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Ayyappa Temple to echo Chenda beats

FIRST TIME in the last 16 years, a special Chendamelam (drum beat) programme is being organised at the Ayyappa Temple in Gomti Nagar on the occasion of Makara Jyoti Puja on Saturday. A nine-member (eight from one single family) team of artistes has come from Kerala to the city to play the traditional music of the God?s Own Country. The team named as Mohan Kumar. ?We are hear to perform for the puja,? says Binumon V B, grandson of Mohan Kumar.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2006 00:27 IST

FIRST TIME in the last 16 years, a special Chendamelam (drum beat) programme is being organised at the Ayyappa Temple in Gomti Nagar on the occasion of Makara Jyoti Puja on Saturday. A nine-member (eight from one single family) team of artistes has come from Kerala to the city to play the traditional music of the God’s Own Country.

The team named as Mohan Kumar. “We are hear to perform for the puja,” says Binumon V B, grandson of Mohan Kumar. Binu has been playing Chenda (drum) since he was five and was currently a student of BPA (Bachelor of Performing Arts) at Bhatkhande Institute of Lucknow. He says Chendamelam is a high-pitch drumbeating with one man playing Susheera Vadyam (a blower- trumpet).

Binumon says the music is played during Puja festivals. The artistes would perform the following music; Keli (played during the traditional Kathakali), Panjari Melam (five different nodes), Pandi Melam (a music played popularly played in Thrissur temples), Shinkari Melam (music accompanied with dance), and Thyambaka (the last sequence in the music).

The youngest of the lot in the team is Anish (10 years). Anish is a regular stage performer. Anish has given a lot of stage performance in mono acting, mimicry, classical music, Carnatak music, folk dance, Chenda (drum playing) etc.

Thilakan is the only outsider musician, who plays a blower (trumpet) in the team. Other members of the team are Rejimon V T, Bijumon VT, Babu V B, and Bose CB. “We have been in the art for the last 45 years,” says the head of the team Mohan.

Reposing in the traditional art of Kerala, Mohan says the Chendamelam is attaining popularity among the masses.

“We are invited to perform all over the State,” he says and adds there are a number of groups that are involved in the professional Chendamelam. For most of the members of the team, this is the first visit to North India and have accepted the offer from the Ayyappa temple free of cost.

During the Maka Jyoti Puja, religious functions including Ganapathi Homam, Bhajan, Prasadam distribution, Thalappoli procession (Shobhayatra), etc would be held.

First Published: Jan 14, 2006 00:27 IST