Shobana... stately and aesthetic.
HELPING HANDS, creative minds and soulful endeavours... all of these went into the making of an evening at the Music Academy recently. They were the Stars Of Hope the beacons from which many would find sustenance in a world, where nothing is as it should be. Because when you are mentally challenged, you can only hope that there are good samaritans out there, who will find it fit to take care, nurture and sustain lives that stumble along. And they really extended themselves each with a reputation of their own, each with a busy schedule that found time for a cause and each with a sincerity that can never be questioned.
Featuring Anooradha and Sriram Parasuram, Shobana, Vikram Ghosh, Selva Ganesh, Murli Mohan, and Rajesh Vaidya among others, `Stars Of Hope' was a programme done for Krupa, which has been taking care of the mentally challenged children for the past three years. Established in 1998, by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the educational and training institution is being managed by the Dayananda B. D. Goenka Trust. Says Swami Dayananda, "There is something very saintly when you share what you have with someone who is not given the chance to share the same way.'' Being physically or mentally challenged is shattering. Which is why there is Krupa a residential institution to care for them.
The programme was conducted to raise funds for future needs, which include caring for more children, a day school, and to provide quality health care.
As the evening unfolded albeit late, there was a profusion of music and dance in a burst of colour and vigour. While Sriram and Anooradha sang their now familiar delineation of ragas in Hindustani and Carnatic (Maru Behag and Amritavarshini), Shobana and Murli danced to bhajans and keertanais. While Shobana swayed to Hindustani music, Murli took on Tyagaraja's Pancharatna kritis as his vehicle of dance. The visual art form obviously had more to offer because when Shobana got onto the stage, her demeanour, her stately looks and her aesthetically done costumes, galvanised the photographers to click away.
While their mastery over technique and their scholarship cannot be questioned, the instrumentalists, who were good by themselves, mostly drowned the voices of Anooradha and Sriram. That Anooradha often went into an extremely high pitch didn't help either. And when audiences looked forward to some truly gentle, soulful music, the sound systems in the auditorium just didn't cooperate. But at the end of it all none of that mattered because as in all such programmes, the cause if far more important than the actual proceedings.
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