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Creative child of celebrities
Meghna Gulzar speaks to V. GANGADHAR about her life, her illustrious parents and how she came to write the book.

A Hollywood round-up
It was a year of sci-fi films, action, musicals, animations, comedies and dramas but not of successful sequels. ZIYA US SALAM takes a look at the good, the bad and the silly.

A celluloid feast
The Eighth International Film Festival of Kerala was a vibrant and colourful one. The selection of films screened was good and the people helpful, writes S. R. ASHOK KUMAR.

Film Review

  • "Indru"
  • "Sindhaamal Sidharaamal"
  • "The Touch"


    Sowkhyam becomes a casualty
    SANGITA GNANA today for appreciation of concerts is the higher the decibel, superior the quality of music. Production of loud sound by an instrument or the throat triggers vociferous acclaim and clapping. Sowkhyam as the be-all and end-all of ...
    Youthfully imaginative
    HIS VARALI made you realise that Abhishek Raghuram's mind far outstrips his vocalisation. The phrases are ripe, the structure is rich, but the rendition cannot match conception. The bonus is that he never goes off the right royal path of ...
    Rich fare of Tamil music
    TAMIL ISAI Sangam had come forward to honour `Mellisai Mannar' M. S. Viswanathan with the coveted `Isai Perarignar' title this year. If one analyses rationally keeping the petty debates apart, the fact remains that Viswanathan's contribution to ...
    Enjoyable in different ways
    THE MORNING concert on December 17 attended by over 100, was piloted smoothly and actively through over two hours by Sangeetha Sivakumar in a standard format. There was a neat distribution of two ragas developed in alapana — Poorvikalyani ...
    A downpour of Poorvikalyani
    AN ART reviewer for a series is sometimes placed in the difficult position, of having to sit through the same kritis repeatedly, and sometimes in succession. What he must guard against is the tendency either to turn off his attention, or to fall ...
    Talents that need honing
    WITH MORE practice P. S. Lalitha, blessed with a robust voice, can attain concert standard. The flow of sangatis is not natural and she finds it difficult to do the sancharas forming the essence of the raga. Todi was the main raga and the ...
    Good synchronisation
    AMONG THE new crop of duo singers, Ragam Sisters (V. Sivaranjini and V. Nalinakanthi) appear most promising. Their concert at the mini hall of Bharathi Vidya Bhavan for Kapali Fine Arts was noted for liveliness, voice co-ordination (so necessary ...
    Bhajan sandhya
    A BHAJAN Sandya was presented by O. S. Arun for Mudhra on December 23. The devotional songs were addressed to various gods and in different languages like Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Sanskrit and Kannada. Admittedly because of his early years in Delhi, ...
    In the mood for bhava
    RIGHT FROM the early "Vidajaladura'' (Janaranjani) and the Saveri alapana you knew that Sudha Ragunathan was in form on that day, and in the mood for bhava rather than technical flourishes. How else could she have rendered "Muruga Muruga'' with ...
    The art of playing the mridangam
    MRIDANGAM MAESTRO Guruvayoor Dorai gave a fine educative demonstration for Indian Fien Arts Society ``Playing of Mridangam for various items in concerts." He pointed out that the history of mridangam playing is very ancient. Nandikeswara,the ...
    Mixture of indifference and commitment
    THE GROSS and abrasive aspects penetrated the musical consciousness of Sriram Gangadharan. "Chalagallala" (Aarabhi) "Raakaa-Sasivadana" (Dakka) and "Marakathavallim" (Kambhoji) songs and he alapanas of Aarabhi and Kambhoji proclaimed himself as ...
    Pleasant recitals
    AFTER U. SRINIVAS'S spectacular introduction of Mandolin as a suitable instrument for playing Karnatak music effectively, a few artistes have taken up the challenge of bringing out the melodies of Carnatic music on this instrument, a difficult ...
    Close to vocal
    T. RADHAKRISHNAN'S sitar recital at the Music Academy on December 22 was an afternoon of intensity conceptualising the raga with passion and colour, using the fine tones of the three octaves. Beginning with Jod Alaap in Raga Bhimplas he exhibited ...
    Sung on serene lines
    IF CONCERT planning is a test, Lakshmi Rangarajan came out successful. She chose Anandabhairavi (Mariveregati of Syama Sastry), Vachaspathi (Parathpara of Sivan), Vasantha (Maragathalingam of Dikshitar), Mohanam (Jagadeeswari Kripaipuria) and ...
    Of great composers and unique instruments
    VETERAN MUSICIAN Vedavalli presented an extensive lecture on Tiruchhanda Viruttam of Tirumazhisai Azhwar. She dwelt upon the biographic details and gave examples from the 120 verses composed by him. He is also known as Bhaktisaara who underwent ...
    R.R. SABHA
    Scintillating alapana
    AN OVERFLOWING hall at Rasika Ranjani Sabha gave a standing ovation to Sanjay Subramaniam after his scintillating two-hour concert in which Shankarabharanam alapana and Tyagaraja kriti, "Swararaga Sudha" scaled new heights. And to have achieved ...
    Quality music at siesta session
    IT ALSO needs a lot of guts to perform for a near empty hall; A. V. K. Rajasimman, an apparently senior looking artiste, stoically performed a neat concert at the siesta session. But his music surely carried some real quality. The manner in ...
    Commendable presentation
    THE MAIN item in Padmini Ravi's vocal concert was Bhairavi; her alapana of this majestic raga was quite impressive followed quite decently by Hemalatha on the violin. The rendering of the Tyagaraja Kriti `Koluvaiyunnade' was indeed very good as ...
    Cascading swara patterns
    A PLEASING style sans gimmicks, as ever, characterised O. S. Thiagarajan's concert for Bharat Kalachar. Beginning with the lively Sri varnam (Sami ninne kori), the vocalist presented ``Samaja vara gamana" (Hindolam), and ``Ninne near" ...
    A melodious voice on the Mother
    WELL-KNOWN PERSONALITIES have come together to create "Anbaana Annaiku", an audio CD on the Pondicherry Mother. Priced at Rs.250, the CD has been produced by Uthsav Music, Plot No.2, Jayaram Avenue, Sastri Nagar, Adyar. (Ph: 044-24911544; ...
    When fortune met talent...
    She is based in Bangalore, comes down to Chennai often to record for Tamil and Telugu films, travels to Kerala to anchor the weekly Sapta Swarangal on Asianet and sing for Malayalam movies and globe trots with her band for her music shows abroad. MALATHI RANGARAJAN talks to the busy singer, Chitra Sivaraman.
    Cassettes released
    THREE AUDIO-CASSETTES titled `Sri Hasthigiri Mahatmiyam' containing the Tamil literary discourse rendered by Varada Gunamrudha Varshi Sri. R. Srinivasa Varadan of Kanchipuram (Tamil hymns in praise of the glorious Avatharam of Lord Varadaraja ...
    A dainty combination
    LOCAL VETERAN Meera Savoor's Hindustani classical concert for Viswakala Sangama at the Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall on December 29 was a good performance with Rajesh Dhavala on the tabla and Umakanth Rao Puranik on the harmonium. She began the ...


