Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December Season

December Season

Right from my first year of marriage, I have been watching my mother-in-law keenly following the December music season every year by marking the kutcheris she wanted to attend in the The Hindu dated December 01 featuring details of concerts in all the sabhas in Chennai. Earlier she used to attend at least 5-6 kutcheris at The Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha and Sri Rama Bhakta Jana Sabha. Nowadays due to old age traveling alone is not possible, but she tries to attend at least a programme or two in Sri Rama Bhakta Jana Sabha.

Despite almost zero knowledge in classical music (I can only listen), my interest was slowly kindled by this over the years that I started bothering my husband to take me for a kutcheri or two. This happened a few years back. From that point onwards, I too started marking the concerts of musicians I like to hear, but alas, it just stopped with that and we managed to hear just one kutcheri of Sanjay Subramaniam at Bharat Kalachar during the season two years back. Inspite of four sabhas within 3 km radius of my office, I have not been able to attend any programme with my office work and other commitments - the same commitments that did not give me time/inclination to blog for the past few months. I thank you all for the number of hits I have been getting on my blog everyday which made me feel really guilty for not writing for some time. This year has been really busy with so many personal problems. Hope to be regular on blogging in 2012.

I have to mention here that Dorai Thatha and Rajeswari Chitti, avid music lovers and regular attendees of the season have been offering me a drama ticket for the 1st of January every year and I have never been able to make use of it.

This year also I kept aside the kutcheri schedule that came with The Times of India and selected 4-5 kutcheris. I have not been able to attend any of these, but out of sheer luck, Ranga got a couple of tickets for a kutcheri by Sudha Raghunathan in Chennayil Thiruvayaru at Kamarajar Arangam last Sunday.

We entered the auditorium to see the front hall full with various stalls of these sponsors and all hands were full with the pamphlets distributed by these people.

One thing I have always heard about was very true; the ladies were decked up like they were attending a wedding! Of course, the December music season in Chennai is almost like a family function for music lovers and they like to dress up so beautifully for the season!

We joined the long, long queue of lovely dressed women and men but were finally disappointed with the mess-up at the entrance. In spite of having a high priced ticket, we could get seats only very much at the back as the whole thing was disorganized. The organizers were so careless about the issue of tickets and seat allotment.

We finally settled in our seats and the concert that was supposed to begin at 7.30 pm finally started at 8 pm. Once it began, all was forgotten and Sudha Raghunathan’s singing mesmerized one and all! I liked her rendering of Nee Irangaayenil best. Katrinele varum Geetham was enjoyed by all present, but for me nobody can beat M S Subbulakshmi in that! Thani avarthanam was really nice and everybody enjoyed it!

Here is the song Nee Irangaayenil

Concert ended around 10 pm with Thalaivaari poochudi unnai.

We came out to have a glimpse of the Saiva Unavu Thiruvizha organized there. The food ranged from a typical South Indian food to chaats, pizzas, ice creams and sweets galore at Sri Krishna Sweets stall. Coffee was mainly from Narasu’s Coffee but was very disappointing. The smell of coffee engulfed us the moment we came out of the auditorium, but the taste was very mediocre! We did not get to taste any of the food in the stalls, but looking at people hogging, I am sure it must have been good!

There a huge apt banner of Kalyana Samayal Saadham scene featuring Ranga Rao as Gadothgajan.

Really nothing to beat the fun fare during December Season!


  1. Simply wonderful !!! and long awaited !!!

  2. Hi,
    Welcome back to the blogging world :D
    Super post, as usual! been missing them - the scenes of Chennai through your eyes and your camera's.

    Your blog brings alive the December Music Season to me, one who is far away from it all. Thank you

    Very nice pics. The ones I like best are - the one of the kutcheri with Sudha Raghunathan on the big screen and my favourite 'Kalyana Samaiyal Saadham with Ranga Rao'.

