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Radha

There are very few Indian composers who have composed on Radha. Apart from Jayadeva, Venkata Kavi seems to have been the only South Indian composer who has composed specific pieces dedicated to Radha. Jayadeva also seems to have deeply influenced Venkata Kavi going by the style of some of his Sanskrit pieces. An interesting feature to be noted in some of these compositions is that the poet does not disclose her name and only refers to her through colourful descriptions and adjectives. Maadhava hrdi khelini (kalyani) is one of the Saptaratnas which teases our brain by addressing Radha through various adjectives such as maadhava hrdi khelini (one who plays with Madhava’s heart) and veetopamaana venu gaana naada sulaya rasike rasaalaye (one who enjoys the enjoyable music, melody and rhythm of Krshna’s flute). The poet reveals Radha’s name only in the charanam – raadhe rasayuta raasa vilaase (one who is the manifestation of the best of the raasa (the dance of Krshna with the gopis).

 

Yamunaa tata vilaasa maadhuri is also another instance where Venkata Kavi does not address Radha directly throughout the composition. By studying some of these compositions and other compositions belonging to the set on Radha-Krshna wedding, it is quite evident that Radha enjoyed an exalted place in this composer’s heart.

1
anurāgaja ālāpa
Kēdāragowḷa Khaṇḍa Maṭhya
2
brndāvana nilayē
Reetigowḷa Ādi
3
mādhava hrdi
Kalyāṇi Ādi

Nisha Rajagopalan

Vintage Virtuosos

4
vallaree samānē
Māḷavi Ādi
5
yamunā taṭa vilāsa
Kuntaḷashreekaṇṭi Ādi