Monday, February 27, 2017

Sudha Ragunathan Concert - Connoiseur Review

The Sudha Ragunathan Concert at MLR Convention Centre on 25th February 2017. had music and the lake at its core. Here's a review by A.K. Venkat, a resident of the lake neighbourhood and Carnatic vocalist. 

Sudha Raghunathan sings for Puttenahalli Lake

Accompanied by
on the Violin: Sri B V Raghavendra Rao
on the Mridangam: Sri Neyveli Skanda Subramanian
on the Morsing: Sri R Raman
Venue: MLR Convention Centre, Brigade Millennium
Date: Saturday 25th February 2017

Smt Sudha Raghunathan began the concert with the Varnam Ninnukori in the raga Vasantha, appropriately chosen with the season in mind. Rendering the first part in three speeds (including tisra nadai), she set a refreshing beginning for the concert. This was followed by Pranamamyaham Sri Gowrisutham, in the raga Gowla, a kriti of Sri Vasudevachar. This was embellished with a brief kalpana swaram.

She then rendered a mellifluous Paalvadiyum Mukham, in Nattakurunji, a kriti of Oothukkadu Venkata Kavi in Tamil. 

The next item she took up was a detailed alapana of Amrutavarshini raga. This resonated with the audience, as the soul of a lake is water. This raga is an offering to the nature for abundance of rains, and she reminisced about a prior occasion when the rendering of the raga indeed resulted in rains. Dikshitar's kritiAanandamrutakarshini was rendered with elan and poise. Neraval at 'sananda hrudaya nilaye' and detailed swaram with 'varshaya varshaya' completed the brilliant rendering. 

This was followed by Periyasami Tooran's Taye Tripurasundari in Suddhasaveri.

The main item of the evening was in the raga Thodi. Smt Sudha Raghunathan rendered a detailed alapana of the raga, and followed up with Taye Yasoda, another kriti of Oothukkadu Venkata Kavi. Detailed neraval (at Kalinil Shilambu Konja) and swarams followed. This took the concert to its exhilarating heights.

At this point, the tani was presented, with Mridangist Sri Skanda Subramanian and Morsing artist Sri Raman mesmerising the audience with a brilliant performance.

A few short items were presented after the tani - Bhavayami Gopalabalam (Yamuna Kalyani), Bho Shambho (Revati), Kurai Ondrum Illai (Ragamalika). The concert ended with the tillana of Lalgudi, Dheem tarada tani (Ragashree). 

A highlight of the evening that struck a chord not only with the organizers, PNLIT, but also with the audience was a special poem composed and dedicated to the lake. She appreciated the community's effort to protect the environment under the leadership of PNLIT and promised to support the initiative in whatever way she can.

Sri Raghavendra Rao gave excellent support on the Violin, following each and every nuance of the vocalist's rendition appropriately. The Mridangist and Morsing artist lifted the concert to a great height, leaving the audience with an experience they will long remember and cherish.

Photos: Geetha Srikrishnan

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Nature walk at Puttenahalli Lake

On 4th February 2017, an evening nature walk was held at Puttenahalli Lake, JP Nagar 7th Phase, coordinated by PNLIT volunteer Sapana Rawat. Sapana had the following to report about the event. 

"The actual flower of the Bougainvillea plant is the small white one and not the colorful pink, red, orange color leaves that surround it. The colorful leaves will slowly turn into green once they mature," said avid naturalist Deepa Mohan much to the delight and surprise of a group of adults and children.   

This mixed group of more than 20 adults, children and 2 infants in strollers(!) had assembled at 4 p.m. for a nature walk with Deepa, who along with her other naturalist friends, Chandu, Jagdeesh, Padma, Ramaswamy, Sriram, Vidhya and young Keerthana, asked and answered all their curious questions. 

What is the Gecko doing in the termite hill? --- Looking for food and avoiding becoming someone else's food! 

Gecko in a termite hill

How does a weaver ant build its nest? --- The larvae of the ants chew the leaves along with their saliva! 

Who does a Brahminy Kite resemble? --- The Bald Eagle, the national bird of the US. 

Who lives under a Parijata Tree? --- Hanuman. 

How did Pride of India tree get its name? ---You will have to google this one now else attend the next Nature walk !

The group ambled around for more than an hour around the beautiful Puttenahalli lake observing, touching, learning and sharing what they saw on that bright Saturday afternoon. They got 25 species of birds, which was documented by Vidhya on the eBird website here.

More pics of the event by Deepa, can be seen on Facebook here