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Christmas Time Again!

Once again December has arrived for yet another Christmas season. Some  do call it as a silly season. Commercially it is a busy time for the supermarkets. A supermarket in Germany  has turn the festive season with an  innovative  musical idea. Please check the  short  video below.

 

Supermarket in Germany

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Just happening at Perth, Australia -World Youth scrabble Championship

World Youth Scrabble Championship 2015

World Youth Scrabble Championship 2015

Scrabble Championship 2015

Scrabble Championship  2015

WP_20151102_11_17_31_Pro WP_20151102_11_15_54_ProPlease note that most of these photos were taken from above hence the images are not clear.

Related article

World Youth Scrabble Championship

Sculpture By The Sea – 2015

I had the opportunity view some of the exhibits at the “Sculpture by the sea” exhibition held at the Cottesloe beach, Perth, Western Australia.  It is an annual event  running for the past eleven years where the locals and international artists show case  their talents.

I have visited the shore for the first time on a midday.  Hope you will enjoy viewing the images.

1. My home is your home

‘My home is your home’ by Ken Unsworth Photo credit: Alfiet20032015

The above sculpture is  building  a bridge between two religions one singing “Hallelujah”  and  the other singing an Islamic prayer alternatively over the microphone.

'Mr. Melancholy' designed out of  a shipping container

‘Mr. Melancholy’ designed out of a shipping container Photo: saba-thambi 20/3/15

"Primodial"

“Primodial” (photo: Alfiet200315)

"Ashes to Ashes" by Kim Perrier

“Ashes to Ashes” by Kim Perrier

5.Ashes to Ashes

Ashes to Ashes

6. Ashes to ashes

Mangoes!

                           Nice Mangoes!

 Harbour

                                                                   Harbour

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Jaffna thavil “vithuvaan” Thatchanaamoorthy

Thavil vithuvaan  Thatchanaamoorthy is a well-known artiste among the  Jaffna Carnatic music lovers.

For those who are unfamiliar with this type of two sided percussion, here are some details:

A hollow barrel shaped “thavil”  drum is  made of  animal skin and wood.  The barrel of the drum is made from  the wood of jak fruit ( ) and the skin is from water buffalo and goat for the either side of the  barrel. The thavil is generally accompanied  with a wood wind instrument called  “nathaswaram” .  The thavil and Nathaswaram combination is  traditionally played in south Indian and north Sri Lankan Hindu Temples, weddings and at auspicious festivals. These ensembles  have 2 thavils (1st & 2nd)  and 2 nathaswarams.

The best ensembles of T & N  are hailed from  Thanjavoor in Tamil Nadu so it  was indeed  magnanimous   for maestro  Thatchanaamoorthy   to shine among the Thanjavoor thavil  artistes.

Thatchannamoorthi was well received whenever he performend in Jaffna Hindu temples. People gather in droves from far away villages to hear his drumming and  to get a glimpse of the maestro. I have many recollections of the conversations my late father had with my uncles and the other “meLLa” fans of late Thatchanaamoorthi. Legend has it that  on one  temple occasion the genius  played  for nearly five hours!

My memory serves correct, his  recorded ensembles were broadcasted  via the South Indian radio stations almost 40 years ago.  I wish success to his family in the mammoth task of  retracing some of his performances for the future generation to cherish.

Below is an article published on The Hindu where his family is searching for his old recordings:

A Jaffna thavil maestro’s Thanjavur connection

Meera Srinivasan The Hindu JAFFNA, December 22, 2013 

Thakshanamoorthi pillai

Thavil Vithuvaan Dakshinamurthy Pillai remains a peerless giant in the world of percussion

Late Dakshinamurthy Pillai remains a peerless giant in the world of percussion

It was during his few years in Thanjavur that thavil maestro Yazhpanam Dakshinamurthy Pillai saw his career peak. It was also in Thanjavur that he got rather disillusioned with the music field. Nearly four decades after his passing away, Dakshinamurthy Pillai remains a peerless giant in the world of percussion. “He was a rare phenomenon. He came, he conquered and he perished,” said Yazhpanam Ganesan, summing up his cousin Dakshinamurthy Pillai’s life.

“Just as he conceived complex rhythmic permutations and combinations, his fingers would effortlessly execute them with utmost clarity,” said Mr. Ganesan, himself a Nagaswaram artist. But until date, the family of Dakshinamurthy Pillai has not been able to retrieve a single recording of his performance in Tamil Nadu.

“We don’t have any video recording, either,” said Yazhpanam Udayasankar, carrying on his father’s legacy. He is the only one among Dakshinamurthy Pillai’s five children to stay back in Jaffna, as a thavil artise. “My brother who lives in Canada also plays the thavil.”

