It was a dream come true. I had been wanting to visit Umayalpuram, the place from where my guru and idol – mrudangam maestro Sri Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman (UKS) hails, for quite some time now but never imagined that I will get an opportunity to go there along with UKS sir himself! The occasion was the annual Sita Kalyana Utsavam which brings to the village, families that used to once live there but have now migrated to other places. Some even come from as far as USA to participate.
Taking part in the festival was a great experience in itself. The unchavriti in the morning, the dips and lazing around in the river Kaveri in the evening, playing for the Divyanama bhajans in the night and most importantly eating the tastiest food that I have ever had in my life, all made it a special affair to be remembered for a long long time.
Here are some snaps:
Sita Kalyana Utsavam:
Bhagavathars in action:
The ladies get into the act:
Divyanama bhajans in progress:
Program schedule (Courtesy: Ravi Shankar):