Day 2: Madras Music Season

Had bought tickets for T. M. Krishna (7PM) at German Hall (Indian Fine Arts). The ticket is for both the 4:00PM and the 7:00PM concert. The 4PM concert was Hyderabad Brothers. So we (mother and me) reached there around 5PM (after getting tickets for Wednesday’s Ranjani Gayathri concert in Rani Seethai Hall). Observations about the 2 concerts below.

Hyderabad brothers – Indian Fine Arts (German Hall)

  • Went in about an hour after the concert had started. It had not quite warmed up yet.
  • About 50% of hall was empty.
  • SriMushnam on the mridangam was just fantastic.
  • Manasu swadinamai (Sankarabharanam) was soulfully rendered, but something was missing (my opinion).
  • Simlar case with Shanmugapriya. Shanmugapriya when well rendered, can make you soar. Did not happen for me. I was still in my seat.
  • About 7ish (when they should have finished), they were still going. Thani Avarthanai started at 6:50PM. Pretty bad time management.
  • The secretary mama, after trying to give lots of secret signals regarding time-up, and failing, moved into stage, and grabbed the mike, and said a few good words about the artists and said, “they will be concluding now.” This (I think) pis*** off the brothers. And they sang, “Naan oru vilayattu bommaya” – a subtle way of saying – Do you think you can control me like your toy.
  • They sang 2 more songs and closed up at 7:10PM.

T. M. Krishna

  • This was just another play ground all together.
  • The sabha had filled up to the brim.
  • TM Krishna was at his best – just brilliant.
  • Two small songs + 2 RTP (Ragam Thanam Pallavi’s) + 2 small songs
  • Excellent time management.
  • Both the RTPs were off unusual raagams, and he said out the ragams. I really appreciate the artists letting us know what they are singing. Makes me appreciate the music better (else I am quizzing myself in my brain, as to what ragam it is!).
  • First RTP was in Narayanagowla (it was Vaikunta ekadasi yesterday).
  • Second RTP was in Rishabapriya (very closely resembling Shanmugapriya).
  • Guruvayoor durai on the mridangam did his magic.
  • Performance par excellence.
  • He has inherited the “playing-with-the-swarams” capability from Semmangudi.

December music season – 2009

Thanks to the global recession, which has led to a shutdown in my company, I am here in Chennai, steeped in the Margazhi Music festival. I am here for a week, and I am going to allow myself to drown in the carnatic music. It has been a long time.

Yesterday was Day 1 – and here are my observations (I almost said review – but I am not that big to review such maestros).

Day 1:

Artist: Shashank (Flute)

Date: 27-12-2009

Venue: Rama Bhaktha Samaj – PSBB School – KK Nagar.

  • Awesome performance
  • Alapana rendered for Raagam Dharmavathi was amazing.
  • The ghana ragham was a Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi in Raagam Bindu Malini. Beautifully melodious. In the pallavi, he beautifully slipped into a couple of popular raagams, and the flute was doing its magic. Beautiful strains of Hindolam, Sindhubhairavi and Arabhi kept the audience in a trance.
  • Enna thavam seidhanai (kaapi) always sounds awesome in flute.
  • Concert was wrapped up with a mellifluous Sindhu Bhairavi Annamacharya bhajan.
  • All-in-all spell bound evening. Thanks Shashank and team.
  • The violin (Ganesh Prasad) kept up with Shashank through the concert. Very able support.
  • Mridangam (Parupalli Phalgun) was also awesome.
  • Lastly, it was a great feeling to be back in my alma mater – brought back memories indeed.

Casa Piccola – Koramangala

Last week, I picked up something to eat from Casa Piccola in Koramangala. I have heard about this joint for quite some time. Following is a terse review from me:

  • Ambience is mixed. When I say it is mixed, it is both sparse and nice at the same time. The entrance is gloomy. The insides are spacious. The tables are nice, and have some western paraphernalia embedded in them (not to ask what connection western american influence has on Italian cuisine).
  • Two days a week, an old gentleman comes and sings country music (again American western music vs italian?? But then I guess it is difficult to get Opera singers!)
  • After you get out of the puzzled look trying to figure out the musical connection, the music is actually pretty nice. All about y’all getting on the horse, and going for the bounty, and the lady came home, and there was soup on the table, etc etc. Typical country music.
  • Lastly, the food is not spectacular. I ordered the Pasta Primevera – supposedly their speciality – and I was not impressed ;-(.
  • Disclaimer is that — a team mate of mine says that the food in Casa Piccola Indira Nagar is better than the one in Koramangala – But I am not willing to bet my money again.

Majestic Nageswaran Kovil

Kumbakonam is not just a city of temples. It is to be called the city of “big temples”. This temple sits on a very busy thoroughfare – aptly called “Nageswaran Kovil North Street”, since it borders its north praharam (boundary). But once you enter the temple, is when you realize the enormity of the temple.

Some observations I made:

  • The Subramanyar is huge here (6ftish) – most of these temples have a small murugan on one side of the main garbagruha (with Pillayar on the other side).
  • There is a sannidhi for Vaidhyanathar. (Vaideeswaran kovil fame).
  • There is also a sannidhi for Jora Hara Vinayagar – famed for his capacity to cure fevers (and other related diseases). Note the presence of 2 doctors in the same temple.
  • Suryan also has his own cabin here in this temple.