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J. Cooling Rajaiah: The Christian Tamil composer is the Uncrowned King of Sacred Music

Rajaiah is known to be a talented and a self-taught musician who dedicated his entire life to composing music with a spiritual overtone

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Choir (Representational Image). Image source: www.templenet.com
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  • No wedding is complete without raising a toast to his popular compositions Mangalam Nithya Mangalam, or Mangalam Nithya Pongidavey
  • His piano skills were impeccable and were in great demand in the festive season
  • Apart from being a music composer, he could also deconstruct group performances with accuracy

Even six years after his death on July 10, 2010, J.Cooling Rajaiah is survived by a bounteous legacy of sacred music compositions, which resound in the Tamil Christian community till date. No wedding is complete without raising a toast to his popular compositions Mangalam Nithya Mangalam, or Mangalam Nithya Pongidavey.

Rajaiah is also one of the founder members of Tiruchi’s oldest choir group, ‘The Carollers’. His rousing ‘The Carollers’ March’ remains a stellar rendition during most of the choral presentations during Christmas.

These and other numerous renditions constitute the legendary singer’s great body of work that continues to enthrall and captivate listeners and performers beyond geographies.

Speaking to The Hindu, J. Philip, his nephew, said, “Uncle never left Tiruchi, but his music traveled all over the world.” Philip who took over the family tradition of composing sacred music is himself the founder of Tiruchi-based gospel choir ‘Singspirations.’

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Rajaiah is known to be a talented and a self-taught musician who dedicated his entire life to composing music with a spiritual overtone.

THE HINDU An early photograph of J. Cooling Rajaiah (in suit) at work. Photo: Special Arrangement by The Hindu
An early photograph of J. Cooling Rajaiah (in suit) at work. Photo: Special Arrangement by The Hindu

Talking about how Rajaiah had an affinity for music even as a toddler, Bhaskar, a family member, told The Hindu, “My grandfather used to keep him on his lap when playing the organ when he was a toddler. Later, Uncle would be drawing the scores on the sand as his father took music lessons for others.”

Named after English Methodist missionary Reverend James Cooling,Rajaiah was born on December 5, 1927, to Mr. and Mrs. James William.

Mrs. Louisa, Rajaiah’s sister revealed that his first mouth organ performance was at the age of nine and his first composition was ready by the age of 13. “We all knew our brother had a unique gift for music very early on,” she added.

Rajaiah also had a brief stint in Tamil cinema after he became a member of the orchestra of Gemini Studios in Chennai as a pianist and piano-accordion player.

But what is termed as the turning point in his career was his joining the Madras Jazz Club. Bhaskar iterates, “Uncle got most of his exposure to world music through the Jazz Club.”

In spite of a flourishing career in early years, Rajaiah had to settle for a job in Southern Railways as the competition in the industry was cutthroat.

His piano skills were impeccable and were in great demand in the festive season.

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His compositions were an effortless mix of rhumba and swing element. “He also accompanied the Minstrels and All Saints Church choirs in the rendering of the oratorios, the highest musical offering of choral praise,” reported The Hindu.

Apart from being a music composer, he could also deconstruct group performances with accuracy.

Known as the ‘Mozart of Tiruchi’ Rajaiah’s expertise in interpreting scores also credits him being a man of many talents.

Rajaiah never married and needed complete silence whenever he used to compose music, explained Bhaskar.

He added, “Rajaiah was among the few people who would encourage younger musicians by giving them a platform to perform. Nobody could match up to Uncle, but he was always trying to learn new things from the youth.”

Though Rajaiah stopped composing at the age of 81, his work will continue to inspire many generations to come.

-prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram. Twitter handle: iBulbul_

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Can We Actually Go “Too Far” on a Stag Do?

It is important to have proper planning in order to avoid the occurrence of any mistakes.

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Stag
If that is not the case, you will either not have an enticing stag weekend or ruin your long-awaited Amsterdam stag do experience.

In as much as a stag do weekends are expected to be full of fun, caution should be taken. Participants need to stay within certain limits. This is important to avoid ruining the Stag weekend at hand. This confirms that there is a boundary you are not supposed to cross. It will be important to communicate these guidelines to those taking part in the event for a peaceful event.

As you plan your stag weekend, it is important to put into consideration a few guidelines and ought to be followed by everyone. If that is not the case, you will either not have an enticing stag weekend or ruin your long-awaited Amsterdam stag do experience. Below are things you have to pay more attention to:

Avoid drinking and driving

Expect some of your friends to drink beer and other alcoholic drinks while out there. You can also have your scotch or whiskey if you are a fan. However, there is a catch. After drinking, you have to take care of yourself too. This means you should not attempt getting behind the wheel.

Besides, do not allow any drunk mate to get near the steering wheel. This will just put everyone’s safety in jeopardy. An accident should be the last thing to wish for while on this weekend. Be fair to yourself and allow a sober person to drive you home.

Stag night
They are bound to cause unnecessary mistakes which are very costly.

Infidelity

Cheating on your fiancé while on your stag weekend is a possibility. This is the best definition of going too far on your stag do weekend. It not only ruins your reputation but also gives you unending quality. Therefore, it is important for every man to hold their horses while out at this event. Mind your wife back home and do what is right for your relationship.

Visiting Strip clubs

Strip clubs are one of the places men will tend to visit while on a stag weekend. Usually, they assume that nobody will report them back at home. Basking on this fragile security, they go on visiting and interacting with a number of strippers. All that is done in the name of having fun. In the real sense, it is an activity that violates stag do activities. Furthermore, it is not beneficial to you in any way.

Stag Night
As you plan your stag weekend, it is important to put into consideration a few guidelines and ought to be followed by everyone.

Too much childish games

Even if you intend to have fun, you should not lose your respect as a man. Have fun but stay within your limits. Childish games like stripping, shouting too much, chasing each other up and down are games that need to be avoided. They are bound to cause unnecessary mistakes which are very costly. You might get injured in the name of having fun.

Conclusion

Once in a while Stag weekends go too far. As a result, a lot of unwarranted mistakes occur thus ruining the event. It is important to have proper planning in order to avoid the occurrence of any mistakes. This will ensure you have the best stag weekend ever. You can hire a stag manager for this function.