This summer in Bangalore is going to be unusual; average temperatures may well be in the mid-30s.
But Carnatic music rasikas will brave that daytime heat and mark their evenings in April for a big season of concerts.
Concerts of yet another Sri Ramanavami season at the mandalis and samithis across this ever-expanding city.
The first set of concerts have already begun. Ugadi is an auspicious time to launch the festivals.
Ugadi is always the first day of the Sri Ramanavami Sangeetotsava at Sri Vani Kala Kendra in Basaveshvara Nagar.
Vani School, as known by the people of the neighbourhood, has a covered auditorium with a seating capacity of at least 300 people. But, the inaugural concert of Ranjani - Gayatri sisters from Chennai had rasikas sitting on the floor, on the steps to the upper floors and on the side-benches.
The sisters did not disappoint the huge turnout of music lovers. Accompanied by young Vittal Rangan on the violin, Delhi Sairam on the mridangam and S.N. Narayanamurthy on the ghatam, Ranjani & Gayatri presented a lively concert.
The biggest show will of course be launched on Sri Ramanavami day - the Sree Ramaseva Mandali in Chamarajpet with its Big Tent that can accommodate at least 5000 people. On April 5, Bombay Jayahsri will present the first concert of the fest that runs for 30 days here, is ticketed and offers season passes and depends more on donations and funding.
By then, at least 8 to 10 bodies will be hosting concerts, from the small, warm confines in Sriramapuram to the comfy hall of Sri Jayarama Seva Mandali in Jaya Nagar's 8th Block to the quadrangle of the Seshadripuram College, where the Tarakaram couple and team host a few hundred loyal rasikas of that part of Bangalore.
This year, raising funds has not been easy for the hosts. And some of them are trying to tap rasikas and NRIs to donate freely.
Some have clipped their music concerts schedules; some seem to have dropped off artistes who need to be paid a good sum.
But Bangalore's rasikas are looking forward to this season; despite the sultriness of the weather. The Ranjani-Gayathri concert in Basaveshwara Nagar on Ugadi day may be the indicator of the rasikas intent.
(Photo, inputs by R. Revathi)