Sunday, May 8, 2016

JAGAT PAVANI GANGA


I was fortunate and blessed to attend the Kala Sadhanalaya presentation "Jagat Pavani Ganga" a unique Dance-Music-Theatre Presentation at Narada Gana Sabha (Sadguru Gnanananda Hall) on Saturday, 7th May 2016.

It was a spectacular presentation very neatly and tightly packed in 100 minutes with rich music and a great message on "Save River Ganga".  This presentation is truly a great contibution and education to the people on the need and urgency of a very serious issue.  We all know that Ganga is polluted but there is nothing that we are doing as responsible citizens of this country.  Here when I write we I am only thinking of my family as there are some people who are continuously making noise for keeping River Ganga Clean.

Photography and Videography was strictly prohibited and hence I do not have any photos or videos from the Programme.  However, there is a teaser released by one of the dancers Manasvini which will give you a very brief glimpse of the Programme.


The Hall was packed to full capacity and everyone was mesmerized by the presentation.  As a fitting tribute the entire audience gave a standing ovation to the Kala Sadhanalaya Team.  There was rich music, excellently synchronized dance, brief narrative with emotion, mimed play behind the white screen and thus a wholesome package.  A great treat to the eyes and ears conveying a very strong message but in a very nice, soothing, pleasant manner.  The presentation very elegantly showed the glory of the River Ganga with specific emphasis on preserving Her purity and sanctity.


The entire concept was designed and choreographed by Smt.Revathi Ramachandran who performed with the team on the stage.  The dancers were Revathi Ramachandran, Aarti Mohan, Anjana Anand, Aparnaa S, Divya Arumugam, K.M.Jayakrishnan, Madhusudhanan, Manasvini Korukkai Ramachandran, L.Nidheesh Kumar, Niyanthri Muthuramalingam, Saindhavi, Sreenath N.R.

The Music Composition was by Lalgudi G.J.R.Krishnan who has really done an exceptionally great job.  I wish this album is released by him as a CD for the benefit of music lovers.


I wish this programme is staged several times over the next several years until we see a Clean River Ganga.

Great & Unique Show - Well Presented - Very Pleasing - Touching - Unforgettable Experience.

Thanks a lot to the entire team for presenting such a unique Programme which was a very nice treat to the audience.

Regards,
TP Anand
Chennai,
8th May 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

R.S.MANOHAR


The lion of Tamil Stage Drama late Shri.R.S.Manohar was one of the finest actors in those days.  He passed away on 10th January 2006.  On the 10 year death anniversary of this great actor I have remembered him and thought of writing an article.

I have watched most of his stage drama in those days as a young boy.  I still remember the trick shots and the magic that he used to create on the stage.  The stage dramas that I vividly remember watching as a young boy are:


  1. Ilangeswaran (top of the list, ofcourse)
  2. Chanakiya Sabadam
  3. Sukrachariyar
  4. Naragasooran
  5. Indrajith
He started his career in stage drama went on to become a hero in Indian Tamil Cinema.  Very soon he got branded as a villain and hence he ended up acting in more than 200 films as villain.  He has acted in almost all the films of the Late M.G.R. as his villain.

I have always enjoyed his acting whether it is in movies or on stage plays.  He was a majestic man with a manly voice and used to roar like a Lion on the stage.

I am really fortunate to have been born in Chennai that too in the 1960s as I had the privilege of watching such legendary actors like R.S.Manohar both on stage as well as on screen.

Long Live R.S.Manohar's Drama and Legacy that he has left behind in staging mythological stories.

T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
10th January 2016

Saturday, December 19, 2015

B.K.S.IYENGAR - THE YOGA LEGEND


Shri.B.K.S.Iyengar is the Yoga Legend who is considered one of the greatest experts of all times.  My friend Sampath has written a nice piece in his blog on 14th December 2015 and I am reproducing that article here with his permission.

https://youtu.be/fcPjvp4La8A


===========================
14th December 2015

Did you google today and observe that different ‘0’ in Google !! ~ a search takes us to articles in Independent.co.uk; Telegraph.co.uk., BBC, Huffington Post – and all of them on a man who passed away last year, who would have been 97 today. 


