Thursday, July 6, 2017

By PNV Ram
S Kedarnath was a talented opening batsman who performed consistently for the State Bank of India team in the 1970s and 80s. He was thought of highly by some illustrious teammates like GR vaViswanath, and could not go beyond a handful of first class appearances because the Tamil Nadu scene was dominated by some excellent openers who rarely gave even half a chance to would-be successors. After retiring from active cricket, Kedar has been constructively associated with the game as a sought-after coach, with his Kedar Academy in T'Nagar attaining high standards and producing several promising players to the state. Kedarnath is a man with a nice sense of humour and an excellent mimic. His take-offs on players and umpires can be hilarious and very convincing. He is musically talented and trained as a mridanga vidwan with a top-notch guru of his day. He also has nice sense of sruti and a ringing voice, with which he can imitate singers as varied as MD Ramanathan, Semmangudi Srinivasier, KV Narayanaswami and DK Pattammal. He has this habit of ringing you up and launch a fair rendering of Giripai, the sahana song made famous by MDR. On many a similar occasion, I have almost died of laughter.
Kedar's mentoring inclinations have not stopped with cricket coaching. Last year, he started a sabha of the name Kedaram under whose auspices he has been conducting Carnatic music concerts of quality, insisting on traditional renderings true to their pathantara by mostly young musicians, but also the occasional veteran. He stipulates some rules of decorum including one on a 'whites only' dress code! Today, Kedar celebrates the first anniversary of Kedaram at Raga Sudha Hall, Luz, Mylapore, in the presence of some luminaries of the Carnatic music world. The three-day programme kicks off with a concert by Swetha and Raamya, a young duo accompanied by VV Ravi (violin), Mannarkoil Balaji (mridangam) and H Prasanna (ghatam). The programme will continue with vocal concerts by Karthik Narayanan (accompanied by MR Gopinath, B Ganapathyraman and Alathur Rajaganesh) on Saturday, and N Vijay Siva (accompanied by Embar Kannan, J Vaidhyanathan and S Krishna) on Sunday.

No comments: