S.Rajam - Musician, Painter, Actor and the Man by Lalitha Ram

தமிழ் பாரம்பரியம்
(Tamil Heritage Trust)
S.Rajam - Musician, Painter, Actor and the Man
Lalitha Ram
at 5.30pm on July, 7th, 2012
at Vinobha Hall, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T Nagar.

Shri. S. Rajam was a well known personality in the fields of Indian Music and Arts. He is hailed as the musician's musician and had won several distinguished awards in the field of music. His awards include the Sangeet Natak Academy award presented by the President of India and the Sangita Kala Acharya award presented by the Madras Music Academy. His concerts were a roaring success even when he was in his teens. Shri. Rajam and his famous brother Veenai Balachander (a noted film director too) toured all around Asia even in their teens. 
Shri S Rajam served for about 35 years as music supervisor and a Grade A artiste at the All India Radio (AIR). He had dedicated his life to popularize rare kritis and unpopular ragas.  During his tenure at the AIR, he recorded several rare compositions of many composers, produced many operas based on literary works like Silapadhikaram and musical plays.   His simplicity and willingness to help anyone who approaches him on subjects related to art and music had endeared him to all and to the young in particular.
Shri S. Rajam has the distinction of being the first (and probably the only) musician to have sung all the 72 Melakartha compositions of Koteeswara Iyer. The compositions that were available only as notation were brought out to public through his serialized broadcast at the All India Radio as well as through some Pre-Recorded CDs.
Shri S Rajam is the golden link between music and art. His portraitures of the composers in the classical traditions of Indian music are benchmarks; and now, after his advent, one can hardly visualize the composers but through the eyes of Shri S Rajam.
Graduating as a gold medal winner from the Madras School of art, Rajam chose to dedicate his painting career to the tradition Indian painting style. The frescoes at the Ajanta, Kanchi and Sigiriya left an ever lasting impact on his style. Hallmarks of his portraits are their authenticity. His deep rooted research on the subject of his paintings is legendary. Multiple layers that he used literally and figuratively to accomplish the desired depth, makes him a unique artiste in the context of India art. His portraits therefore bring out not only the physical resemblance of the subjects but more importantly the essence of their very inner being. 
Apart from the paintings related to music, he had painted several themes based on Indian mythology, history and literature. Several of his paintings have adorned covers of many magazines and books. He has represented the entire Periya Puranam - the Lives of 63 Saivite saints through his paintings. His other monumental work is the painting of the entire 'Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam' (a series of more than 100 paintings). These two works have been published as books.
Apart from being a painter and musician, Shri. Rajam had acted as the hero in 3 Tamil films. He has also tuned several songs for movies and has lent his voice in some of the movies taken by his brother - S.Balachander. Rajam was also an excellent photographer. His snapshots of Mahabalipuram and Kanchi have won critical acclaim of several critiques and have been published in various magazines.
Lalitha Ram, a material scientist by profession, is a young write and a regular contributor to various magazines on topics related to music and history. He is the author of the popular biography on GNB titled Isai Ulaga Ilavarasar - GNB published by Vikatan Publications. He along with V. Ramanarayan compiled the centenary volume of GNB, documenting various facets of the maestro's music as well as compiling all the writings of the singer and his father.  His research for these two works formed the base for the documentary movie on GNB -  'Isai Vasigaran".  His recent book 'Dhruva Nakshatram' documents the history of Pudukottai percussion lineage - with Palani Subramania Pillai portrayed as the central figure. He is also among the founder-editors of the e-zine, http://varalaaru.com.  His documentary movie on musician/artiste S. Rajam is scheduled to be released later this year.
A. Annamalai: Gandhi Study Centre - gandhicentre@gmail.com; 94441-83198
Badri Seshadri: Kizhakku-p-padippakam - badri@nhm.in; 98840-66566
S. Kannan: Bank of Baroda - 2498 5836
S. Swaminathan - sswami99@gmail.com; 2467 1501
R. Gopu, writergopu@yahoo.com, 98417-24641
T. Sivasubramanian, siva.durasoft@gmail.com, 98842-94494