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A Brilliant Possibility

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Balajee, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Phew! After a long time, I am writing on a subject that is not COVID 19. My subject is music or a brilliant Carnatic vocAlist whose seventh death anniversary falls today. I am talking about Ranjani Hebbar, who succumbed to ovarian cancer on June 9, 2013, when she was just three months away from her 30th birthday.

    Frankly, until last year, I didn't know someone called Ranjani Hebbar existed though I keep a close watch on the music scene. Then I heard her sing in a youtube recording and was hooked. Not only me but lot of people I talked to were unaware of her existence.
    In that youtube post she sang a Kannada song Sadha enne hridayadalli in the raga Brindavana saranga.

    That had me looking for more Ranjani recordings and I found a treasure trove. Though she sang the usual repertoire of a Carnatic music concert like Tyagaraja and Dikshitar, she was at her brilliant best when she sang in Kannada. Her Singing of Purtandaradasa or Basaveswara moved even a hardcore atheist like me. You can imagine their effect on music lovers who are believers. She sang with a full understanding of the text effortlessly using their core emotion or rasa to pull the heartstrings of listeners.

    Strange, when she was alive, I hardly saw reviews of her performances. She obviously kept a low profile, with hardly any interviews and didn't curry favour with critics but just went on performing totally dedicated to her music.

    After her death critics woke up and showered encomiums on her. One of them titled his article on her as "Death of a brilliant possibility". Had she lived long enough she would have been placed in the pantheon of Carnatic music greats.

    Even when she was alive she didn't get a fair treatment d from the music establishment of Chennai. The hallowed Music Academy did not give her the prime evening slot during the December music season. It was always the noon slot generally reserved for junior musicians but she carried on uncomplainingly.

    To be fair, Tamil Nadu paid more attention to the Udipi girl than her native Karnataka. She had more concerts in TN than in her home state.

    Her life took a tragic turn when in November 2012, she was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. Chemotherapy was of no avail as by then BIG C had spread wide in her body.

    After six months of agony, she breathed her last in Udipi on this day in 2013.

    Thank you for the music Ranjani and thank you for strengthening me in my resolve as an atheist for your sufferings show that either God is a sadistic creep to torture someone like you who sang his praises day in and day out or he just doesn't exist. I lean towards the second hypothesis. In either case, he doesn't deserve worship.
     
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  2. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Such a beautiful tribute. It is really sad that such gifted persons leave us so young. Each time I grieve wondering how they will ever be replaced, but miraculously again I find there is no dearth of such gifted people. Here is a kid whose music I love. Have you heard her?



    This was about 4 years ago ..... and this is she now.



    And I can never stop feeling that such gift can only come from "poorva janma sanskara". Of course, I know you may not agree, but it is fine. Each one to our own beliefs. I can't help wonder if these are the departed ones who have come back. Both the kids are so good!
     
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  3. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    That was mind blowing that thilana. Listen to this girl. She is under the wings of Ranjani Memorial Trust.
    Videos | RANJANI MEMORIAL TRUST (R)
     
  4. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Balajee,

    Thank you for sharing everything about Late Ranjani Hebbar. I have never heard of her and after reading your thread, I listened to some of her videos and she has such a melodious voice and I can't understand how she didn't rise quickly to the top talents in Carnatic field. Probably, like politics and movies, even in the Carnatic field people could rise faster only if they are disciples or children of famous singers. I never knew you are such a great fan of Carnatic music and you certainly have the talents to find great singers out of upcoming singers.

    It is our mind that claims all uplifting things in life as our own and blame everything negative to God's failure. Maybe all the pain she encountered was quickly eliminated from her because of her constant repetition of the names of God. Our mind comprehends the way we believe. If I believe in God, my mind thinks her premature death is salvation and if I don't believe in God, it would think that it is an injustice to her.
     
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  6. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Viswa the website of the memorial trust named after her says she suffered intensely for six months I don't think not believing in God would be an injustice to herr. I think she never reached the heights she deserved to because of Chennai's sabha system and a well entrenched clique running it.
     
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  7. nandinimithun

    nandinimithun IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear balajee,
    Being from Karnataka, i had not heard about Ranjani Hebbar, after going through your informative post, listened to her beautiful voice in youtube, amazing and divine voice she has. May her soul rest in peace.

    Regards
    Nandini
     
  8. nandinimithun

    nandinimithun IL Hall of Fame

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    This girl sooryagayathri is immensely talented and the first song i listened of hers was bhagyada lakshmi baramma, she has an enthralling voice..
    I love people who are immensely dedicated in the field of cultural music.

    This girl Uthara is my new favorite


    Regards
    Nandini
     
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  9. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Ironically she was better known in TN rather than in Karnataka. In TN she had performed extensively even if the Chennai clique gave her the short shrift and most critics remembered her only posthumously.
     
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  10. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Uttara is the daughter of R.Unnikrishnan, veteran Carnatic singer. She has already won th president's award for best playback singer. In my view she sings better than her dad.
     
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