Wednesday, February 25, 2009

KVIIT revisited -Part2

Visits to the OAT(Open Air Theater):

Residents of the campus had the opportunity to see English movies screened at the OAT every Saturday at 8 p.m. If it was an exceptionally good one, my father used to take us for the movies once in a while. Once a month, movies in regional languages would be screened in turns-so maybe once in 4 or 5 months we would have a Tamil movie. Again, we would be taken there only if it was an exceptionally good movie ! 8 p.m would be an ideal time for us to go, after finishing dinner. My brother and I would have two shawls with us and invariably half way through the movie,we would have dozed away:-). OAT is nice in terms of the seating arrangement-it is a gallery kind of arrangement, in a semi-circular shape, no chairs anywhere. So we could just sit on the concrete steps, stretch our legs,relax and watch the movies !

Incidentally, OAT was the venue for our Annual School Day Functions till the SAC (Students Activity Center) got constructed.

Concerts at the Music Club,IIT Madras:

Concerts at the IIT Music Club would be conducted at CLT (Central Lecture Theater). Again, this was an excellent opportunity very early in my life to listen to some great concerts. CLT has been one of my favourite halls to listen to music (and to perform too !)

My father was one of the office-bearers of the Music Club for a short period - so we have also had the fortune of hosting many great musicians like Sri.Lalgudi Jayaraman, Sri.Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Sri N.Ramani(Flute),Dr.S.Ramanathan and so on, over, for a cup of hot filter coffee at our residence (yes, C6/13 :-)) before they proceeded for the concert at the Music Club.

Very often,my evening "outings" after school would be to the Jalakanteshwarar temple and Durga Peeliamman temples within the campus:-)

(All set to go to the temple with my parents)

Whenever I talk of IIT, I can never forget the very first car that we had- a bluish-green ambassador (MSR 876) :-). This was the car for the entire family - my cousins, grandparents, aunts,uncles etc ! We were so much accustomed to travelling as a group of 11-12 people inside the car at a time:-)

(A whole gang of us sitting on the "famous" car !)

(This is a view of the IIT park from our house. Unfortunately, only a B&W photo is available with me.)

My formal training in music began when I was 6.I started having my music lessons from my mother.

I then continued my rigorous training and learning under Sri.Vaigal.S.Gnanaskandan.

The next important thing that happened during my school days were the inter-school music competitions that I used to go to, representing my school. This gave me an excellent opportunity to learn songs of various composers and also gave me a lot of confidence right from the beginning, to go up on stage and perform.

(Receiving a prize from Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna)

(Receiving a prize from Actor, Mr.Sivaji Ganesan)

I then started learning the violin, and began classes with the maestro,Lalgudi Sri.G.Jayaraman. I would travel from IIT to T.Nagar (by 5B bus)twice a week, for my violin classes :-)

This is the place where the school Assembly would take place:

All prizes that students would win in various competitions would be announced in the Assembly and I would happily go and receive them (representing Asoka House :-))

(When I visited this place a few days back, I could feel the same old gentle breeze from all the surrounding neem trees in the Assembly area. The fragrance of the white flowers was very familiar, even after all these years :-))

(This is the famous corridor inside the school as soon as one enters the school).

On the right (where the little girl is facing towards) is the Biology lab and it was on this corridor that we used to sit and hurriedly finish our Biology Record Books and submit them:-)

On the left is the Arts Room and the Staff room.

(Will write more about the school in my next post.)

Monday, February 23, 2009


It is not often that I wake up and switch on the television immediately - but then today has been a truly exceptional day especially if you are an A.R.R fan!!

It feels like a victory for the entire music fraternity in the country. Two Oscars going to an individual, competing against some of the very best in the business is by no means an ordinary feat!

My salutations and heartfelt congrats to the maestro.

My personal preference has always been soft,melodious songs. He has treated us to some memorable musical fare - beginning with Roja, and many melodies till the recent soul stirring numbers in the epic- Jodhaa Akbar. His humility and his vision are lessons that we can all learn from.

