Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Sudha Raghunathan is the one whom I can say my Guru of Carnatic Music. She’s my Drona and I’m her Ekalavya. (But I won’t give her my thumb as Fees). Though I could not learn Music from her directly, I learned from her by listening to her Cassettes and CDs. First my mother became her fan and started listening to her songs. That time I was not aware of pure form of Carnatic Music as I just entered my teenage. But I had an affinity towards the Classical songs in the films like Sindhu Bhairavi, Unnal Mudiyum Thambi (Courtesy KB). Later I got an interest to identify ragas of a few Film songs (Courtesy Mohan Vaidhya).

It all started with the famous Bharathiyar song “Chinnanchiru Kiliye Kannamma…” sung by Sudha and it created a magic in me. Especially when she sings the line “Kannathil Muthamittaal…” I felt like someone pecks on my cheek literally. I kept listening to it and sang the song in a Music competition in my 10th Std. But still I managed to get only a 2nd prize in the Brahmin-dominated school. The same song got me the First Prize in my 11th Std. I was happier not to win 1st Prize, but to defeat a Brahmin boy who was my rival in Sanskrit too.

When I was in 2nd year B.E, I heard Sudha singing the famous song of Oothukkadu Venkata Subbiyer, “Asaindhadum mayil onru…” I was just mesmerized by the way the song was composed and flawlessly sung by Sudha. From that moment I had become a die-hard fan of Carnatic Music and of course SR. Eventhough I have listened to the same song sung by various artistes, still SR is the Best. Her Album titled “ALAIPAYUTHE KANNA” contains the songs of Oothukkadu is my most favourite Album till date. If anyone wants to learn Carnatic music, they can start with those songs which help have control over breath while singing. One can also improve his/her Tamil pronunciation by practising those songs. Especially the lines:

"KaRutha kuzhalodu niRutha mayil siRagirukki amaitha thirathile
Gaana mayilaadum neela kuyil paadum neela nadhiyodum vanathile
Kuzhal mudhal ezhilasai kuzhaiya varumisayil kuzhalodu miLiriLan karathile
Kadhirum madhiyum ena nayana vizhigaL iru naLinamaanda salanathile..."

Later I started collecting most of her Albums and recommend others to listen to it.
In my opinion, Bombay Jayashri sings with a very low pitch, whereas Nithyasree sings at extremely high pitch. Sudha can sing in both low pitch and high pitch. She can sing any kind of raga very well, whether it’s a soft Sahana or a hard Thodi. But for my uncles Bombay Jayashri is the best in this generation. My granny says after MS it's BJ. But for me SR is the Best.

I got a chance to attend 3 of her concerts when I was in Coimbatore. Her concerts are very popular among people due to her Song selection. She normally sings popular songs like Kurai onrum illai, Shanti Nilava Vendum, Katrinile varum geetham, etc. Most of the people esp women attend her concerts to see her attire. She is famous for her silk saris and jewels esp rings. This made her the Brand Ambassador of Pothys.

Though her contemporaries Bombay Jayashri and Nithyasree are popular among common audiences because of her Film songs, Sudha has her unique place in the Hearts of Music Lovers in spite of a few renditions of film songs. Her songs in “Ivan” are of her kind but the song “Kadhal periyadha kaamam periyadha…”from the movie Satham Podaadhey is the biggest blunder Sudha has ever made as MLV did in “Ayyasamy Aaojisamy…”. When Ilayaraja made her singing Carnatic songs in films, A.R. Rahman too was keen to make her sing in “Yelelo”, Yuvan tried to spoil her image by the song. This is the only song of Sudha which I hate to the core.
Though I haven’t yet watched the film and song, I liked her voice suited to Late Soundarya in Ivan and also to the legend Shabana Azmi in the crossover move “Morning Raga” where Shabana’s lip sync is perfect for the “Thaye Yashodha...” fusion song.

My favourite songs of Sudha:
Asaindhadum Mayil onru in Simmendhra Madhyamam
Chinnanchiru Kiliye - Ragamalika
Kurai Onrum Illai – Ragamalika
Enna Thanavm seidhanai - Kapi
Alaipayuthe Kanna - Kanada
Paal Vadiyum Mugam – Natta Kurinji
Thaye Yashoda – Thodi (Especially the fusion one in Morning Raga)
Kuzhaloodhi manamellam – Kamboji
Aadaadhu Asangadhu - Madhyamavati
Vandhanamu ragu nandhana - Sahana
Sarvam Bramha mayam – Darbari Kanada
Bramham Okate - Bowli
Bho Sambho – Revathi
Velliyangiri vaasa – Shubhapantuvarali
Ododi vandhen kanna – Dharmavati
Kanda naal mudhalaai - Madhuvanti
Natanam Aadinar – Vasantha
Nannu Brova Lalitha - Lalita
Devi Neeye Thunai - Keeravani
Anadamrita Karshini – Amritavarshini
Ranjani Niranjani - Ranjani
Thunban nergayil – Desh
Shanti Nilava Vendum - Tilang
Maa Ramanan - Hindolam
Basant Bahar Thillana
Hindolam Thillana
Guruvaayoorappane Appan – Reeti Gowlai
Aasai mugam marandhu poche – Jonpuri
Karunai Deivame – Sindhu Bhairavi
Mangambudhi Hanumanta – Dharmavati
Marugelara and Neeraja sama neela Krishna – Jayantashri
Mayilayin naayakiye – Sri Ranjani
Sachaamara rama vaani – Hamsanandi
Kaa vaa vaa – Varali
Aadamodi galade - Charukesi
Manavyaala kinchara – Nalinakanti
Sriman Narayana –Bowli
Pirava Varam Thaarum – Latangi
Enai Enna Seidhaai veinkuzhale – Simmendhra Madhyamam (Movie: Ivan)
Aanmaavin Raagam – Title Song of Sahana
And the list goes on endlesly….

