Eve of Indian rhythms


Expensive perfume wafting through the air. Rustling of silk sarees and salwar kameezes, and the shwish of Pashmina shawls and stoles fill the air. Talks of postings in exotic places like Cairo and South Africa reach one’s ears. Others discuss mundane things like the aisle seat on a plane or someone’s 50th birthday celebrations. Friends drift in and introductions and ‘air kissing’ follow.

The lanterns are lit. The stage is set.

The members of the audience are requested not to use flash while taking photographs and to switch off their cell phones.

Then began an evening of rhythms in the enchanting Garden of Dreams with TR Dhandapany and his team who took the audience on a voyage of musical beats with Laya Gaan Madhur Lahari (Rhythmic Music of Sweet Waves).

This percussion ensemble started their performance with Raaga Kalayan (Yaman in Hindustani), and though perhaps it was a little difficult to immediately connect with the beats, the audience warmed up to the performance as the minutes ticked by.

Laya Gaan Madhura Lahiri is described as a melodic Indian percussion ensemble, conceived and led by TR Dhandapany. The concert consists of musicians performing in tandem on a variety of Indian percussion instruments featuring the rich musical heritage of India.

The concert began with all the instruments — violin, mridangam, kanjira, ghatam, pakhawaj, dholak, morsing and tabla — playing together paving the way for the each individual musician to show his mastery over the instrument. Each beat complemented the other, while each rhythm was in snyc with the other, and though the audience was a little hesitant in the beginning about applauding the performance, the tabalchi’s skill and the way his fingers flew over the tablas compelled them to put their hands together and clap.

If a part of the performance gave a feeling as if one was passing through a dense forest with crickets chirping all around, another transported one to the moment when the last of the rains have fallen, the sun is coming out again, and a drop of water from the roof drops from the roof to a puddle on the ground with a ‘pling’.

The concert was presented as part of the gala opening of the Garden of Dreams by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Embassy of India and BP Koirala India-Nepal Foundation.


• TR Dhandapany — Mridangam

• D Kartik Narayan — Kanjira

• Barath — Ghatam

• P Badrinarayanan — Pakhawaj

• Manirajan — Dholak

• R Krishnan — Morsing

• Subash Nirman — Tabla

• D Venkatasubramanian — Violin