Margazhiyil Makkalisai – Treat to all the senses !

I attended Margazhiyil Makkalisai, day before yesterday (26.12.21), The fact that I’m penning down a blog so soon, after the experience itself says how much it has impacted me and I definitely don’t want to present a diluted version of the experience because as days roll by I might miss writing about the true essence of the event. I am writing this more for myself, to read and reminisce later. But I am also writing about this so soon, so you can attend the rest of the event ! The event goes on until 31st Dec 21 in various locations of Chennai. The ticket cost is just 200 INR Click here to read the schedule and book tickets for further events directly NOW !

I attended the 3rd day of the event, each and every day has a different theme, and Day 3 was Oppari. Oppari – is one of the funeral procedures, its been performed over hundreds and hundreds of years across Tamilnadu, where the performers, usually who belong to the same locality, sing in praise of the person who had passed away. They lament and sing to the music of “Parai” an ancient tamil skin instrument, (Thol isai karuvi) which is said to be predecessor of Mirudhangam and many others. The intensity of the words sung, along with the vibrations produced from Parai is said to transport us mentally to another level, allowing us to grieve and express our feelings for the person who is no more.

I watched a recent Tamil movie – Sethum Aayiram Pon on Netflix, which beautifully showcased about this Oppari culture. In the event, where the OG Oppari artists performed, there was absolute spell of great vibes all around !

What Awestruck me is that unlike other artforms which can be practised and rehearsed anytime, Oppari is sung only during deaths, so transfer of knowledge (across generations and others) also happens only during the event, It has been considered to be a disgrace or said to bring bad luck when sung otherwise. Just wondering how much of “Kelvi gnanam” (Auditory memory and wisdom) it would take to have kept this wonderful artform alive for all these years. Oppari is said to be usually sung only by the Oppressed communities, and in those years as education was considered to be only for the “Privileged”. “We would have lost many creations as it weren’t documented, and what we heard (audiences) that day were one of the finest collection of Oppari in its purest form” says JK from JK parai isai kuzhu. This man JK had so much to offer and everything he said with so much pride in his eyes added more value to the show. He told us the history behind different types of Parai, The names of different Parai instruments and so much more – it felt like he must just conduct lectures and seminars about Parai isai, its significance in Tamil tradition and the stories of artists behind it, to transfer the immense knowledge he has.

He said Parai would be performed in over 50+ events in those days, and now neither we have have such events nor parai is being used. When talking about the importance of using Parai in deaths, JK said “The sound, and vibrations from the instrument doesn’t allow house flies to enter the Ezhavu veedu and there by acting as a natural preserving method”.

Location and Stage

Oppari event was held in IIT – M Research wing Auditorium. I loved the minimal yet meaningful stage decor. One side of the stage had half a picture of Mirudhangam and other side had Parai, which I think tried to signify Parai = Mirudhangam. We all know how popular the cultural event “Saarang” at IIT – M is, probably one of the country’s best ! Host said that none of the events at Saarang supported our cultural art forms. May this “Margazhiyil Makkalisai – Oppari at IIT” be a beautiful start to this revolutionary change !

The Artists – The Stars

The show began with “Parai Isai gosham” where an entire team of artists performed, it had set the mood right for the evening and then the host says – beginning with our signature parai isai to denote “Engal isaiyum mangala isaye” . Followed by the performances of a group of thathas from Thiruvannamalai – who sang Oppari and then told us a story of Harichandran. The show took a gracious turn with Munaivar Bhuvaneswari ammal who has a doctorate degree where she studied the similarities between Thaalattu (Lullaby) and Oppari.

As I went on thinking, that no new gen people have come forward to learning this artform, Thamizhini a young performer’s Thalattu for kids, came as a ray of hope. Her voice so unique and she had a very profound “Utcharippu” which added beauty to her performance.

Then came the real star of the show – Muththammal, she not only set the stage on fire, she set the seats on fire, Audiences were filled in the aisle, dancing, waving and rejoicing ! She staying true to her name threw gracious flying kisses ! She had us all hooked to her entire performance !

And as Enjoy Enjaami fame “Therukural” Arivu, in his voice clear like a string sang….

ஒப்பாரி பாக்கியம் அம்மாள் யேலாலம்மடி யேலோ

அவர் ஒப்பில்லாத நட்சத்திரம் யேலாலம்மடி யேலோ” our hearts melted a little, for the song, for the artist and story behind how this song reached him !!

