The three-day 'Kala Samprekshana' conference of lectures and demonstrations (Dec.22 - 24) hosted by Kalakshetra on its campus for a first-time visitor or occasional rasika would have been a welcome diversion from the hectic sabha-hopping evening schedules to attend concerts in the city.
In the chaos of roaring traffic, busy shoppers and hurrying office-goers of the Esplanade zone of north Chennai, the art deco-styled Rajah Annamalai Manran auditorium stands up, holding up to those who have time to stop and stare, a Madras of the 1950s.
You cannot but realise that a wedding hall has been converted into a concerts space when you step into Ethiraja Kalyana Mantapam on TTK Road in Alwarpet in the city. But then Indian Fine Arts Society (IFAS) does not have an auditorium of its own and the hall in Alwarpet is its best option.
There is a tradition that only one Chennai sabha maintains year after year when it launches its annual festival of music and dance. The unfurling of its flag on a mast inside the sabha campus in Mylapore.
You have to battle T. Nagar's traffic to get to the auditorium inside a school campus where Mudhra's festival of music, dance and drama is held every year. It had rained that day and life became a tad difficult in trying to negotiate battered roads.
It was a time to remember a man who had devoted many, many years to the fortunes of what was once Nungambakkam Cultural Academy and now called Chennai Cultural Academy, which provided classical music and dance concerts to the rasikas of the T. Nagar neighbourhood of Chennai.