So Jai Ho Rahman Sir, - thanks for having hoisted the Indian flag at the Oscars and to keep it fluttering, who might be next? - maybe Shankar Mahadevan ??!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Hindu (Chennai Edition)- Dated 20/2/09

Here is a review of the concert held under the auspices of Sri Tyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, at Vani Mahal,Chennai, on 14/2/09:
(This appeared in the Hindu,Chennai Edition dated 20/2/09.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

nambikkettavar evarayyA - Lyrics

ராகம் - ஹிந்தோளம்
தாளம் - ஆதி (1 களை)
இயற்றியவர் - பாபநாசம் சிவன்


நம்பிக் கெட்டவர் எவரய்யா உமை
நாயகனைத் திருமயிலையின் இறைவனை


அம்புலி கங்கை அணிந்த ஜடாதரன்
அன்பர் மனம் வளர் சம்பு கபாலியை


ஒன்றுமே பயன் இல்லையென்று உணர்ந்தபின்பவர் உண்டென்பார்
ஒவ்வொரு மனிதனும் ஒருநாள் இந்நிலை எய்துவதுறுதி இதை மறந்தார்
அன்று செயலழிந்தல மருபொழுது சிவன் பெயர் நாவில் வாராதே
ஆதலினால் மனமே இன்றே சிவநாமம் சொல்லிப்பழகு அன்புடன்

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

KVIIT revisited -Part 1

One of my blogger friends (Mrs.Pushkala) had suggested earlier that I write about my childhood, education, initiation into music, my concert experiences and so on, here on my blog.

I thought I would make a beginning now and gradually write about these various topics.

The first thing that comes to mind is my life inside the IIT campus (Chennai) as a kid !

My father was working with the Computer Science Department in IIT and hence we lived inside the campus for about eight years.

I vividly remember my days as a school-going kid inside the campus, with its calm and serene atmosphere. The huge IIT park (which had only trees,trees and trees) was just behind our house and hence we had frequent visitors in the form of snakes,spiders and what not:-)

I happened to meet one of my teachers,Krishnamurthy Sir a few days back and asked him if he would be interested in visiting the school sometime this week. He immediately agreed and we met at school yesterday.

On the way to school I stopped at the house in which we lived all those years and took a photo there. (I was very reluctant to move away from there- I was filled with old memories- how my brother and I would go cycling merrily round the campus and how my brother and his gang would invariably be outside the house playing cricket..)

This was the house where we lived- C-6/13, 2nd Link Road,IIT..

[If you might notice in the photo, there are small square windows from the first floor landing upto the terrace level..One incident that immediately comes to my mind is this: The festival of Holi is always celebrated in a grand manner by the IIT students staying in the hostels. My brother and I would be terrified by the sight of these colors splashed on everyone's faces and every year, on the day of Holi, we used to get up early, shut all doors and windows in the house, stuff those small square windows with newspaper (we used to think that these students would somehow find their way even through these windows to throw colors on us!!) and leave just one window open, so that we could silently stand there and peer through it stealthily to see if any students approached our house !! ]

From here, I proceeded to school and here are a few snaps that I took at the entrance.

(That's Krishnamurthy Sir in the photo. He had been a teacher here for 27 years he said !!! Isn't that a great achievement?! He was one of the best teachers whom I have had in school.)

Proceeding chronologically, I first went to the Primary School wing and took a photo outside my 1st standard classroom :-)

(This is currently the "Primary Resource Room" I was told.)

This is the classroom in which I sat and sang in a music competition for the very first time in my life-when I was in class 2. I sang mahAgaNapatE in the raga natanArAyaNi that day and I also remember that it was the first time in my life that I got a spanking from my mother that evening because I sang without putting the tALam that day:-).(That I got the first prize in the competition is another matter-but the spanking still stays in my mind- and this was the first and last time that I forgot to put the tALam while singing :-))

This photo was taken when I was in class 5 and received the "Best Student Award" at the Primary School level.

This photo was taken when I was in class 11 and appointed as Assistant Captain of "Nethaji House":-) (wearing the red badge).(I wore spectacles while I was in my Class 11 and Class 12 :-))

(Rest to be continued in my next post....)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rathnagirishwarar Temple-16/2/09

Every February-March, the Maha Shivarathri Celebrations is always looked forward to, at the Rathnagirishwarar Temple, Besant Nagar. They conduct a week-long grand music festival every year during this period and the temple concerts draw large crowds too-a good appreciative audience.


