Bored at home? Follow these artistes for your daily dose of entertainment

These artistes are spreading positivity on social media through antakshari sessions and online festivals

We can always rely on Art to provide us with a brief escape from the harsh realities of life.

Chennai’s netizens have proved this, by starting multiple viral threads on social media, challenging and entertaining each other as well as all their followers.

Pianist Anil Srinivasan has started a #JanathaCurfewOnlineFestival, inviting every artiste to contribute in spreading cheer online. You could watch Karthik Ramasubramanian sing a moving rendition of ‘Ka Karun Sajani’, Krishnaswamy Swamy play the violin with his children, JA Jayanth with the flute, and Rakesh Raghunathan, along with his amma, share a recipe for rayil kathrikai, among other dance and storytelling performances. These are all up on Anil’s Facebook page.

Bored at home? Follow these artistes for your daily dose of entertainment

“We have established, celebrity performers, as well as people I was watching perform for the first time. Other than Art, what endeavour brings together 151 people from 18 countries together in just 36 hours?” he says, adding that the hashtag caught on in the US, Canada, Qatar, France, Germany, Singapore and South Africa, among other places.

Meanwhile, since this weekend, the city’s Carnatic community has been taking to Instagram to play the country’s favourite age-old picnic game: Antakshari, online. Vishwanath Ganesh gave the game a Classical twist, with ‘Diwakara Thanujam’.

He nominated his fellow Carnatic musicians to keep the antakshari going. Soon enough, the trend went viral, with over 100 singers now and still counting, posting snippets of them singing songs with their cats, dogs, children and sundry.

Thereon, the Carnatic #coronAntakshari moved beyond the traditional style — where you sing a song that starts from the syllable the previous person has ended on — to incorporate different challenges.

“We had certain types of ragas, or swaraksharams, where songs whose starting syllable matches the note on which it starts (sa, ri, ga, ma...); the Chittaiswaram challenge; the Pallavi challenge; or singing as many songs in the same ragam as possible, and so on,” says Vikram Raghavan, who also took part in the antakshari early on.

Not just vocalists, but also percussionists such as Chandrasekara Sharma on the ghatam, jumped in with their own challenges of beats and konnakol. “I had no idea it would go this viral in this tumultuous period,” says Vishwanath.

But then, argues Anil, “People staying together even when alone, and bringing positive reinforcement at a time like this is necessary. If I am sitting with my phone anyway, I’d rather listen to someone sing than read fake news on WhatsApp!”

With the overwhelming response his project has received, Anil is considering holding the online festival intermittently as we head into the lockdown.

So for your daily dose of entertainment, keep an eye on these artiste’s social media handles.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 9:07:27 AM |

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