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Individual Issues

Vai. Mu. Kothainayaki
Issue : 207
Published on : December, 2001



3 News & Notes

16 New Production

17 Spotlight

25 Special Feature

53 A Sepcial Report

69 Brief Notes

71 The Whispering Gallery

72 Editor's Note

Front Cover: Vai. Mu. Kothainayaki
Sketch by D. Narendran

News & Notes
Sangeetotsav-A Medley Of Melody

It was Bhai Mahavir, Governor of Madhya Pradesh, who broke the subdued mood of the city by inaugurating the fourday festival of Carnatic and Indian classical music at Antarang, the cosy and convivial concert hall of Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal. Jayant Kastuar, Secretary of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, K. A. Kabir, Director of the Rajbhasha and Sanskriti Nideshalaya, Bhopal, and Om Prakash Chourasia, Director of the Ustad Allauddin Khan Sangeet Academy, Bhopal, welcomed the Governor. All agreed upon the need of such functions, which help present the depth and variety of Indian culture and at the same time help promote individual art-forms and artists, a taste for their aesthetic, academic and historical aspects, as well as a sense of fraternity and national solidarity.

The melodious notes of music delighted not only the serious listeners but also casual visitors that thronged the festival billed as Sangeetotsav, which spanned 27-30 September. The festival was organised by the central Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), in collaboration with the Ustad Alauddin Khan Sangeet Academy and and Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal.

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Special Feature
Vai. Mu. Kothainayaki

It was Winston Churchill who once said: "Courage is the first of human qualities because it is that quality which guarantees all the others." It seems, Vaithamanidi Mudumbai Kothainayaki, popularly known as VaiMuKo, built the superstructure of her life on a strong foundation of this attribute. She was a phenomenal woman, born far ahead of her times. She was a 'sakala kalanipuna'—a versatile and multi-talented person—who not only built up her own self but in the process also elevated the status of Indian women. Men frowned and even women glowered as this courageous matron draped in a saree in the traditional Iyengar style, systematically made successful forays into several ostensibly male bastions. She was a writer, speaker, singer, kalakshepa artist, composer and organiser, as well as a novelist, journalist, nationalist, social worker and much more. In all this, her bulwark of support was a male—her husband V.M. Parthasarathy. VaiMuKo was undoubtedly a feminist in the true sense of the word who showcased feminism without compromising her femininity. But then, VaiMuKo was indeed a charismatic personality.

Neervallur Venkatachariar and his wife Pattammal had their second daughter on 1 December 1901. They named her Kothai after the minstrel Alwar of Srivilliputtur. Like her famous predecessor, this child too was to be a century-maker.

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Kamala The Dancer

The clouds casting a shadow on the South Indian dance christened anew as Bharatanatyam hadn't quite drifted away when she appeared on the horizon, bright as a jewel. She was an overnight star. A morning star.

Shooting across the firmament, she reached the zenith in a flash. And stayed there a long time. Shining brightly. Swallowing the shadows. Lighting up the path to glory for a thousand and more dance-maidens.

But even heavenly bodies aren't exempt from the pull and push of Time. She had appeared stationary in the high sky but travelled with Time. Dawn was behind. She was sailing past the high noon now. She saw new stars in the firmament, rising high, attracting attention with their youthful glow. She felt her trajectory dipping... and jumped out of her natural orbit....

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A Special Report
Music Symposium On Siksha & Sangeeta Nidhi In Mumbai

Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai, conducted a two-day meet titled Music Symposium - 2001, 8-9 September at its renovated Shanmukhananda Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Auditorium in Sion. The theme of the symposium, of which the convenor was former Secretary of the Sabha S. Seshadri, was: Siksha & Sangeeta Nidhi. The symposium was held from 9 am to 9 pm on both days, with lecdem sessions during the day and music concerts in the evenings. Speeches preceded the lecdem sessions each morning.

The Fine Arts Society (FAS) of Chembur has successfully conducted music conferences in the last four years, while Shanmukhananda (SSFA & SS), handicapped by the lack of its own hall since its famous auditorium burned down a decade ago, had not conducted any for quite some years. Therefore there was some speculation in the music circles whether or not SSFA & SS would be able to match or excel FAS with its symposium. In the event, it did a very good job indeed, for which the triumvirate consisting of S. Seshadri (Convenor), Director of the Sabha's Sangeeta Vidyalaya Sulochana Rajendran and Viji Iyengar (Coordinator) deserve all credit, as also the symposium staff they directed.

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