22nd was really a blur. Have never worked so hard in my life. Was at the Tyagaraja presentation from 9.00 am till 5.30 pm. At 2.00 in the afternoon completed the power point and then made notes. In the evening, Sarada having decided that enough was enough, hauled me to the Music Academy to hear Ranjani & Gayathri. I am glad I went. A singularly fine performance. The shubhapantuvarALi RTP with a tALamAlika to boot was excellent. An over-full house as well.
As is usual practice went at 7.00 pm to Tag to test laptop. Discovered that the laptop needed a special cable which I was unaware of. Spent the next two hours copying ppt on to another laptop and relinking audio files. Tyagaraja is quite determined to extract hard labour.
Went to sleep at 11.00 pm and woke up at 4.00 am. Having done the usual gAyatri japam was filled with a quiet confidence. Tag was overflowing and I am happy to say that it went off well. Tyagaraja’s life was the theme and I think I brought out his human side well. The presentation was built to a moving finish. Toughened Mamas who had made killings on the stock exchange were wiping their eyes. I finished it then and there and sidled into the wings.
It was left to the voter of thanks to demolish the entire atmosphere. With a series of (and seemingly never ending) jokes at Tyagaraja’s and my expense, he trivialised the whole thing and that was that. Having bared my teeth in thanks I came away. Slept the whole afternoon and then off to Kalarasana to listen to Sanjay.
I had my misgivings about the new venue. You see, ever since Rani Seethai Hall was refurbished with a reduced number of seats and a vastly enhanced rent, Kalarasana has moved to Chinmaya Heritage Centre on Harrington Road. It was Sanjay’s first performance at the new venue. But all went superlatively well. The access is chaotic and I had to park right under an electric transformer. Right through the concert had visions of the transformer letting out sparks as Chennai’s transformers often do, and of self and wife walking home with the ashes of the car in an urn.
The concert was a sedate and relaxed affair. It was for three and a half hours and what a performance it was. Mayuram Viswanatha Sastry’s tODi svarajati (what svarAksharams), maNirangu AlApana followed by mAmava paTTAbhirAma and kAmbOji RTP were the high points. The rAgamAlika svarams in single kaLai, one rAga for each Avarta were like fireworks. Accompanists Varadarajan, Harikumar and Rajaganesh were in fine form.
Came back to car to find all was well. Once again bedtime by 11.00 pm. At this rate…