You know Mr. Subbudu?
by Lada Guruden Singh, New Delhi
A critic is a critic is a critic - Used here, there and everywhere like the much abused term used to address anyone of the closest friends who has turned against you!
artistes create and critics destroy! Could it then mean, mythically Artiste
is Brahma and Critic is Shiva? But where can one place the artistes who
hardly create? Artistes who are masters
To honour the
adorable "Grand Uncle of the Indian Art Scene", www.artindia.net, organised
a felicitation ceremony at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on
6th May 2002. The highlight of the evening was Rama Vaidyanathan's exquisite
recital which may be rated as the best by the danseuse till date (This
writer thought the same when the dancer performed last time!) Even as Subbudu's
85th birthday celebrations were a huge success at Chennai a month back,
Delhi was no less in coming together to wish the octogenarian many more
years of creativity. Prolific as he has been in his 51 years of indelible
contribution to the world of Indian Music and Dance, it was Politics that
he first wrote about! Whether it was Anjana Rajan's strong attempt at Poetry
addressed to Subbudu- "To Sir with love, from those who err with love"
or the presence of the ever gracious R. Venkataraman, no
began with Rama Vaidyanathan dancing Bharata Natyam numbers based on Subbudu's
compositions. Of the three items performed by the exponent, Pitanjali's
"Shambhu Natanam" stood out for its encompassing masculine feel. Subbudu's
Varnam depicting the love triangle between Lord
For once, Subbudu's excitement was visible with his fingers continuously adjusting themselves on Tala patterns of Aadi Talam as he kept his right hand on his left shoulder and watched the entire recital in the same posture!
Subbudu, the magnetic force of the evening, veteran art commentator
Shanta Serbjeet Singh referred to the impact of the man on the art scene
and the sting and the pun of his pen which became synonyms of his name!
Sonal Mansingh talked of Subbudu who represented a tradition of
A point, not missed by anyone was the sharpness of Subbudu whether it was his memory, do-not care attitude or his iron will to take things head on which included a turbulent flight from Burma to India too. As a dancer said, "Subbudu does not command respect, he evokes respect".
In the sidelights,
it was Subbudu's grand daughter who impressed the audience with her prayer.
Coming from a family of trained musicians, it was no surprise but unadulterated
delight to hear her sing so magnificently. Organiser GS Rajan chose
to stay behind the stage as Sadhana Srivastva
While the evening ended and one struggled to find car keys, a slide of images of this evening filled a pocket of memory. An evening so rare, so wonderful! A question was born though.. will there be another Subbudu?
based Lada Guruden Singh is a young Bharatanatyam dancer. A budding poet,
he has to his credit a collection of poems, entitled Split Ends. Lada envisages
a conscious role play for himself in the realm of Dance and Art related
issues in years to come.