Easing Tension Through Music

The other day I was looking on YouTube for the famous version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” from the old Bollywood film, Purab aur Paschim, to amuse my kid. Instead, I found this:

It’s not just done for comedy, I think (though it is clearly meant to be funny for a South Indian TV audience). Actually, having the same English words applied to the different classical Indian musical styles is an instructive way of seeing the differences in the styles.

(Incidentally, what are the first two styles she uses?)

28 thoughts on “Easing Tension Through Music

  1. nerding out a little: the first one is a carnatic riffing in Vasantha ragam (complete with the appropriate chittaswaram).
    …the second one i can only guess is supposed to be fake telegu? no clue really.

  2. The first one is the Carnatic style, the second is Harikatha style, originating from Andhra Pradesh.

  3. 6 · A-kay said

    The artist is Revathy Sankaran and you can read more about here at http://www.hindu.com/mp/2006/12/16/stories/2006121601880200.htm. She has acted in a few soaps in Tamil and this one is from kasalavu nesam – a popular comedy serial of the 90′s directed by K.Balachandar. Curdriceaurora, you can watch the serial here – http://www.rajshri.com/Tamil/tvshows/kasalavunesam/index.asp

    She is not just a TV star, but actually a journalist too. She used to be the editor for a prominent Tamil mag called “Mangayar Malar” directed at women. Apparently since she left the mag, the quality has dropped to abysmal depths.

  4. Someone has already identified the first style as traditional Karnatik; the second can also be considered viruttam style (spoken word, without tala). I actually know the increasingly amused girl in the pink salwar kameez! We went to school together. Wonder what she’s up to these days…

  5. check out http://www.youtube.com and type a search for “nursery rhymes indian version”

    there are some absolutely wild renditions of famous nursery rhymes.

    Baa Baa Black sheep sung in a carnatic style is the second best of the lot. The best one is the indian school children reciting the nursery rhymes as though it were political slogans. reminded me of “Inquilab zindabad”

  6. Man, that was awesome. And a little nostalgic because I studied Carnatic music for 15 years. But yeah, Tamil comedy series are ridiculously funny.

  7. 10 · Ocotillo said

    I actually know the increasingly amused girl in the pink salwar kameez! We went to school together. Wonder what she’s up to these days…

    I used to live in a building next to the one she lived in! And I believe her mom taught carnatic music to a bunch of kids in the neighborhood. Did you go to school at VM Adyar?

  8. amardeep! get this, my uncle sang us something similar (also included a bengali – a la robindro shongeet, and a gujarati version) back in 1987….my mom turned it into a PLAY, and recruited the desi faculty at the University of North Texas to perform it at a ISA Diwali show!!

  9. It’s not just done for comedy, I think (though it is clearly meant to be funny for a South Indian TV audience).

    Do South Indian TV watchers have a different sense of comedy?

  10. 18 · LandBeyond7Zs said

    I do not like the term ‘South Indian’. Most people think the entire South India is one big state with a movie star as the cheif minister! ha ha!

    yea i TOTALLY agree with u dude, im a southie and i did not understand shit what they said. we’re not all the same, but most north indians like to lump us all into one category.

  11. yea i TOTALLY agree with u dude, im a southie and i did not understand shit what they said. we’re not all the same, but most north indians like to lump us all into one category.

    (Bolded for emphasis)

  12. Amardeep, would you care to clarify the differences in the comedic tastes between South Indians and the general Indian population(??North Indians? Or, perhaps, did you mean to refer to the viewers in who speak this particular language? To the best of my knowledge, not all South Indians speak the same language…

    (Bolded for emphasis)
  13. I remember our friend from school, who has done years of classical Carnatic music studies. He used to sing traditional carnatic with ‘Definition and classification of Boilers’ to make fun of our mechanical engineering professor from Purdue. Lost touch with him for over 15+ years. If any of our guys reading it, please post.

  14. It is very nice to view this. Her name is Revathi shankaran. she only done the program mangaiyar choice in Sun Tv. In that program she will give a lot of informational tips to ladies. I am a continuous watcher of this serial Kasalavu nesam. It is full of comedy.

    Diana Save on Moissanite Jewelry!

  15. Incidently there is song written in the 18 century that is a version of Twinkle Twinkle, called Shymale Meenakshi. It was written by Muthuswamy Dikshitar, along with several other songs based on British (Celtic) tunes.

  16. In order of send-up: 1. A “Tamil Carnatic” version in the Ragam Vasantha 2. A “Telugu Carnaric” version, Harikatha/Burrakatha style. Ever hear NT Ramarao extol the virtues of tobacco in “khagapathi amruthamu thega”? 3. A “Malayalam Carnatic” version with some ersatz mohiniattom 4. And as identified a “Punjabi Carnatic” version a la bhangra. Anyone know how I can stop people calling it the “poon-jahb” – obnoxious corrections aside?