Image Credits – Arunachalam Ravi

Date and Significance

I loved how the host Thamizh Praba added really relevant information to the event. He himself was such a resourceful person, full of energy. The event date was 26th Dec which happened to be the birth anniversary of Mao Zedong – A revolutionary communist from China. Tamizh prabha quoted one of his quotes “Art is for the people” i.e., Kalai makkalukaanadhu and brimmed in pride saying, None of the events celebrating his birthday across the world would have done more justice to this quote than “Margazhiyil Makkalisai” and as an audience who witnessed the sheer brilliance I just cant agree more. 

Image Credits – Arunachalam Ravi

He then quoted it was also birth anniversary of Annai Meenambal Shivaraj – who translated the speeches of BR Ambedkar in Tamil during his visits to Tamilnadu, who had also immensely worked for the rights and progression of Women. 

The Chief guests

Sean Roldan, Pa Ranjith, Thozhar Selva were there. Selva said he was really privileged to be part of this revolutionary and historic event. Of all these years its so astonishing and shocking that only now these Art forms gets a stage to perform ! So hard to believe yet undeniably true ! Sean Roldan said Margazhi has never looked this colourful for him, all these years that he has been in Chennai. And ofcourse Last but not the least Pa Ranjith said “Lets write our own histories, our art forms, our stars ! Lets not wait for somebody else to write about our locals, This might inspire for so many more such artists to get on stage and keep the Artform alive !”

This, really moved me to write this piece ! Hope I made some justice to your time !

Phrases like “தமிழ் வாழ்க தமிழ் வளர்க” let them not only live in the form of Hashtags ! Lets start supporting local artists, put money in their pockets, give them more power, praise them, and most importantly introduce them to our kids ! I sincerely wish that this revolutionary event goes global and gets appreciated by millions and millions of people and Let Margazhiyil Makkalisai become “Varudamellam Makkalisai” . I wrote “#MargazhiyilMakkalisai – A treat to all senses” as the title of this blog because honestly, we didn’t even feel hungry the whole time! No questions asked it was an amazing treat to eyes and ears, It was soul stirring and hard hitting at the same time ! More power to Ranjith.Pa, Neelam Culturals, Yaazhi Films for organising such events which leaves a profound impact on the audiences ! Sincerely hoping to see more of such events in future ! Jai Bhim !

Lets connect on Instagram at @yummyfantasies . In case of any Karuthu or Ezhuthu pizhai mannikkavum ! Wrote a blog after, literally 2 years ! Now this itself feels like a kutty achievement for me. Do show your support by sharing this blog to friends and family by clicking on the buttons below ! Do Initiate conversations over comments, would love to read what this meant to you ! Thanks a ton for sticking till the end ! Loads of love ~ Vaishnavi S

Featured post

13 Reasons why Kindle is every Reader’s Asset

Honestly Amazon Amazing Kindle is one best purchase I made in a long time and I can’t stop telling the world how awesome it is !

If you are not familiar with what kindle is and what it does, *jumps and tells* I can tell you how it works. Kindle is a reading device, designed to read E books, Docs, PDFs etc., So, I read them all in my Laptop/ smart phone, why Kindle you may ask. Not 1 or 2 I can give you 13 reasons Why.

  1. Your Eyes will thank you and vadichify aanandha kanneer (leave happy tears) – The first best part is, It is not light emitting, it looks and feels just like a paper, Thus not at all strenuous on eyes! we all come across at least one article everyday on the ill-health effects of smartphones to our eyes, so why not switch when given an option? These days I read all Docs and books on kindle, and restrict phone usage just for social media. Also it doesn’t glare like phones, hence reading is comfy even while out in the sun!

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EC – @mr.fudgy

2. The Eco friendly way, The Kindle way – Don’t you think its high time, we start doing little something for our Mother earth? Think of the amount of trees being cut down for single book and switch to kindle right away !

3. Dictionaries now in a single tap – Ok, You might be a total geek, but aren’t we all get lazy to search for a word meaning, when a fancy word pops in? (I’M !) This In-built Dictionary feature (available in many languages, I jumped in joy when I found out Tamil -Tamil; Tamil- English App By #KaReFo)  is such a life saver, just a long press away from finding the word meanings ! EASY PEASY.WhatsApp Image 2018-10-04 at 10.11.04 PM (2)

4. Customize the text for you On E Books and Word Docs, there is liberty of choosing your favorite font style and can even adjust the size, from viewing two big stanzas to just 4 words per screen ! With this font size alter option, Dad is now able to read even without his Spectacles !

