Carnatic Transliterations

Deep apologies to all those who are not from South India and do not have a smidgen of interest in Carnatic music. If you belong to that category, this post will probably not make any sense. But it has been running through my mind for a while and I just had to put it down.

Carnatic music was drilled into me for almost 15 years of my life. More than the music itself, the need to preserve it in its pristine traditional glory was hammered into my head using a combination of Melakartha ragas and 9-inch nails. Therefore, it is my solemn duty as a musical anarchist to do some serious bad-ass jalsa and blasphemous jilpa of some of the most popular carnatic numbers of our times. I just think Carnatic music needs to get a sense of humour.

Having been Tamil-illiterate for most of my childhood, my music notebook was entirely written in English. Sampler:


Vaataapi Ganapathim Bhaje…hum

So imagine this scene in 1690. A British East India company musicologist happens to discover a wormhole into the future and chances upon my music notebook. Since it’s written in English, he will most certainly assume that the words are simply quaint local misspellings of the Queen’s language and thus I present to you,

The East India Company Carnatic Songbook.

Raga: Hamsadhwani

Composer: Mootusoowammy Deekshirter

What a big gun apart him budge eh? Hmm?

War an’ ah, some were uh..part him, shriek!

Raga: Hindolam

Composer: Tiago Roger

Some much a war ago man uh..

Sad who grr…

Sir a sop joe apall luck all liter wig your….


Composer: Gopaulachrisna Barretty


Where you dive’em

Some Anne amour cool maa…


Composer: Tiago Roger

Chuck any Roger..

Mar Game oooh..’n’docker

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