It is Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, born in 1918 into a poor family in southern India - one of 13 children, of whom only 10 survived. He was sickly as a child - suffering from malaria and typhoid - and was introduced to yoga by a brother-in-law who ran a school in Mysore as part of an effort to restore his health.  At the age of 18 Iyengar became a teacher in the city of Pune, practising what he called an "art and science". His career was to  last more than than eight decades.  In Pune he taught Menuhin. The music maestro had complained that he could not relax or sleep, but in an interview with the veteran India broadcaster Sir Mark Tully in 2001, Guru Iyengar said “within one minute”, he was “snoring happily away”. The violinist was so impressed that he invited his guru to Switzerland in 1954.  It was the break that launched him on the West, and visits to the US and the rest of Europe followed.  Aldous Huxley, the author, was another of his famed disciples.

www.independent.co.uk writes :  BKS Iyengar: Four facts you need to know about the yoga guru behind today's Google Doodle.  Those four interesting facts are :   

1.His brother-in-law was known as the “father of modern yoga”  :  In 1934, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya first invited his young, sickly brother-in-law to train with him in what was then the kingdom of Mysore (now Karnataka state) in southern India to improve his health. Krishnamacharya was one of the key figures behind the revival of “hatha yoga” - from which Iyengar yoga developed - in the early 20th century which focused on the correct alignment of the body.  

2.  He owed his international success to an American violinist :  In 1952, Yehudi Menuhin befriended BKS Iyengar. Menuhin believed doing yoga improved his playing and invited him to Switzerland with him in 1954.  After that visit, Iyengar travelled frequently to the west to demonstrate his special technique and hundreds of Iyengar yoga centres sprang up around the world.

3. He taught the 85-year-old Queen Elisabeth of Belgium how to do a headstand :  Iyengar was first introduced to the dowager Queen in 1958 and she told him she wanted to learn how to do his signature sirasana headstand. She gave him a bust of his head which she had sculpted herself. In 1965, he visited her again to help her regain some control of her movements after she suffered a stroke at 92.

4. His children became celebrated yoga teachers as well  :  His eldest daughter Geeta and his son Prashant have become internationally renowned yoga practitioners and now run the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute - which BKS Iyengar founded in 1975 in honour of his late wife. He also trained his granddaughter, Abhijata Sridhar Iyengar as a yoga teacher for many years and she now teaches at the institute and abroad.

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (1918 – 2014), better known as B.K.S. Iyengar,  authored many books on yoga practice and philosophy including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Light on Life.   The Indian government awarded Iyengar the Padma Shri in 1991, the Padma Bhushan in 2002 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2014.  In 2004, Iyengar was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

Iyengar supported nature conservation, donated Rs. 2 million to Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore, thought to be the largest donation by an individual to any zoo in India.  Iyengar helped promote awareness of multiple sclerosis with the Pune unit of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of India.  His  most important charitable project involved donations to his ancestral village of Bellur, in the Kolar district of Karnataka. Through a trust fund that he established, he led a transformation of the village, supporting a number of charitable activities there. He built a hospital, India's first temple dedicated to Sage Patanjali, a free school that supplies uniforms, books, and a hot lunch to the children of Bellur and the surrounding villages, a secondary school, and a college.

Great man indeed !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
14th Dec 2015
===================================

Regards,
T.P.Anand
Chennai,India.
19th December 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

YELLAPRAGADA SUBBAROW



I am going to share about a great Indian scientist of the 20th century perhaps not just India but the entire world.

We all know that even today cancer is one of the most feared diseases of the world and till today scientists and doctors are working to completely cure it.  It is interesting to know that significant work in this field was done by a scientist

Yellapragada Subbarow led one of the most important researches in America during World War II.

He discovered the role of phosphocreatine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as an energy source in the cell.  This lead to the foundation of biochemistry and all the further discoveries in this field are directly or indirectly influenced by this.

He developed methotrexate for the treatment of cancer.  This, without a doubt, is the single most important drug for the treatment of innumerable cancers.  He has saved literally millions of life through this drug.




He was one of the best minds India has ever produced.

Rhea Ravikumar
Toulouse, France
12th December 2015

Note: Rhea is my eldest brother T.P.Ravikumar's daughter and is 9 years old.

- T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
13th December 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

SUPER SINGER 5 - TOP 5



This year's Super Singer contest has been one of the best in my opinion and the competition has been very tough.  The competitors are so good that it is difficult to choose amongst the top 33 which has now got reduced to 9 today.

The top nine contestants who are in the fray for the coveted title of Super Singer 5 are:

  1. Lakshmi
  2. Priya
  3. Fareeda
  4. Anand 
  5. Arjun
  6. Raja Ganapathy
  7. Nirujan
  8. Siyad and
  9. Hari
While all the above 9 are good and there could be some surprise entrants through the Wild Card this competition can swing in any whichever way.  It is extremely difficult to predict who will ultimately make it to the Top 5 for the Finals.

My prediction based on the performances so far is that the following contestants will make it to the Final of the Super Singer Season 5:
  1. Lakshmi
  2. Fareedha
  3. Anand Aravindakshan
  4. Arjun
  5. Raja Ganapathy
Having said that I also feel that Siyad could give a tough time for Arjun and sneak into the final at the last minute.  Arjun has been performing exceptionally well particularly after forgetting the lyrics and hence I would give him an edge over Siyad.  The other two dark horses and surprise final contestants through wild card could be Kiran Shravan and Sowmya.  Both of them are great singers and very versatile singers.

