The East Mada street on Mylapore is always bright with lights of small businesses competing with each other. On the Karthigai Deepam day this year, it was brighter with serial bulbs glowing on the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan building running from the top.
It was the inaugural of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Sangeet Naatya Utsav.
The chief guests M. Narendra, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Overseas Bank, T. S. Krishnamurthy , Former Chief Election Commissioner and chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Chennai Kendra and Preetha Reddy, MD, Apollo Hospital spoke about their association with the Bhavan's Chennai Kendra and the contribution of the kendra in promotion of arts and culture.
The closer you got to the dais, the brighter it was. The artistes Sudha Ragunathan and T.M. Krishna added bright colours that evening.
These two artistes were honoured with awards instituted in memory of industrialist and arts patron P. Obul Reddy and P.Gnanamba this year at Bhavan. Sudha felt special being the first recipient of the award.
On the occasion, Bhavan felicitated three senior vidvans - Clarinet maestro A.K.C. Natarajan, vocalist and teacher Chenglepet Ranganathan and mridangam vidwan Guruvayur Dorai. Bhavan also honoured three young artistes at the inaugural.
Until the felicitations were over, the late comers and those who came just to listen to T.M. Krishna's concert after the 'speeches' at the inauguration were asked to climb up to the balcony or choose to view the CCTVs set up outside the hall.
But when Krishna opened his concert with the Dhanyasi kriti 'Meena Lochana' in a tad fast pace, the rasikas got ready to gatecrash. And the audience were willingly standing and listening to Krishna after that.
He paused during the niraval and attributed his niraval singing skills to the master Chenglepet Ranganathan.
The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan concerts draw full house since they are 'free' concerts and held at the heart of Mylapore.
Another interesting watch at the venue is the painting exhibition by H. N. Suresh on Rasi & Nakshatra. Even if you are not going up to the balcony for the concerts, it is worth a climb for this exhibition put up on the lobby and in the adjacent room upstairs.