Thursday, July 16, 2009

Damal Krishnaswamy Pattammal (Post Updated)

A true pioneer when it comes to women's liberation. One who lived ages before silly teenage girls who thought things like bop-cut, dot-less foreheads and telephone-after-10PM was an act of rebellion. The last of the 'female trinity' passes away at 91.

It is said that when Krishnaswamy saw a newspaper article carrying a photo of his daughter Pattamal, singing for a show 'Satyavan Savitri', he was devastated. Which respectable family would marry a brahmin girl who sung in front of others? When she performed in Egmore Ladies Club, it was probably the first ever time a brahmin woman sang in a public concert. People who wrote about her constantly mentioned that the crowd purely came to see this odd event of a woman singing in public. And then she went on to sing pallavis in a concert. A difficult art considered to be strictly limited to male carnatic musicians.

The reason I began to like Pattammal was because of the song "aduvome pallu paaduvome" in the timeless movie "Naam Iruvar" (yes that movie with 3 billion songs) and for her rendition of Bharathiar songs. Bharathiar himself would not have envisioned his dreams on women's liberation come true in the form of an artist like Pattammal singing his songs. She said she didn't want another rebirth. Hope her wish came true.






15 comments:

Angel's Flight said...

This is such an awesome tribute.

btw an act of rebellion would seem silly to a third person ... but to the little girl carrying out even a small act of rebellion is a huge deal!...

Raghu Sharma said...

http://www.raghuism.com/2009/07/damal-krishnaswamy-patammal.html

Cheers,Raghu

Anonymous said...

Hey I have been a regular reader here and i thought i would share this link of a friend's friend who made this movie on carnatic music and features dkp. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe1P66B4bXQ

Venkat said...

if there's a career around preempting what you're gonna write about, I'd be good at it :)
Expected a Pattamal obituary , good one..

S said...

RIP D.K P.

Hawkeye, Did you recently link her interview from you tube or did i see it somewhere else?

BTW, "Another re-birth"???

Anonymous said...

Good tribute to a great lady, apart from this bit -

silly teenage girls who thought things like bop-cut, dot-less foreheads and telephone-after-10PM was an act of rebellion

Why, even in an otherwise well-written, gracious and positive tribute to someone else, can you not resist the urge to take a piss on someone? A privileged momma's (and grandmomma's ;) I loved that post ) boy like you can never understand the subjugation certain girls face even today. For whom trendy haircuts and late night phone calls are privileges earned after a lot of pleading and haggling.

Please don't sully the memory of the great woman by throwing in this petty jibe.

Anonymous said...

Super thingy..
Why folks getting pissed with the Bop..-rebel remark.It is quite true-and time will tell- as is the rest of the obit.

Hawkeye said...

nothing wrong in contrasting and pointing out that the "ambition-dial" is - at most times - set very low.

people with attitude would take this as an inspiration rather than an insult.

Valli Doll said...

An awesome tribute!

Its not a Hawk Eye post if it does not kick up some controversy, however slight it may be :P

Pradeep said...

Podhigai impresses me more and more. If anyone wants to watch real news aka Hindu types (Madras edition) without any important breaking news that Amitabh Bachan farted and Asin fainted, please go to DD. I am sick and tired of these -ve IQ VJs in most of these Sun, Raj, Vijay channels.

Anonymous said...

Her simplicity was as touching as her music itself. The humility is something everyone should emulate (hawkeye included).

Anon5 said...

LOL, Loved the punchline in the prev comment.

I said...

obituary season dhan po. MJ gregyam mudiala adhukulla pattamal karumadhi.

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Sridhar visvanath said...

Apart from my love for her voice...she seems to be second sweetest paati...that I have come across (first being my paati :-)

Also, I liked Nityashree for the first time...I normally hate her "Kathal" voice...but liked her in this interview