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Chinmaya Mission Carnatic - Hindustani Music Concert Draws Appreciative Audience

Nirmala Garimella

Chinmaya Mission Boston  newly built auditorium designed for solo and orchestral as well as any performing arts repertoire reverberated with an evening of fine classical music from India on January 30th, 2010. As part of its commitment to the arts, the organizers presented an evening of Carnatic and Hindustani Music by Geetha Murali, Shuchita Rao, and 16year old Rasika Murali along with local artists.

Visitors to the newly expanded Chinmaya Mission will be appreciative of the amenities that are offered here. A breathtaking front lobby with marble floors welcomes the guests. A brand new auditorium with luxury seating for 375 people, a well lit large stage and a state of the art sound system makes it a very attractive place to hold concerts, arangetrams and shows here. The beautiful Mandir with Lord Hanuman, Lord Ganesha and Ram Parivar with a brand new sanctorum (nave) is peaceful and a new community hall which seats 120 people in a formal setting is a perfect place for weddings and other celebrations. There is also a hall for meditation on the top floor as well as a library and reading room. The ambience is one of space and tranquility that reflects very well with the mission’s message – a place to seek spiritual solace. Shashi Dwarakanath reflecting on the 5 aspects of Chinmaya’s educational, cultural, religious , community and service needs, is grateful to the spirit of volunteerism of its members and hopes that the community will optimize on the resources available at the temple.

The evening started with Geetha Murali and her daughter Rasika Murali singing the varnam "Endo premamu" in the Raga Suruti.After a couple of short pieces, Rasika did alapana in the Raga Suddha Saveri and both Geetha and Rasika performed the brisk tamil krit "Thaya Thripura Sundari", composed by Periyasami Thooran with crisp swara kalpana.The main raga of the evening was Dharmavathi and Geetha did an elaborate and imaginative alapana and both Geetha and Rasika had good swara kalpana exchanges.The mridangam was played by  Mahalingam Santhanakrishnan (Mali) and good violin support was given by Suhas Rao who is a second year student at Harvard.

Smt. Shuchita Rao started the Hindustani segment of this evening with a presentation of Raag Marwaa. She  first sang a Hanuman Vandana composed by poet Tulsi Das and set to tune by Gundecha brothers, followed by traditional Chhota Khyaal and Taraana set to Teentaal.  She narrated how the pieces differed ranging from a Dhrupad, Khyaal and a Taraana.

Participants for the other pieces were students from various schools and included Anoushka,Avni,Mihir,Pooja,Saachi,Sanjana,Sonali and Shraavani with Akshay Navaladi on Tabla and Shri Gopi Shanker on Flute. Aditi Thatte, Dr. Amrit Chopra,Jaya Baatra, Chandra Ganapathy, Dr. Radhika Basheer, Swati Joshi, Raj Pereji and Rekha Singh presented a Chota Khyaal in Raag Yaman with Shuchita Rao. RASA students Sohil Apte, Samiha Rao,Radha Davey, Radha Rao, Minerva Teli, Priyam Turkhia, Divya Bhatia, Shreya Bhatia presented a patriotic song “Chandan hai is Desh ki Maati” followed by a film song “Oh Ray Taal Mile Nadi kay jal mein” with Sambasiva Rao on Duphlee, Abhiraam on kanjira and Rohit Rao on Keyboard. LearnQuest students Anjali Ramakrishnan, Anusha Kulkarni, Kriti Badola, Natasha Kumar,Raadhika Jangi, Radha Rao, Rohit Rao, Subhadra Mahanti, Sanchita Ghosh and Suneha Kadamdiwan presented a Saraswati Vandana in Raag Poorvi and Basant set to teentaal. Accompanists were Akshay Navaladi on tabla and Ravi Torvi on harmonium.

The final segment concluded with a spectacular rendition of Geetha and Shuchita singing  a composition in Ragam Behag (Neela Megha Shyamala - describing Lord Krishna), followed by a Hindustani style bhajan in Sindhubhairavi (Sumiran Kar Le Mere Mana - asking us to remember GOD's name "Hari Naam") and a thillana in Ragam Mohanakalyani composed by Lalgudi Jayaraman.  It was a fitting finale to the evening with the audience going home with music in their hearts.

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1. February 5, 2010Pushp 

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Photo credits: Sudhakar Rao

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