A self-taught genius

Dakshinamurthy Pillai — a largely self-taught genius — went to Thanjavur on the insistence of Needamangalam Shanmugavadivel, a thavil wizard in his own right. “Appa [father] made very good friends there like musicologist B.M. Sundaram, AKP annan (thavil exponent Haridwaramangalam A.K. Palanivel) and Kaliyamurthy annan. They were all passionate musicians, constantly exchanging ideas,” said Mr. Udayasankar.

Dakshinamurthy Pillai had the highest regard for Nagaswaram giant T.N. Rajarathinam Pillai’s music. “He has played for stalwarts like Karukurichi Arunachalam on many occasions,” said Jaffna-based violinist Uthirapathi Radhakrishnan, a nephew of Dakhinamuthy Pillai. He would bring artists from Tamil Nadu to Jaffna for performances as well.

Despite such strong links and artistically rewarding exchanges, the pressures of being a performing artist began daunting him, notes Mr. Udayasankar. “He had no personal rivalry with any artist. They all supported him, but somehow, things did not work out for him.” After some failed attempts at treating his depression Dakshinamurthy returned to Jaffna. He died when he was barely 42. “It is a tragedy that such a genius went unrecognised — both in India and in Sri Lanka,” said Mr. Radhakrishnan.

All that the family has in his memory are a few black and white photographs, one family photograph that looks recently colour-processed. “I was only seven when my father passed away,” said Mr. Udayasankar.

Documentary

In an era when photographs were rare and audio or video recordings even rarer, much of Dakshinamurthy’s contribution on either side of the Palk Strait was undocumented. Only recently, film maker Amshan Kumar started working on a documentary about the maestro. While one part has been shot in Tamil Nadu, the crew will travel to Jaffna early next year for the remaining portion.

The family has another source of hope. Actor Sivaji Ganesan was a big fan of Dakshinamurthy’s performance.

“At his request, my father played at his daughter’s wedding. If only I could contact his family, I will ask them if they have a video recording of that concert. Watching my father play will be a dream come true,” Mr. Udayasankar said.

Family members of Thavil maestro Yazhpanam Dakshinamurthy Pillai.

 

:related article: http://www.thejaffna.com/jaffna/eminence/%E0%AE%A4%E0%AE%9F%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%9A%E0%AE%A3%E0%AE%BE%E0%AE%AE%E0%AF%82%E0%AE%B0%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%A4%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%A4%E0%AE%BF

 

http://www.thejaffna.com/jaffna/eminence/%E0%AE%A4%E0%AE%9F%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%9A%E0%AE%A3%E0%AE%BE%E0%AE%AE%E0%AF%82%E0%AE%B0%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%A4%E0%AF%8D%E0%AE%A4%E0%AE%BF

 

 

 

World Toilet day – 19th of November 2013

This year November 19th has been recognised as the  First World Toilet day by the United Nations.

wt dWaterAid is an international non-governmental organisation who has a vision to provide safe water and sanitation to every citizen of the world. World Aid also build thousands of toilets globally each year with the help of local people and partners and demand governments to target to spend  more towards sanitation.

Next time when you contemplate  on the throne of porcelain, spare a thought for the 2.5 billion people of the world who don’t have the luxury of having a toilet!

 Did you know the loo facts ?

– 2.5 billion people (one in three of the world’s population)  don’t have a safe, clean and private toilet.

–   Around 700,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation  (2,000 children a day).

–  Toilets have added 20 years to the human life expectancy over the past two centuries.

–   More people in the world have a mobile phone than a toilet.

Spare a thought for the guy sitting in the corner. What would you do without him?

WaterAid Australia has released a video marking the day with the sanitary song “ Thank you Toilet”

Credits to : WaterAid Australia

What is a Dad?

Image

Happy Fathers day in Australia, Sept 1, 2013

A dad is someone

who wants to catch you before you fall

but instead picks you up, brushes you off,

and lets you try again.

A dad is  someone

who wants to keep you from making mistakes

but instead lets you find your own way,

even  though his heart breaks in silence

when you get hurt.

A dad is someone who holds you when you cry,

scolds you when you break the rules,

shines with pride when you succeed,

and has faith in you even when you fail….

We pray that all our  Dads, Grandpas and Great Grandpas who will enjoy a happy day with their families , or if separated from them by distance, in touch with them in a meaningful way.
(From the pew-slip of St. Martin Anglican Church, Morley -Noranda, Western Australia Sept 1, 2013)