[GHHF] Padma Bhushan Sangita Kalanidhi Smt. Sudha Raghunathan’s Carnatic Musical Concert was a great success with full attendance.

29 Mar 2023 672 Views

J G Von Herder
“Indian art as "a monument of a philosophical system in the history of mankind and doubted whether any other people on earth have treated symbolism in art as thoroughly as Indians" 
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, India Fine Arts Academy and Lead America jointly hosted a very special concert by Padma Bhushan Sangita Kalanidhi Smt Sudha Raghunathan on the wonderful spring evening of Mar 26 2023. The concert was conducted at Mesquite Art Center on March 26, 2023

It started off with Sri Prakasarao Velagapudi, President of GHHF, giving a warm welcome to the audience of the already packed auditorium of Mesquite Arts Center.  He also highlighted the activities of the organization as a part of his speech. He mentioned that GHHF was started to protect and preserve Hindu Temples and Hindu culture. He mentioned that we have been working to protect the lands of Hindu Temple lands.
Staring 2020, GHHF has undertaken a number of activities to protect Hindu Dharma, repel Christian aggression, provide Annadanam to the needy, supply Dry goods to the needy priests, welcome back those Hindus who were converted to Christianity through vile and deceptive methods, protect our innocent Hindu children, enrich our Hindu children with the richness and grandeur of Hindu Dharma, renovate Grama Devatas, and revive age-old customs that have been neglected for years.
    He explained that it is the responsibility of every Hindu to protect Sanatana Dharma asked them not confine themselves to their own Bubble. Sanatana Dharma is larger than any organization, any Ashram, Any Temple and any special interest groups. The special interest organizations cannot survive without the survival of Hinduism. He talked about the ground level work GHHF is making in five different States and Bangladesh. They are:
    Annadanam
    Bala Samskar for Children
Renovation of Grama Devatas
Ghar Waapasi
Distribution of Pooja Kits to the Temple
Sponsorship of Priests in the villages
Gaushalas
Oxygen Concentrators and Ventilators
And many more
Following this presentation, the artist's introduction by Smt. Radhika Kodela of IFAA. As she welcomed the artists, audiences welcomed them heartily with loud cheers and claps.
    GHHF would like to thank Smt. Radhika for taking full responsibility coordinate the activity on our behalf and would like to express our appreciation for her efforts relieving our burden.

As soon as artists settled, Smt Sudha started off with Mathe Malayadwaja, a Daru Varnam by Sri Muthaih Bhagavathar in Khamas. This is a beautiful devi varnam and her rendition is very popular with her fans and was included in the movie Morning Raga as well. This Varnam set a great ground for a wonderful Sudharnavam flowing into our hearts.
Post varnam, Smt Sudha quickly moved with a very brief alapana into Gajavadana in Hamsadhwani of Purandhara dasa presenting brisk swarams in the end of the kriti. Next she moved to one of my favorites in Vasanta Bhairavi Nee Daya rada by Sadguru Tyagaraja, in which the composer asks Lord Rama - "Oh Rama! Is it fair for you to wait and watch my ceaseless struggle? ". She presented this Kriti drenched with Bhakti Bhava especially as she sang the line Naa madi tallaDillagaa. Reminded of a wonderful rendition of this Kriti by Smt P. Susheela's in the movie Pooja.
Smt. Sudha continued the concert with a detailed alapana of Ritigowla. Her presentation was chaste traversing a wide range of swaras as required by the scope of the ragam.
Sudha ji presented Sri Subbaraya Sastri's superb magnum opus composition in this ragam Janani Ninu vina. She jumped right into detail alapana of Pantuvarali, her main raga of the concert. She followed the above item with a beautiful rendition of Sri Othukadu's Alai Payude in Kanada.
Sudha ji next said that she will present a short RTP in khanda triputa.  This turned out to be one of the most interesting, educative and appreciated piece of the concert. She presented a brief but unique Brindavani ragam which was transitioned to tanam by the violinist Kamalakiran. Second portion of the tanam the singer, violinist and mridangist joined to give the tanam a grand finale. The Pallavi was a prayer to SaptaswarUDa Surya Deva.. During ragam, thanam, pallavi rendition and swarakalpana, both the vocalist and violinist alternated the Audava raga (pentatonic) theme which was used efficiently showcasing grahabedham in many ragas with utter ease yet maintaining and highlighting the raga bhava and beauty of the destination ragams. Some ragas chosen were rare like Priya darshini (Priyadarshini is the janya raga of the 21st Melakarta raga Keeravani , Aarohana: S R₂ M₁ D₁ N₃ S Avarohana: S N₃ D₁ M₁ R₂ S). This was followed by Surya, (of course owing to the theme of the Pallavi.. expected somewhere to prop up :)),  Nagaswaravali, Revathi and other audava ragas. The grahabedhams in Surya, Nagaswaravali (Hamsadhwani) were smooth, elegant and evoked audience enthusiasm with applause.
Post RTP, Sudha ji presented various items including Tandanana - Annamacharya, Viruttam followed by Muruganin Marupeyar - Guru Surjananda, Chinnachiru - Bharatiyar (awesome Shivaranjani Charanam!!), Pyare Darshan Meera, Ragashri Thillana - Lalgudi, and Pavamana - Tyagaraja..
She mentioned many of the items were based on audience requests. She patiently fulfilled them patiently managing the time. The concert went way over 3 hours and 15 minutes. 
Audience were enthralled by the performance and gave a rousing standing ovation.
All in all, it was a very fulfilling concert covering a wide range of her popular presentations presented with complete surrender to the mood and essence of the compositions.  The all-American origin orchestra - Kamalakiran from Virginia, Akshay from New Jersey/Chennai, Sowmiya from Virginia and Sai Sruthi on Tambura from Dallas was the best part of the presentation. Very Happy to see so much talent originating from USA taking up Carnatic music passionately.
The concert concluded with a vote of thanks by Sri Srini Prabhala (IFAA) and Sri Govindarjan (GHHF).
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