Skip to main content

God's Own Convention - Day 2



Apologies for the prolonged slumber. So where was I? Yes...

We awoke at 4.45AM. Yes, I woke up at 4.45...to do Yoga! The lengthy yoga session was in a way refreshing. So was the sight of MadSense dozing off during Shavaasana. Breakfast was followed by a talk on Kerala's folk culture by one Kavalam Narayana, which was both informative and I must admit, pretty monotonous. The talk on folk culture was fittingly followed up by a Kerala folk dance called Ottanthullal, which was rather enjoyable and to me seemed like a poor man's Kathakali.





There was also a rather queer acrobatic Tamil folk dance form called Karagattam at the end of which I was both in awe and in splits. Karagattam was followed by the seemingly never-ending Prahlad Natak which I must admit I didn't particularly enjoy very much.

What I liked a lot in the convention, and what made this a convention and not a concert series, were the intensives. These intensives were 5-day 'learning' which were conducted for us by the masters and the artistes themselves. I thought I'd dabble in art and signed up for Kalamkari under the very amicable and venerable Gurappa Chetty alongwith Tennis, Thames, Harshal, 'Thumb'elina aka Poonam, Shaz, Tiger Baby and Aane. MadSense and BadSense (who arrived later that day) chose the tutelage of the Great Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan; Mahi-maa chose Pattachitra, Sri Sri and Shiney chose Yoga and God's Own Suhas chose Kudiyattam. Our first 'class', which was was about the 'fab' process of the cloth and the kalam, was rather insightful. Its no easy thing waiting for a cloth to wash it in myriad liquids in different concentrations; it takes nearly 17 steps to transform the ordinary cloth to a bright canvas of art.

After the intensive session, we set off towards the Ananthapadmanabha Temple in the heart of the old city.



After the Darshana of the the Diety, Shiney and I set off amidst rains to the concert venue in a hurry as we didn't want to miss a lot of the next concert while the rest of them chose to hang around. And whilst we were at the temple, the rest of the coterie joined in celebrating the birthday of God's Own Suhas.

Well so far so good, but the performances so far weren't that great...until these two concerts.


Carnatic Vocal by T N Sheshagopalan

I skipped dinner to get to the venue in time...but I didn't regret it. The first Carnatic concert of the convention, that too by T N Sheshagoplan obviously had me upbeat. Though Shiney and I reached a bit late, we were treated with some of the best kritis in the melodic voice of the vidwan. The next concert however, was easily on of the most scintillating performances I had seen and will ever see.

Kutiyattam by Kapila Venu

Prior to the convention, I had no idea about the existence of Kutiyattam. A bit about Kutiyattam for the uninitiated- It is the world's oldest theatre form (and I'm not kidding!). It is a Sanskrit theatre form that uses mime and percussion far more than the spoken word to communicate. Ergo that makes it al l the more demanding from the artiste.The tyro that I was, I was more than glad I had birthday boy Suhas sitting next to me for this perfromance. I was glad he chose Kutiyattam for his intensive- he elucidated each subtlety and each expression till I could get the hang of it. The rather young artiste Kapila Venu has been trained in the moribund theatre form by one of Kutiyattam's greatest exponents Sri Ammanur Madhava Chakyar who the convention was dedicated to. Her performance, her gait, her expressions, her mastery were all simply, MIND-BLOWING!!!







End of Day 2. Epiphany of the day - Kapila Venu is THE best actress I've ever seen.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Detachment Theory

A psychological and evolutionary theory that attempts at explaining human behaviour is the Attachment Theory, mainly propounded by a John Bowlby, whose basic tenet is that infants need to develop a relationship with atleast one parent or a caretaker for its natural development to occur smoothly. This relationship, that Bowlby talks of, exists mainly between the 'caregivers' and infants aged 6 months to 2 years old. Bowlby published the full theory in his trilogy Attachment and Loss, and his Attachment theory has since become "the dominant approach to understanding early social development, and has given rise to a great surge of empirical research into the formation of children's close relationships". 


While this theory does supposedly explain attachment of infants with their 'caregivers', what still eludes my mind is the nature of the myriad other attachments we have, all of which affect our behaviour, and psychological state equally, or maybe even more th…

May God Help Me - Farewell NITK

The NITK Chapter is officially closed. As Bangaloreans, we have had plenty of rants against college. But after the exodus dawns the epiphany that things weren't so miserable at NITK after all. Now that I'm back home, I've been able to see the very thin silver lining beneath those very, very dark clouds that made these past four years pretty rough.


The Department:


After a fairly successful series of exams(barring the JEE of course!), I landed up in a class of 73 other souls, who, like me, had screwed up just the one exam but had fared pretty well in the AIEEE and landed in the most sought-after branch in the most sought-after NIT, only behind the IITs and BITS Pilani. Although I felt from the curriculum book when I first looked at it that our courses were very well-structured, I must admit that quite a few of them were mostly rote-mugging courses sugar-coated to sound cool. The Department and Its Presiding Diety always kept us on our toes. Assignments, projects or those excru…

Unseen Bangalore: Lakes - Part 2

The last few months have been just great personally and professionally thanks to some very dear people, and I'm more than looking forward to the latter half of the year! But as I sit at my computer on a raining May night in perfect coffee-pakoda weather in the comfort of my room nursing a fever, I return to the blogging scene, hoping to show you some new places to see, and explore.
The history of Bangalore is quite well-documented. The common story of Ballala, the Hoysala king being offered boiled beans by a helpful woman, though fancy, isn't historically true. Inscriptions unearthed at the 1200-year old magnificent temple at Begur, speak of a battle of BengaLooru during the 9th century AD. However, the objective of this post is partly to pay homage to the visionary founder of Bangalore, Kempegowda I
Not many people are aware that Kempegowda was a chieftain of Yelahanka. (In his honour, the BBMP christened Yelahanka as the Kempegowda ward and started its ward-numbering system …