    Dominated by grace
    N. SRIKANT presented a sweet Bharathanatyam recital for Kartik Fine Arts this season. The whole programme was dominated by the delicate nalinam. The "Maragatha Manimaya" varnam began with such an energetic korvai and theermanam that at the end of ...
    Veterans impress
    NOT FOR a moment taking away from Chitra Visweswaran's solo virtuosity in her ``Nanamrita Sagaram" at the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, this critic was left wondering about the psychology behind dancing to a Tamil translation of a varnam like ``Roopamu ...
    Well-choreographed dance drama
    EXCELLENT MUSIC, crisp choreography, and perfect co-ordination marked the compact presentation, ``Ambalavananum Aranganum" by Parvati Ravi Ghanatasala and her students held under the auspices of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Kalapradarsini recently. ...
    Deep involvement
    PERFORMING OR teaching two dance styles side by side makes for more diversity, although there is the risk of one style affecting the other. It is perhaps a concern for dancer Anandavalli, who teaches and choreographs in both Bharatanatyam and ...
    Informative lec-dems
    NRITTA MAKARANDAM, a dance seminar organised recently by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Kala Kendra and Kalapradarsini, featured lec-dems by dancers and teachers on various topics of interest. Review of some presentations appeared in these columns on ...
    Golden moments on the veena
    THE DESTINY of child prodigies is rather unpredictable — they rise like a meteor and fade like a shooting star, not so Veena Gayatri, who has held centrestage for several years now. Moolai Veedu Rangaswami Pillai's Natakuranji varnam and ...
    Sparkling nritta, subtle abhinaya
    URMILA SATHYANARAYANAN is one of the stars among the dancers of the younger generation and has performed extensively in India and abroad. Having trained under two famous Bharatanatyam gurus — K. J. Sarasa (Vazhuvoor bani) and Kalanidhi ...
    Too much of mime
    BHARATANATYAM HAS ITS own repertoire, handed down by the Tanjavur Quartette and followed by almost every dancer of that form, who sticks to it. The original `Melaprapti' has lost its use, at least from about three decades ago, replaced by ...


