Last weekend was a packed schedule in terms of travel. I flew to Trivandrum to be a part of the 41st Aradhana Music Festival by Sree Neelakanta Sivan Sangeetha Sabha Trust with a concert on 29th July, 2016.
The next day it was off to Sri Lanka, to be a part of Dr.M.S.Subbulakshmi’s birth centenary celebrations. The concert was in Jaffna and so after landing in Colombo, we travelled about 8 hours by car to reach Jaffna. As this is my first visit to the country, I was excited and curious to take in all the sights along the way. The country is a mix of old and new and is green throughout – with coconut trees conquering the south and palm trees in the Northern Province, swaying to the wonderful breeze. My brief stay here also showed me how much the streets and the souls in this country have been affected by the ravages of their past.
The student community in Sri Lanka is definitely enthusiastic about music. The lecture demonstration on 31st morning saw students from all over the country, who had travelled for many hours, join in and their questions and energy levels showed me how involved they were in learning this art form.
The concert that evening began with felicitation from the Hindu Culture Minister Hon. D. M. Swaminathan. It was a beautiful experience playing for this audience at the concert. Many thanks to my host Sri. Niranjan Nanthagopan and the other volunteers for having put this festival together. This is a trip I will cherish for a long time.