Tuesday, 12 November 2013

On the banks of an enchanting river - The Serai Kabini Experience

Road trips always have a special charm. Driving through scenic routes and exclaiming at the beauty that whizzes past, picking up and pursuing every thread of discussion and every memory that it evokes, listening to your choice of music, stopping for tea and snacks .. It certainly is an experience by itself.

The Kabini river is a 5 hour drive from Bangalore and we embarked on our maiden road trip on an overcast monsoon saturday morning. We were told that copious rains had nourished the river to the best of her health and we were looking forward to spending some quiet time solely in the company of nature.
Most parts of the route we took was green and scenic and we took in as much as we could of the beauty that abounded all the way.

The tree lined roads en route
The last stretch of the drive once we entered the Nagarhole national park was pretty trying with narrow slushy roads to maneuver through and we finally arrived at the Serai Kabini resort at around 3:00 PM. As we walked through the reception into the open grounds of the resort, the sight that met our eyes was so refreshing.

The reception opened out to this inviting scene
The resort is situated on the banks of the Kabini. Step out of your cottage and the river flows past right outside, a few steps away. I still remember the magical feeling of waking up at 6:00 AM and standing at the cottage door to be greeted by a breathtaking expanse of water serenely flowing by, early birds twittering away in groups and the entire misty green landscape washed by light rains. The only sounds to be heard were that of flowing water and the birds. Heaven was that!!

The early morning scene etched in my memory
The resort had very thoughtfully put up a hammock in front of the river outside each cottage. We spent most of our time reclining on the hammock(seen in the picture below)  and watching the river. The kabini cast a spell over us and we were content to 'just be' as we watched her flow past.

View in front of our cottage
The rains rendered the scenes around us all the more beautiful. It refreshed and enhanced the beauty of every canvas that this enchanting place presented. Looking through the lens to try and capture at least a small part of all that surrounded us became a real pleasure.

A pretty bird perched on a pomegranate tree 
The Serai Kabini is self sufficient. The quietude of the place mesmerises you into staying within its prescients all the time. We spent the two days completely inside the resort and never felt the need to step out to go elsewhere. Birds abound in and around the river and we spent several hours going around the resort and spotting the feathered beauties. The resort provided us with a pair of binoculars and we just got lost in the surroundings, spotting birds and zooming in to have a closer look.The bright colours which blended seamlessly in their feathers was so awe inspiring. God, for sure, is the greatest artist ever!!

Here are some pictures:

Absolutely regal, isn't she ?

And hence she rightfully preens her gorgeous feathers :)

A cute pair posing on a tree bark 
These early birds came in huge flocks to pick worms in the morning

A sun bird perched on a flimsy branch

A duck paddles away
We went kayaking in the river and this gave us a chance to take a closer look at many more beautiful scenes. We stopped every now and then and looked around in wonder as the river gently rocked us ..

A beautiful thicket of trees that bordered one side of the Kabini. The Jungle Lodges is situated here 
We also took a coracle ride later that day. It slightly rained as we took the ride and that made it even more memorable.For the evening, we just took a walk around the resort and watched a wildlife documentary about the Bandipur forest and its beautiful resident wildlife. It was fascinating to watch the animals in their natural habitat, learn facts about their everday life and hear stories from people who live around the area. The sole audience for this was the husband and I !

Next day morning, it was time to leave after breakfast. We spent the last few hours bird watching with a guide who helped us spot quite a few species and gave us interesting facts about them. Our first acquaintance with bird watching was very pleasurable and satisfying and we look forward to doing this again in future.

Thus ended our date with this lovely river, her beautiful inhabitants and richly endowed surroundings. If there was ever a complete experience to describe the word 'serenity', this place fits it perfectly. This turned out to be the most relaxing holiday we have ever had, completely in the company of nature.

I leave you with some more pictures :

The row of cottages by the river side

A picturesque shallow side of the river

When it rained ..

The resort landscape washed by the rains. Freshness at its best!!

A boat safari in progress

Another facet of the Kabini - The last shot we took as it disappeared from view on our way back

Saturday, 31 August 2013

There is so much to write about ...

But my wrestle with time is on in full swing. With weekdays at work and weekends taken up by travel and guests, even shopping for essentials and doing the laundry has crept into weekdays L

So I thought I should ease my soul that yearns to wield the pen, by jotting down what all I have to write about J This would also make sure that I do not lose track of all that is swirling in my head, waiting to be expressed. Now, lets get to the list. 

