On the one hand, we are 'so used' to certain things that we resent anything which happens to be different. Understood. Then again, changes in patterns, in life and art do happen and should happen. Those who make the changes are supposed to have deliberated over this, be convinced that the change works towards growth (progression). Even then, some work, some don't.
They better be good innovations. Again, how do we decide that? By our rasikatvam which again is a slippery thing because tastes differ, dependent on the rasikA's preferences, background, personality
Tradition is the strongest element here. As usual, food comes in handy for this. In a feast, food is served in a particular order. Which order? Depends on the tradition of the host. Rice first or all accompaniments first, after that spoonful of sugar at the head of the banana leaf?
Just because a few lines were lifted out of a song and traditionally made it as a finale feature, a song does not lose its existence. So, MDR was spot on. Personally, I do miss the prahlAda nAradAdi as that also was sung in a mangalam.
As Jasraj sings of mangalam at the beginning of a concert, it takes the place of an invocation. Is it merely the word mangalam that we are stuck with? In the forties and fifties, Suddhananda Bharathi's aruL purivAi karuNaik kaDalE was a popular invocation song. tangulagengilum mangalam pongavE is how the song ends.
Trees make woods. Woods contain individual trees. The point is, are we counting the trees or do we enjoy being in the woods? Of course, I am thinking of a walk in inspiring woods rather than the one which has a sign saying: this way to the woods, and there really isn't anything to take a walk in. I am trying to say, the newness better be something which makes sense and better still, takes CM forward...