Welcome to the brand new pages of SRUTI. In the tradition of a sutradhara, I have the pleasant task of telling you what lies in store for you. The lead group of articles on the phenomenon of Mandolin Srinivas shows that ours is a new kind of magazine. Not only do we bring you a fact-filled report on the musical prodigy (Are of Triumph: A Prodigy at Play. p.3) but we place his advent and achievement in perspective through three related articles: What Makes or Unmakes a Prodigy (p.4): The Twain Meet Again (p.7) and A Sextet of Sensations (p. 12). Rounding out this lead group is a column by guest writer K.S. Mahadevan (p. 11) and a critique of Srinivas as a musician which appears elsewhere (p.42).
In this inaugural issue, we also offer the first in a series of in-depth profiles of personalities of the world of South Indian classical music and dance — profiles of a kind you would not have encountered in any other magazine in India. The profile of D.K. Pattammal, under the caption Trailblazing Traditionalist (p.20) will be concluded in the November issue. Along with the profile we offer this time a critical appreciation written by Contributing Editor K.S. Muthuraman (p.36) and also an interview with Pattammal by another singer, Sita Rajan (On Pallavi Singing, p.38). Other music-related items are critiques with the unique SRUTI angle. Besides the review of Srinivas as a musician which I already mentioned, you will also find a comprehensive piece on T.M. Thiagarajan. These appear in the section entitled Sounds of Music (p.41) which will be a regular feature. The corresponding feature on dance, Images of Dance (p.45) this time focusses on the art of Lakshmi Viswanathah. This dancer appears again in another aspect, as an interpreter of a Kshetragna padam, which she says is one of her favourites. For this lovely picture-spread, see the centrefold. Don't miss, too, an interview with Sonal Mansingh, the Delhi based exponent of Bharatanatyam and Odissi (p.18). M. Krishnan, a man of letters and lenses whose name is commonly linked with wildlife, has made two contributions to this flying starter of an issue. As part of the DKP/50 package, we present an amusing story in which he recalls an incident involving Semmangudi and Pattammal (p.37) while we bring you an outstanding photo image of Nataraja which this outstanding lensman rcorded in the Pudukottai museum under trying circumstances.
By of way news, we bring a report on a Dance Festival With A Difference (p. 14) and another on the migration, albeit seasonal, of high-flying musicians and dancers to the greener pastures of Europe and America (News and Notes, p.2). And don't miss Anami's scoops (p.47). The cover photo of DKP is by the Waran Bros. The Last Page this time belongs to the Publisher who tells us how this issue was put together, while the chief takes a leaf out of his brother's book to explain why the magazine has been started (inside back cover). Oh yes, I almost forgot to introduce myself. Well, call me Rasikapriya.