A rasika moans the differing responses of rasikas to top grade artistes
So this is what happens at the Academy. As Bombay Jayashri sang the Thillana, the entire hall was vacated.
The next artiste on stage, Srevalson Menon has to live his dream before an audience of 50 in a hall that was full to the brim when Bombay Jayashri was mesmerising rasikas with her honeyed voice.
On another evening, as the other artiste who was living his dream was winding down with his Thillana, the hall got completely filled up, even in the aisles.
The one who was singing to near-empty space was enthused to elaborate only to be told by the strict disciplinarian of the Academy to wind up on time.
Then Sanjay Subramanian began with a Pallandu Pallandu before a huge assembly and swayed them with his melody and rhythm..
He was in his elements and the audience gave one ovation after the other.
This scene got replicated when Abhishek Raghuram sat and delivered what possibly was his finest moment at the Academy - the Ragam Tanam Pallavi in multiple raga manifestation was a festive celebration and one could see the swaras dancing in front of one’s eyes. The audience gave him a standing ovation - well deserved.
Well as we might enjoy the Sanjays and Abhisheks, spare a thought for the Menons and Suryaprakashs’.
They too make the margazhi season. They too live their dreams. Did it matter to them that they were singing with devotion to a largely empty space?
They made the grade. sat on the dias that MS and Co. had made their own. What a tradition to live by. To be fair, rasikas of my ilk, are no better than empty seats, you’d say.
Reported by Vijayaraghavan Narasimhan
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