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Fair venue revives spirit of village

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In full flow: Nithyasree Mahadevan concert in progress at Nageswara Rao park in Chennai on Wednesday. —
In full flow: Nithyasree Mahadevan concert in progress at Nageswara Rao park in Chennai on Wednesday. —

Staff Reporter

An exciting evening for performers of Chennai Sangamam and visitors alike

CHENNAI: For the performers of Chennai Sangamam and the visitors alike, the India Tourist and Industrial Fair under way at the Island Ground, seems to be the perfect place to revive the spirit of village.

From the casual evening walkers and homemakers who come for a brief while to spend time out in the evening before getting back to their chores, the crowd at the fair clearly stood apart on Wednesday.

Dressed in shimmering saris, women with their husbands and children turn the evenings into a memorable outing. One couldn’t spot a whining kid or yawning elder, as a chunk of the visitors were busy going around the stalls, listening to folk numbers. Near the stage, the energy levels rose with every performance.

“We have come as a group and plan to leave only after all the shows get over. We get a chance only once a year and don’t want to miss it,” says Sundaravalli, a domestic worker, whose four children are regulars to the event. Sharing the stage with a Naiyandi Melam performer, Ramasubbu, who played chendai, said the crowd at the fair has been the best so far.

“In fact, many came backstage to appreciate and take photo with us.

It was a gratifying experience,” he said. Balloon sellers seem to sprout up at all venues. Colours added to the festivity as kids held aloft the balloons inside the venues.

After reverberating to rock music for two days, the Chennai Sangamam at Elliots Beach got a flavour of folk performances on Wednesday.

The podium was barely visible, with people craning their necks out to get a better view of the ‘paraiattam’ performers. Motorists stopped temporarily when the Zinx Car troupe came up on stage for a fusion performance.

The long weekend gave school students an excuse to escape the homework. Many sneaked backstage to shake hands with the rehearsing artists.

Nageswara Rao park in Mylapore was more crowded than usual for the Carnatic performance of Nithyasree Mahadevan.

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