Search for compassion

Manjari's band Ta Twam Asi' brings out their first song Karuna Cheyvan.

They were spoilt by choice. Here they were, a new band, ready to make some music together in a room in Mumbai. But do they create new ones or pick up the old ones. That’s when the song Karuna Cheyvan came to Manjari’s mind. She had loved it as a child before she became the famous singer we know today, singing in films and for Hindustani concerts. She was reading the chapter of Panchali’s Vasthrakshepam. She felt that in spite of having so many people to save her, Panchali had only Lord Krishna to help her. The world of today was also not so different, Manjari felt. So when she stood with her band ‘Ta Tvam Asi’, the song just fell into place, as a plea to the Lord to enlighten the world and stop the atrocities against women. “A lot of people said that I could have shown a ray of hope towards the end of the song. But we are still awaiting that ray of hope.” she says.

“We live in a place where we are asked to take care of ourselves, to not do this and that — a lot of ‘do-not’s for the women. But there is no awareness given for men who do it. It is all ‘women, don’t get raped’. Not, ‘men, don’t rape’.” Her song is for the men and women of today because it is they who give birth to the next generation. “Karuna, I felt was most apt for this kind of a concept.” She did the programming, and coincidentally it is a Krishna — S Krishna — who did the mixing and mastering. This is the first song Manjari brings out with her band. There were two other singles before, but not from the band — a Hindi song Aiy Aiy Yaa and then a track directed by V.K. Prakash, called Anuragam. She doesn’t want to limit the band to a certain genre. “When I composed Anuragam, people said they expected something classical. For Aiy Aiy Yaa, they expected Hindustani. But it’s all been Jazz and Blues. For Karuna Cheyvan, I wanted some Carnatic stuff. We shouldn’t forget what we have. One of the best compliments I have got is 'you sing ghazals so well it is surprising to know that you are a Malayali’. I say I am proud to be one, and that Malayalis can sing anything.”

All the independent music has not affected her film singing. She's singing in My Story, Pootu and Cappuccino. There is also her first Hindi film song lined up, composed by Sharang Dev, son of Pt. Jasraj. The concerts are also many. She says of a recent Surat concert: “It went on till 2 am, they were all singing with me. They say youngsters don't listen to ghazal but there were so many young couples there. All those who are in love and who have had breakups should listen to ghazals. It will help you heal,” she says.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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