Sruti magazine, which was launched in October 1983, and received a fresh lease of life when it came under the umbrella of The Sanmar Group with a reconstituted Sruti Foundation in December 2006, celebrated the 80th birth anniversary of its founder-editor Dr. N. Pattabhi Raman, a retired UNDP official, at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, during 19-21 October, 2012. The highlights of the celebration were two awards given away by former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who made a wise and pithy speech. The artistes Sruti honoured were veteran vocalist Suguna Purushothaman — who received the Vellore Gopalachariar Award instituted by the late Vellore Ramabhadran and administered by Sruti, and Guru T.K. Kalyanasundaram, head of the Raja Rajeswari Bharata Natya Kala Nilayam of Mumbai — who received Sruti’s E. Krishna Iyer Medal.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s main auditorium was the scene of an interesting offering of music, dance and cultural history over the three days of the celebration, which also marked Sruti’s entry into its 30th year of existence. On the first day, historian and archaeologist Chithra Madhavan gave a splendid account of the lore of Chidambaram as a seat of spiritual and artistic efflorescence in a scholarly yet entertaining style. She was supported by Bharatanatyam artiste Roja Kannan, Carnatic vocalist Bharathi Ramasubban, and orchestra members T.N. Sharanya (nattuvangam), G. Vijayaraghavan (mridangam), and Kalai Arasan (violin).

On the second day, awardee Suguna Purushothaman took the audience through a delightful journey into the past, when despite indifferent health, she gave a demonstration of the nuances of the bani of her guru Musiri Subramania Iyer. In this she was assisted by her prime disciple K. Gayatri, whose vocal accompaniment was both supportive and melodious.

The final evening was marked by a spectacular show of the three styles of Chhau dance — Seraikella, Mayurbhanj and Purulia — put up by Shashadhar Acharya and his troupe of nearly 30 artists who filled the stage with dancing both delicately aesthetic and uninhibited.

The three-day festival also featured audiovisuals on The Sruti Foundation and Chhau. Executive Editor S. Janaki expertly anchored the programme on all three days, while Editor-in-Chief V. Ramnarayan delivered the welcome address on the evening of the awards function. He, along with Gopalkrishna Gandhi, and honoured guests R. Vedavalli, Shanta and V.P. Dhananjayan, L. Sabaretnam, and K. Krishnan and Bhaskar Ramamurthi (representing Pattabhi Raman’s family) honoured all the artistes and awardees with shawls and mementoes.

Watch a related video here.


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On an artistic note October 25, 2012