    Kudos! Keep up the great work

  3. My dear Lakshmi,
    Very thrilled to read your write up. Only yesterday I was talking to a friend from Toronto about your blog and your write up on your visits to different temples. She just recently went to a tour of 14 temples in Tamil Nadu with her sister who lives in Chennai.
    Your choosing of the subject of December concerts is interesting. During my university years,I had the chance to attend most of the concerts during the season in Music Academy and in Tamil Isai Sangam ( I believe they were the only two concerts halls for the season in those days)and listened to M.S.S., D.K.P., M.L.V., Musiri, etc. and watched many dance performances. M.S. usually sang on the Christmas day in the Music Academy. As you pointed out it is the time for women to dress up and attend the evening concerts. As a music student, I also attended discussions during the day. It was the time to meet and converse with the great musicians and musicologists.
    I am really happy that you are enjoying the concerts. Continue writing.
    Convey my love and respects to Radha manni. Wish you all a very Happy, Healthy, Safe and Prosperous New Year 2012.

  4. Thank You Lakshmi for this "Blog", coming like 'Athippoo' from you, after a pretty long time! Yes, both Chithi and I, have been wedded to the "Season" not only this year, but since our arrival in Chennai after my retirement in 1990! The 1st thing we did was to become "Patron Members of the Narada Gana Sabha"!Then it was free Season Tickets to Members which progressed to initially 100Rs & slowly & steadily has hiked to our paying now, Rs 10 K, for the Season of a fortnight for our "Reserved Seats"!And during these days we are C/O of the Sabha "Gnanambika" Caterers for Food, Tiffin & Coffee for the entire Season! Still the "mental Satisfaction" we get is Immeasurable! And do you know that when I got married to your Chithi in 1956, I was so ignorant of Music( Your Chithi is a Graduate In Carnatic Music, Main & Western Music, Subsidary) that Chellappa Thatha, heckled her, saying that she had married an Aurangazeb!!
    That thatha, started ran 'The Karnatak Sangeetha Sabha" in Gulbarga, got it Registered & got Govermental Financial Aid,brought to Gulbarga all great artistes-- Maharajapuram Santhanam,Mysore Dorai Swami Iyengar, et al! D' thatha also got a $100/- prize for an article he wrote on Carnatic Music in an American Journal & was also given the First "Best Music Critic Award" by Carnatica, Chennnai! For this transformation of this Aurangazeb, full credit goes to your Chithi!--D' thatha

  5. Lak,
    the pictures look much better now. Thank you :)

  6. @Dorai Thatha
    Nice to communicate through Lak's blog. That's a long comment from you Thatha and gives us such great info about you and Chitti. :D

  7. @ Sun Thank you!
    @ Geetha akka - thank you for the prompt response. Glad to hear that you read my blogs regularly and happy that my blog made you recall your college days! :)
    @ Dorai thatha & Chitti - like Sundari says, you have shared very intersting info with us by your comments, thank you! and Thatha, I never knew you were Aurangazeb once upon a time, I thought you had some knowledge right from the beginning. This info raises my hopes of gaining some knowledge of classical music!:D

  8. Our family is full of music lovers, you know. My father in law was a very good singer, followed by my husband and Aishwarya and Shruthi (the best), my children. Music always made me cry in bliss and bhakti from my childhood days. I used to cry secretly then. Today, here along with my husband, I sing a lot of bhajans and the public here always wants us to sing together, though there are great professional singers here. They say they are filled with bhakti when we sing. And it is a fact that I never tried to sing, not even in bathrooms, before my marriage and even after that. I could not bear my own singing. It was Bhagavan who entered my Antaryamin and made me sing. So much for Him, He made me sing before the Purushottama Amma and Bhagavan too.

    Thank you Lakshmi for reminding me all this. Nice to see Dorai thatha and Rajeswari chithi after a long time. I Convey my love and respects to them here and now and also my enquiries and regards to Prasad, who was my good friend.

  9. hi.thanks for sharing the post.plan your wedding more memorable with sankar live music wedding events.sankar is one of the best singers in bangalore.he performed many corporate events like INTEL, IBM,Centum Electronics, Wipro, Accenture, TATA Group, Karle and many more..