The inauguration of Kairos on Friday featured three performances. The first was one where Pandit Biswajit Roy Chowdhry took centre stage with his Sarod, followed by a display of the vocal talents of Akshaya Parthasarathy and Jagata Swaminathan on the violin, concluded by a semi-classical dance consisting of a number of first, second and third years.
It took a while for the crowd in the auditorium to build up for the performances, but once it did, those inside were held in rapt attention by the expert rendition of Pt. Chowdhury. A stickler for procedure and discipline which one would assume is a result of years of dedication to the fine art of classical music, he demanded complete silence at the start of his performance to the extent of asking a particularly talkative member of the audience to either keep silent or leave the hall. Rumours have it that he particularly requested a setup of a separate platform on stage and a carpet as well, which he later refused needing.
He took a few minutes before the start of his performance to reflect on how there are always elderly people at classical music concerts and never many of the youth, and went on to explain how each performance was a journey and that the speed technique and rhythm varies throughout them. “What I play has a language,” he says, “It has logic, it has grammar, and it has meaning. You just have to listen carefully with concentration to understand.”
The performance itself was stellar, evoking twelve separate mid-performance rounds of applause from as involved an audience as you’d have seen at the auditorium in all your time here, however long it’s been. Such was the response that at the end of the performance, the Vice Chancellor requested an encore.
Akshaya Parthasarathy and Jagata Swaminathan took the stage thereafter, with the latter on the violin and the former on vocals, rendering Mahaganapathim for the audience. A devotional song, intended to keep with the tradition of invoking the subjects of the hymns to look favourably on the event(s) we try to pull off.
This was followed by the concluding performance of semi-classical dance by Anu Bhaskaran, Kuhuk Jain, Maria George, Saniya Sharma, Shrishti Singhania and Surbhi Lal, this too of course displaying more than a touch of the traditional in terms of the presentation and the music that the dance was set to.
Both performances were graceful and proved to be apt for the inauguration ceremony which on the whole could fairly be described to be one of the more arty functions to have been held at the auditorium.