Friday, 7 December 2012

To Mudhra's fest evening and Mambalam's madness!

Mambalam was calling us this evening. Mudhra, a young sabha was opening its music fest and we had let Mylapore take the lead and enjoy its warm evenings of music.

Mambalam is a good cousin as far as Carnatic music goes but its soul has been eaten away by the carnivorish stores that sell clothes, jewels and silks and hide the Angadi Theru nightamarish stories.

Homes and colonies whose residents were the first patrons of kutcheris have given away to stores and dark parking lots. So how many rasikas would you expect at the local sabhas?

We moved with the peak hour traffic on North Usman Road, dwarfed by the highrise stores till the bright lights and imposing tower of Jos Alukkas and the traffic signals told us we had to turn left to head to the venue - a Ramakrishna Mission-managed school campus.

A hugely delayed flyover that lets people living in Kodambakkam and West Mambalam make a quick getaway greets you here and can toss you if this is your first visit to this part.

But the Infosys Hall at the campus where Mudhra holds its concerts and the December fest sits in a hugely quiet space - so it is great for classical music listening.

We were a tad late but when you have endured the speeches elswheer and you get to see old faces all over again, you want to sip a cup of tea - the caterer's menu was good and was given gratis to guests today - and enjoy the December sky.

Thankfully, the focus of this launch was on a book - Arutpa Amudham - authored by guru P S Narayaswamy, a Mylaporean. PSN was also decorated with an award.

The story-telling ran on and on till emcee Radha Bhaskar realised it was 7.45 p.m. and there was a kutcheri - U P Raju on mandolin and Balasai on flute - to follow!

This is a small island for music and peace. Minutes outside and the traffic, the glowlights and the towering stores smother you.

Yet, there are diehard rasikas like a business friend, a senior who said he walked down from the Kodambakkam side, took the flyover and was here for the music. Thank god for them!

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