Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dec 31st and New Year 2007 eve

Had a tranquil Dec 31st. My friend Chandra Balachandran (who's visiting from Bangalore) and I had breakfast at Saravana Bhavan on Radhakrishnan Salai. There we were entertained by the antics of what-we-were-sure-was an NRI family visiting Chennai for the music season. The NRI hypothesis was hastily and unequivocally rejected when we observed the dad slap the kid for some unknown transgression.

In the evening, Chandra, Ram, and I tried to attend a harikatha on Parvati Kalyanam by Smt. Vishakha Hari at PS Higher Secondary School in Mylapore. The Dakshinamurthy Auditorium was packed, so after some 10-15 minutes of listening from the courtyard, we conceded defeat to the marauding mosquitoes and went over to Coffee on Greenways Road for some South Indian filter coffee and adda.

Later at night Chandra and I attended about an hour of the New Year's Eve musical celebrations organized by and the Madras Music Academy. We walked in to a soulful Tukaram abhang by Dr. Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande, and then got to listen to the Mambalam Sisters, Gayathri Girish, and Gayathri Venkataraghavan, before the New Year lamp was lit by Academy's Murali, and a whole goshti joined in with MSS' rendition of Maitreem bhajata and then sang Endaro mahAnubhAvulu on stage. Following this was a song in kalAvatI by the Malladi brothers and their father. We left after RK Shriram Kumar's vocal rendition of shrI rAmam in nArAyaNagauLa.

In the Academy lobby I ran into my friends Uma and Ramdas from Austin. We reminisced about the music scene 'back home', the scene of which I had been a part from 1993-2003.

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