Once the great Music Critic Late Mr. Subbudu had mentioned that if he had to be in a No man’s land, he would take Bhagavad Gita, his Vethalai Petty and Casettes of Sudha Raghunathan’s songs along with him. Sudha was overwhelmed by this statement of Subbudu and told that it’s like the most prestigious Award for her.

She participates in the “THIYAGARAJA ARADHANA” every year at Thiruvaiyaaru as well as Cleveland; but I have not found any of her albums for Pancharatna Kritis. I would like her to release the album of “Pancharatna Kritis” soon.

I would like to dedicate this blog to my “Maanaseeka Guru” on her Birthday and wish her to keep singing like M.S. Subbulakshmi with her God-gifted voice. I also wish she would get the Bharat Ratna Award like the great MS.
Now listening to “Vandhanamu Raghu nandana…” Thiyagarajar Kriti composed in Sahana raga from her Album VANDHANAMU


Anonymous said...

See Please Here

Ramya harish said...

hi karthik, am a die hard fan of sudha raghunathan.. n KB too.. guess u r too much influenced by KB..(made me comment this seeing ur intro..)
am a carnatic cum light music singer.. i ll post my carnatic songs soon in my post.. i have all the collections u have mentioned.. do listen to sudha's Bharathiar songs.. the cd comes wit the lyrics book.. songs r so good.. listen to these also, my favortites of sudha
Nannu vidachi - reethigowla
Om namo narayana - kamaranjani
One of our family friend(sanskrit pandit,HOD sanskrit presidency college), sudha's close aquaintance always tells i resemble her lil and blesses me to become lik her..

Kaarthik said...

Hi Ramya, Thanks a lot for spending time to read my blog.
I am a hard core fan of KB and SR.
In fact SR is "Maanaseeka Guru".
I havent learnt carnatic music from any Guru, but only throught the Casettes and CDs of Sudha Raghunathan.

Nice to know that u resemble her.

venkat said...

hi karthik, i am a fan of KB sir too.
am looking for one of the song u have mention sahana sindhu bhairavi part -2 serial title song sung by sudha ragunathan. i tried hard but could not locate it. i could find intha veenai ku teriyadhu song again composed in sahana from rail sneham if u find the song please send me the link to i will be very happy

venkat said...

hi karthik, i am a fan of KB sir too.
am looking for one of the song u have mention sahana sindhu bhairavi part -2 serial title song sung by sudha ragunathan. i tried hard but could not locate it. i could find intha veenai ku teriyadhu song again composed in sahana from rail sneham if u find the song please send me the link to i will be very happy

remsvj said...

hi...can u please suggest a website which has lyrics of the song "kancha dalaya dakshi"

Synergy said...


I am surprised by your comment 'Brahmin dominated school . . . .' and 'I was happy because I defeated a Brahmin ......' so on. Whosoever is talented in the race is sure to win the race. So I do not appreciate your calling the community here. Moresoever, Brahmins have been deprived of many rights in states like especially Tamil Nadu. Brahmins have never considered anyone as their competition. For ages together and generation along, this community has been living on their knowledge as wealth more than mere accumulation of physical wealth. Today many high profiled brahmins are moving away from our country because of such comments. As Tamil Nadu too often speaks about 'Pagutharivu' we should also move away from casteism and pave path to talented on the basis of merit only and not on any caste. Can a poor brahmin boy be equivalent to a most backward MLA? Where are they both in comparison? While one would be hardly dreaming to get his basic amenities the other would be dwelling in all possible richness. Remember your guru is also from this community.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kaarthik,
I came to your blog searching for a song and stayed to read your posts. The enthusiasm you show towards music, the hard work you have put in to analyze ragams etc. are very admirable.

However I was saddened to read in your posts repeated caste references. For example, you say that "in your brahmin dominated school" you came 2nd in the singing contest. Another example - you say you were happier to beat a brahmin boy at music than to win.

These days all of us are moving beyond race and caste and I wish you would broaden your outlook to look beyond people's castes.
If you reflect upon your loss in the singing contest and feel that some sort of favoritism was involved, then go ahead and say so. However, if you think there is some element of luck, or maybe even that there was at least one aspect in which the other boy performed better on stage that day than you, then you should not put that second place win (not loss) down to caste.
You are broad minded in your acceptance of music and musicians. Please be so in your acceptance of other people also!

karthik said...

This Is karthikeyan Iyer after when i listen the songs sung by Guru Sudha this was amazing that how i felt and I'm one of the fan of Her though I'm studying Classical i want to collect the collection of Guru Sudha.. on 2009 Mazhali utsavam she sung a Song I'm trying to search the same may you please any body help I want learn that song the song is like this " A.. DA.. Lum.. Ashayadu Vaa... Kanna..Un.. Adali lae..." I'm not very much confirm about the lyrics please advise me about the song where can find that song I want learn...

Thank you

Karthikeyan Iyer