Musical season musings

I prepared a list of concerts being held at various sabhas and featuring celebrities.

New Year resolutions are generally made with much fanfare and then given a quiet burial. But I took it seriously. Having made one in January last, I remembered and put it into practice in December.

Every year, Chennai becomes the hub for Carnatic musicians and their fans to assemble and show their love for various forms of this art. The who’s who of society step in to sponsor the event held at various sabhas for over a month. Corporates, too, chip in and make their presence felt with their hoardings appearing in prominent places at the venues and in the entry passes.

The influence of this event has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and we even have foreigners coming to the city to be a part of this cultural extravaganza. In fact, nowadays when two people meet, they invariably talk about the concert they attended the previous night and one has to be updated on this event to communicate on the same wavelength with such people. Having retired from service in November, I considered it a godsend opportunity to plunge head-long into this music season and, thereby, live upto my resolution.

I surfed the internet and sifted through the newspapers to prepare a list of concerts being held at various sabhas during prime time and featuring celebrities. Although, to promote Carnatic music, day slots are allotted to freshers and the entry for such sessions is free, I had a two-fold objective in plumbing for celebrities.

One, during the concert, I could take a few photographs using my mobile and upload the same on social media for my friends to know and, two, it would add more sum and substance to my statements made during any conversation that I may strike with someone on the subject. And then began my musical journey hopping from one sabha to another with every passing day.

I even accessed some literature that gave insights into various ‘keerthanas’ that were popular among the musicians and some information about the ‘ragas’ and ‘thalas’, so I could seize any opportunity that came my way to offer expert comments that the raga was Sindhu Bhairavi or Karnataka Devagaandhari or comment on the thani avardhanam to which a ragam cannot be assigned as it is basically a thalam.

On New Year day, I arrived at a sabha a little before the scheduled time for the start of a concert. In the lobby, I met some familiar faces who too had been frequenting sabha venues in the last one month. An animated discussion was on and, eager to share my knowledge, I joined them only to leave crestfallen. The discussion centred not on concerts but on catering services at various venues!

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