A very busy week it was...Last sunday went for GandharvaSandhya (Kairali Yesudas) awards at Kanakakkunnu palace...Went for the show a good 3 hours before the opening...on reaching there,found out that unlike previous years you had to get a free pass.It was a bolt from the blue ,never was mentioned in the papers.Think Kairali,who was sponsoring the event, was to blame??So there i was stranded and the security was tight and strict as the Governor was coming.The program was supposed to start at six...Suddenly at 5:00 comes the announcement that no more people will be allowed in,even those with passes, as it was full to capacity !! People were going back gloomy and the police drove away the reluctant ones.I waited at a nearby bustop..."To wait and not be tired by waiting..."

At seven the program came on in a giant screen fitted outside...The awards ceremony was over...And Asha Bhosle had left suddenly ...no one knew if she would be back...At that precise time the heavens opened.The open air theatre ,Nisdhagandhi, at which the program was held ,was doused with a light but steadly drizzle.The families and the less sturdy started coming out and FINALLY the police opened the gates and we moved in...people all excied running ,pushing ...After standing for four hours,had to continue that effort with one foot...the place was jam packed.Sigh!!No problem the minute Yesudas started singing one forgot everything else.
Manna Dey was super, i thought.But the crowd got restless after hearing the old unfamiliar old Hindi numbers .Some oof them scoffed at the old man with the harmonium, who is a living legend.They clapped middl eway through a song and some people even had the teremity to howl and jeer.All a grim pointer to what is really wrong with this country.Intolerance.Let's not even start discussing Gujarat.None of the papers mentioned this rougish behaviour.Manna Dey refused to come on stage again ,even though it was announced a memento was to be presented to him.Don't blame him at all !!

On the way back through the lush kanakunnu palace with a beautiful moon above me I thought about the royal family and whether we blundered in choosing democracy...

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