Yesterday, I attended a concert by the legends: Ustad Zahir Hussain, Vikku Vinayakram (Grammy-award winners), Mandolin Rajesh and Shrinivas, Selva Ganesh (Vikku’s son). For people who do not know about them, Zahir Hussain plays Tabla, Vikku plays Ghatam, Selva Ganesh plays Kanjira.
The show was scheduled to begin at 7 in Kalaiarangam, RS Puram. Since I haven’t been to that area before, I started from hostel one and a half hours earlier considering the travel time and traffic. I reached the hall around 6 and I was asked to wait till 6.45 to enter the hall. I had no company but myself. I spent time observing people around and the arrangements made. Until yesterday, I had a false notion that only people living in Chennai were more inclined towards classical music. I mean I didn’t expect more people to turn out. But, residents of Coimbatore proved me wrong! Such a huge turnout! After all, who would miss a chance as this! Among them, I could see only few youngsters. Anyway, it was nearing 6.45 but we weren’t allowed to get in. People began to lose patience. Even after 7, we weren’t let in. Reason being some problem with mike. Seriously?! Also, this mike-testing! It was already 7.15 by the time all were seated. Then, hosts took 5 minutes to arrange the stage, welcome the guests, etc. Then a lady appeared to say that programme would begin in few minutes! Don’t we know how many minutes is that few-minutes? Finally, after another 10 minutes, we could see them on stage!! Except Vikku. Thankfully, after a short note, they jumped into action. From the very first note, the audiences were enthralled by the amazing rendition! I am not getting into the details like how good they were. Their names and awards speak for them more than my description. It was nice to watch them smiling at each other in the course of action and praising others in between. Then came Vikku. He had not just one Ghatam but 4! Truly gifted he is! All of them displayed passion, spirit and joy while performing and that reflected in their music. Vikku engaged the audiences making them clap hands as per his music. Waves of energy radiated from them reached us and it was evident from the perfect synch of hundreds of claps! I was so enthralled that I hardly noticed the time! It does make a considerable difference.. watching them on TV and Live. No wall of glass in between..experiencing the real pleasure. I came out drenched in the musical rain..torrential rain! A day to cherish!