Lakshmi:  She is a very consistent singer and I liked the way she is handling herself.  Very calm and composed and sings all the genres of music very comfortably.  Her presentation of Oh Butterfly in front of SPB was an ultimate treat.


Fareedha: Fareedha gave some extraordinary performances and had a bad patch as well for few weeks.  She has the experience of being a stage singer and is able to handle the melodies very well.  She tried a few songs outside of her comfort zone and did well.  I particularly liked her performance in the dedication round.


Anand Aravindakshan:  One of the most consistent performers in this season.  I like the smile on his face and the attitude.  To me he is the one of the best singers in this season right from the beginning.  Even in top 33 he showed the signs of reaching to the Finals.  Exceptionally well talented and high gifted singer.  He sang Kannamma in front of SPB very well and SPB was in tears.  I liked his rendition of the Raghavendra Song in the Classical Round:


Arjun Adapalli: Arjun has been a very special contestant and the attitude and involvement he has exhibited in every performance is fantastic.  He can inspire several other singers with his total dedication and involvement.  He has the rare ability to get into the spirit of the song and performs with ease.  Though he forgot the lyrics in one of the competitions, I feel he is a very good singer who will do well as a professional singer.  His rendition of Uchi Vagudeduthu was a great performance:


Raja Ganapathy:  Raja is a star and has been performing in the Super Singer Juniors for the last three years.  His versatility is clealy pitching him as one of the favourite contender for the title.  He was singing initially only classical songs because of his strong Carnatic Music training. 


Finally it could be a clash between Lakshmi, Anand and Raja for the title at the end.

All the best to all the singers.  You guys are doing a great job and the amount of entertainment you are providing to regular Super Singer viewers like me is invaluable and truly appreciated.

Regards,
T.P.Anand 
Dubai,
4th December 2015 



Friday, August 21, 2015

PROUD MOMENT

My elder son Ashwath Anand has finished his Masters in Interaction Design from Savannah Colleage of Arts and Design, USA in May 2015.  He has just started his career in a start up company and has posted an article.  When I read the article I was really happy and was proud as a Father.

The following is the link to his article which is quite an interesting one to read:

https://medium.com/junior-writes/hacking-how-i-learned-to-learn-8dc95635db29
Hope you enjoyed the article and you will get to read again my blog posts very soon.
Regards,
TP Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.

Monday, March 2, 2015

GIVERS GAIN PHILOSOPHY





Mahabharata is the epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War which was written by Sage Vyasa.  It is the longest poem ever written with over 1.8 million words in total.

Lord Krishna is the central figure in the Mahabharata and he provides the necessary guidance and support to the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War.




Arjuna the third son among the Pandavas is pitched against Karna.  Karna is born to Kunti before her marriage to Pandu and is a close friend of Duryodana.  He fights the War on behalf of the Kauravas.

Karna is known for his generosity and the following is an interesting story from Mahabharat to depict the greatness of Karna.


Once Krishna and Arjuna were walking towards a village.  Arjuna was pestering Krishna, asking him why Karna should be considered an unparalleled Donor and not him.

Krishna, turned two mountains into gold and then said, “Arjuna, distribute these two gold mountains among villagers, but you must donate every bit of it”.


Arjuna went into the village and proclaimed he was going to donate gold to every villager, and asked them to gather near the mountain.  The villagers sang his praises and Arjuna walked towards the mountains with a huffed up chest.


For two days and two nights Arjuna shoveled gold from the mountain and donated to each villager.  The mountains did not diminish in the slightest.  Most villagers came back and stood in queue within minutes.  Now Arjuna was exhausted, but not ready to let go of his Ego, told Krishna he couldn't go on any longer without rest.


Then Krishna called Karna and told him to donate every bit of the two gold mountains.  Karna called the villagers, and said “Those two Gold mountains are yours”, and walked away.


Arjuna sat dumbfounded and thought “Why this thought has not occurred to me”.
Krishna smiled mischievously and told him, “Arjuna subconsciously, you were attracted to the gold, you regretfully gave it away to each villager, giving them what you thought was a generous amount.  Thus the size of your donation to each villager depended only on your imagination.


Karna holds no such reservations. Look at him walking away after giving away a fortune, he doesn't expect people to sing his praises, he doesn't even care if people talk good or bad about him behind his back. 

That is the sign of a man already on the path of enlightenment.  Giving with an Expectation of a Return in the form of a Compliment or Thanks is not a Gift, then it becomes a Trade.  Give without expecting anything in Return.  Givers Gain.

T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
2nd March 2015