They sang like veterans!

WHEN DOORDARSHAN announced that young children would sing the Tyagaraja Pancharatna Kritis on Gandhi Jayanthi Day, it was met with a lot of scepticism.

Perhaps one thought the children would manage Sri Ragam but not Nattai or Varali, which even many seniors had made a mess of.

Thus it was with a lot of hesitation that one switched on the TV at 5 p.m., and what followed was a pleasant surprise. It was a full hour of faultless rendering of the five great kritis.

There was no mistake in the raga, tala or sahitya — none of the finer nuances of the ragas were missed. Mr.T.S.Parthasarathy, musicologist, gave useful and simple introductions to the five songs.

The children of course had put in a lot of practice extending over four months but what Sulochana Pattabhiraman, who trained the children, and Doordarshan, which set apart one full hour for this programme did, was a great service in preserving the heritage.

DD did not forget a significant detail. It took care to flash the individual photographs of the participating children

with their names. The children are sure to remember this forever.

G. D.

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