Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint (Psalm 6:2)

Perumal Murugan and TM Krishna need no introduction to those in my social circle. But in case someone does, here you go.

Photo Courtesy: Internet

Perumal Murugan — a poet, author and scholar. While his books have had good reviews, he shot into national and global prominence due to the controversy around his book ‘Mathorubagan’. He was hounded by his detractors to the extent that he vowed that he would not write anymore, an act that was reported as literary suicide by global media. Writers, Tamil and beyond, along with many others stood behind him and supported him during this controversy. An equally vocal group called him out, as defaming the town, Tiruchengode and slandering the local deity, and asking for a ban on the book. The state High Court, not only provided relief to him but also used this incident as an opportunity to advise the Government how to handle such controversies. Hated by the Hindutva group.

Photo Courtesy: Hariharan Sankaran

T.M.Krishna — singer, writer and activist. Enfant Terrible of Carnatic music. Outspoken to a fault, he has been vocal about many taboo subjects in music, such as the role of caste and religion in carnatic music, and the behind the scenes machinations in the sabha culture. His opinions on non-music topics also attract quite polarized views. His recent Magsaysay award generated a lot of opinions on him and on the topics, he writes about. TMK has written in support of Perumal Murugan and also shared a stage with him in a literary event. Hated by the Hindutva group.
If you have ever wondered what would be the result of a collaboration between these two, you don’t have to wonder anymore. In a recent concert, TMK sang as virutham, a poem penned by Perumal Murugan. The simple yet deep poem reflects the struggle that Perumal Murugan is going through and fittingly appeals to the very same Mathorubagan to alleviate him of his pain. TMK for his part, has sung it with the emotion that such lyrics deserve. With a lovely selection of Ragas, he has brought out the feelings of the poet very well and followed it up with a very apt song — ‘Maadu Vazhi Maraithirukkudhe’.
The lyrics of the virutham are
முடியாத துயரில் நான் மூழ்கிக் கிடக்கின்றேன்
மூர்க்கம் சூழ்ந்திட மருகித் தவிக்கின்றேன்
விடியாத இருள் போதில் வெகுதூரம் கடந்து
விரைந்து வந்து வந்து இளமை வலுவோடு
படியேறிப் படியேறிப் பாதம் தோய்ந்தவன்

படும்பாடு பார்க்கப் பார்வை திருப்புநீ
மடியேறு முகமேறு மலர் போல வாடிடும்
மனமேறு மருள் நீக்கு மாதொரு பாகனே!
And you can listen to TMK’s rendering, published here after taking necessary permissions.

So what the collaboration of these two has delivered is a beautiful poem in supplication of the Lord and a soulful rendering of the same. A result, that should be celebrated by the right wing Hindus. But am sure, the personalities behind the work is what would matter to them and they would miss appreciating this beautiful work of art and sledge it as usual. Par for the course.
While the rest of us, should not waste any time and lap up such a wonderful treat!
Title: Pain and a prayer to alleviate it is universal and I found this particular verse from Bible to be quite apt — Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony. (Psalm 6:2)