There are two travelogues to do.

The beautiful Kabini ornamented with birds

The first one is a trip to the banks of the enchanting river Kabini  during the monsoon. There was green and blue all around and we were mesmerised. I made friends with a new found hobby – Bird Watching and thoroughly enjoyed doing it. 

The two quiet days that we spent solely in the company of nature gave me a lot of time to listen to myself. So, quite a few ruminations and resulting philosophies wait to be propounded (The husband has already suffered the onslaught. Bwah hah hah hah .. Here I come to you all too) J

Udaipur - A dreamlike reality

The second one is about a trip to Udaipur commemorating my birthday. To describe it in one sentence, it turned out to be one of the most memorable birthdays I have celebrated so far. It was fascinating to experience a new culture in a place that seemed so unearthly and dreamlike. More on that in a detailed post.

So much for travel. Now let’s hop over to books and reading.

I have always found reading while travelling in buses to be a very nauseous experience. But mysteriously, this discomfort vanished all of a sudden and I now have a full 2 hours to read everyday! Having finally found a solution to the withdrawal symptoms that were showing up due to lack of reading, I laid my hands on three books. 

After a detailed research online and at a landmark store, I made the purchases in Flipkart! Let me introduce them to you :

  1.  Around India in 80 trains – by Monisha Rajesh
  2. My Family and other Animals – by Gerald Durrell
  3. Chanakya’s Chant – By Ashwin Sanghi

I am done with the first one and half way through the second. Both of them prove to be good reads. Reviews coming soon.

Having said all this, I will now cross my fingers and hope that I do write these intended posts! A few quiet weekends at home will accomplish it all even as we set the house right after a month of gross neglect.  

Here's to a lot more of writing !!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Its been a year already !

There are certain things that become so much a part of you that you are unable to point out when and how you came to embrace it so wholeheartedly. So much that it is now a part of your being. Writing, to me, has become just that. So this June, when Ink on Paper turned one year old, it did not strike me at all. It seems as if it has always been there as my faithful pocketbook, ever open and ready to absorb and share the musings of my mind, the memories that I want to note down in detail to cherish later on, the ideas and emotions that are deep rooted and strong .. The list is a long one.

This space has given me the same comfort offered by that rare friend who understands my words just the way I mean them and gives that knowing nod of perfect empathy. It has been a bolster to my spirits at all times – happy or not so happy. It has made me know my mind on so many aspects of life. In short, it has become an expression of my being itself. If you leaf through the pages of this book, you would come to know me quite well.

I cannot describe the sense of satisfaction that I derive out of writing and the joy of seeing it published in an ordered manner. When I see my fellow bloggers taking the time to read what I have written and leaving a line or two in reply, I feel so encouraged. The blogsphere has introduced me to so many wonderful people and some real good writing.

So, though I do not feel the need for a formal celebration and birthday wishes to my space, I want to acknowledge the wonders that it has done to me. Just with a smile on my inclined head J

I want to thank all my fellow bloggers and regular readers, without whom I would not have the motivation to write on these pages. That I ever got the boldness to create this space and the determination to keep at it for a whole year now is largely because of you all.

I also want to give a special thanks to my dad. He is my most regular reader and gives his opinion on every post that I write. When the frequency of my posts recently started dwindling, he tirelessly kept asking me as to why I wasn’t writing. And when I published after a long time, he was the first to message me and feel happy for the Liebster award (though he had no clue as to what it was and asked for an explanationJ). I know he is proud of his daughter’s linguistic abilities(ahem J) and I am so relieved that I finally did something to make him proud J
Jokes apart, my love for the English language is entirely because of the reading habit that he inculcated in me while I was still a very young kid and schooling at one of the best institutions that he and mom put me through. Reading and writing have turned out to be such a big source of happiness in life.

And finally to the man who has no choice but to compulsorily read all that I write (Just like eating whatever I cook and tolerating my baffling mood swings and idiosyncrasiesJ) He reads solely because I happen to be the author and that is something no one else will do for me. I am fighting with time to keep at reading, writing and music amidst hectic workweeks, weekend outings (that’s not hectic) and managing a house. This is possible only because we are together in the battle and he is actually the mightier solider, fighting the larger part and forcing me into action whenever I am on the verge of giving up on these and getting run over by life’s everyday drone.  

