Colombo, January 17 (newsin.asia): For the first time in the history of diplomatic relations between India and Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission here celebrated the 70 th year of the independence of India and Sri Lanka together this year. And that was done with panache with a thrilling concert by the iconic Indian violinist Dr.L.Subramaniam and his wife, the celebrated Bollywood playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthi. Their daughter and prizewinning fusion music composer Bindu joined in to give it a GenNext flavor.
Titled “Bollywood and Beyond” the concert held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall on Wednesday, was graced by the presence of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Speaker of the Sri Lankan parliament, Karu Jayasuriya.
A packed hall listened with rap attention as Kavita Krishnamurthy opened the concert with songs from her Bollywood films, including the vibrant and funky “Hawa Hawaii” from the 1987 blockbuster “Mr.India” staring Sridevi.
Kavita’s rich voice, which could reach and hold on to the upper octaves with ease, astounded the audience, which applauded lustily. Her devotional song on Lord Shiva and the Buddha was tunefully rendered and with feeling.
Kavita got excellent support from the orchestra comprising Tanmoy Bose on the tabla, Sanjay Marathe and Frijo Francis on the keyboards, Alwyn Fernandez on the guitar, G.Satyasai on the morsing, and Keith Peters on the bass guitar. Prasad Kulkarni handled the percussion with skill.
As the audience waited with bated breath, the iconic Dr.L.Subramaniam came on stage next to effortlessly play extraordinarily complicated passages from a genre of music which he calls “Global Fusion”. The way the orchestra gelled with his virtuosity showed a perfect understanding.
The sound of Dr .Subramaiam’s violin is a cross between the viola and the cello, but it has a very wide range as he demonstrated. It is believed that this violin is best suited to Indian classical music and Indo-Western fusion. Subramaniam who played with effortless ease even as he moved on the stage, chose compositions which brought out his mastery over the instrument.
Daughter Bindu, an international prize winning fusion music composer, sang a couple of her tuneful compositions. And to the delight of the largely Sri Lankan audience, the family together sang the very popular “Surangani” a Sri Lankan “Baila”, a Ceylonese-Portuguese musical form akin to the Goan “Mando”.
Interestingly, “Surangani” is of Tamil-Sinhala origin, signifying the underling unity of Sri Lanka. It was composed in 1973 by the Sri Lankan Tamil pop music maestro “Pop Chakravarti” A.E.Manoharan and has ever since made the young jive across Sri Lanka and India.
With Radio Ceylon carrying the song to India, composer Illayaraja made a Tamil version of it for the film “Avar Enakke Sondham” with Malaysia Vasudevan and Renuka singing it. It wasn’t long before a Hindi version, sung by Asha Bhosle appeared in the film “Parmatma”.
The Indian High Commission had done the right thing by inviting Dr.L.Subramaniam to perform at the celebration of 70 years of Indian and Sri Lankan independence because he has roots in Sri Lanka. His father taught here and the family lived in Kirulapone in Colombo. He has performed in Sri Lanka many times.
As the Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu said in his welcome address, India-Sri Lanka relations are both deep and wide, going back to thousands of years. And the bonds are multifaceted with culture and music giving it depth and a distinctive flavor.
Sandhu said that India and Sri Lanka are journeying together towards fulfillment of their destinies, and that India will always be there with Sri Lanka to assist it in the way Sri Lankans want. Quoting the Buddha he said that the journey itself is significant and more important than the destination.
(The featured image at the top shows former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu, President Maithripala Sirisena and parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya at the concert)