My father's review of the Hindu's November Music festival so far-
"The first three days of the 'The Hindu' November fest were a mixed fare. The hand-out described the opener Girija Devi as having "mesmerised three generations of audiences..." but one could not help thinking it was time the grand old lady took some rest and confined herself to teaching the upcoming generations. There were a few brief moments when the lady sizzled but she ran out of steam even as you tried to sit up in your push back seat. As she faded away her very able 'vocal support' Ms. Sunanda Sharma took over and sang delightfully well. In coming years let us look out for the solo performances by Ms. Sharma! I wondered why our stars never like to call it quits... During the break I asked the lady in the next seat what she thought of the performance. There were tears in her eyes as she responded in a voice gone hoarse with emotion that she was blessed to be there and perhaps it may be the last time she will get to hear the the great Girija Devi. I suppose, faced with such adulation, it is difficult to quit.
Next day we had wonderful sitar performance by Shujaat Husain Khan. He took a little time to warm up but it was fortunate he insisted on skipping the commercial break (in a barely two hours performance). The (two!!) tabla accompanists were engaging as well. It was wonderful as he mouthed the words of the lighter closing numbers. The audience could enjoy both the poetry and the sounds of the sitar.
On Sunday the 16th November, ' four voices recreated the magic of an era gone by'. It is a challenge for four South Indian artists ( at least in origin) to recreate the magic of Hindi film music from Bajju Bawara to Aradhana. Srinivas who choreographed as well led the singing was truly nervous as he asked for water on-stage before he could start off! Anooradha Sriram even dressed up in tight (chusth in Hindi) salwar kameez like Asha Parekh to provide sufficient visual clues in case her 'singing was not up to the mark'. So tight was the outfit that, by her own admission, she could change into another for her 'mera nam chinchinchoo' number. She really did tease the audience. The young ones of the quartet Naresh (with the best diction among the four) and Chinmayi will continue to enthrall us for many decades. While the singing and the orchestra were perfect, one could detect errors in pronunciation and words. The group would do well to engage a native Hindi speaker with a passion for film songs.
We have a break of three days now. Hopefully the second half will also throw up some interesting fare. "
And you could go here, here and here for The Hindu's own review of the three evenings.
**************Safety week was held at office and as I mentioned earlier ( and no body noticed)- I won Rs 500 for the quiz- first prize. I also judged a drawing contest for employees- what enthu and talent! First time i have been called upon to judge anything in office. . . I must be aging, given my office norms.