    Strong script, skilful plot
    MAHALAKSHMI LADIES Drama Group's latest offering, "Nallathor Veenai Seithey" shows that a strong script can make a great difference to a play. Within the conventional format, Bombay Gnanam has assembled a well-structured work that showcases ...


    Breath holds the key
    The winter colloquium conducted by the Adishakti Theatre Group of Pondicherry will help highlight the similarities between Koodiyattom and Noh, says Veenapani Chawla in conversation with GOWRI RAMNARAYAN.
    With fresh flavour
    KOOTHU-P-PATTARAI IS very much into clown theatre. Having undergone workshops by Anmol Vellani and others, the group has presented quite a few productions in this style in recent years. Among them are Ionesco's "Macbett", Na. Muthuswamy's ...


    Shrine for the Lord who heals
    SRI DHANVANTRI Arogya Peetam, Walajapet, will build a temple for Lord Dhanvantri, on behalf of Maruti Udhavum Karangal. The idol of the presiding deity of the temple, which has been sculpted by Lokanatha Sthapathi of Mamallapuram, at a cost ...
    Linked by legend
    Kodambakkam that boasts of several ancient temples has an interesting background. T. A. SRINIVASAN elaborates ...
    Carving a colossal image
    THE COUNTENANCE of Goddess Mahishasura Mardini looks fearsome but graceful. The battle scene depicting the slaying of the Mahishasura by the Goddess, captured in panchaloka by the Nagercoil-based sculptors of the Viswabrahma Silpakala Nilayam, ...
    Tribute to the saint composer
    THE 157TH aradhana of saint composer Sri Tyagaraja will be held from January 8 to 13, at the saint's samadhi on the banks of Cauvery at Tiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur district. Hundreds of musicians participate in this unique festival held every year ...
    Planet none can afford to ignore
    The temple of Lord Ramanathaswami at Thirunaraiyur (Nachiarkoil) near Kumbakonam has a famous shrine for Sanaischaran or Saneeswaran, which is thronged by devotees on Saturdays, writes T. A. SRINIVASAN.
    THE 33RD Laksharchanai celebrations of the Adambakkam Ayyappa Mandali, 2, Bhavani Street, Bharat Nagar, Adambakkam, will be held held on January 3 and 4 at the Brindavan Nagar Kalyana Mandapam, Sri Raja Vinayakar Bhaktha Mandali, Sri Veda Vyasa ...

