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Sublime, the middle name of Ranjani & Gayatri
CHENNAI, December 12: Sisters Ranjani and Gayatri are always fascinating to listen to. There is method in their manners, and way in keeping a measure of the audience. Intelligent practitioners of Carnatic music, they have the uncanny knack of drawing a wide-section of audience.

It was an evening to cherish as the sisters gave a recital for Brahma Gana Sabha on December 8 at Sivakami Petachi Auditorium. ``We enjoyed singing all the way, and there was a joyful atmosphere in the air,’’ they said in an email after the concert Right from the beginning, the experience was sublime. The sisters presented appropriate compositions. The concert hall was full, and the audience maintained discipline.

And, the near three-hour session was enjoyable.

`Bettering the best’
Coming events cast their shadows before them. One reminded of this saying as the duo hummed Kedaragaula. They began the evening with the Varnam “Sami Dayajuda”. The glory of Ayyapan of Papanasam Sivan’s “Appan Avatharitha Kathamritham” was brought to fore in Kharaharapriya with clear diction. “Marakoti Sundari” (Bahudari), a GNB piece, was laid out beautifully with melody. Their constant yearning to `better the best’ vis-à-vis swara prayogam and improvisation had added additional vitality to their concerts. The swara interlude between Ranjani and Gayatri was engaging, and gave a clue or two to the perfect synchronization in their thought process.

Shyama Sastri’s “Nannu brova Lalithe” (Lalitha) revealed the purity of their practice. As Gayatri went into an expedition of Madhyamavathi, the raga shone in all its splendour. What followed was Thyagaraja’s “Ramakatha Sudha” a Sanskrit composition. Improvisation at “Bhama Mani Janaki Soumitri” was fabulous even as they interspersed it with vibrant swaras. Violinist B.U.Ganesh Prasad perhaps understood the import of accompanying the sisters, who themselves are accomplished violin artistes. He was focused all along, and gave adequate support.

Piece de resistance
The two percussion artistes – Mridangist Delhi Sairam and Kanjira artiste K.V.Gopalakrishnan - played the taniavarthanam with gusto perking up the concert. “Garuda Gamana” (Nagasvarali) of Patnam Subramania Iyer was racy, and rendered with poise. The piece de resistance however, was the RTP (Ragam Tanam Pallavi). Kantamani was a surprise raga for the RTP. Perhaps, Ranjani and Gayatri revel at throwing surprises on the audience! The words chosen were built in an ascending order known as Srotava Yati. The tala or rhythm in the first-half was Chaturashra jati Triputa tala in Khanda nadai. Later on, they went into Misra jati Jhampa tala with same aksharas. In such a formation, melody and rhythm alignment is extremely challenging. The Pallavi line was: “Mani, Ramani, Suramani, Bhusuramani” in the beginning. Subsequently, they changed the Pallavi line to: Brovave Bhuvanatrayi Kantamani, Ramani Suramani, Bhusuramani” in an increasing order. Swaras were rendered in ragas such as Revati, Hamir Kalyani and Dvijavanti. Like a rain in the sky, swaras dropped in an aesthetic formation. The RTP brought out the vidwat in the sister-duo. “Kaliyaga Varadhan” (Brindavani) and Sant Eknath’s abhang “Janma Janmi ” in Deshkar proved a fitting tribute to the full-house audience, which put the time and trust on the sisters!

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