V.Sanjeev - Violin
J.Vaidyanathan - Mridangam
Anirudh Athreya - Kanjira

Song List: (R-Raga Alapana,N-Neraval,S-Kalpanaswaram,T-Tani Avarthanam)

1.sri rAja mAthangi-varnam-sudhdhadhanyAsi-muthiah bhAgavatar (S)
2.I vasudha-sahAnA-Adi-tyAgarAjA
3.viNda mAmalar-kalyAni-Adi-tirunAvukkarasar tEvAram (R,N,S)
(this tEvAram hymn was composed on the deity at the sivan temple in tiruvAnmiyur)
4.nambikettavar evarayyA-hindoLam-Adi-pApanAsam sivan (R)
5.vazhi maraithirukkude-nAtakurinji-misra chApu-gopAlakrishna bhArati
6.karuNAkarane-keeravANi-Adi-pApanAsam sivan (R)
7.mAtangi sri-ramAmanohari-rUpakam-muthuswAmi dikshitar)
8.akshayalinga vibhO-shankarAbharanam-misra chApu-muthuswAmi dikshitar (R,N,S,T)
9.rAgamalika virutham(kuniththa puruvamum) followed by
chandra chUda-purandara dAsa
10.nAgendra hArAya-rAgamAlikA-shiva panchAksharam

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha- 14/2/09

This concert was held as part of their tyAgarAja ArAdhanA celebrations.


B.U.Ganeshprasad - Violin
Neyveli Skandasubramaniam - Mridangam
K.V.Gopalakrishnan - Kanjira

Song List: (R-Raga Alapana,N-Neraval,S-Kalpanaswaram,T-Tani Avarthanam)

1.slOkam followed by mundhuvenuga-darbAr-Adi
2.mArubalga-sriranjani-Adi (S)
3.enthani nE-mukhAri-rUpakam (R,N,S)
4.mAmava satatam-jaganmOhini-Adi
5.karuna ElAgantE-varAli-Adi (R,N,S)
7.marimari ninnE-kAmbhoji-Adi (R,S,T)
8.ennaga manasuku-neelAmbari-Adi
9.rAma pAhi-kApi-misra chApu
10.sri rAma jayarAma-yadukulakAmbhoji-kanta chApu
11.mangaLam-rAgamAlika virutham-composed by walajapettai venkataramana bhAgavathar on saint tyAgarAja

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"kalai pEroLi"- 8.2.09

The Lions Club has always been very well known for the great service it has been doing to society,not only in India, but all over the globe.

The Lions Club of Golden Cultural Capital has been conferring every year, the title of "kalai pEroLi" on cultural artists belonging to the Iyal-Isai-Natakam fields.

This year, I had the fortune of being chosen as the recipient of this title for Isai, along with Smt.Anita Guha (Iyal) and Smt.Bombay Gnanam (Natakam).

The award function was arranged at Hotel Savera, Chennai on the 8th of February,2009.

By convention, the Lions Club District Governor confers this title upon the artists every year. The most pleasant coincidence for me was that, this year's District Governor of the Club happens to be the Principal of the college in which I studied and got both my Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees !!

- Ln.Dr.K.S.Lakshmi,PMJF,District Governor and Principal-Meenakshi College for Women, Chennai.

I was doubly honored to receive the award from her..

(Others in the picture are the dignitaries of the Lions Club, awardee Smt.Anita Guha and awardee Smt.Bombay Gnanam)

I have always had a very special bond with my school and college..As if reading my thoughts, the speech given by the Lions District Governor, felicitating the awardees was a very memorable one for me.

Excerpts from what she had to tell about me in her speech:

"All the guests present here know Gayathri Girish as a musician. Well, I have known her as one of my most disciplined students, a student who had great love and respect for all lecturers in the college, irrespective of the Departments. She did her B.Sc Mathematics and M.C.A (Masters in Computer Applications) from my college and has been the Gold Medallist from the University of Madras. She has always been like my daughter and all of us,lecturers as well as students, love her,for the nice human being that she is."

Giving the acceptance speech

What more an award can I ask for? And that too,from such a magnificent personality?

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Concert conducted under the auspices of Nanganallur Sri Tyagaraja Sangeeta Samajam (NSTSS)-Nanganallur-at Ranjani Hall:

Mysore Srikanth-Violin
Anirudh Athreya-Kanjira

Song List: (R-Raga Alapana,N-Neraval,S-Kalpanaswaram,T-Tani Avarthanam)

2.kanugontini-bilahari-Adi-tyAgarAja (S)
3.sArasadaLanayanE-sAramati-Adi-muthiah bhAgavathar (R)
5.kalyANarAma-hamsanAdam-Adi-UthukkAdu venkatasubbier (R,S)
6.sukhi evvarO-kAnadA-Adi-tyAgarAja
8.rakshabettarE-bhairavi-Adi-tyAgarAja (R,N,S,T)
9.gOPi gOPAla-gamanAshramA-tisra Adi-sUrdas
10.kaliyuga varadan-brindAvana sArangA-periyasAmi tUran
11.sri mAdhavA-behAg-Adi-pApanasam sivan