    Leisure & Recreation

    Winning scribes
    TWO WINNERS and two runners-up have got the first CNN Young Journalist Award — India (CNN YJA). The award was introduced to recognise and encourage quality journalism among young media professionals in India. Kushan Mitra from Business ...
    Roadies in Pune
    THE REPEAT telecast of MTV Hero Honda Roadies will be on January 3, 9.00 p.m. and on January 4 at 7.00 p.m. This time the Roadies are in Pune. The task is a blind date for everyone on a budget of Rs. 150. At the end of the date, they will be ...
    A special line-up
    AXN HERALDS the new year with a big bang. The channel begins the year with an uninterrupted broadcast of their blockbuster show `Wild On' called `Continuous Wild On' from December 31, 23.00 to January 1, 2004 7 a.m. followed by the special ...


    Much beloved guru
    ``JAYA TEACHER as she is known to her students and the countless students of students, was a confidante of all the students," say Shantha and Dhananjayan who never fail to take her name with their other teachers of Kalakshetra. ``Whenever we ...
    A synthetic bond
    Gurukula, in the conventional sense, may not be possible today. But the teacher-disciple relationship has lost its sheen over the years, ruminates KRIPA SUBRAHMANIAM.


    Arudra festival
    SRI RAMANJANEYA Trust will celebrate Arudra Festival at Sri Vaidhyanathaswamy temple, 98, GST Road, Tambaram Sanatorium (Ph: 2241 5380) on January 7. The deity will be taken out in procession in the evening. Vaikuntha Ekadesi will be celebrated ...


    Emphasis on Indian arts
    DEDICATED TO Rukmini Devi in her centenary year, the Natya Kala Conference, by providing articulation to unheard voices from different disciplines, emphasised the inter-connectedness of India's holistic vision, which when not understood would ...
    Goshti ganam
    SRI ANNAMACHARYA Vamseekula Sankeerthana Seva Trust and The Shiksha Garden Club will jointly celebrate Annamaiah and Thiagiah Aradhana on January 4, at 8 a.m. The venue will be the Garden Club premises at No. 41, 5th Main Road, Natesan Nagar, ...
    Music festival
    SRI VARASIDDHI Vinayakar Asthiga Samajam, New Colony, Adambakkam, is conducting the Margazhi Isai Vizha, at the Purana Pravachana Mandapam, Sri Varasiddhi Vinayakar Temple, till January 10. Inaugurated on December 26, the programme features music ...
    VEDA PATA Nidhi Trust, Mylapore (Ph: 2494 3450/ 2447 0700) will launch its Veda Pati Samrakshana Yojana as a Shraddanjali to Kanchi Paramacharya, on January 8, at 6 p.m., at the Music Academy Mini Hall, TTK Road. The scheme, to be begun by Sri ...
    In the presence of Acharyas
    SRI JAYENDRA Saraswathi and Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi of the Kanchi Math are attending the various events being held at Sri Ram Samaj, Ayodhya Aswamedha Maha Mandapam, No.47, Arya Gowder Road, West Mambalam (Ph: 24893077; 24716246) from ...
    Centenary celebrations
    THE 101ST Thirunakshatram (Centenary) of Chinthamani Iyengar, hailed as a legend in Sampradaya Bhajan, falls on January 9. The occasion will be celebrated for three days from January 7, at the Ayodhya Aswamedha Mahamandapam, under the guidance of ...
    Title for artistes

    Silver Jubilee
    THIRUMAADA KOIL Sri Varasakthi Vinayakar Temple, MMTC Colony, Nanganallur, has organised special programmes on account of its silver jubilee year. Narayaneeyam by Vaikom Padma Swaminathan & Party is being held from January 1 to 7, from 4.30 p.m. ...
    AS PART of the 49th Anniversary of Sri Sadguru Sangeetha Samajam, 196/2, Vellala Street, Purasawalkam, (Ph: 2645 2977; 2352 5412), will conduct its annual vocal music competition on Tyagaraja kritis, on January18, at Sri Ahobila Math School, ...
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