India is celebrating the festival of lights. Down-country, an ancient Sanskrit theatre lends centrality to the lamp on the stage. A recent film on Koodiyattam maestro Sivan Namboodiri bears that spirit of visual focus.
Integral to the Dhrupad system of north India, the rudra veena is facing an existential crisis. A just-concluded three-day music festival in Jaipur seeks to find solutions and strings together its exponents, makers and aesthetes from across the country.
More often, it is the ‘unlikely rebel’ who scripts stories of a landmark socio-religious change. Be it, the fully-real Yadhu Krishnan of a Travancore shrine or the part-fictional Budh Ram of an eastern UP village.
Durga Puja is the time to refresh skills. Kerala’s Kalpathy Balakrishnan is the only ambidextrous chenda percussionist. The master reveals how he began holding the stick in the right hand, instead of left initially.