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The Temple Idol On Garuda Vahana In Procession In Saliyamangalam
Issue : 152
Published on : May, 1997


Main Feature - Pandit Ravi Shankar

Main Feature

Main Feature - Pandit Ravi Shankar

In Ravi Shankar's own words again, hundreds of doubts swept over him. He had noticed Baba's legendary temper when the latter was with Uday Shankar's troupe and he was afraid that he might become a target of it, especially since he was not sure he would be able to abide by the rules of discipline in his gurukul. As they arrived in Maihar, the young lad's appearance was startlingly different from that of a dandy. In connection with his upanayana or sacred thread Baba Allauddin Khan ceremony, he had shaved his head  and had taken to wearing coarse khaddar dhoti and kurta. It was in this attire that he reached Maihar, carrying with him but a tin trunk containing a few simple clothes, a couple of blankets and a pillow. He wanted to please Baba who had told him in no uncertain manner that, if he was serious about music, he would have to give up his dandy ways and easy style of living. Maybe he had not done all that yet and was only play-acting to please Baba, but the maestro was indeed glad to see the transformation.

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Special Feature

Let's face it. All these years, we have docilely allowed ourselves to be deluded. And continued to hug the illusion that, but for one isolated pocket of refuge, we may by now well have decided to forget the time-honoured sacred Bhagavata Mela Nataka tradition of Tamil Nadu. The hideaway is identified as the village of Melattur in Tanjavur district. So much so, that, in many quarters, the genre itself has come to be known as that of Melattur plays. But the picture need not have come out so uninspiring if, I reckon, just two of our foremost authorities in the field had chosen to show a little more concern. I speak of the redoubtable scholar V. Raghavan and the multi-faceted E. Krishna Iyer. Raghavan, who was the first to bring to notice the Bhagavata Mela, did at times refer to the other villages associated with the art, but only perfunctorily, even dismissively. As in the case of the other writers on the subject, he too could not detach himself from the Melattur factor.

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Rear Window

Shrine to Music Museum

The Shrine to Music Museum in the U.S. is a centre for the study of the history of musical instruments. Founded in 1973, it is located in a small township called Vermillion, in the state of South Dakota, located some 120 kilometres away from Sioux Falls. The nucleus of the Museum's magnificent assemblage is a collection of over 2500 instruments donated by its founder Arne B. Larson, in whose name the present concert hall stands. A search for old and traditional instruments raised the tally to over 4000 string instruments. Among these, a zither built like a crocodile, a hand-painted Persian drum and a primitive trumpet from the South Pacific have their own beauty and aesthetic appearance. There are a few instruments of Indian origin like the mridanga and the tabla, as well as wind instruments like the flute.

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