Now that the credits are over .. Sigh.. My Ink on Paper is already one year old (dabs eyes with a tissue and sniffs). Hey wait, did I say I wasn’t going to get formal, emotional and all? Did I really?  

Friday, 14 June 2013

Yes its official .. Ink on Paper is now a Liebster Blog !! :)

I have to profusely thank Purnima for two reasons. One is of course for deeming my writing worthy of encouragement. The second is for kicking my blog (and me) awake from deep slumber and putting me back on the writing mode.

Thanks Purnima! A pat on the back like this goes a long way in nurturing my writing.

Now for the tag that accompanies the award –

Ten random facts about myself. I have done this before, but will try and write new ones this time.
  1. I am always in pursuit of good books to read. I tirelessly read reviews and keep adding items to my reading list.(Hardly able to tick them off the list these days L)
  2.  I enjoy the hour long journey to my workplace. It gives me the time to get lost in my thoughts while I gaze at the familiar sights that pass by.
  3. I am usually wary of trying out new stuff and always want to go with what worked for me earlier.
  4. I enjoy even mundane stuff like grocery shopping if my husband is with me.
  5. I never think twice about shelling out more money, if it is for the sake of comfortable travel.
  6. I’ve been working for about 4 years now but my salary getting credited to my account after a month’s fruitful work still hasn’t lost its fancy.
  7. Reading, writing and music are the three passions that I have in life.
  8. My everyday prayers are for good health and peace.
  9. I just love those rare days that are not ruled over by to-do lists and schedules or restricted by the presence of people to be mindful of.
  10. I have this weird quality of committing mistakes even while am completely aware of it. Just once a while, but weird still..
My answers to the questions posed by Purnima:

1. It takes a lot of commitment to keep blogging. What keeps you going?
-->I have lately been very irregular for I hardly find the time to write. But it is just my love for writing and the            therapeutic exercise that it proves to be that keeps me going.

2. If you had just an extra hour in a day, how would you spend it?
-->Reading, writing and practicing music. 

3. Have you ever cheated to get something your way? If so, how?
-->As a small kid of 5 years, I used to beat up my sister whenever we fought and immediately start crying, posing to be the victim to my clueless mom who would then pull up poor sis.

4. How would it be to live in a world free of men?
-->I would have given an eloquent answer had you asked me this question some time back. But right now (and I guess hereafter), I can’t imagine living without the man who fills my life!

5. If you had to punish a person who's betrayed you, how would that be?
-->Forgive them and keep away

6. What special talent can you boast of?
-->I can sing carnatic music and I give stage performances.

7. Bungee jumping or scuba diving?
-->Aaargh!! They both sound equally scary.

8. Which Bollywood actor/actress do you think should retire? and why?
-->I am not even aware of who all occupy the screen. But I usually feel people should stop donning the garb of the young hero/hero-in when they look 35.

9. Who can make you smile despite rough situations?
-->My sister’s kids and their ever refreshing antics.

10. Do you believe in celebrating Women's Day? Why?
-->No. The very fact that a ‘day’ is needed, shows that we need to be reminded of how special she is. And a man is special in his own way too, isn’t he? So why aren’t we celebrating a man’s day?

My Nominations :

The toughest part. All my favorite bloggers have been taken as usual. But still, I can list some recent finds of mine who write really well. Ten is impossible though.
And the award goes to …

TanayaNath – I thoroughly enjoy reading her short stories. She has a real flair for them.
GayathriManikandan – We share the trait of being book lovers. I find her book reviews really good and useful.

Here are the ten questions for them to answer:
  1. Which is that part of your daily routine which energises you to go through the day?
  2. For you, a day well spent would be ...?
  3. If you were allowed to re-live some part of your life, would you opt for it? If yes, which part of your life would you choose?
  4. What does writing mean to you?
  5. Do you take conscious efforts to improve your writing or just allow it take its own course?
  6. Do you feel it is necessary to market your blog?
  7. What are your thoughts on blogging contests?
  8. Which genre do you enjoy writing the most? (Poetry, Stories,Musings, Or any other .. )
  9. Do you have ambitions of writing a book someday? Why?
  10. How do you handle the proverbial writer’s block?

So Tanya and Gayathri, over to you!!

