Being at Thiruvayar for Thyagaraja’s Aradhana when Pancharatna songs are sung was one of my biggest dreams. This dream was fulfilled this year when I planned a month in advance, and positioned myself at the place of ceremony 30 minutes prior to the commencement to the program.
Thousands of people had gathered to celebrate the 160th Aradhana and it was great to see that international press had a section blocked off for themselves. Considering the police staff and their infrastructure, it was a pretty well organized setting.
The program began sharply at 9 and it was beautiful music for the next full hour. Many in the audience had lyrics in their hand (yours truly included) and tried mumbling as best as one could along with the professional artists.
Although Jagadanandagaraka, Dudukugala, Sadhinchane and Kanakanaruchira are equally nice, there is always a change in the atmosphere, at least for me, when Endaro Mahanubhavulu is sung. There is this strange feeling of greatness that comes about whenever this song commences. Like, world coming to a stop for a second.
But, alas, everything good comes to an end. Much too soon, the program got done. This was followed by a quick visit to Thyagaraja’s samadhi amidst the rushing crowd as well as a short trip to the house where Thyagaraja used to stay. And then it was time to visit Thanjavur and see the World Famous Brihadeshwar temple.
Parting thought – it was worth it all!