An ensemble of warm-hearted people came together, setting aside their individualities, to make a difference in the lives of some children who deserve a chance at life. That's PRATHAM in a nutshell.
On the 22nd and 23rd March, Anahatalife hosted its first exhibition PRATHAM at the MG Road Metro station in Namma Bengaluru. It was indeed an eclectic mélange and convergence of extraordinary talent from all walks of life. Scientists & Sculptors, Musicians & Media, Painters & Engineers, artists, bankers, photographers, you name it, all of them came together to support a cause. Our causes this time were, rehabilitation of refugee minor children and to create awareness about children suffering from muscular dystrophy.
The day started with Varun and Nitin strumming away on their guitar as they sang popular Hindi and indipop numbers. Drawn by the music, some volunteers shook a leg with this talented duo much to the amusement of passers-by.
"A picture is worth a thousand words", they say, people visiting the Belaku art gallery had more than a thousand words of praise for the artists. From paintings of the Divine Buddha to pencil sketches of Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln, nature's finest birds and animals, expressionistic art to abstract art, all this and much more adorned the walls of the art gallery. Anandasai, an amazing artist volunteered to sketch live portraits. He was busy all day, he sketched people, live, in flat 30 minutes. On both days of the exhibition, people came looking for him to get their sketches done. Ah! The joy an artist feels when people appreciate his work and passion, its enigmatic!
Samarpanam foundation, Isha Vidhya, SMOI, who makes wheel chairs, which are different from the conventional ones, and DART were present in the stalls to showcase their cause. One of our patrons, Mr. Shetty, had put up a stall showcasing beautiful wooden sculptures. Sachin Sanghe, a techie by profession, has a unique talent. He makes micro sculptures on chalk and lead with elaborate detailing. There was hardly anyone who walked past his stall without stopping by. His intricate sculptures are a sight to behold. Sharing the same stall space , Akhila, who makes organic soaps out of vegetables. In just an hour's time, soaps were all sold out!
Post-lunch, Dorian Junction, a rock band made up of techies, played some fantastic music. Not minding the hot sun blazing down, a large crowd gathered, cheering them as they sang back-to-back chart toppers. From "Comfortably Numb" to "Just maath maath alli" they performed with poise and panache. When they sang "Just maath maath alli", the traffic on MG Road slowed down several times, causing a traffic situation. Need we say more!
At the end of Day 1, all the volunteers were excited about Day 2 and the concert in the evening.
Sunday started off with Kalaahamsa, a bunch of musicians, who are really passionate about their music. They played foot tapping kannada music, the kind of music you can sit back and enjoy, ideal for a Sunday morning. Their solo, duet and group performances struck a chord with everyone present. As they sang "Haadu santoshakke", people across the street had a broad smile on their faces, the happiness in the song was contagious!
Next up were Achyutha and Nikhil with a scintillating flute, morching and khanjeera performance. Their musical notes wafted across the metro station and spread their euphony. In the afternoon, Elixirize, a band of 4 college students, had the metro station rocking to their tunes. It was stunning to see such young kids, sing like professionals and yet make it look so easy. Their power packed performance left us craving for more.
It was almost time for the much-awaited concert. The concert started with a spectacular performance by Pt. T.Radhakrishna, a rare sitarist of the Mehar Gharana and a direct disciple of Pt. Ravi Shankar. His nimble fingers work magic on the Sitar. For many of us it was first time that we heard a Sitar performance live, it really packed a punch. Salute to the maestro! His superlative performance set the tone for the concert.
The sitar performance was followed by an insightful talk on Population control and a presentation by DART to create awareness about muscular dystrophy. Mr. Krishna Madappa, a researcher, introduced the audience to his path breaking research on Water and devices that measure energies of living beings.
A Bangalore based tech-start-up, Tagbug showcased their innovative approach to "Enable honesty in society" using technology and smart phones. Their innovation helps people recover lost articles with minimal effort; very relevant and thoughtful application of technology in today's times.
All of 19 years, with laurels, record contracts and an album to her credit, Soundarya Jayachandran is a mine of talent. Her stellar western vocal performance pepped up the concert tenfold. She sang like a charm, mesmerizing the audience with her rich voice and holding everyone in her sway.
Samarpanam foundation and Isha Vidhya presented about their causes next. Samarpanam foundation's talk on building houses with waste plastic bottles and Isha Vidhya's unique approach to making high-quality education easily accessible to rural children were really eye-openers. They received copious applause from the audience.
Jyothsna and Radhika sisters were the next performers. With over 500 performances, several albums and accolades to their name, they represent the true face of Indian classical music. They sang popular classical compositions of seven Indian languages. Their mellifluous voice and heartfelt renditions cast a spell on the audience; some were moved to tears.
Chronic Blues Circus, the final performers for the evening, was the icing on the cake! They rocked the house with their original Blues compositions. Their sound was clean, crisp and loud, the music was so exhilarating, it makes you want to jump up and scream. A cracker of a finale for the concert.
We thank Times, Janasri, ETV, Vijayvani, IndiaCSR, Whatshapp Bangalore and DNA for their media coverage of PRATHAM. We thank our sponsors Prost, My Tea House, Loft38 and Tagbug for contributing to this cause. A BIG thank you to Coffee on Canvas for sponsoring lunch for all the volunteers.
We wish to thank all the volunteers, artists, musicians and the people who participated from the bottom of our heart for making Pratham a grand stupendous success. Though we would love to mention and thank each and every person associated with Pratham, owing to spatial constraints, we are unable to do so. Please check our facebook page for details.
As Joyeeta, our dear founder, puts it, Intensity and Intention is all it takes to make things happen.
The encouragement received for Pratham has motivated us to organize DWiTiYA. Stay tuned for more updates!