Aruna Sairam’s concert on August 29 in Chennai, is a fund raiser for the Oothukkadu Krishna temple.

Legend has it that Nandhinee and Patti, the two cows seen in the Krishna temple at Oothukkadu village, in Thanjavur, loved listening to the stories about the child Krishna and his pranks. But they were not convinced about the story of Kaliya. How could a small child with dainty feet dance on the head of a poisonous snake? In order to dispel the doubts of his beloved cows, Krishna re-enacted his dance on Kaliya’s head and vanquishing it, on the waters of the temple tank, which was witnessed by the cows and several of his devotees. Such legends abound the temple town of Oothukkadu. These stories probably inspired the great composer Oothukkadu Venkata Subbaiyer to compose the famous Kalinga Nardhana thillana.

“At most of my concerts, requests pour in for this song and I must acknowledge here that it is this thillana along with a few other compositions of this composer, that catapulted me to another level of popularity,” says vocalist Aruna Sairam.

The composer’s songs are so simple, straight forward and emotional that they strike an instant chord with the listeners. His love for Krishna was such that he visualised the child sleeping on his lap, and therefore, refrained from keeping the talam on his lap.

To celebrate this composer’s love for Krishna and Janmashtami, Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam will present a concert titled ‘Maadu Meykkum Kanne’ on August 29, 7 p.m., at The Music Academy, Chennai.

The concert, which is a fund raiser for the renovation of Oothukkadu’s Kalinga Nardhana Perumal temple, is structured as a story that retells Krishna’s childhood through popular songs such as ‘Vishamakara Kannan,’ ‘Thaye Yashoda,’ ‘Maadu Meykkum Kanne’ and the Kalinga Nardhana thillana.

Says Aruna, “The concert aims to create an atmosphere of being with Krishna in Gokul. There are a few surprises which the rasikas can look out for.”

The event is hosted by the three CEOs of S.S. International Live, Muralidharan, Elango Kumaran and Ananthakrishnan. Aruna also acknowledges the contribution of Kris Yogam, a doctor from the U.S., for being a motivational force behind this concert.