I retire from the humid afternoon heat here at Chennai, which seems to be getting unbearable. Several tumblers of water that I have downed have sparingly quenched my thirst. I contemplate turning on the air conditioning, and then reject the idea for fear of my increasing dependence on luxury. My hair is partly wet from the oil bath that I have indulged in, on the Friday of the auspicious Aadi month, and partly from the salty sweating that is indispensable to this coastal city.
This is the tamil month of Aadi, and Tuesdays and Fridays are considered auspicious. Married women pray for their husband's well being and longevity. At temples, the deity is adorned with the best of ornaments and the alankarams for the Gods and Goddesses are simply spectacular. It is a month of food and festivals.
But this apart, the Metro Plus supplement that accompanies The Hindu ( a newspaper of wide circulation) is filled, flooded and flowing with events held and to be held at the city. The Chennai edition of The Hindu's Friday Metroplus (earlier Friday Review) is always an art connoisseur's delight. More so, today.
There is a review of the recent 3- day dance festival of the IDA- pictures et al. And there has been ballets and solo recital of almost every top notch Bharatanatyam dancer from Vyjayanti Mala to the Dhananjayans; Padma Subramanyam to A.Lakshmanan. Then there was the brain child of T.M.Krishna and Bombay Jayashri - Svanubhava - a platform for the doyens of music, dance and cinema. There is also an ongoing play fest sponsored by the Hindu Metro Plus involving theatre groups from as far as Korea. The paper also carries an announcement of Bombay Jayashri's Bhaire Baanvari, a musical representation of the saint Mira Bai that is going to be staged tomorrow's at the city's quintessential auditorium - The Music Academy. There is also DAMA's (Dastkar Andhra Marketing Association) exhibition of handloom textiles from Andhra Pradesh at the Lalit Kala Academy. This apart there is the routine list of special pujas at the various temples, many with a significant mythological background.
Sigh!!! Add to this is the Aadi sale at almost every shop in the city.Who could be bored in a city like this? All this and it's not even the Marghazi month (december-january) which is famous for the dance and music festival, where every sangeeth sabha in the city organises kutcheris (music performances) and upanyasams (religious discourses).
It seems like Chennai is oozing with culture and has one or other offering for the creative mind, and a haven for the culturally inclined. The city is sizzling under the heat of the sun, but its people are dancing to fine tunes and humored by great stage plays. I hope things just get better from here.