All you need to do is :

  • Accept the award :)
  • Nominate ten bloggers whom you feel should be enouraged to continue their good work and have'nt got this award already.(They should have less than 200 followers)
  • Write ten random facts about yourself
  • Answer the questions that I have posed above
  • Put down ten questions for your nominees to answer
Congratulations to you two and keep blogging!!!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Travelogue-Of beaches,a beautiful resort and some temples-Part 3

Day three dawned.We got ready by 6:30 AM and went cycling along a very scenic mountainous path. We stopped by a point from where we had a panoramic view of the ocean beneath us and sat there for a long time looking at the beautiful expanse of water, observing the fishermen at work.We also spotted some pretty birds and a temple that stood by the sea shore.

A small temple by the sea shore

Fishermen venturing into the ocean

Fishing is real hard team work!!
A few birds that we spotted around us -

We then cycled down taking a random route and were in for a pleasant surprise. We had reached the temple that we spotted from above! We walked in to find it quiet and empty. The presiding deity was a shiva lingam that stood facing the sea through a door. We sat down and enjoyed the peace and sang a song each in praise of the lord in the sanctum. Our voices reverberated through the empty temple and it turned out to be a very divine experience. A cow strayed into the temple while we were singing and when we finished, the animal stopped in its tracks and looked back at us as if asking for more J

After cycling back, it was time to say goodbye to the wonderful haven that played host to us for three fun filled days. We packed our bags and bid adieu with a heavy heart full of fond memories.

The temple visits then began. We first headed to the Murudeshwar temple. The gigantic, larger than life image of Lord Shiva with the ocean at the background presented a very imposing picture. But I felt that the air of sanctity and devotion was absent in this place. It felt more like a tourist spot with people intent on taking pictures rather than performing prayer and worship. The foreigners heedlessly smoking and walking around with shoes only added to it. This scenario completely made me understand why photography is prohibited in many temples. It does turn the mind away from seeking God and reduces the place to a mere tourist attraction. I even used to scorn at the rule of barring non Hindus from entry into some temples thinking it to be a separatist view. But after seeing the scanty regard that the foreigners paid to the fact that they were inside a place of worship, I started thinking that the ‘separatists’ do have a point after all. 

Murudeshwar - A temple of BIG proportions

From there, we headed to the Mookambika temple located at Kollur. This temple has an interesting and ancient story to it.  It is said that the Goddess Shakthi appeared before the great saint Adi Shankara pleased with his intense penance and agreed to follow him to a place in Kerala where he desired to install her idol and perform worship. But she laid a condition that she would walk behind him and that he should not look back till they reach the destination. Shankara agreed and they walked on. As they neared the area where this temple is currently situated, the Goddess decided to test the saint’s faith in her words and stopped the sound produced by the anklets. Intrigued by the total lack of noise, Adi Shankara turned back. The Goddess told him to install an idol as he saw her at that very place. The sanctum of the mookambika temple is said to house this statue. Though it falls within the Karnataka region, the temple is built in Kerala style of architecture and so are the pooja and ceremonies. We took dharshan of the main deity and stayed inside the temple to watch the noon pooja and palak seva.

And then we drove down to the last destination in our itinerary – Udupi. Singing ‘Krishna nee Begane baro’ we entered the mutt area. But far from our expectations, the place was poorly maintained L The presiding deity Lord Krishna, could be seen only through a window carved out in the stone wall with horizontal and vertical bars. We sat down to listen to some bhajans and then ventured out into the streets around the temple area. The place had a typical small town look about it and we enjoyed the stroll, looking at the shops, houses and buildings.

The evening train from Udupi brought us back home. This was a very enjoyable trip with quite a few first time experiences and a lot of happy memories to cherish. Years later, I think I will come back to read these posts with a smile of recollection J

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Travelogue: Of beaches,a beautiful resort and some temples–Part 2

Post the glorious sunset, a sumptuous dinner and a very restful sleep, day two dawned quite early for us. We were up by 5:30 AM and sat in the cottage veranda with steaming mugs of tea. It was still dark outside and the only sounds we could hear were that of the early birds and the resounding ocean roar.  It was a blissful experience to sit under the early morning moonlight with just the sounds of nature for company.

With that soulful start to the day, we set out to watch the sunrise. The sunrise point was a short  trek away and the path that lead to it was a breathtakingly beautiful one. The road lead uphill with a mountain on one side while the other side just dropped to show the ever beautiful ocean, forming a sort of cliff.

View from the cliff
We reached the sunrise point at about 6:10 AM and the sun was still playing hide and seek even after nourishing the world with daylight. The view from the sunrise point was stunning. At one glance, we could see a huge panorama of the expansive ocean and the backwaters beneath us.

