner need and connect with your deeper self. And when the music reaches really deep inside, sound and self can become one and a divine feeling of pure bliss is within reach. In raga music only the very best artists, live on stage in front of you, are able to evoke this kind of experience. Since last week I’m convinced that the sisters Ranjani and Gayatri, carnatic singers from Mumbai, are among this category of outstanding performers. Proof of this is this youtube-video I stumbled upon* last week.

After I watched the video a couple of times I left this comment:“What a fabulous, mesmerizing performance! Wonderful and really divine in their solo-parts (I wish the first five-and-a-half minute could last forever) and then such a sweet and beautiful composition in duet. Stunning voices!”

Ranjani & Gayatri

And here’s a confession: although I’m familiar with many artists of hindusthani and carnatic music I had not heard of Ranjani and Gayatri until last week (- now ain’t that a shame?! -) and it was a surprise for me to learn that -despite their young age- they’ve had a very succesful career already in carnatic music, first as violinists and for the past ten years they’ve astonished audiences worldwide with vocal performances. They switched -believe it or not- from a top violin level to a top vocal level. That’s pretty amazing isn’t it?!

Ranjani in performance

Ranjani in performance

Apart from the high level and the subtleness of the performance (notice also the nice rhythmic accompaniment and the great violin player) I think the video also beautifully illustrates Ranjani’s and Gayatri’s great dedication and devotional attitude towards music, a trademark all good performers in this genre have in common.

Gayatri in performance

Gayatri in performance

ok, here’s some more details on the performance in the youtube-video: song: idu tano tillai sthalam ; language: tamil ; ragam: behag ; talam: adi ; composer: Gopalakrishna Bharati ; concert at Margazhi Mahotsavam 2007 in Mylapore

idu tano tillai sthalam
ittanai nalum ariyene
aduvo iduvo endru alaindidum peyennai
gati taruven endru kai katti azhaitidum (idu)
kasiniyil idhai kayilai endru ellorum
pesak kettade endru penip partarindidum (idu)

english translation: (my version, adapted from another english translation that was -in my opinion- way too archaic):
“Is this what they call Tillai Sthalam?** For all these days I didn’t know.
While I ponder different roads to salvation, this place reveals how to attain it.
People tell this place is called Kailasam (or Kayilai) – Lord Siva and Parvati’s residence. Search, and you’ll find it here.
Is this what Tillai is? How come I didn’t know for all these days!”

Shiva’s cosmic dance of blis

Hope you’ll enjoy the video.


* Rather than thinking it was me looking for this music in the first place, I cherish the idea that this particular music was waiting for the right time -out there on youtube- to find me. And it did.

** i.e. Chidambaram, a sacred place and a holy temple in Tamil Nadu where Shiva (Nataraja) resides in his Ananda Tandava(-cosmic dance of bliss)-pose

16 thoughts on “Ranjani & Gayatri on Youtube : brilliant performance Tamil song in raag Behag

  1. Hi I too came to know about R & G only late last year and when I visited India in Dec 2008, I made it a point to attend their concert at Music Academy at Chennai. My Dad and my wife also came with me to share that evening of Divine Music.

    I listen to their singing to relax my mind and also to get a deeper level of devotion to the Almighty. I like their Tamil songs ( Papanasam Sivan, Gopalakrishna Bharathi songs) more than others. Idhutaano Thillai sthalam stays in my mind all the time( esp the like Adhuvi idhuvo endru….) . That made me visit Chidambaram during my visit to India in Dec 2008.

    BTW, in the clip posted by you, did you notice that Gayathri made a fatal mistake when she started as ” Kaadhalaagi kann…..” instead of “Kaadhalaagi Kasindhu…”. Look at the stunned disbelief on her sister’s face. Yaanaikkum adi sarukkum. Right ?

  2. I am Maharashtriyan. Ranjani & Gayathri had sung few marathi Abhang such as “Pandhariche Bhoot Mothe ” & “Tughe Nav Maghya Mukhi Aso Deva”. Both are superrrrb. I am becoming fan of these sisters after listening above both abhang. God may bless them lot.

    Uttam S. Sawant, Baroda.

  3. I am a south indian. I have little knowledge in carnatic music. I like these two sisters Sri ranga pura vihara, Whenever i listen this keerthana i felt some sort of happiness and peace. Wonder full singers god bless them.

  4. Chidambaram was the first temple made of gold (it has been for the last one millenium or more been known as ponnambalam in tamil). In Sanskrit it was called Kanaka Sabha (the stage of gold) where Shiva in the form of the King of Dance (Nataraja) dances.

  5. I was reading your note “I had not heard of Ranjani and Gayatri
    until last week (- now ain’t that a shame?! -) “. I am a south Indian
    who appreciates hindustani and carnatic classical music. I have not
    heard their vocal music, though I have heard their names flash
    along with several others who are considered “established singers”
    in carnatic music. Your assessment is correct. R/G are not another
    set of singers. They bring some “sought after” attributes to
    carnatic music stage. I do not know exactly which aspects to
    praise, with a risk of leaving out some others. At last,
    we have singers who can actually sing some hindustani ragas
    in carnatic stage, without disqualifying them as “light” – hiding
    their inability to sing. I do not believe that it is a couple of
    enthusiastic opinions. I am convinced that the world will find
    them !!!!!! I hope that R/G will find their audience elsewhere
    too. Restricting themselves to carnatic classical listeners will be
    a waste of their talents.

  6. I’m from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I love classical songs sung across the entire Indian subcontinent.

    To sum up in a single word my reaction to listening to Ranjani & Gayatri, let me say – SIMPLY SPELLBINDING!

    How enormously devoted they seemed to be! They proved, once again, that it does NOT require to understand language to delve into the heart of the classical music. We only sink, helplessly, into the divine charm that singers like Ranjani & Gayatri create. Classical music transcends languages.

  7. Indeed a pure rendition in Carnatic music. The artistes have a bright future.May Hod bless them.

  8. Indeed a pure rendition in Carnatic music. The artistes have a bright future.May God bless them.

  9. Excellently rendered .Keep it up Ranjani and Gayatri. God Bless You Both with all the best fortunes. My mother Pattammal Ragunath used to sing such tamil songs but now she is no more. You both can try Sandana Kattukulle song which will be also heart rendering.

  10. It is simply superb,may God bless them with long life to continue this performances for the benefit of people like me. Wishing them both R/G all the best in life

  11. I am a downright fan of these wonderful sisters. I will forget the ambience around me when I hear their songs. God bless them.

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