Chennai is very hot and very cold now. Especially after the cyclone deceived the chennaites and went off to Andra Pradesh just to kill 31 people, the weather has cooled down so much.
Marghazhi month (dec 15th – jan 14th of every year) is here and the roads are already filled with kolam and rangolis. The difference between a rangoli and a kolam is that rangoli is in color and a kolam is drawn in just white with the black background of the tar on the roads. That is a silly way of putting it. As always the marghazhi month is cold hence off late people have modernized the kolam technology. Instead of the classical practice of kolaming (sorry for the taminglish) in the early hours of morning, they are kolaming in the night itself. So if you were a latecomer from office, you would have tough time riding the bike without interrupting the kolaming ladies and the kolams, of course. However, because of this kolam culture, Chennai is decorated throughout the month. Gives you a good festive feeling. So as I wade through these kolams every morning on my way to office, I get this feeling of celebration and the morning mood is aptly set for the rest of the day.
Also there is so much happening in Chennai in marghazhi and that makes it HOT. If you are lover of performing arts, this is the place to be. From a range of music to dance and drama, it happens now and here. The Kutcheris have begun and people are busy buying the season tickets to these carnatic performances.
Last Sunday in Vani Mahal, for Aruna Sairam’s kutchery, the hall was a crowded and many of the nodding heads were teenagers and 20’s who were interested in carnatic. This is a very clear of sign that the carnatic music still has a long way to go. Aruna Sairam is rocking the scene just like the last couple years. With her little touch of masculine voice, she hits a boundary even with the toughest of raagas. Some other biggies who are talked about include O.S Arun, Sikkal Gurucharan, Nithyashree, Unni Krishnan and ofcourse my fav Sanjay Subramanian.
Jaya TV conducts performances in Chettinad Vidhyashram school and broadcasting in throughout the month. This morning it was the famous violinist T.N. Krishnan. His acquaintance with violin happened 68 years and he flies down from US like many others to perform in the sabhas of chennai. It was a sheer experience to listen to him in the morning. Vijay TV competing with Jaya in this played the performance of Chinmayi’s Meera Bhajans, this evening. After listening to Chinmayi’s voice in A R Rahman’s E20U18, this was very different and enchanting.
This evening when I was driving down the TTK road, I found that AVM Audios has arranged an audio mela in Sankara Hall. With 10% discount on all items, carnatic music section was crowded like hell and selling hot cakes. I picked up a couple of them by Sudha Raghunathan.
Connected to this Kutchery news, vintage tamil movies of carnatic greats are screened at P.S High Sec School, Mylapore. The schedule includes M.S.Subbulakshmi‘s 1941 hit flick Savithri on 23rd. Also Santha Sakkubai on 24th. When I was a kid, Santha Sakubai was screened once on the doordarshan. I ran out of the house because someone told me that it had more than 40 songs. Now, I am anticipating to watch the same movie, which is one the biggest musical hits of tamil. That is what time does to us.