I learnt from an interview by Zakir Hussain that one of the phases of learning classical music in India — in certain traditions/schools that is — was a phase where you learn the singing/playing of one raga continuously for 48 days (called a mandalam in some traditions). For the entire 48 days, they would disengage from the rest of the worldly things, confine themselves to one place (their school, home or temple), play that one raga for extended periods of time (between 12 to 18 hours a day). In doing that, the student will not only learn that raga thoroughly but also achieve a state of meditation in which he might “see” other things.
Okay…that is too serious. Ever since I played a Rajesh Vaidhya / VS Narasimhan duo on Valachi (aka Valaci aka Valaji), I have been hooked and have since been looking for different renditions by different artists on the same raga.
I confused several songs that resemble each other, and as it turned out they are from 4 ragas that are very closely linked to each other. Thanks to Adithi for bringing me that clarity. The four ragas are Valachi, Abhogi, Malayamrutham and Sri Ranjani.
I could see a few classical renditions by Nityashree Mahadevan, VK Manimaran and some less-mainstream performers (Shrinidhi). I dont know this raga enough to give my usual favorites, but I seem to like Manimaran’s version.
There are hardly any movie songs in Valachi, so I am going to quote the only one Adithi told me — Pongum Kadalosai. Since I did not see a decent version on youtube, I went ahead and created one.