The season is fast winding to a close. This morning delivered my talk on Mali. Took pains to emphasise his musical side and lessen the prankster side but that has not prevented The Hindu from carrying a story dealing with his other side only… I cant say I am entirely happy with the way I presented. Tyagaraja was a better talk in my view but let us leave that aside.

After having slept off Mali practically the whole afternoon, went to the Sri Parthasarathi Swami Sabha in to listen to Sanjay. At the ticket counter was informed that everything was sold. Then stood near the gate hoping to see a Secretary mama who had a strong resemblance to Garudazhwar. No sign of him and the gate was anyway opened only an inch with a particularly fierce ticket collector on the other side. Hovered around a bit and then discovered that if you went into the canteen (Mountbatten Mani Iyer, who catered for my wedding and my younger son’s poonal) you could happily saunter in. From then to meeting Garudazhwar would be pie or so I thought.

Inside was like some football match. Jam-packed and hot. No sign of Garuda. So sauntered around till someone caught hold of me and gave me a seat. Rather close to the giant speakers but still never mind. This is a Sabha that has a great history (112 years!!!) and that is what makes me come every year. no matter how basic the venue and tough its seating. “You should go to MFAC,” hissed someone in my ear. “You need to sit with your arms almost lifted like Garuda Sevai.” I had scarcely finished laughing uproariously when another neighbour said that even if all the ice in the Arctic (what is left that is) is brought into the MFAC, it would melt in the heat. Not that the SPSS is any different. The artistes sweated profusely under tubelights, flashlights, foglights and every other source of illumination which no doubt totalled to several candela. Audience sweated a tad less.

Concert made up for it all. SrirAgam (a Syama Sastry kriti), gAnamUrtE, cEtashri, mAnam vaittu (Anai Ayya in shankarAbharaNam) and a hamsAnandi RTP. That marks end of season for me, or so I think. Said farewell to Mohan Krishnamoorthy who returns to Mumbai. Another friend, VK Shankar left a week ago. Several loved ones at home are also leaving tonight. This is the tough part of the season, having to say farewells.

Woke up at midnight with sharp cramps in the leg. If this is what dehydration at SPSS did for me, I wonder what happened to the artistes. The weather this year has been the worst for December. Muggy right through. Have taken to wearing linen shirts I use in summer.