Narthaki is one of the rarest of the rare ragas, there is not a single composition belonging to any of the prominent composers so far !! But this raga has found much application in Light music and Film songs to a great extent – there are so many songs composed in this raga (since it is beyond the scope of this article, they are not discussed here; but I have listened to many Tamil and Malayalam songs based on this raga). Very simply we can define the raga as Madhyama-varjya Harikambhoji; the structure will be:
S R2 G3 P D2 N2 S // S N2 D2 P G3 R2 S
Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal also confirms the same specification, under mela (28) ragam Harikambhoji. Since there are no popular compositions or renditions available, we cannot say about the possibility of expansion of the raga; but Dr. M.Balamuraleekrishna has given a very beautiful alapana of this raga.
Asaivattanaiyum - Abhayambika
bhAvaya cittE bhakti - Ganapathi Sachidanada swami
haram AshrayE - Ganapathi Sachidanada swami
datta digambara - Ganapathi Sachidanada swami
datta gurO jaya datta - Ganapathi Sachidanada swami
mArasya mArA mAm pAhi - Ganapathi Sachidanada swami
Out of the above, only the composition by Abhayambika is heard sung. “Ms. abhayAmbikA. was well - known in the 1970s and 1980s as Balamurali's "wife" and was almost always on stage during his concerts from the late ‘60s to the late ‘80s. She was not his wife in real life but called herself that and people believed it. She was a Tamilian who helped Balamurali translate Thyagaraja krithis into Tamil and has claimed to compose krithis although I would not label her a vAggeyakkara.” (from periscope). (That lady was a Bharatanatyam practitioner and teacher (not mentioning the name due to various considerations). She was his secretary from the 90s till her death in 2013. She was responsible for bringing out his compositions in book form through the trust called Vipanchee. She used to be on the stage during the twilight years of his career, telling the audience what he was to sing and his life story). (courtesy…)
Pallavi: You created all the objects that move in all their excellence, the heavens, and disputes (contradictions) too. You placed all the desirable things too upfront (for us to enjoy/bear).
Anupallavi: You designed the music too with perfect rhythm. You embraced calamity and danced with it (the reference here may be the slaying of the ferocious elephant “Kuvalaya peeDam” sent by Kamsan to kill the adolescent Krishna in Mathura). Hail to thee!
CharaNam: You arranged for an elaborate dance on the banks of the river Vaigai. You fought with ferocious enemies. You brought forth the dance with the shepherdess (or goddess durgA). To quell illusion you danced displaying your sheltering palm.