Friday, 18 December 2015

Anecdotes from a royal house . .

Gauri Parvathi Bayi, princess of Travancore is an engaging story-teller. 
And she shared many snippets of the 'season of Madras' and of the royal family's association with artistes down the ages at the opening evening of the 83rd edition of the festival of The Indian Fine Arts Society at a hall in Alwarpet.
She recalled the time in the 40/50s, when her grandmother and the family would travel to Madras and attend key concerts to listen to the greats on stage. 
"I was five then and would sit on the sabha chair and swing my legs and seeing this, grandmother would gently chide me, telling me to sit up or get back to the car and go home," she recalled. That evening, it was the great GNB's concert but the little girl had sobered down and sat through the concert.
Another anecdote - senior artistes Semmangudi Srinivasaiyer, Pappa Venkatramiah and Palghat Mani Iyer were guests at the royals' house in Kerala and the young Parvathi Bayi and her sister had just learnt to dance to a yadukala khamboji song. So they were coaxed to perform and the senior artistes were willing to play alongside.
But at the end of it, the girls threw up their hands. "They are not playing the way we know it for dance," said one of them, referring to the trio's music.

Parvathi Bayi said that as children they were obviously innocent and knew little about the great artistes in their presence. "We have got into the laps of Balasaraswathi and Rukmini Devi and happily amused them," she recalled
- Parvathi Bayi is seen 2nd from the left in the photo above; shot at the IFA event

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