CHENNAI: Margazhi, needless to say, is different from the other months. While the rasikas, on the one hand, throng auditoriums to listen to multiple kutcheris , the performers, with concerts lined up, seem to undergo immense pressure on the other.
“There’s definitely a pressure that builds up this month,” agrees playback singer-musician Nithyasree Mahadevan, speaking to this reporter on the sidelines of the launch of ‘Palam Udan Isai Payanam’ at Palam Silks Showroom, Luz Church Road. “What’s important for an artiste is to meet the expectations of people who come from various parts of the world to Chennai only to witness the sheer talent this city has in store,” she tells us adding, “And that’s precisely what increases my level of fear and pressure. While this month can be quite exhausting, it’s enlightening as well.” Fear and pressure aside, the 41-year-old artiste is a tad worried as well. “While we give it our best shot, I strongly feel that the number of core classical music rasikas has reduced over the years,” says Nithyasree, who has been performing for over 28 years now. “When I launched myself as a singer, I had a feeling that there were rasikas with a deep knowledge about music, who frequented the kutcheris. They used to appreciate the technicalities of carnatic music. But that doesn’t seem to be the case today,” she adds with a sense of dejection. “People are able to listen to the concerts sitting at their homes.
The media coverage has increased and it has become a topic of discussion. Chennai has almost become synonymous with margazhi,” she adds. “But I have a feeling that these changes help promoting sub-standard talent as well, which is again a cause of concern,” she says.
(Nithyasree will perform next for Tamil Isai Sangam at Raja Annamalai Hall on December 27 at 7 pm)