5. Just like your book –  As you read, you can bookmark a certain page (keep adding for several pages) You can click “Go to” and jump to a chapter several pages away from where you are currently reading, Highlight and add notes/ comments !

6. Keyword Search – To land on a particular word, You can tap on “Search this document” on the face of the document and directly land at that part of the document even when its not personally highlighted or noted by you !

7. Organizing Docs in folders – You can categorize several docs and books under a folder just like how you do it on your PC ! This way everything stays organized.

8. 0 distractions – Reading time is reading time, you need not worry about Whatsapp or Instagram notifications popping in every now and then.

9. Left time – completed percentage – As you read a book, at the left end, it shows the amount of time you left to complete reading the book and at the right it shows percentage of pages read ! It kinda motivates me to read more when I see that !

10. Lists popular highlights – This one of the coolest feature ! Imagine while reading a Heavy cast novel like Ponniyin Selvan (with long breaks in between *yawns* people get busy in the middle okay?) and loosing track of who is what. You are sorted, You can go to “Public” under Notes where it lists important sentences repeatedly highlighted by many. Sentences Highlighted by you can be found under “Yours” under Notes.WhatsApp Image 2018-10-04 at 10.11.04 PM (1)

11. No more running behind chargers – Single charge lasts about a week ! Aah, the relief.

12. Very very light ! – 100s of books are now less than 150g ! isn’t that the dream?

13. Many E-Books available for free and highly discounted prices – Kindle users have an advantage on the Amazon book stores and get really lucky with the prices ! when I say Lucky, I really really mean it !

 

 

 

Don’t think its some kind of a paid partnership with Kindle where I keep on raving about the same, I have a few Cons too, so here you go:

  1. Navigation on PDF is cumbersome – Adjusting the font size option is unavailable with PDFs. Hence I convert My PDFs into Word Docs (with this website ilovepdf.com) before I import it to my kindle.
  2. Cannot edit – Yes ! Can’t edit your documents as you read, while you can still add comments.
  3. Flickers on taps – Kindle works on E ink technology, so with each tap, it flickers, but this is what makes it easy on our eyes ! while, it was difficult to adapt in the beginning now I see it as a boon only !
  4. Black and white – Everything you view on Kindle is Black and white, so It is not great to view images, while you study.

 

Did you fall in love with Kindle, the way I did? you can buy it from the link below:

https://amzn.to/2F8msWn

Amazon Kindle – The reading device

So, If you like my post and think it might help you friends and family do share it among them !

See you soon !

Until then,

Vaish !

Featured post

Now Chennai will play like never before !

The Board Room cafe is a board game themed cafe ! YASS you heard me right !

It is located in a tree shaded street of Mylapore. Although a few cafes in chennai have board games to chill and kill time, I haven’t come across a cafe that exclusively sets aside a huge space and calls it “gaming zone“. Walking through the cafe I realized, these guys take games, way too seriously ! My jaw dropped when I looked at their shelf with all the board games stacked up ! This cafe serves as a house for over 400 board games. Now this also means we get to play a new game every time we visit. This is my childhood dream come true ! A place full of exciting board games. kick -ass right?

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My friends and I settled there to spend an evening. The hosts were super friendly, got us comfortable, asked our preferences about the games. A simple strategic two – player game “Patch work” was suggested. I swear I haven’t even heard names of those board games before. The host explained us the rules to play and he pitched in whenever we needed clarifications.

Me being immersed in the game
Me being immersed in the game

Holder kept moving, time kept fleeing, Tadaa end of the game. By the end of it, we only wanted to play more. We ended up playing one more, the “Splendor“. This was my personal favorite. It took me back to the age of kings, the terms gems, mines, nobles are still stuck in my head. The thought provoking aftermath is real, haha !

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The Tariffs for playing ranges from 100 to 350 INR depending on the day and number of hours spent. The pricing is so apt and the experience is worth every penny !

Play leads to brain plasticity and creativity. Nothing fires up the brain like play – Stuart Brown, M.D.

I loved the interiors, simple and neat. The Cushion corners made us feel ‘at home’ and took me back to my childhood days of summer vacations playing board games all day. The Host was excited to share info about the upcoming tournaments. These kind of concepts are relatively new in namma Chennai. I really hope it clicks ! Browsing through their Instagram handle ( The board room) I came across summer camps for kids, how exciting?

Games and play are not just for children. There are games for you, me and everyone. Games are a fun way to explore, learn and be creative in our own ways !

Give yourself a small break, do visit this place and let me know how you liked it. I am all ears !

Vaish

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