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Tracing a musical journey

Posted on 13/01/2017 in The Hindu

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  • Tracing a musical journey

    By Geetha Venkataramanan

    Aruna Sairam will share the highlights with Sriram V.

    “Krishna is a living presence in her life,” says historian V. Sriram, referring to Aruna Sairam’s penchant for the abhang. “I know because it has been an association of many decades with the mothers on both sides friends,” explains Sriram, who will be engaging Aruna in a conversation for ‘Lit for Life,’ The Hindu’s three-day literary festival opening tomorrow, January 14.

    Aruna’s mother was an ardent Krishna devotee, who organised Radha Kalyanam on a regular basis. “It was the day after one such Radha Kalyanam that she passed away,” informs Aruna. Beautiful marble images of Radha-Krishna are at the centre of her puja room. “My day begins here with at least one song for the family deity,” she says.

    Aruna has also inherited the legacy of Namasankirtan from her mother, whose chiplakattai have been preserved.

    The curtain has just come down on yet another Music Season and Aruna is happy with her performance. It is a dream come true every year for this musician, who relocated to Chennai, arguably the capital of Carnatic music. With a strong foundation and training, Aruna worked hard to be noticed and the city did not disappoint her.

    Did she expect the kind of welcome that her abhangs got in Chennai? “Not really,” she concedes. “I had my own doubts. Back in Mumbai it was part of the culture. Here Andal pasuram and Prabhandam are popular. But the audience loved it from the beginning,” she says.

    Aruna remembers the days when she travelled by bus or train to present a concert in Chennai. The single room lodging was not the epitome of comfort but that was all she could manage then. Fifteen years after migrating to Chennai, Aruna is a name to reckon with. Aruna’s journey from childhood to now will be traced in ‘Notes and Maps of My Singing,’ the conversation with Sriram.

    Date and time: January 14, 6.05 p.m.

    Delve into myriad forms of writing at The Hindu Lit for Life, the sharpest literature festival in India. Three days of readings, panel discussions, lectures and more. Watch this space for updates.

    Festival dates: January 14, 15 and 16, 2017

    Venue: Sir Mutha Concert Hall, Landy Andal School, Chetpet.

    To register, visit www.thehindulfl.com

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