The sea overflows to form the backwaters

The Placid backwaters - a complete contrast to its ever tumultous parent
And finally, at about 6:30 AM, the orange fire ball slowly peeped out from beneath a mountain far away and gradually came out. What a beautiful sight it was! I felt a surge of pleasure within myself as I watched this phenomenon. Here are the pictures:

We then climbed down and headed back to get ready for a ride well into the sea in a motorboat. We were told that we could swim in 40 feet deep water and the excitement was palpable. After decking ourselves with life jackets, we were taken and loaded into the boat and zoooooommmm!!! Water, water everywhere shining like diamonds. Watching the expanse around us with the salty air hitting our faces felt simply great. The lifeguards then stopped the boat at a point and the husband was the first brave soul to just jump in without second thought. After taking a few pictures, I followed. With the life jacket on, you could just lie down on your back and relax floating in the water. However I spent very little time in the water for I had a weird fear that some sea animal might come and bite my legs :(


After all of us got on to the boat, we were taken to another spot where dolphins were expected to show up. But they decided not to! So we headed back to the shore after a short wait. The view as we neared the shore was very beautiful with a thicket of coconut trees for a backdrop.

View of the shore as we moved towards it

The rest of the morning and noon went by in shifting to a different cottage(which was as beautiful and unique as the first one with a stunning view of the sea), lunch, tea and chit chat. For the evening we tried riding an ATV(all terrain vehicle) on a rocky road that lead uphill. I barely managed to drive a kilometer for the vehicle required quite a bit of muscle power to manoeuvre. Our guide cycled faster than me and stopped every now and then waiting for me. Unable to bear the slow motion, he wisely suggested that I turn back and hand it over to the husband who took a ride twice up and down. We spent what remained of the evening by the seashore and post dinner, we called it a day.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Travelogue: Of beaches,a beautiful resort and some temples–Part 1

In keeping with our resolve to travel regularly for a change of atmosphere, to explore new places and for the sheer excitement that it offers, the husband and I set out on our voyage along the beaches of the Konkan coast. He took up the roles of trip planner and executor, was at it tirelessly through the trip and I must say did a brilliant job. For my part, I did what was a truly mammoth task by my standards. I cooked dinner and breakfast for our train journey. Considering the fact that I am a complete amateur at cooking, making aloo parathas, idlis and tomato chutney in a span of three hours was an accomplishment I couldn't stop raving about for days thereafter :) Now over to the trip.

We had planned to stay at a beach resort named ‘Sai Vishram’ located in a small coastal village called Byndur. The resort is completely vegetarian and non-alcholic. This makes it an ideal place for family holidays. Proximity to a chain of famous temples (Mookambika, Udupi and Murudeshwar) is another advantage. We were able to cover these places en route our return journey.

As we entered the reception area of the resort, the beautiful interiors done with wood in an ancient looking style immediately caught our attention and impressed us.We were then escorted to our cottage. Each of the cottages has been built in a unique style and is a combination of artistic interiors and cozy comfort. They also have a couple of very well made tents closer to the sea shore.  There is a beautiful Shiridi Sai temple within the resort premises and this gave a very peaceful and secure air to the place. The lawns and flower gardens are not completely tended with some parts left to nature. Nevertheless, they added to the overall ambiance. 

Snapshots of the resort
After a short noon siesta and lunch, we set out to explore the beach. We smiled with pleasure at the sight that welcomed us. With the dancing sea water sparkling in the sun as far as the eyes can see, the exemplary clean shore sand that pulled our legs in as we walked and comfortable chairs with overhead umbrellas, the scene was set for complete leisure! You could just sit there and watch the sea for hours ..

After basking for sometime in that heavenly setup, we refreshed ourselves with coffee and snacks and then set out for the most awaited part – the beach activities! We started off with kayaking. This was my first go at this sport and it was such an exhilarating experience. Sitting in a small boat and rowing in the big ocean, heading towards the sunset with the sea rocking the boat –  We enjoyed every bit of it.

Kayaking in the sea - a silhouette

After kayaking, we looked up the options and settled for boogie boarding. Sai Vishram has a bunch of very well trained life guards. They took great effort teaching each one of us to balance the body over the boogie board, launch ourselves with an oncoming wave at the right moment and glide to the shore along with it. The husband was quick to learn and had a whale of a time doing it. And I .... Lost balance during the very first try and fell headlong into the sea water gobbling a good amount of it, sat coughing by the shore like a wet duck and chose to stay there as a spectator for the rest of the evening L But even that was good fun. I sat down with legs stretched out and allowed the waves to hit me completely from head to toe observing the sun light gradually dimming around us.

