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Vol. XXIX No. 20 , February 1-15, 2020
The annual Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival was held between January 9-12, 2020. Given below are some of the programmes that took place during the event.
Concerts at the Park
Carnatic music concerts at the Nageswara Rao Park in Luz by students of Sruthilaya School set the ball rolling for the 2020 edition. Though the dew disappeared earlier than it has of late and the sunshine crept into this verdant park, the group of vocalists and instrumentalists, all in their teens and dressed in traditional attire started the concert on the dot of seven.
They sang for an hour as family and friends and some Mylaporeans who take walks or exercise in this park stopped by to listen to the music. Hot cups of coffee were passed around to rasikas who sat around the stage at Chess Square.
Cultural shows on main stage
The stage shows that were held in Sannithi Street quadrangle drew a large audience. Various open-air performances were held over two evenings. From folk music and dance to classical music and choir, these recitals have led from one to the other ending with the main show – a Bharatanatyam dance drama.
On Friday January 10th, when the Telengana folk troupe came back for a second recital, their spirited dance to recorded music set feet tapping. The music may have spluttered and stopped but the artistes weren’t despondent; they got into the groove when things were set right. Through the weekend, there were a string of recitals from 5.30 p.m. onwards. The highlights included a malkhamb display on Sunday and two Bharatanatyam dance productions each evening.
Hundreds of people enjoyed the food street (Sundareswarar Swamy Street) zone during the Mylapore Festival 2020. On the roadside, the narikurava community spread colorful beaded chains. Balloons, panjumittai and Delhi appalam seemed to be favourites among children as well as adults. From jigarthanda to mangalore bonda and pidi kollukattai, the food stalls offered a variety of delicacies that people loved.
Outside the gate of Lady Sivaswamy Ayyar Girls’ Higher Secondary School, volunteers of NGO Bhumi conducted fun games to create awareness on waste segregation and distributed cloth bags. On January 12, Vishal, a volunteer of Bhumi distributed seed balls.
Inside the school, some 50 participants were busy playing Daya Kattam. Seniors especially were very happy to take part in the contest that was held at the school’s prayer hall. Said Nagalakshmi, a 75-year-old Mylaporean, “No matter whatever commitments I have, I keep everything aside and make sure to participate in the Daya kattam contest every year.”
Vintage Pelathope bungalow hosts talks
A one-hundred years old house in Pelathope in Mylapore was the venue for two public talks. On Saturday, January 11, Jaishri P. Rao gave a talk on the histories, heritage and cuisine of the small Thanjavur Maharashtrian community. Rao recently published a book on this subject and her talk was based on material she has collected over time. On Sunday, January 12, Padmapriya Baskaran whose passion has been to detail online hundreds of significant but forgotten temples/ shrines of Tamil Nadu talked on ‘Gods of the Holy Koovam River’. Padmapriya has published a book on this subject.
The Fest featured over 30 events across four days. – Courtesy: Mylapore Times. Pictures courtesy: Sundaram Finance Limited