Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Immediately post the new year celebrations comes a classical concert at Garuda Mall. And it was heartening to see, that just like the Chitra Santhe, there is a voluminous crowd even for this event. And the people weren’t just gawking. They were actually enjoying the performance. This surely, is a sign of good things to come & an upward thrust for cultural programs.

The cultural performance was timed to coincide with the ushering in of the New Year as well as the ending of the Garuda shopping fest. There were probably more performances after I left, but what I witnessed in that one hour was mesmerizing, to say the least. The performance was given wings & divine quality by a group of gifted children, their gurus with various instruments, a chap at the keyboard & one at the drums. It was a pleasant culmination of predominantly Indian classical music with a dash of western influences thrown in to create a spicy yet palatable mix.

The group of children played their violins well & exploited their trained hands and voices expertly under the able guidance of the Master Violinist. A heady mix of the tabla, the dholak, ghatam, drums, the keyboard, violins, mellifluous vocals and two more percussion instruments (I don’t know their names) transported everyone to another realm, evident by the fact that the audience appreciated the show, spellbound and glued to their seats. Prominently loud & conspicuous were the violins & the ghatam (pot). Soon thereafter, there was a war of percussion instruments, with each vying to outdo the other, and still be in perfect harmony. The artists had us awe-struck with their magical skills and the war of percussion was definitely a highlight of the performance.

It was encouraging to see the crowd genuinely enjoying themselves, and showering praise where it was due (the entire performance was praiseworthy). What was even more delighting was that the artists smiled in sheer enjoyment of their craft, potentiating their absolute dedication and gratification to their craft. We need more of such elevating programs, not only for giving an opportunity for the artists to enhance their reach to the audience, but also to awaken us to the fact that this is a slice of our culture. And that in the rat race, we should remain reminded of it

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