It was a mix of both old and latest popular numbers from Tamil films. As Vishnu, one of the young artistes from Malaysia was rendering a popular Tamil number ‘Innisai paadi varum’, it was hard for the audience to understand this little boy’s efforts for voice modulation to exactly fit a woman singer’s style in all perfection.

There was a standing ovation at an earlier occasion at the end of a group performance. Saravanan, another artiste, catered to the taste of both the older and younger generation by rendering ‘Nallavarkellam satchigal rendu, onru mana saatchi..’’ a popular number from the thespian Sivaji Ganesan’s films.

The artistes, in all numbering 40, were in the city as part of tour of Tamil Nadu for cultural exchange programme arranged jointly by the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia and the State Department of Art and Culture. Every artiste utilised the opportunity to exhibit his/her skill all through. The programme also was well utilised to strengthen the cultural ties between Malaysia and India. Popular singers from Malaysia rendered Malay songs. The artistes also rendered ‘karagattam’, ‘kummiyattam’, ‘pinnal kolattam’, ‘kavadi’, and ‘Bharatha Natyam’.

Maragaret Bastin, principal of Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, in her felicitations, congratulated the efforts taken by Iruthayam Sebastian, director of Malaysian Sebastian school of arts, which organised the cultural programme. The performance was perfect in all aspects because of strenuous rehearsals and commitment to the core by the artistes.

Artistes who had all settled in Malaysia went down the memory lane of their link with the state decades ago. “My grand-mother hails from Tiruchi” said Saravanan, before rendering a song.

R. Gunasekaran, Regional Deputy Director of Art and Culture, said that the accompanying artistes were all women who played on various instruments including key-board, ‘thabla’, guitar and drums.

EOM/mbg