The thavil is gradually losing its charm just like the nagaswaram, according to V. Mani, Kalaimamani Award winner.
People nowadays played ‘Mangala Isai' CDs at marriages, housewarming ceremonies and other social functions instead of hiring troupes specialising in such music accompaniment, and this proved to be detrimental to thavil artistes like him, Mr. Mani said.
A disciple of Mayavaram Koranadu P. Palani Velu Pillai, Mr. Mani received the Kalaimamani Award from Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in 2003. He was also honoured with the title “Aasthana Vidwan'' by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in 2000.
Mr. Mani, who has accompanied the late Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and Kadri Gopalnath in hundreds of concerts and taken part in jugalbandhis with clarinet maestro Vidwan Pandit Vadavatti Narasimhulu in national and international events, also is sore over the lack of opportunities offered by All India Radio and Doordarshan to artistes like him.
The thavil vidwans rarely got programmes in the national and regional channels of Doordarshan, he added.
In order to save thavil from being consigned to oblivion, Mr. Mani demanded that the government appoint thavil vidwans as “Aasthana Vidwans'' in all the districts. This gesture would also help many thavil artistes living in penury.
Born in 1954 into a family of music practitioners, he said abject poverty had forced him to discontinue studies and learn the ropes as a thavil artiste from his father M. Venkatramana at the age of eight.
He hoped the Chief Minister would do the needful to ensure that the art of playing the thavil as well as thavil artistes would not suffer in due course of time due to lack of encouragement and patronage.
To save the dying art, the government should appoint thavil vidwans
as ‘Asasthana Vidwans'
in all districts