It was one of the most painful events that I have sat through. There were too many speeches and as for Mr Ramadurai of TCS, he should realise that brevity is good in everything. AKC’s speech was straight from the heart as usual and so was PS Narayanaswami’s when he felicitated AKC.

It was a grand affair. Full auditorium. But after sitting in biting cold and with a cold myself, I had to steal out at 7.00 pm. The other awards had just begun.

Some of them:

1. Yogam Nagaswami Award – Ranjani and Gayathri

2. Best concert overall – OS Thyagarajan

3. Best Sr Male Vocalist – Sanjay Subrahmanyan

4. Best Sr Female Vocalist – Nithyashree Mahadevan

5. Best Concert overall in sub senior – Mambalam Sisters

6. Sub Senior Male Vocalist – Kunrakkudi M Balamuralikrishna (not sure if sub senior or junior)

7. Junior Vocalist – Amritha Murali

8. Best Pallavi – Pantula Rama

9. Best Sub Senior Male – Saketharaman (not certain in what category as this appears to be same as KM Balamuralikrishna)

10. Best Sub Senior Female – Nisha Rajagopal

11. Best Lec Dem – shared by Sriram Parashuram and Jaya Chandran (Tiruvarur sthalam as interpreted by Rukmini Devi in her choreography for the varnam Rupamu Juchi)

The Academy has done a very sensible thing in clubbing many endowments together. This has reduced the number of prizes but has given each one more meaning in terms of prize money particularly. It was touching to see so many members of the nagaswaram community, all of them making it to the stage to felicitate AKC. The Semponnarkoil clan, the Sheikh family and others. Similarly, it was great seeing Sarada Hoffman being honoured and flanked by three of her students – VP Dhananjayan, Adyar Lakshmanan and CV Chandrashekar, all three Sangita Kala Acharyas themselves.

Anavarappu Ramaswami could not make it owing to a bypass surgery. BM Sundaram accepted the award on his behalf. The proceedings began with a prayer by three students of the Teachers College of Music singing Sri Saraswathi Namostute. A very ordinary rendition. Wonder what they teach when they graduate from the college.