On 29th November at Padma Pushkarini, Kalakshetra
This concert was held for inaugurating the new performance space in Kalakshetra called Padma Pushkarini. The ad in the newspaper on the day of the concert had a photo of a pond kind of place and I couldn’t wait to check out how a pushkarini/pond has been made as a concert venue.
The concert was scheduled to start at 6:30 pm. With darkness setting in pretty soon nowadays, it was already becoming dark by the time I reached Kalakshetra. Enjoying the walk through the dark and silent road inside Kalakshetra, I stepped into a clearing between trees to see a small square-shaped pushkarini having a small 4-pillared mandapam on one side amidst a flight of steps and flights of steps, many having grass growing on it, on the remaining sides. The still water in the pond adorned not just by lotus leaves but also by many lamps and a plate full of colourful flowers with a lamp in the centre being floated on it, looked magical. The 4-pillared mandapam was the stage and the steps of the pond were the seats for the audience. There was a pathway around the pond and on the other side of it were rows of chairs. Trees surrounded the pond on all the sides and lampshades with lamps lit inside them were hanging from those trees. Only the stage had electric lights. It was really a beautiful setting for the beautiful music that was to follow.
R.K.Shriramkumar – Violin
Manoj Siva – Mridangam
B.S.Purushithaman – Khanjira
Concert Duration: 2 hrs
List of Songs:
1. SrI nAthAdi – mAyAmALavagowLai – neraval at mAya Sapalita
2. teliyalEru – dEnukA – swarams at teliyalEru
3. kAlai tUkki – yadukula kAmbhOji – AlApanai
4. nagna vipina – kalyANi – rAgA outline
5. kAmAkSi – bhairavi – AlApanai, neraval at dEvi parAkElanE brOvavE ipuDu Sri bhairavi
6. smarasundarAnguni – paras
7. krishNA nI bEganE bAro – yamuna kalyANi outline
8. nI nAma rUpamulaku – sowrASTram ending with the word mangaLam sung in Surutti
The concert began with Dikshitar’s SrI nAthAdi guruguhO. mAyAmALavagowLai seemed to suit the serene atmosphere perfectly. The neraval was mesmerizing. Listening to the line nAmarUpa pancabhUtakarO in the song, it struck me how we were sitting amidst all the pancabhUtAs right then, thanks to the concert venue. The open air outdoor space, the sky lit up with stars, the fire in the lamps, the water in the pond, listening to the concert sitting on the ground…The water was absolutely still and one could clearly see the reflection of the musicians on the stage on it.
Serenity continued with teliyalEru rAmA as well. The kalpanA swarams in the end, especially the final round, was continuous bliss.
kAlAi tUkki and the AlApanai preceding it were sung in typical TMK style in a slow pace.
nagna vipina, which TMK said is a Kannada poem written by Pu. Ti. Narasimhachar about the winter season, was beautiful. He said the poem talks about how the winter is pregnant and is waiting for spring to come. This poem is supposed to be a part of a series called SiSirAmOdA.
bhairavi AlApana too was slow. I found it a bit boring.
Not even a slight breeze was there till that point. The first sign of breeze that came during the course of the bhairavi AlApana was refreshing enough to make me start concentrating on the concert again. I was happy that swarajati was the main piece. For the first 5 caraNams alone, Shriramkumar played the swaram and TMK sang the sahityam. The neraval at dEvi parAkElanE was too good.
The concert ended with smarasundarAnguni and a beautiful krishNA nI bEganE.
I liked Manoj Siva and Purushothaman’s accompaniment throughout the concert.
I liked the selection of rAgAs and songs. It all seemed to go well with the ambience at the venue.