Today I ran into someone who claimed to have had a few years of formal training in Carnatic music. When I asked him if he would rate Tyagaraja’s “Endharo Mahanubhavulu” as a favorite kriti of his, he said, “What was that?” “Not even heard of it” was next response to the quizzical look on my face.
How can “years of formal training” in Carnatic music, and total ignorance of possibly the most famous Tyagaraja kriti go hand in hand? Probably a product of the Madrasi tradition of blindly forcing kids to take singing lessons in which they don’t have a wee bit of interest.
Thankfully though, I didn’t have to waste more time with him. Else I would have had to hear this: “But yeah, I know Tyagaraja. The person with the jilpa hairstyle, who sang ‘Manmadha Leelaiyai Vendraar‘…”
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