Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXVI No. 23, March 16-31, 2017
While Mylapore may be the main hub of the December music and dance festival, T’Nagar and surrounding areas are also active players. In addition to leaders, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (at the Nalli Gana Vihar hall) and Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha (at Vani Mahal), Mudra conducts its festival at the Infosys Hall, Chennai Cultural Academy (earlier Nungam-bakkam Cultural Aca-demy) at Rama Rao Kalyana Mandap, Bharat Kalachar at the PSBB School, and Mee-nakshi Sounderarajan Fine Arts Academy at Meenakshi College in Kodambakkam. The Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha (1944) and Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (1953) are the oldest sabha-s organising annual music and dance festivals. I have always felt that the concerts at these sabha-s receive poor media coverage even though all leading artists perform here, and the quality of music offered is often superb.
The Refurbished Vani Mahal – with its comfortable seats and Bose speaker system – offers an enhanced listening experience.
Over the last 22 years, Mudhra has experimented with varying formats like four-hour concert, one-raga one-kriti concerts, and thematic concerts. Its free webcast of concerts through Paalam TV has attracted a large number of rasika-s.
Grammy Awared winning ghatam maestro Vikku Vinayak-ram was awarded the Mudhra Award of Excellence on January 2, 2017. He presented a unique programme called Talachakram specially conceived for the day. The maestro played four gha-tams and many other vidwans participated in the percussion ensemble. It was an amazing programme for nearly two hours.
Concerts at Meenakshi College catering to rasikas in surrounding areas like Kodam-bakkam, Mahalinga-puram, Rangarajapuram, Trust-puram, and Ashok Nagar, besides some students and teachers, always draw full houses. The acoustics are good and the concerts are of three hours’ duration allowing sufficient time to present quality music.
Thera busy blame game regarding encroachment of water bodies for human habi-tation. With the expanding po-pu-lation, this space is the obvious option for housing as it has been vacant for decades with repeated droughts and occasional heavy rainfall causing floods. These spaces had virtually -become unauthorised dumping yards and breeding grounds for insects.
What should have been thought of was the digging of new channels and lengthening the existing ones without -hindering the existing infrastructure to enhance storm water drainage.
Buckingham Canal played its humble role despite its poor maintenance during last year’s floods. It was dug in the 19th Century as a famine relief measure. Planners should now think of creating more such canals just as they think of coming up with ring roads, by-pass roads and highways to accommodate the growing volume of traffic.
Engineering technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Tunneling under a live city, bridges over the seas, and reclamation of land from the sea have all become a reality.
Newly created water channels using this technology could well provide intra-city water transport systems for ferrying cargo and rides for tourists. A canal-cum-sea cruise to Maha-balipuram could emerge as a tourist attraction. Water transport is enormously cost efficient, fuel efficient and less polluting, besides being less accident prone. A long sea coast has the potential to serve as a source for water during lean periods. Can Chennai take the lead?
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