A concert and a movie

Hariharan at San Diego

We have not been to too many live concerts, but I have been to ones performed by Yesudas, Chitra, Janaki, MG Sreekumar etc and we have watched a number of others on tape – Ilayaraja, Gangai Amaran, SPB….. So when Hariharan was scheduled to visit nearby San Diego, we jumped at the chance and joined the Raag & Taal academy
here. It was worth it, Hariharan is one of those audience friendly singers, and the audiences truly appreciate and acknowledge the fact. He could easily get the mix of old and young going and singing with him, clapping with him. The Neurosciences institute auditorium was as Hariharan himself put it, a very good concert hall, acoustically. He regaled us last Sunday evening with some great numbers, Ghazals, Thumri’s, Hindi and Tamil movie songs. Chandrayee who accompanied him was passable, but then it was Hariharan’s evening – singing many of his popular Ghazals, movie songs like Tuhi re, Roja jaane man…Ennai thalattu varuvaya, Yadein, Woh Lamhe and many many others….and of course the crowd favorite Krishna Nee begane baro…His range and the ease at which he moved across the highs and lows – phew! What a singer!! On the keyboards was the young Stephen Devassy, so perfect on the chords…not to say that the others like Liyaqat ali khan on the Sarangi were any less, but Stephen easily stood apart in his dexterity with his Roland machine..

A little known fact – Hariharan though brought up in Mumbai, is originally from
Trivandrum (he still likes Mohanlal & Mammotty films, Yesudas and did a bit of acting himself), born there and nowadays a rare visitor, mainly to the Padmanabha Swami temple….His wife Lalitha (pictured with hariharan above) was born & brought up in Calcutta (She braids his long hair!) and his kids both the 18 and 12 year old chaps want to grow long hair like him. How he ended up with long hair is another story, read on what he has to say about all that. I have been at close quarters with him once at the Mumbai airport, in adjacent telephone booths – a passing moment, once thing I noticed was that he is relatively short in stature…but on the stage, well, his stature is unmatched.

If any of you get a chance to go to a Hariharan concert don’t miss it, we enjoyed the evening, but did wish that somebody had served some good Vadas and Sambar, though…

Hari does have a sense of humor – Upon audience request he was trying to find the song in the many lyrics/chord files that he had brought along and joked – I thought I will never have to lug files along after I completed my LLB and decided to take the musical career, see now – I still carry so many files!!!

The China syndrome

The day before the concert, we saw a remarkable movie -‘The China Syndrome’
. What a master class in acting by Jack Lemmon, supported by Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda. This was a movie made in those anti nuclear days, trying to tell people that when something goes wrong, if it does, in a nuclear power plant, the situation can quickly become uncontrollable….what they call a core meltdown like in the much publicized ‘Chernobyl’ disaster. But the real stunner is not that, it is the fact that 12 days after the movie was screened and pooh poohed by the nuclear lobby, the Three mile island reactor in Pennsylvania had a core meltdown. The movie is gripping and beautifully crafted, well worth a watch, though made way back in 1978.

OK – So what does the title mean? It was a joke that started with the movie - a severe core meltdown in a US nuclear power plant, left uncontrolled, may burn right through the earth all the way to the other side of the globe i.e. China – This of course is falsehood and in reality, the slag can only bore down less than a hundred feet, not many miles.. What would happen is that the slag will hit the water table and an eruption would take place, creating nuclear fallout. Nowadays there are (?) safeguards to prevent such a meltdown.

But well, the movie was a hit following the Three Mile Island accident. If you are technically inclined, read this critique
. For those who wonder what happened in the core meltdown at Chernobyl, the molten core flowed in a channel created by the structure of its reactor building, e.g., stairways and froze in place before core-concrete interaction. In the basement of the reactor at Chernobyl, a large "elephant's foot" of congealed core material was found.


  1. Hi Maddy....,
    I think it's your new blog..I am also a big fan of Hariharan.The program you have mentioned here, When was it actually held..? Because i have watched some videos in you tube, Hariharan singing 'Nahi saamne', Live in Seattle.I hope many more articles in this blog from you..

  2. Hi DC, this was some years ago, As you can see, this blog was started with a collection of articles previously posted in maddys ramblings. This was in San Diego in 2007 March...

    from now on, the new music posts will be at this blog..


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