Chennai youngsters bring back forgotten instruments

By G Srinivasan Published on Oct 02, 2017 12:08 PM IST

Chennai: When a group of youngsters join together, what will they do? They generally go to a movie or play a game or just chat for hours.

But here is a group of around 30 youngsters from Saidapet, in the city, who are a bit different. They have been rendering traditional music voluntarily at shrines for several years.

The elite group titled ‘Thirukarani Thirukailaya Vadhya Kuzhu’, headed by S Murugan of Subramania Mudali Street, is marching towards its eight anniversary.

What made them to take up traditional music and how did they come together?

Answers Murugan says,"‘It all began when we like-minded friends listened to one such traditional music by Adiyar Ramalingam at Kasi Viswanathar temple in West Mambalam.  When we showed interest in learning it, Ramalingam sir invited us to Pondicherry and we started our own troupe after getting necessary training there.  He also helped us to acquire these age old instruments from different parts of the State’."

Thirukailaya Vadhya Kuzhu renders music mostly through wind-based instruments like Thiruchinnam, Neduntharai, Yekkalam, Kokkarai with a couple of percussion instruments like Thiruudai and Thalam.

All these instruments were used by Tamil  people several hundred years ago but forgotten over the period. "We made it a point to revive them and many friends from Saidapet joined hands and we started the kuzhu seven years ago,’" continued Murugan.

Most of the members of the group are students and a few are working people.

How do they manage time handling both the jobs? "‘Primarily, we perform during the ten day brahmotsavam of Karaneeswarar temple in Saidapet and  at other Siva temples during weekends and holidays,"’ replied Murugan.

"‘We give voluntary concerts at every place and the organisers provide transportation and food facilities for our members,"’ he continued.

The kuzhu also renders regular concerts at places like Thayagaraja Swamy temple, Thiruvottiyur, Aavudaiappar temple in Aranthangi and various Siva temples in Kancheepuram.

"During festivals like 63 Moovar (63 nayanmars) and guru pooja also, we give concerts free of cost.’ ‘For those willing to join our group, free training is given every Sunday at Karaneeswarar temple,’" added Murugan.

These youngsters are also provide voluntary service with Aalaya Uzhavarapani Thondu Seer Thirukootam at Saidapet and participate in its activities.

About this, Murugan said ‘It is Nagarajan sir of the above forum has been encouraging us at every stage of our musical journey and we are thankful for his continued patronage.’

Thirukarani Thirukailaya Vadhya Kuzhu can be reached at 96007 11146.