Sivaratri reverberations

Aruna Sairam in concert. Photo: M. Periasamy  

Thousands of people converged at the ISHA Yoga Centre to observe Mahasivaratri that featured performances of Aruna Sairam, Anita Ratnam and Raghu Dixit.

The night-long event brought to an end the series of concerts by veterans held for a week.

Though temperatures refused to dip even towards midnight, no one seemed bothered by the heat, as waves of music washed over them.

Sounds of Isha filled the air with primeval drum beats and mesmerising chanting. Rasikas enjoyed a wholesome treat as Aruna Sairam, a glimmer of blue, came on stage and started singing ‘Vaazhga Siva… Sabhapatikku Veru Deivam.’

She followed it up with a beautiful paean to Saraswati, ‘Mamavatu Sri Saraswati.’ Padma Shankar accompanied her on the violin, L. Kishore Kumar on the sitar and Vishnu on the flute.

Enjoyable line-up

The tani avarthanam by S. Karthick on the ghatam, D. Chandrajit on the tabla and J. Vaidyanathan on the mridangam further charged up the atmosphere.

Tamil folk songs such as ‘Maadu Meikum Kanna’ and ‘Vishamakaara Kannan,’the Hindi song‘Guruji Mein Tho Ek Niranjan’ by the saint-poet Gorakhnath and the thrilling ‘Jaago Re Tumi Jaago’ in Bengali were enjoyable. Aruna’s thillana ‘Kalinganarthanam’ by Oothukkadu Venkatasubbaiyer completed the magic.

This was followed by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s discourse where he explained how the location of the Velliangiri Hills, the time of the year and the positions of the planets made Mahasivaratri here so special. He interspersed philosophy with stories from the Siva Purana, and Anita Ratnam danced in accompaniment.

There was a special meditation session at the stroke of midnight followed by the maha aarati. There was a spectacular fire dance too.

Thapattam performers danced on to the stage and prepared the mood for The Raghu Dixit Project. When he and his fellow musicians walked in wearing colourful lungis and beads, the energy levels soared.

‘Hey Bhagwan’ had everyone dancing throughout the programme that lasted for almost two hours. Raghu picked up happy songs, songs about second chances in life and of course, love.

They performed ‘Masti Ki Basti,’ ‘Mysore Se Aayi,’ ‘Jag Changa’ (a new song, said Raghu) and a qawwali that also had the audience singing along with the artist. Hey Bhagwan.

Dixit also sang ‘Gudugudiya Sedi Nodo’ and ‘Kodagana Koli Nungitta,’ poems of Sishunala Sharifa, a Kannada poet saint and philosopher.

Mahesh Vinayakam with V.V. Ravi on the violin gave a foot-tapping performance, along with the Sounds of Isha. They performed Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s ‘Panchabhuta Kiranavalim.’

Vinayakram’s robust ‘Om Namah Sivaya’ resonated in the early hours of the morning. The sun came up to the strains of the violin played by Bala Bhaskar, who also performed a few pieces from his latest album ‘Let it B.’

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 9:43:13 AM |

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