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Aruna Sairam sings unity message at Club Chola Concert
A Carnatic music concert at Taj Coromandel! The occasion and the audience were unusual. Well, the concert was organized by Club Chola, a Murugappa Group outfit, for its wealth management clients. The occasion was also special. It marked the first anniversary of the dastardly terror attack on Mumbai, the financial capital of the country. Her concert on the evening of November 26 at Taj Coramendal in Chennai underscored the spirit of nationality. Aruna Sairam sang songs in several languages. The performers and the audience understood the significance of the day. Aruna Sairam communicated a peace message and drove home the unifying spirit of music very well.

Aruna Sairam is the brand ambassador of DBS Chola. The audience comprised a mix of customers, rasikas and a few artistes. Before beginning her concert, she made a brief speech. She recalled how on the same day in Mumbai last year the Taj Hotel was under attack from terrorists. This was an occasion to dedicate the music for those souls who had laid their lives for the country, she said. All stood as a mark of respect to the departed souls.

She began the evening with a Sanskrit invocation song on Smartha Gayathri. She followed it up with Kalyana Rama in Hamsanadam. She then took up Guruji, a Hindi composition of Gorakhnath, a saint belonging to the eleventh century. Aruna’s favourite Abhang item in Marathi was full of expressive lyrics. And, the Vittala namavali in Bimplas was riveting. “Jo Jo Rama” (Ritigaula), a lullaby based on Vatsalya bhava, had a tranquilizing effect. A Bengali song “Dhonnyo Dhonne” portrayed the glory of India. A Kavadi Chindu in Tamil, which focused on the rural India and farmers, was pleasing to listen. A Malayalam song on Lord Guruvayurappan in raga Dvijavanthi was finely rendered. “Chinnanchiru Kiliye” of Subramania Bharathi, a ragamailika, went well with the audience. She preceded this with a viruttam in ragas Ranjani, Nilambari etc., making the song richer. Her favourite Tillana on Kalinga Nardanam of Sri Krishna based on raga Nattai proved very popular among the audience.

Aruna rendered most of her songs expressively. Her hand gestures and expressive eyes showed her complete involvement. She drew the curtain down in a fitting way. It was a tribute to all those who sacrificed their lives in the dastardly attack on Mumbai the same evening last year. “Bharatha Desa Hitaya”, composed in Sanskrit by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi, was appropriate and set off a poignant mood. Aruna sang this in Desh rag. Her concert that evening was crisp and enjoyable. Aruna Sairam was given percussion support on mridangam by Patri Satish Kumar and on ghatam by Ramani. Embar Kannan gave a good violin support.

Chandrika Raman -
Awesome review & a lively evening!