Connoisseurs of music and dance, welcome to another edition of Margazhi Season. It’s time when musicians practise hard, sabhas spruce up their halls, and rasikas prepare their concert calendar. Yes, the Pancharatna kritis are juxtaposed with padams and javalis. Tyagaraja, Dikshitar, Prabandham, Tiruppavai, Kshetrayya and Dasarnama... they are very much invogue throughout the year but find more prominence during the coming days. Here’s what a few artistes feel about the December Season...

Mandolin Shrinivas: “December means Chennai. The Season brings back my childhood days. I must have been 9 or 10, before I became a professional musician. I would wait for the December 1 supplement of The Hindu. I would pore over the sabha schedules and prepare my sabha hopping schedule. For me, playing during the Margazhi month has not only honed my skills but also brought me name and fame. I enjoy playing and listening; there’s an almost religious fervour in the air.”

Sudha Ragunathan: “I start counting the days even as November dawns! I am excited but at the same time, I know it's time to worry and practise hard. For this season, I plan to polish and bring back some old kritis which my guru and her guru had popularised.”

Nithyasree Mahadevan: “It's a celebration of the classical arts. As an artist, it maybe tough at times, but it's something I look forward to. I enjoy the planning process. Also, serious music listening happens with connoisseurs from across the globe thronging the sabhas. Real vidwat takes centre stage now.”

Sikkil Gurucharan: “Music and excitement… these words sum up the season for me. Rasikas get to gauge their favourite artists – the state of their voice, the repertoire chosen and the way a programme is presented. It's time for something new (kritis), plenty of faith (in God, myself and the rasikas) and hope (that my listeners and I go home satisfied).

K. Gayathri: “Challenging… that's the word that comes to mind. For me, each concert is like facing an examination. It is motivating and, at the same time, tiring. The season opens up a world of opportunities for artistes like us, as people from the world over come and listen to us.”

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