Kalpataru Kalavihar celebrates Founder's Day 

April 6, 2010 

On April 2nd evening at Seva Sadan, Bangalore, there was a huge gathering of dance students, music lovers, and eminent personalities who had assembled to pay tribute to late Chakyar Rajan, Founder of Kalpataru Kalavihar. His daughter, dancer Padmaja Suresh presented an evening of dance and music, chosen from Rajan's compilations, favourite ragas and songs. The accompanists were Bharati Venugopal on vocal, Padmaja Suresh and her disciple Chandana Kasargod Brijesh on nattuvangam, Hari on mridangam, TN Ramesh on ghatam, Narsimhamurthy on flute and Satvik Venkatesh on keyboard.

Padmaja began with a shloka that was always sung at the start of any auspicious and cultural program by the founder, Chakyar Rajan, followed by an invocatory dance in praise of Lord Ganapathi in raga Tilaang set to Adi thala. The next number was a melodious keertanam "Anandamrithakarshini" in praise of the universal goddess in raga Amritavarshini set to Adi thala. The mother is the embodiment of bliss supreme, the combined Shakti of the trinities Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and is the essence of cosmic energy.

The guests included four distinguished persons, Dr. Ranganath Bharadwaj, Dr. KC Ramamurty, Kodungallur Raghavan and Ashish Mohan Khokar. All the students performing joined together on stage and sang a prayer, following which they were seated on stage in typical Koothambalam style of those days when the Vidhushaka, the clown, addressed the gathering. Glimpses from Chakyar Rajan’s performances were shown on the screen. 

This was followed by programs by the students of Kalpataru Kalavihar. First was Thodayam and Ganesha Koutvam in raga Hamsadhvani and thala Ekathala. This was followed by Shiva stuti in raga Kalyani and thala Maaligai. The next number was Nava Narayani, a special compilation of Chakyar Rajan adapted from the Devi Narayaneeyam in raga Maaligai and thala Maaligai.

The next performance was by the new young boys' western band Aikya, who performed two songs in English and one in Hindi. They also presented a special poem compiled by Padmaja Suresh in memory of Chakyar Rajan.

After the thumping and resounding band music, there was group presentation of a fable from the Panchatantra – Snake and Mongoose. The next two compositions presented were in praise of goddess Shankari who is also known as Ranjani. The first in raga Saveri set to Roopaka thala and the second in raga Maaligai set to Adi thala. The epilogue, Mangalam – Shloka composed by Chakyar Rajan followed by a verse from the Narayaneeyam, the holy book on Krishna, was performed by Padmaja Suresh and all students.