Baba’s birthday a low-key affair

Baba’s birthday a low-key affair
Express News Service
First Published : 24 Nov 2009 03:48:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 24 Nov 2009 11:08:59 AM IST

PUTTAPARTHI: The 84th birthday celebrations of Sri Satya Sai Baba were held at Sai Kulwant Hall in Prashanti Nilayam in Puttaparthi. Saibaba has formally cut the cake to mark his birthday in the presence of several dignitaries and thousands of devotees who thronged to witness the celebrations.

This time around, Sathya Sai Baba did not speak nor give any message.

The entire celebrations were a low-key affair. Malgudi brothers entertained the audience with their bhajans.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan attended the function with his family members.

Tourism Minister J Geeta Reddy, Puttaparthi MLA Palle Raghunatha Reddy, former Supreme Court Justice PN Bhagawati, TTD chairman DK Audikesavulu Naidu. Additional DGP Sivanarayana, former DGP HJ Dora, former cricketer EAS Prasanna, TVS Group head Srinivasan, Mallika Srinivasan, noted Sitar player Pandit Ravishankar, District Collector B Janardhan Reddy, Anantapur Range DIG BL Sujatha Rao, SP MK Singh, actresses Anjali Devi, Krishnakumari, Janaki, Jamuna, playback singer Suseela and a host of other celebrities participated.

There were less number of foreign devotees this year for the birthday celebrations may be due to economic recession and the recent floods. NT Chowdary and Dr Damoder arranged for free food for the devotees.

The district SP made elaborate police bandobast in Puttaparthi.

Express Buzz Reference


An enchanting evening of ragas and talas
TNN 24 November 2009, 05:13am IST

BANGALORE: The Goddesses of Carnatic music and dance left audience hooked to their seats at Ambedkar Bhavan. The musical evening, part of the ‘Bangalore Festival’ had the audience swaying to ragas and talas.

Monday saw mesmerizing performances from Carnatic music singer Sudha Raghunathan and Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer, and accomplished actress, Shobhana.

It was Sudha who set the pace for the evening. She began with preludes in Sanskrit, seeking the blessings of lord Ganesha and Krishna. The ragas she sang left listeners lost in a melodious world.

When she picked the high note, the packed audience echoed with applause. She also rendered a bhajan to Sathya Sai Baba, as it was his birthday on Monday.

After one hour of pure bliss, Padma Shri Shobhana took centrestage. She began with a varnam and she also danced to a bhajan from one of her Hindi movies. Her troupe, which performed a ballet, regaled the rasikas as well. A music lover and dancer herself, Vani Ganapathy kept on clapping and encouraging both her contemporaries. She expressed delight in attending the cultural festival. At the end of the programme, music and dance lovers went home craving for more.

Times Of India Reference

Also see:
Sudha Raghunathan And Sathya Sai Baba

Monument To Music

Monument To Music
by Aruna Chandraraju

From the window above, the strains of a soothing raga, and the rhythmic beats of a mridangam float down to us. We pause on the steps leading to Sathya Sai Baba Mirpuri College of Music in Prashanti Nilyam to take a good look at the Saraswathi statue that fronts this truly unique college.

You might wonder what is unique about a music college considering India abounds in them. This college not only offers high-grade education free of cost but also a zero-cost all-inclusive residential facility. Attached to it is an enormous music museum with strikingly unusual architecture and a collection of nearly 300 musical instruments from across the world. The Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music also has eminent Indian musicians like Shivkumar Sharma, Yella Venkateswara Rao, Hariharan, L. Subramaniam, and Neyveli Santanagopalan visiting and holding interactive sessions with students. Moreover, the students get to listen regularly to legends in Indian classical and film music who frequent the Sai Ashram and perform there.

We are ushered inside and walked through the building. The classrooms are spacious, airy, and impeccably clean. The library has an impressive collection of nearly 4000 music-related books and 400 CDs and audio cassettes, with new additions every month.

The college offers three courses each in Hindustani and Carnatic streams of music, and teaches vocal and instrumental music including veena, mridangam, sitar and tabla.

It even has classes for dying folk arts like Burrakatha. There is a two-year foundation course (Abhyaasa Gaana), three-year diploma course (Vidya Praveena), and one-year post-diploma Kalapoorna course.

The curriculum was designed by stalwarts like Bhimsen Joshi, Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana and Yella Venkateswara Rao, and professors of music from other universities.

The museum has a giant tabla alongside and its façade has two-storey high tamburas and guitars for pillars, while an enormous trumpet forms another design element. Within is a visual and acoustic treat for the music connoisseur — nearly 300 stringed, percussion and wind instruments from Africa, South-east Asia and Arabic countries, including rare specimens, displayed in a large, well-lit hall.

Some of the smaller instruments are mounted on the wall alongside pictures of the spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba, who is Founder-Chancellor of the university which runs this college. There are bigger instruments at floor-level like a giant veena, mridangam and guitar, all perfectly proportioned and tuned.

For details, contact Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music, Sri Sathya Sai University, Prashanti Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh. Tel: (08555) 287 239; 289 050.

The Hindu Reference