I was invited by the Dakshina Dvaraka again to another concert presentation program yesterday and I had an absolutely marvelous time learning some things about Carnatic Music that I had not known before. You can learn something about the program from the PDF that I give as a link here.
I was well primed to expect the unusual by an article in the local press about the event and I was not disappointed. Among the most unexpected information that I gathered was the fact that the Thanjavur court used Telugu as official language despite the rulers being Marathas and the state being located in the heart of Tamil speaking area. It made sense as the State was originally ruled by the Nayaks who were Telugu speaking rulers, but such a blend of three languages in one state suddenly made sense with the explanations given by Dr. Sumathi Krishnan.
The enjoyment was however short lived as I was exposed to something that I had not experienced in decades. It is a custom that before one enters the particular concert hall where the program was held that the audience removes its footwear outside the main hall. I had known about this and worn a pair of slippers that I could easily get in and out of. On coming out of the hall to put them on again, I was shocked to see that they had been taken away by someone either accidentally or deliberately. A couple of well wishers helped me to search for them in three different locations without success and I walked out of the building on bare feet before I could into a vehicle to go home. A lesson learnt and if I have to go there again, I would remember to carry a bag in which I could carry the footwear inside and come out to wear them again! I would however try and persuade the management before hand to permit people to wear footwear inside! I shall keep my readers informed.