14 May, 2013

Sampradaaya Ganaanjali - in praise of Lord Guruvayoorappan

(Pic courtesy : hindudevotionalblog.com via Google)

May is turning out to be a busy month for the Indian community in HK – a culturally busy month.  It all started off with Kathakitathom on the 4th of May which completely blew us away.  Then came another invite, this one for a programme called “Sampradaaya - Ganaanjali” on the 11th of May at City Hall.
Lord Guruvayoorappan has always had a special place in my heart.  At my parents’ home in Bombay, we used to have a full size portrait of Guruvayoorappan in the living room, framed and mounted on the wall.  It was strategically placed too – in the sense that one could see the picture while walking around the compound and one could see the picture whilst walking on the road.   Every day, every single time I left home for something, for anything the one thing my sights would always be focussed on was that picture of the Lord.  There was something innately peaceful and pacifying about that gentle smile that one sees on Lord Guruvayoorappan’s  face.  It was and in a special little corner of my heart, still is an all knowing, all encompassing smile – a smile that seems to reach out and say “I know you for what you are.  Worry not, I am always with you.” 
This feeling was fortified as the beauty of the Narayaneeyam was revealed to a bunch of us (through our pre-teen and teenage years) through weekly classes that were conducted every Sunday afternoon.  It is equally delightful now, to be able to pass on the splendour, the magnificence of the Srimad Narayaneeyam to Macadamia and Pecan and it is an extremely enchanting feeling to see them enjoying learning the Narayaneeyam and its meaning.
Sampradaaya was presented by Tharangini in conjunction with Baithak and Palghat Cousins.  What made this even more special was the fact that it was for a noble cause.  This programme was put together and this labour of love organized as a fund raiser for the Shree Guruvayoorappan Temple in Kolkata.  It was supposed to be an evening of Bhajans on Lord Guruvayoorappan and we, as I’m sure many others did too, needed no further exhortation to attend Sampradaaya. 
It was indeed a beautiful evening as artistes from HK sung from their hearts and wove a web of magic.  The evening started off with Krithika Chandrashekhar performing a bhajan by Saint Soordas which absolutely captivated the audience with its depth and magical rendition.  There was Kaustubh Paranjpe with two abhangs in Marathi that touched the heart, there was Poorna Mysoor who beautifully rendered the age old “Krishna Nee Beygane Bharo” in shades of Hindustani music.  Playing the tabla during the first half of the performance was Mr. Pradeep Lad who is said to be an expert on Marathi film music.  There was Suresh with two lovely songs – one each in Malayalam and Tamil.  There was another lovely rendition by Jairam and another heartwarming song from Narayanmoorthy.  The lively, vivacious Shruti Pendharkar further enchanted the audience with two more beguiling melodies and it was wonderful to watch the musical chemistry between Shruti and the table master Yannick Even who brought the tabla to life during the second half of the performance. 
For those who missed this wonderful and sublime evening of divine music, there are three more programmes coming up next month, in June.  Three evenings, three wonderful opportunities to indulge yourselves in some wonderful music, to encourage and boost the passion that the local artistes quite evidently have for music, and to support a noble cause in raising funds for the Guruvayoorappan temple to be built in Kolkata.
Kudos to Tharangini and Jairam for keeping the tradition of Indian Classical Music alive in HK and for bringing forth and staging some of the absolutely wonderful, burgeoning musical artistes.  My deepest admiration to all the artistes who so painstakingly feed their passion for the performing arts through regular practice and performances. 
I remember reading once, a quote which goes “Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul”.
I, for one, cannot agree more.

Some more information about the Shree Guruvayoorappan Temple in Kolkata
This temple is run per Guruvayur methods - all the equipment, stones used for the temple construction, the daily poojas and the priests etc, are from Guruvayur. The sanctum sanctorum was done up in 1995, and now they have land to build a gopuram, the foundation stone for which has already been laid by the Guruvayoor high priest.
The budget is huge (about Rs 7 crore), and the idea is to keep the temple self-sufficient even after the construction finishes, so any big ticket donations will be of specific help. Moreover, help / seva could be provided in many different ways. If you have friends/family in Kolkata or elsewhere who would like to help, kindly let them know too.
In case anyone wants to find out directly from the temple about this project, these are the contacts -
Mr S Sekhar (Mridangam Sekhar in Southern Avenue);
Mobile: +91 93397-21863; Landline : (+9133) 2466-0709.
e-mail - sgscal@gmail.com;
Temple phone: 2463-3859 / 6536-5140

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