‘Bakthi Varsha,’ a devotional evening of music mooted as the annual fundraiser for Sri Ganesh Temple located in the South Auckland suburb of Papakura, was held this year on November 26, 2016.
The event was held in the auditorium of the Shri Shirdi Sai Sansthan Temple Hall in Onehunga, Central Auckland to mobilise funds for the construction of Raja Gopuram (Sacred Tower) of the Papakura Temple.
The programme commenced with a Bharat Natyam performance by the students of Vatsala Balachandran.
Shriram Iyer started with ‘Mooshik,’ featured in his fusion album, followed by the famous song ‘Ekadantaya,’ both in praise of Lord Ganesha.
The evening accounted for several devotional songs in different languages of India, rendered by Shriram, Arun Khotkar Vishnu Priya Mallela, Jyoti Rajesh and Shikha Setia.
‘Bholo Shankar Janani Janai’ and songs on Sai Baba were replete with devotion. Arun rendered ‘Ramachandra Krupalu’ and ‘Jheenere,’ while Vishnu Priya did justice with technical accuracy.
Jyoti Rajesh’s rendition of ‘Chalangai Katti Odi Odi Va,’ a Malayalam song, was well received. Shikha sang ‘Vaishnava Janato’ and ‘O Palana Hare’ with clarity and devotion.
The accompanying artistes Ashok Malur (Violin), Vivek Anturkar (Tabla) and Arun Khotkar (Harmonium) lent great support.
It was great to see Labour’s Michael Wood (who was elected to Parliament from Mt Roskill on December 3) and Priyanca Radhakrishnan at the programme attended by more than 350 men, women and children.
Priya Srinivasan is a Carnatic Music enthusiast, singer, commentator and organiser. She is the Founder-Secretary of Rasikas New Zealand, a musical group that organises Carnatic Music concerts of popular artistes from India.
Shriram Iyer (extreme right) in concert with Vivek Anturkar (Tabla), Jyoti Rajesh (Vocal) and Arun Khotkar (Vocal and Harmonium).