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Saturday, 20 October 2012

A Weekend with Literature, Paintings and Music: Shatavadhani Ganesh Way

Last weekend, 13th and 14th of October 2012, was a treat for the followers of fine arts, with a "Pratimala" program (Antyakshari in Sanskrit, which involves reciting verses from well known literary works) on the 13th at Seva Sadana at Malleshwaram, and a "Kavyachitra" program on the 14th at Gokhale Institute of Public Affairs at Basavanagudi.

Pratimala was a lively competition between two teams of three each, the participants being great scholars of Sanskrit. Shatavadhani Dr. R. Ganesh, Prof. S. Ranganath and Dr. Shankar on one side, and Prof. K. S. Kannan, Sudhir Krishnaswamy and Ramachandra Sharma on the other, entertaining the audience with stunning exchange of great verses, in a nine round two hour affair. Two out of those nine rounds were swift exchange of verse after verse, while in the other 7 rounds, the scholars chose to also explain the meaning of the verses, to keep the audience involved and entertained. In all, 54 verses were recited, ranging from those that feature in Kalidasa's Abhijnana Shakuntala and Meghadoota, Soundaryalahari of Sri Shankaracharya, Bhartruhari's Vairagyashataka and Neetishataka, and even verses from Krishna Karnamrita, Geetagovinda, Shishupala Vadha, Naishadheeya Charita, Hanumannataka, and verses by Bhallata, Banabhatta, Neelakantha Deekshita and Jagannatha Pandita.

Some photographs from the event:

On Sunday, the Kavyachitra program had Shatavadhani R. Ganesh sharing the stage with "Kuncha Brhma" B. K. S. Varma, and they had the able support of Vidwan Venugopal on the flute. This was the 1012th occasion of Ganesh and Varma performing together. Focusing more on Varma's enchanting "on the stage" sketching and painting performance, I would let the pictures and the videos do the talking:

The DVG Auditorium at GIPA, Basavanagudi, where the Kavyachitra programme was held:

Varma begins with the first drawing, a sketch that was to depict godess Sarasvati and Lord Ganesha performing Kavyachitra together:

Varma depicted Dr. Ganesh as Saraswati performing Kavya and Varma himself performing Chitra as Ganapati

A scene from Kalidasa's Kumarasambhava: Shiva performs Sandhyavandana, while Parvati waits with a slight anger and expectation:

Kunti giving up her newborn son Karna:

Bhima eating up the lunch brought for Bakasura:

From Kalidasa's Raghuvamsha: King Dileepa stunned and lost for action for a moment as he sees a lion attack Nandini:

Menaka tries to seduce sage Vishwamitra:

Duryodhana, with broken thigh and on death bed at Kurukshetra, tries shooing away wolves and vultures:

Hospitality and care of a sage towards a deer at his ashram:

Lord Krishna performs the work of Arjuna's charioteer, and hence, also takes up charge of getting the horses clean and ready, and feeds them too:

Ravana confronted by Jatayu:

Ravana's men try to wake Kumbhakarna up in vain:

Video 1: Varma painting Shiva and Parvati

Video 2: Varma painting Duryodhana

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Pune Trip Part 2: Pataleshwar Temple of Rastrakutas

One of the places I had planned to visit during my trip to Pune in July this year was the Pataleshwar Temple at Jangli Maharaj Road. This is a rock-cut cave temple dates back to 8th century AD, completed during the reign of the Rastrakutas. It was surprising how little people know about this historical temple in and around Pune itself, a parallel I could draw with the state of Hoysala grandeur in Karnataka. A lot of focus has moved towards the newer temples, while the archaeologically and historically important ones crave for attention. 

Here are some photos I took in the form of a video: