Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Couple of days ago, I was waiting an EMU(electric train) at Kastruba Nagar Station. When this some-what-familiar face was looking like a-child-lost-in-a-fair, on the opposite platform. He wasnt sure if he should stand there or come to the otherside. He enquired to somebody and realised he was indeed on the wrong platform. However, he was still lost on how to get to the right platform. He was contemplating if he should use the stairs or just hop across and eventually he did hop across.

I remember now, i had seen him in the Campus bus earlier that day. He came to me and confirmed if he was on the right platform. I told him where to stand, so that he could get into the right compartment. And then, this happened. He asked me if I was Bhaand. I replied in positive. He then went on to say that he knew me from my blogs and how they inspired him to prepare for JEE and end up at IIT KGP. He knew quite a few of my friends from here, who all were active bloggers once upon a time. He specifically mentioned Shamanth and Siddhartha.

This feeling was new to me. To have a stranger walk upto you and say "you inspired me in a way" was indeed a feeling of its own kind. And it was all of a sudden. And Inspiration in itself is a big word, being associated with it was something too much to handle.

well, Life goeth...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Saarang 2009 Classical Night

I must say and I can with good conviction that this was THE most crowded classical night at saarang I have ever seen. The OAT was FULL.

The 50 violin ensemble lead by Kum. A Kanyakumari started with vAtApi gaNapatim with a round of svarams each by a different person. The second was a composition of the leading artist in chArukEsi. With raghuvamsa sudhA and nagumOmu being main, I was satisfied with the fact that it was what i was expecting. The tail had english notes, tandanA nAhi in bauLi and raghupati rAghava. All pieces were speeded up after the caraNam. Pretty much the kind of music which would go well with the Saarang crowds and I am happy that i had a small part in suggesting such a thing in the first place. Even people who would stay miles away from classical music had come to see what would it sound like and many of them were indeed convinced that classical music isnt all that bad after all.

The kind of versatility the artist showed was amazing. Her capability to adapt to from fine quality carnatic music for the intellectual and to popular pieces for the crowd is great.

The second part of the classical night, had 'Maya Ravan' by Danseuse Shobana. I did watch quite a bit of it. Here again I was able to see a great deal of popular-crowd-appealing stuff. However, i was put off with rather-not-fitting film songs and un-clear-orchestra(was it pre-recorded?) and the kind of lag the main danseuse showed on stage. I have seen older performers do a great job with much grace and I only get a feeling it was not her day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Time Machine

A friend of mine, Aditya Kothari m.k.a. DAS, presently has this status message "anyone with prior experience in time machines may apply"

i begin to wonder, what would i do if i had access to one of those machines...

i would prefer a fast forward...
atleast 30-40 yrs
directly into a good retired life

and he says, it seems like i m already there!

how i wish it be true!

huh! i dont believe i m putting this on my blog. well, i m suffering from a very long and never ending writer's block!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Music Season 2008

Period taken into consideration: 29th November to 5th January
Number of concerts sampled ~ 50

i. Best Concerts (in no particular order)
Alamelu Mani at Raga Sudha
Mysore Balakrishna at Music Academy
R Vedavalli at Raga Sudha
Rama Ravi at Raga Sudha

ii. Best Singular Renditions (in no particular order)
1. nAgasvaram AlApanai of AbhOgi and a tAnam which followed, with the accompaniment of thavil at Nanganallur Anjaneyar Temple, on 2nd January preceeding the evening deeparadhanai.
2. chAyA ranjani RTP by D Vardhini for Chennai Fine Arts.
3. ravichandrikA AlApanai with niravati sukhadA by Chingleput Ranganathan at Raga Sudha Hall.

ii (b). Forgettable Renditions
many many...

iii. Best Violin Accompaniment (in no particular order)
Vittal Ramamurthy for Rama Ravi & Chingleput Ranganathan
RK Shriram Kumar for R Vedavalli & T K Govinda Rao
(all the above at Raga Sudha)
Ambika Prasad for D Vardhini for Chennai Fine Arts
N C Madhav for Manda Sudharani at Nanganallur Maruthi Bhaktha Samaj

iv. Best Mrudangam Accompaniment
Vellore Ramabadran for Rama Ravi at Nada Inbam

iv (c). Best tani: Guruvayur Dorai & Thirupunitura Radhakrishnan in the concert of Trivandrum Venkataraman at Raga Sudha Hall.

Special Recognition for Best Ghatam/ Khanjira Player:
KV Gopalakrishnan for the tani he played with Shertalai Ananthakrishnan in the concert of Chingleput Ranganathan at Raga Sudha Hall

v. Congeniality Prize for Most Popular Ragam of the Season
pUrvikalyANi - 18 times. i m soon going to define carnatic music at 'pUrvikalyANi'
(accounted only if there was some manOdarmam part attached to the kriti. not included are tukkaDas and the number of times just a kriti in pUrvikalyANi rendered)

v (b). Raga I Missed the Most during the Season
shankarAbharaNam - heard it just twice

vi. Concerts I Wish I had Attended
TNS at Mudhra, for the Ahiri RTP he had sung there.

vi (c). People i wish i had heard atleast once during the season.
Sanjay, TNS, Sowmya, R K Srikantan, Parassala Ponnammal, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy

vii. Best Sabha Food
usili sEvai at Vani Mahal GnanambikA Stall.
ashOka halwa at MFAC canteen

viii. Best Listening Environment
First (tie): Raga Sudha Hall & Music Academy Main Hall (downstairs)
a distant Second: Tattvaloka

viii (b). Worst Listening Environment
MFAC (too noisy), German Hall - IFAS (acoustically not so great)

ix. Word/ Name of the Season:

I pretty much ended up at Raga Sudha Hall on many days and enjoyed almost all the concerts there.

I cant take any more of pUrvikalyANi. Wherever i went, pUrvikalyANi chased me and hit me hard.

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