Post that, we settled on the shore and watched the sun set. The golden orange light that it cast over the sea was so mesmerizing. I leave you with a some pictures of this most beautiful feat of nature.

The sun's golden hue over the deep blue sea

A lone boat heads back to the shore as the sun prepares to set

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Music is in the air!!

When it dawned upon me that I would have to move out of Chennai after my marriage, one of the things which I was sure I would sorely miss was the December music festival and the carnatic music concerts that my hometown is never short of.
But was I mistaken! Bangalore does have its dose of this wonderful art too. The husband and I have almost been on a concert marathon for the past few weeks. Here is a brief review on the best amongst them :

Vishaka Hari’s upanyasam(a style of story telling) on ‘Sriranga Vaibhavam’

This lady is nothing short of a genius. A qualified Chartered Accountant and an accomplished carnatic music vocalist, she later on took to Harikatha. Her inimitable style of narration, liberal peppering of the story with apt musical compositions and food for thought that she draws out of the simplest of instances is simply outstanding. The greatness of our country and the saints who graced it , the gazillion stories from our puranas and scriptures, insightful interpretations, elevating thoughts - I could just go on and on if I were to write about what makes her concerts so special. Every single recital of hers elevates you to a different plane and is so fulfilling to listen to. Her upanyasam certainly has the ability to inspire a common man towards life with more of spiritual awareness.

Under the theme ‘Sriranga Vaibhavam’, she narrated the story of how the Srirangam temple came into existence. The presiding deity( Ranganatha Swamy) is apparently the first idol that was created by Lord Vishnu himself for worship by humans. The creation of this idol marks the beginning of idol worship. She also went on to narrate how the deity became the kula dhana (Family fortune) of the Ikshvaku dynasty(Lord Rama’s lineage)and then later on  took residence at Srirangam.
It was a new experience to listen to Hari Katha in English which she did for the sake of the Bangalore audience. Her English was impeccable and she managed to do the same extempore poetic exclamations that she usually does in Tamil. Though she had mastery over the English language too, I felt a lot was lost in translation. The power of expression and the beauty of the native language could just not be completely brought out in English.
But over all, it was a very elevating experience and each member of the audience who packed the auditorium well beyond its capacity, went back feeling satisfied and spiritually uplifted.

Sri TV Shankarnarayanan – Carnatic vocal music recital

TVS as he is popularly called is one of the stalwarts of the yesteryears. What never fails to amaze me is that he continues to give outstanding performances. His 67 years of age shows no effect whatsoever on his voice. He still enthrals the audience with a melodious voice and demonstrates complete mastery over it. The perfect breath control, sound quality and clear pronunciation that totally support the showcasing of his expertise and creativity is so awe inspiring. His concert was three hours of immersion in the best of what carnatic music has to offer to a rasika. I felt so grateful for getting such a wonderful treat of divine music.

Malladi brothers and Gundecha brothers – Jugalbandhi of the Carnatic and Drupad style of singing

I had my reservations about attending this concert. Insufferable purist that I am, I have always believed that I would never enjoy any other form of music other than the one that I know :)
We landed up in the concert hall one whole hour after it began(thanks to my misgivings) but were almost instantly impressed with what reached our ears as we entered.

I simultaneously had two first time experiences at this concert. I am hearing Malladi brothers for the first time and I felt I had missed something truly great for such a long time. Powerful  voices with an easy reach that filled the air around you, an admirable mastery over the art, good selection of ragas and compositions – what more do you need for enthralling the audience! The other first time experience was the exposure to the Drupad style of singing. The Gundecha brothers again had very good and well trained voices.  They are leading Drupad singers and are recipients of the prestigious Padmashree award.
The juxtaposition of the two styles was a real treat to listen to and was an eye opening experience. The artists took up ragas that exist in both genres and beautifully improvised it for the audience in the form of an alaap, followed by a composition and then swaram singing. The accompanists were equally brilliant. I found the Drupad style to be a very meditative form of music and have really started liking it. This concert expanded my limited vision of music and am so thankful for that!

And the musical journey continues. There are quite a few concerts scheduled for the weeks to come and we all are geared up to attend them and immerse ourselves in the ocean of bliss that music is. Bangalore has sure scored some brownie points in this arena!