Santoor Vaadan

So are you all ready for video report? It is about Ganesha festival at Bangalore. Again Ganesha…:)

Shree Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha celebrated 46th Ganesha Festival, sponsored by Times of India – A leading newspaper. We had all kinds of entertainment programmes like drama, classical music, filmy music at APS college, Baswangudi, Bangalore. 5th September, 2008 we had Santoor Vaadan (play of a musical instrument named Santoor) by Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. Santoor and Pandit Shivkumar Sharma are synonymous. Why so? Watch this programme and find out.

The real programme is yet to be started. Meanwhile we had some devotional songs sung by singers from Art of Living organization.

“Vithal Vithal …” and “Narayan Narayan Jai Jai Govind Hare…”

Then all the dignitaries entered the dais, including founder of Art of Living Sri Sri Ravishankarji, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and his son Rahul Shrma. So we had some formalities welcoming the guest and lectures meanwhile volunteers brought AARATI at our seat. Sri Ravishankarji started his speech with Prayer chanting to lord Ganesha. He continues in Kannda. Afterwards we had informative question answer sessions about Ganesha festival tradition with Him. The anchors formally introduced Pandit Shivakumar Sharma with all his biography details. Prayaag is scared place in India where three rivers meet. Ganga Yamuna and Sarswati. On that evening we had musical Prayaag with three instruments. Santoor, Hindustani beats of Tabala and Karantaki Ghatak all three on one stage.

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma reminded us that music is an integral part of Indian culture. Various musical instrumental associated with various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. For example, Ganesha plays Mrudangam, Sarswati plays Vina, Krishna plays flute and Shiva is origin of rhythm. He introduced Santoor – the musical instrument. It is an ancient instrument, came from Valley of Kashmir. Santoor means shata-tantri veena. A veena with 100 strings. Sufi music was used to play on Santoor. His father introduced classical music on Santoor. He has done many modifications to this instrument. Then he laid down the plan for that evening. First Tabala and Santoor. Then Santoor and Ghatak. Then all three. They will start with Rageshwari raga.

Our programme started with divine blessings from Sri Sri Ravishankarji. He talked about wisdom, knowledge and some less knows aspects of this festival. It ends with such a wonderful music by Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. Yes, you can enjoy the recap with these videos. However it was completely different experience to listen them live. JugalBandi of various instruments….It was like….like…like time had stopped. Nothing else except that music and rhythm. The entire audience just lost themselves in that music.

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and his son Rahul, rarely performed together on same stage. It was really a feast for all music lovers. I made my friends to listen it live over phone. They appreciated it. Now I am sharing these videos with you all the readers of my blog. How is it? You liked it? Yes ? No?

Still few more video reports are in queue. They are about various events like other such entertaining programme during Ganesha festival, book release on Indian economy, Bollywood musical concert, poets meet etc. etc.. However next blog should not be about any video report. We need variety. What do you say?

So Stay tune and wait for my next interesting post and yes, do not forget to post your comments. Particularly, if you know Kannada then please contribute to this post by translating Sri Sri Ravishankarji’s speech and question-answers.

P.S. Santoor performance by Shivkumar Sharma at will be at Dr. Ambedkar Bhavan on 25th Oct. Times Bangalore Festival 2008


First of all thanks for everyone for your encouragement, best wishes and blessings for this blog. Yes, it is our blog and I have already invited few of you to be my co-authors. This time let me write about Ramlila at Vijya Dashmi festival.

Vijya Dashmi festival is associated with Ramayan epic and ‘Ramlila’ tradition.Ramlila is organized in a makeshift open-air theater at night. It is usually staged by amateur actors drawn from the same social grouping as the audience. The dialog is improvised, and often responsive to audience reactions. The atmosphere is usually festive and free, with the audience whistling and commenting as the story proceeds. Once, Javed Akhtar – a popular lyricist of Bollywood assigned a task to compose a song about Ramlila. Ramayan and Ramalila is associated with Hindu religion. In spite of being Muslim, by religion, he did excellent job in this song about Ramlila. Today I want to write about this song in my blog - “Express YourSelf !”.


Sita prayed Ram to come fast to save her. Nice comparison of Ravan and Ram. Sita replied that we do not have enough vocabulary to describe all the good qualities of Ram. Ravan inquired, “where is Ram?” I liked Sita’s detailed answer very much.

Ram is in my heart, in my heart beats, in my breath, in my hope, in my soul, in my life…Javed Akhtar added further that Ram is in peace, compassion, progress and unity. Just remove Ravan (devil element) and sinful thoughts from your inner being and Ram is there. Ram is there in my heart, Ram is there in your heart also. Ram is everywhere...The song has typical music to welcome Ram, that we generally found only at our rural India.

Yes this song belong to Swades movie – one of my favorite movie. And I am also fan of Javed Akhtar. It is movie about a successful Indian scientist returns to an Indian village to take his NANNY to America with him and in the process he rediscovers his roots. “Swades: We, the people”. We the people together can make difference for our progress instead of blaming authority, government and waiting for others to take actions. /* Same way, this blog is for us. We-the people can shape this blog’s content by active participation.*/

So let me recap. ‘Man Se Ravan Ko Nikalo, Ram Tere Man Me Hai’. Yes, the ignorance (Ravan) is just an outer shield covering your pure true nature (Ram). So I gave title to this post : "Groundnut". :) Shanti Rastu, Tushti Rastu, Pushti Rastu … is how we greet each other on Vijaya Dashami. It means May you have Peace, Health and Prosperity! And yes, we all need to focus for progress, peace and unity. That is true VijayaDashmi. I will end this post, with a nice prayer in Veda “SAMGACHCHHATVAM”. It means, let us all progress together.

Next post....May be a video report on a muscial event. Post on Diwali festival, my first poem, Google gadget are in queue. Just stay tune.:)

First post

Shree Vakratunda Mahakaya Koti Soorya Samaprabha,
Nirvighnam Kurumedeva Shubha Karyeshu Sarvada.

"O lord with the twisted trunk, with the effulgence of a billion suns, always remove the obstacles when I am on an auspicious undertaking."

We start all the good works with prayer to lord Ganesha. For our blog, out of many Ganehsa photo, I choose this one. Unique. Ganesha is sitting on computer mouse :)

Warm welcome to my blog. This blog will cover topics that each and everyone can relate to. Yes, so far I have written interesting e-mails and funny articles. Now, let me start periodic blogs.

Let this blog not limited to any particular topic. What do you say? Yes by and large it may include video reports of some events, Bangalore, India, softwares, Google gadgets, logic, algorithms, emotions, poems, telecom, wireless, wireline, language, movie, humor, fun, inspiration, romantic, spiritual, songs, festival, Gazals, news and ….Did I miss anything? :) Ultimately, you the reader will decide the content with your comments. Feel at home and consider it as your blog. Some of you can be guest authors for this blog.

Yes, I know, you may be curious about blog name "Express yourself !", website address "layers7" and the punch line: "Life is an exercise to express the InExpressible." This one is a bit heavy and difficult to understand? OK please suggest something else and we will replace it.

A separate entry will be there about this blog "Express Yourself". Also, one can read all the articles with "About" tag. I have addressed all the reader's comments as seperate articles under "AAP AUR HAM" series with "About" tag/label.

What should be next topic? (1) Navratri festival? Well, it will not be any boring essay about Navratri. It will be with full fun. (2) Dashera festival? OR should I write about (3) "Good Morning"?

I assure you to provide something different, unique, thoughts. So catch you soon here on this blog pages. See you.