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Techno Guru
Cartoon by Veena Basavarajaiah



I’m an ardent follower of Narthaki for past few years.
Thank you so much for all your dedication and effort.

- Bindu Pratap, CA


A few glimpses of rescue operations in J & K
Anita says.....

There is an eerie unease in my home state. The events of the last few days of September have been so contrasting in timbre that we have been left holding our breath, afraid to exhale.

My Chief Minister has been incarcerated, violence erupted on the streets of Tamilnadu and Indian Americans thronged New York streets as my Prime Minister addressed the world from the United Nations, Central Park and Madison Square Garden. Against the tragedy of floods in Kashmir and Assam, the heroic rescue attempts by the Indian armed forces, the chest pumping pride of ISRO scientists sending the Mangalyaan orbiter to Mars was juxtaposed women wailing, beating their chests, men immolating themselves and rolling on the streets of Tamilnadu, weeping for their jailed “Amma”. Pure theatre in a 360 degree surround sound atmosphere.

So forget the auditoriums and theatres where the “real” stuff is supposed to happen. On street corners, apartment clusters, sports stadiums and playgrounds, hundreds upon thousands were either glued to their TV sets to watch the political drama being played out or congregated in hordes to clap hands, strike sticks, sing, cheer, swirl and twirl to the familiar sounds of music and rhythm. The streets were awash in Tamilnadu with a mixture of rage and rapture. Elsewhere there was a surge of colour and energy, the bylanes of Goddess temples throbbed with song and conch, estrogen surged and smiles stretched beyond shoulders to the Indian coastlines and beyond.

This is really a joyous time to be in India or anywhere close to the IDEA of India across this globe. New clothes, more jewellery, a visit to your guru for new beginnings of learning; endless bonhomie, entertaining, overeating, sugar highs, upset stomachs and happy hearts. Of course, performances of dance and music are amplified during this season, artistes concentrating on the devotional and traditional repertoire rather than experimentation.

I was in the midst of a giant wedding last month, where I was able to watch, up close, the many dancers and musicians who were invited to perform amidst the emerald chandeliers, French patisserie chefs and Korean gourmet concoctions. Russian ballet did a pas de deux with Carnatic music, chamber orchestras played toe to toe with beat boxing hip hop dancers and Bharatanatyam groups... it was delicious madness and a chance to see how the Indian classical performers matched up to the casual ease with which the “others” blended into glitzy hotel ballrooms and giant shamiana/pandals. Indian divas had mini and maxi tantrums, demanding attention from young harassed volunteers, photographers and wedding decorators threw their weight everywhere, demanding that senior relatives MOVE so they could get a better shot of the wedding couple. It was pure theatre at every moment and a signal that perhaps our classical arts are not meant for these mega weddings of today. Well known names were distinctly off key to a distracted crowd thronging towards the food pavilions. The Kalakshetra ensemble and the all woman veena group from Bangalore were listed to perform after one such high profile wedding. When I saw the VIPs rush towards the food pandals, there may have been a handful only to watch the scheduled performances.  So why should renowned artistes accept these invitations? Money? Prestige? Gone are the days when the greats performed at wedding receptions and private events to an attentive and appreciative crowd of guests. MS Subbalakshmi, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and DK Pattammal among others were frequently heard at these family occasions. Dancer Padma Subrahmanyam premiered her iconic ‘Krishnaya Tubhyam Namaha’ at a wedding reception in 1974, while yours truly had her arangetram at a similar evening (My uncle’s reception at the now defunct Abbotsbury Hall, Chennai).

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Ileana Citaristi and Art Vision presented
SIDDARTHA for the Sangam festival

September 11, 2014 at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar
Photos: Ganesh Sahoo


The 20th Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival
September 5 - 9, 2014 Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar
Photos: Lalitha Venkat



Birthday wishes

Roja Kannan (Bharatanatyam) - Oct 6
Raja Reddy (Kuchipudi) - Oct 6
Chitra Visweswaran (Bharatanatyam) - Oct 12
Rathna Kumar (Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam) - Oct 27
Hema Rajagopalan (Bharatanatyam) - Oct 28

Quote
"When you cannot hold the body still, you cannot hold the brain still. If you do not know the silence of the body, you cannot understand the silence of the mind. Action and silence have to go together. If there is action, there must also be silence. If there is silence, there can be conscious action and not just motion."
- BKS Iyengar
Pick of the month

Two Indian pianists respond to Hindu-Muslim tensions through music by Aarefa Johari







Kuchipudi Bhagavathamelam: A rich cultural heritage
- Tadepalli Satyanarayana


Post Padme Perspective
Compiled by Lalitha Venkat


Maya Rao: Memories of a great teacher
-  Prasanna Kasthuri



Maya Rao - The Cultural Czarina of Garden City
- Veejay Sai

Chiru navvu momuna (The one with a cheerful face)  A tribute to Guru Adyar K Lakshman
- Revati Ilanko





Monsoon memories at the Malhar Festival
- Nita Vidyarthi



Shechter’s Political Mother - a collage of oppression, survival, resistance and love
- Sulagna Mukhopadhyay



A befitting tribute to Pandit Sundarlal Gangani
- Shyamhari Chakra


The Cloud Messenger
- Uday Dandavate



Onam delights and an upset!
- Hareesh N. Nampoothiri



Mitra: Poetry, emotion, melody, imagination
- Mridula Rao



The 20th Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival
- Lalitha Venkat




Editors and the Edited
- Veejay Sai



Vaidehi: The universal embodiment of power
- Satish Suri



Bicycle with barefoot
- Dr Nima Poovaya-Smith



Monsoon mania
- Satish Suri



Fragrance of art emanated through the nuances of Kathakali
- Sreelakshmy Govardhanan

Mahanatam
- Bhavanvitha Venkat



Guru Bipin Singh Association India and Abroad



Manthana



Srijani festival at Shilpagram in Santiniketan
- Tapati Chowdurie



To criticize or not to criticize
- Lalitha Venkat



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