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Mysore Dasara 2009
Rain – soaked Cultural Events

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Dasara 2009 has arrived. Many inaugural functions took place since morning of September 19, right from the top of Chamundi Hill, where Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji inaugurated the Dasara. Till evening all other functions were smoothly conducted.

The most important item, the Dasara cultural events, which was to be inaugurated in the evening in front of the imposing Mysore Palace, was the only function affected by an incessant rain. This year, deviating from the regular practice, the cultural events were planned to be inaugurated by a politician, instead of an artist. It had raised many an eyebrow at the time of announcement itself. May be, even the Gods also did not approve of this deviation from the traditional procedure. The rain became a spoilsport, by commencing lightly at around 4. 30 pm, poured heavily and continued until 8 pm.

The beautifully decorated platform specially prepared for holding the cultural events was completely drenched. So were the cushioned seats arranged at the VVIP and Gold Card enclosures, which had absorbed sufficient water, making it useless at least for the day. It was already well past 7 pm when the Kannada Culture Department finally decided to hold the function in the vestibule of the Palace on a make-shift platform. Aravand Limbavali, Minister for Higher Education, finally declared the cultural extravaganza open.

High - pitched and dancing Ashwath:
The first of the truncated main cultural programmes was by noted singer Ashwath who had earlier invocated with the State Anthem (with Mysore Anantha Swamy tuning) and the Song of the Riot. Kikkeri Krishna Murthy, Praveen Kumar, Mangala Ravi and Supriya Achar were the co - singers, while Krishna Udupa (Key Board, Mandolin), Nataraj (Flute), Sudhakar (Rhythm Guitar), Gopi (Base Guitar), Venugopal Raju and Jagadish (Tabla) and Xerald (Rhythm Pad) accompanied him.

Ashwath sang eight of his very popular numbers. Only Supriya Achar could get an individual song to sing out of the four accompanists. What has now come to be known as the Ashwath trademark, the high - pitched “Akaara” evokes applause by the listeners. Hence he applies this formula to all the songs he sings, which has tended to become monotony.

Kannadave Satya (Kuvempu), the inaugural number, was the only song in which all the singers sang together. Singers like Kikkeri Krishna Murthy and others were reduced to mere chorus singers. Shravana Bantu, Kurudu Kanchana and Mugila Marige Raga Ratiya (all by D. R. Bendre, the last one sung by Supriya), Sorutihudu Maneya Malige, Kodagana Koli Nungitta, Taravalla tagi ninna (all three Shishunal Sharief), Naavu Bharateeyaru, a patriotic song by K. S. Narasimha Swamy, Shiva Sharanarige Sharanu by Basavanna, in folklore style and lastly a Purandara Dasa composition Dariyavudayya Vaikunthake, which had been popularised by Anoop Jhalota decades ago, were the ten songs that figured in the rendering.

Different Tana:
R. K. Padmanabha was the vocal Karnatak classical singer in the second programme of the evening. He was accompanied by B. Raghuram (Violin), C. Chaluvaraju (Mrudanga) and Vishwanatha Nakod (Tabla).

As the programme time was truncated, he did not elaborate any Raga in particular. Instead, he demonstrated an exhilarating different Tana patterns, a tradition flowing from Patnam Subramanya Iyer to Vasudevachar to Titte Krishna Iyengar to Padmanabha. Today he stands foremost in exhibiting this variety of Tana patterns like Ghanta Tana, Shiva Tana, Ashwa Tana, Shanka Tana etc. He chose Raga Hindola to demonstrate it with a Pallavi line Sharanembe Sharade Mate.

Earlier he began his concert with Varna Evvari Bodhana (Abhogi – Adi - Patnam Subramanya Iyer) followed by a Purandara Dasa composition Bandanene Ranga Bandanene (Shree - Adi) with a brief Swara Prasthara, making different patterns individually on single notes, Rishabha, Madhyama, Panchama and Nishadha.

Other compositions figured in the one-hour programme were Narayana Enniro (Hamsadhwani – Adi - Vadiraja), Bhuvaneshwariya (Mohana Kalyani – Adi - Muthaiah Bhagavatar), Ellanu Ballavarilla (Madhyamavati – Adi - Purandara Dasa), Chapalavirabeku (Kapi – Adi - Own) Parvathee Bhagavathi (Revati – Adi - Own).
He concluded his concert with a Tillana in Sindhu Bhairavi set to Adi Tala, again one his own compositions.

S. R. Krishna Murthy
Courtesy: Star of Mysore

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