One evening my family and I were invited by Valli Rao along with a few other families to their house for dinner. While we were talking I came to know about Shruthi programme. As I had learnt Carnatic music singing, I was encouraged to join the programme to meet other people and settle in a new place.
I attended the programme with my family and the people were very nice to us and it made us very comfortable to live in a new place and a new country. We met a lot of families; to name a few – Raji Krishnamoorthy, Bama Ganesan, Anandhi Sundar, Lakshmi Sridhar, Jaya Pathy, Hema Devanathan, Saradha Sundar, Dr. Kala, Jayashree Badri, Renuka Narayan.
I took part in the programme every month and the programme encouraged me to learn new songs to perform and make new friends. Every month we would get together and about 10 people presented their items, and after the event we would all have dinner together. Families came from long distances to participate in and listen to the program and it was always nice to hear different people sing. Even now when I think about it, it gives me immense pleasure, enjoyment and happy, evergreen memories.
Shruthi has made Carnatic music very popular in Adelaide and it is an excellent programme to become involved with to gain experience in performing and to make new friends.
When we were in New Zealand, some of our friends who were part of the Carnatic music circle celebrated Tyagaraja Festival. When I mentioned this, Raji, Bama, Lakshmi, Anandhi and a few other members of Sruthi showed interest to celebrate the festival in Adelaide as well. We learnt the Pancharatna Krithis through audio cassettes and practised every weekend for two months. On the event day, we sang the Pancharatnam as a group, and some of us also did solo performances of the Tyagaraja Krithis. It was a highlight to be able to celebrate the Tyagaraja Festival for the first time, for which Kurukal Mama was the mridangist. It is nice to hear that the festival is still continuing every year.