The legends-Sivamani, U.Srinivas,Ustad Zakir Hussain,Shankar Mahadevan,Selvaganesh

There are some days on which nothing can go wrong. And there are some days on which just about everything goes right helped with loads and loads of luck. This Tuesday was one such day.

As me and Raja started from office on our way to Chowdaiah Hall, we were sure to lose way as we usually do when going to places in the vicinity of Palace grounds. Our luck started here. We reached there without ever losing way, at the right time for the concert. And, we were in for a shock. All the tickets except the ones for 3000 were sold out. Considering our IT beggars status and the diminishing market for 'high quality peanuts', we decided to give in to our fate and leave the venue. But something told us to stay back and roam around the venue. We looked around for ways to get in. Atlast, left with no choice we were starting to walk back when we saw a guy with some tickets at the theatre entry point.

Me- got any tickets?
the guy-yea. take this. 2000rs per ticket.
Me- No. Please give me the rs 500 tickets.
the guy- No No. You don't have to pay. Its free.
Me and Raja(with open mouths)- WHAT!!!!!!!!

Yeah, as it turned out this guy from nokia had few complimentary tickets with him. Since no one turned up, he decided to give it away for free. May God bless him! And, we ended up in a seat close to the front row with a vantage view. The stalwarts trudged in, one by one..Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan, U. Srinivas, Sivamani and Selvaganesh, names which require no introduction. Once they settled in, it was pure magic for the next 2 hours. The enduring image of the Ustad and his Tabla that we've all grown used to in the TajMahal tea advertisement was here before our very own eyes. As his deft fingers churned out Wonderful Talas, the others blended in to produce those soulful melodies. Effortlessly moving from Hindustani to Carnatic, Shankar Mahadevan gave us a show of his vocal range which is never used to its fullest extent in film songs, except maybe by A.R.Rahman.

U.Srinivas who was quiet for the first session came into his own during the duet performance with Sivamani. Slides, Sweeping, Tapping, hammer on, pull off...just about every technique was on view as he moved around the tiny fretboard of the mandolin. Sivamani was his usual self using everything on view to come up with beats. Right from the suitcase to the bisleri bottles and even his own thighs. The Sivamani-Srinivas duel was a high point of the concert. Soon, the others got back to their positions and we were given no respite as we were taken from one heaven to the next. Then came the awesome solo performance of Selvaganesh on the 'Ganjira'. While in college, I've seen and tried to play with this same instrument and failed miserably at Raja's home. Then, little did I realise that this small thing had so much possibilities hidden in it. SelvaGanesh, the son of famous ghatam artist Vikku Vinayagam, proved himself to be as brilliant as the legends on stage with him. The vareity of sounds that emanated out of that should be heard to believe. Later, Zakir Hussain played 'Happy birthday' on his tabla(yea, u read it right...tabla) as it was Sivamani's 50th birthday(another unbelievable fact considering how young he looks). As Ustad Zakir started his solo performance, Sivamani left his drums and took a seat beside him and was seen watching in absolute amazement, like an obedient student. It was a sight! A master percussionist watching the Ustad in full glory.
Sivamani watching the Ustad in amazement

The end came faster than expected. And as expected we were left craving for more.
And this is exactly were our second run of luck started. Yeah, with a lot of 'perseverence', we got the autographs and clicked pics with all of them except Sivamani. Need I say more! This is my idea of a perfect day. Couldn't click much pics of the concert as Zakir bhai told the audience to refrain from clicking. I still dont understand why artists as big as him should be concerned with few people clicking and few others taking videos. Afterall, its just because they love his music and want to preserve these memories...

me and Raja with Shankar Mahadevan

with Zakr Hussain

with U.Srinivas

with Selvaganesh

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Friday, December 11, 2009 at Friday, December 11, 2009 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


You saw it all for free man!!?? *envy**envy*

12:49 AM

Awesome story and equally awesome pictures. You look especially happy and handsome in them. What a wonderful experience this was for you!

I'll need to search YouTube for some videos of those talented gentlemen. I've only had very limited exposure up to this point but I find the Carnatic & Hindustani music to be very magical and beautiful. I can only imagine what it's like to see a live performance.

Many thanks!

2:01 AM

Can i know where shall i get the recordings of this program?? Please please....

5:18 PM

try searching utube..I dont have video recordings of this..

5:21 PM

well... :) When some people were recording this event (which actually not allowed in any concert in chodiah memorial hall)..Mr. Zakir smiled and taunted.."instead of worrying recording it..just njoy the harmony..nyways somebody will put it in utube"..
but to be honest..listening all of them at one stage..I was dying to record it..but cudnt do some cool pics though.!

9:56 PM

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