Saturday, 14 January 2017

Pre-Pongal mood at Aradhana zone

The clouds closed in as we arrived in Thanjavur on Friday evening: we made a stopover at the village of Nanjikottai to soak in a short Pongal celebration arranged for foreign tourists by a local friend, Muthukumar.

The festival mood was thick as we then drove down to Thiruvaiyaru that evening. A familiar 9km road this, you cannot ignore how over the years the green green fields have given way to plots and houses.

Thiruvaiyaru residents were busy in the central market and shopping spaces, congested with sales of flowers and sugarcane, coconuts and bananas, Kolam powder and thoranams.

And from the far end, the music of the nNadaswaram floated. The Thyagaraja Aradhana in its 170th edition had just begun.

There was a formal launch; the collector of Thanjavur was the chief guest as was vocalist Sudha Ragunathan, whose longish and involved speech got everybody's attention.

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