July 7 2010 - still fresh in me. In Gurgaon, it was in me. It was raining heavily. The roads were jammed at Plot 314. Amidst flooded roads, I went down to search for biscuits . But I could not get it. Came back. A brilliant idea flashed. Maggi!!! Then we went down, had a walk - ecstasy. From Route 4 bus near the Tea shop to Plot-314, for me, it looked like a runway in heaven. The moment I said Maggi, that bright face fresh from wet rain, sparkling eyes, the black hair giving a clean look + the child like enthusiasm for Maggi - it was serene. Went in search for Maggi @ Plot-314 cafeteria. There was a huge demand. Came back. Ten minutes later, approached once again. Got it. Maggi!! I was just telling myself - Unlike at college canteens, have it slowly. Yummy Maggi it was. Both of us enjoyed it. Yummiest Maggi I have had in my life! Wanted to tell what I had for the last two days in me. But to live the present, I deliberately procrastinated it and didn't tell it. And went back to the bus and waited for another 2 hours for the roads to clear. And we chatted a lot that day. Best day in my life!
On 6-Aug-2010 Friday, I planned to attend the second day event of the Parampara Festival 2010 at Kamani Auditorium. I was keen to attend the Violin Duet of Ganesh and Kumaresh. However each day had a dance performance followed by a musical performance. The first one was an Odissi (a dance form in Orissa) Dance performance by students of Sri Guru Gangadhar Pradhan. Initially I was not much interested in it. Because I don't know much about Odissi as well as Oriya language. However I tried to follow it up and started taking some snaps. The first choreography was not drawing my attention. However the second item was a Dhasaavatharam performance, about which everyone has an idea. Now I was really engaged in looking up to their performance. The students did a brilliant performance. Among the students I found a father-son together performing (Sachindananda Pradhan) in Dhasaavatharam. The girls also did an excellent performance.
Last choreography was on a small spat between Krishna and Radha before their reunion, announced the anchor. Sachindananda played the Krishna character. He and his partner Lakshmi Rekha Menon bowled the audience with a classy performance. It was simply brilliant. Radha expressed her disappointment that she was unhappy with the separation and Krishna apologised. However Krishna apologised for a long time to give the best at the end to the audience. They expressed their love beautifully with a subtle divinity which should be felt. It was like a butterfly, dancing and circling to rainy tunes of a piano, is collecting nectar from a sunflower, which is oscillating to the gentle breeze. (i.e., sunflower not allowing the butterfly). Krishna and Radha were crawling, dancing, kneeling, and fighting. But Radha was completely over control of Krishna in the spat. Krishna's plots didn't work easily. Somebody next to me murmured that people who really don't love are expressing love but people who love are not able to express it. I guess it has to be debated. Meanwhile I noticed Sachindananda father, relaxing on the wall, on the right, in the audience side. He was watching his son's romantic performance. He was twisting his head to every expression and his eyes glittered with joy and pride. As the choreography came to an end, Krishna and Radha reunited to give us an aesthetic feel of love. Their cuddle was felt. Krishna and Radha enacted Unjal Urchavam beautifully [Unjal is a wooden swing or a porch swing]. I guess many in Kamani Auditorium would have felt like themselves romancing with their beloved (if any or spouse or spouse to be) at the Valley of Kashmir on a dusk with little showers from heaven. And I really don't know how these ninety minutes went. Sachindananda and Lakshmi performance would definitely be in my minds for a long time.
'ஊடல்முன் கூடலா' அல்லது 'ஊடல்பின்கூடலா' .. எது சிறந்தது ? பாப்பையாஎங்கப்பா?
Since July 2010 I was reading all newspaper regularly looking for the Parampara Festival 2010. Fortunately I saw the advertisement last Thursday (5-Aug-2010). Paramapara is a three day annual festival organised by Sri Raja Reddy and Srimati Radha Raja Reddy, and Srimati Kousalya Raja Reddy on behalf of Natya Tharagani (A school for Kuchipudi Dance). This year the premise of the festival was duet. On the second day of the series they had an Odissi dance performance by the students of Sri Guru Gangadar Pradhan followed by a Violin duet performance by Ganesh and Kumaresh (G&K). I went mainly for G&K. However the Odissi performance was also a highlight which I have discussed separately.
After a divine romantic performance by students of Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, the stage was set aesthetically for G&K. Brothers started with a contemporary music (This piece was Ragha Prabhavam in Ragam Gambira Naatai in Adi Taalam) which is not a traditional Krithis, Varnams. The performance was like a cut shot sixer hit by Sehwag in the first over the match. After that they performed a Muthuswami Dikshitar’s Krithi, an Alaapana, a Thyagaraja’s Krithis and Mangalam which had one of my favourite Harivarasanam (A song rendered while closing the Lord Ayyappa Temple @ Sabarimala). Their rendition of the Thyagaraja’s Kirthi showed their mastery. On the whole the Violin performance, which lasted for ninety minutes, had all ingredients of a fruit salad which everyone in the Kamani Auditorium enjoyed. For couple of minutes, audience praised with a standing ovation. Once the concert was over, I took the opportunity to get autographs from G&K as well as from Jayanthi Kumaresh (Venna Artist, her programme was scheduled for the next day). Here I got introduced to a friend Varun Koundinya from Hyderabad. We shared about our list of collections of G&K. We quickly shared a good wavelength. Varun happily accepted my request to take a photograph of G&K & I. Later I and Varun were discussing with G&K about their future albums. G said they are working on their new album in lines of CC. I am waiting for it …….. On the whole it was a unique unforgettable day for me.
About the relationship between RBA and G&K
In early 2007, I started learning Violin (Carnatic Classical Music). Around this time there was a hoarding, in Mount Road (aka/alias Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai] advertising the album ‘Carnatic Chills’(CC), by Violin Duet Ganesh & Kumaresh (G&K), is released by AR Rehman. Only for the name AR Rehman I went exploring about Ganesh Kumaresh. But reading about G&K I was stunned by these child prodigies. In the subsequent week ‘The Hindu’ praised the album very highly. Now I didn’t had a second thought to buy the album. I straight away went to Music World and purchased CC. It was the first CD album I have brought even though it was too costly for me at that time. But CC was worth buying it. Couple of the tracks [‘Dance like a Man’ and ‘Flights of Fantasy’] in the album are some of the best I have listened so far. This album is not regular classical stuff. It was neither a fusion nor Carnatic music with a western flavour. It was straight from heart to heart and it was fresh, scintillating. Since then I became a big fan of G&K. They have become an inspiration for me to learn Violin much better. While writing I guess in future I would try my hands on a duet performance. And would even try a Jugal Bandhi with my friend Xavy playing Veena. It would happen one day