theme of the composition is to state that
Shiva helped a lowly creep to reach the highest
state of existence.
I visualize the song like this: There is this
slimy, filthy thing living in the gutter.
Suddenly it got a blurry vision of something
great and realised it has to get out of the
filth and reach the great thing. It goes through
all the labours that one can go through and
after an inordinately long time, gets out
of the filth, rushes with great effort and
joy in an uphill task and finally reaches
the abode of the great being.
maestro picked the lines that plead like a
lowly filth that does not even know how to
praise the greatness of Shiva. Both the music
and the poetry are rendered to show enormous
labor and agony. The meandering strings are
so controlled and range-bound, they show the
labours in getting out of the filth. The occasional
bursts are when one gets glimpses of Shiva's
line "agyaanam agalvikkum nallarivae"
(3:30) gave the knowledge to get out of the
filth (ignorance)! By the time we reach "So
many forms I must wear", (3:36) he found
a way to get out of the filth! The strings
have now got a lively pace rushing out to
light and freshness. But now the knowledge
has brought the problem of multiple births.
repeated "piRandhiLaiththaen"s (4:00)
show the weariness caused by repeated births.
But then it is the fact of life. One has to
go through it. Life springs up from the lowest
form. (4:20) The violins represent water from
which everything springs up. The flute and
the other "winds" represent evolution
of life along with the lyrics "pullaagi,
poodaagi" (4:25). As the life moves onto
higher forms, the orchestra, tune, chorus,
everything builds up and reaches a crescendo
at "munivaraay, dhaevaraay" (5:12)!
At that time the realization comes that it
is HE who has helped you reach this far. The
"Om" (5:48) marks that blissful
moment! Now, with this new realization comes
the peaceful hailing of Shiva.(6:00 - 7:27)
are not over yet! Arrogance ("aRambaavam")
(7:30) envelops the soul! This filthy body
still holds on to the soul!! This section
is all about pleading to be released from
these problems. The pleads are at a fixed
slow pace without any enthusiasm or happiness.
This is like slow-walking through thorny shrubbery.
"My eyes were set on" (10:14) marks
the escape from the shrubbery. This part acts
as a bridge towards the escape. At reaching
"vaeRRu vikaara", (11:45) the pace
has quickened. You see the greatness of the
Lord and you know you have to reach out to
him as fast as you can so he will help you
out of this body and mind. The pace quickens
showing a brisk walk of the ascetic through
the plains towards Shiva.
the first time, (on reaching "Oya uraippan
yaan" 12:37,) there is the glimpse of
the Lord from the distance. This is just about
praise and nothing about the singer. All the
instruments have gone except for the drone.
(The drone represents the divine presence.
It lilts through the "thirukkOththumbi"
song.) Now it is just the hymn and Shiva's
that the Lord has been seen, the mind attains
a certain level of peace. It now travels in
a jolly mood towards the distant hills where
the Lord sits. The choice of "maasaRRa
sOdhi" (14:57) [flawless flame] as the
theme for this section tells of the clear
and unobstructed view of the Lord (relatively
closer view than the previous section). The
gentle percussion gives the feeling of walking
through lush green pastures. All the experiments
about happiness with various instruments and
chorus are conducted. This is like a happy
marriage party going towards the marriage
hall. Just that, here the journey is towards
the abode of the Lord.
at a momentous turn, we are at the foothills!
The quick pace immediately following the "beginning
to be free" (17:50) shows the preparations
for the final climb. The hill top is in view
now. The beautiful chorus "aaa"
(18:00) marks the tears of elation flowing
down the cheeks while starting the climb.
up a hill is not an easy task. So what do
you do when you do a laborious task? That
too when you are going towards the Lord and
you want him to help you with the climb? "Eesan
adipoRRi" (18:15) is what you sing. The
way the tune meanders in every direction,
shows the rocks and shrubbery one passes through
happily. The occasional "Hail! Hail!"
is the lumps of soft snow that give in under
your feet. When we get the final set of "Hail!
Hail!" (19:15) it is snow all over! And
the mist clears....
give a blissful view of the Lord, Up, Close
and Personal! Everything else gives in to
the drone of "Namasivaaya vaazhga!"
(19:30) nothing else exists. It is just you
and the Lord. The final "thannannannaadhinam"
is when the union happens. You are one with
That is immortal music!"