December in Chennai sees the manifestation of art in its myriad forms with rasikas juggling between sabhas and sabha canteens discussing nothing else but concerts and harikathas they have heard and the dances they watched. Though all these culminate with the advent of the new year, one finds there is a spill over where budding and lesser known artistes take over. Thanks to the Sundaram Finance, Mylapore Festival where a number of disparate events take place all the three days during Pongal. The enthusiasm of children who participate in these events has to be seen to be believed and their anxious wait to receive their mementoes at the end of their performance. One such participant, who appeared all of five years, was at her expressive best while impatiently waiting for her name to be announced to receive the memento from the chief guest. When she noticed the list was almost coming to an end, she could not hide her fears of being left out. But once her name was announced, her expression immediately changed to one of delight and excitement.
The highlight of the festival this year was the Mylapore cyclerickshaw tour taking the visitor to every nook and corner of Mylapore which he/she has not hitherto seen. The approximately 45 minute tour costing rs.50/ per person started from the outer precincts of Sri Kapali Temple, said to be 350/400 years old, passed through various old temples in the area besides an agraharam and the recent Jain temple before it entered Mathala Narayana street, just off it. The tour ended at the place where the giant chariot of KapaliTemple stands in a shed. There were more foreigners than the locals taking this tour.
The event by SS INTERNATIONAL LIVE commenced with thaka dhimi of Sivamini and party at the MusicAcademy. It was thoroughly enjoyable for its vibrancy and for the innovative ways adopted by Sivamani who produces rhythmic music from the most innocuous objects.
n.meera raghavendra rao