An insight into the Fan Site

Dec 1, 2007 is a day to reckon with and would go down in the annals of history of carnatic music. It is the day the first fan site in the carnatic music arena was launched. Yes, the day when was born. The brain child of a team and their loving offering to their favorite – from Sudha Ragunathan’s fans to Padmashree Sudha Ragunathan.

Jayanthi Srikanth is Sudha’s long term fan, and her collection of Sudha’s music is mind boggling. Her passion for Sudha and her music needs to be seen and experienced to be believed! In simple words, Jayanthi is the brain behind the show. Pyarilal is a known figure in the cultural circle for his passion for music and dance and selfless service in fostering the same. His area of expertise, however, lies in web designing and it has been his long term dream to create a website for Sudha.

When Sudha was approached initially by Jayanthi, she was a little skeptical, wondering if there was really a need to be flamboyant, in wanting to announce to the world about a special site. But then, reasoning and persuasion convinced her and she then succumbed to their affectionate pressures. Thus came about on 1 Dec, 2007 at 5.45 pm at Vinyasaa Art Gallery, Chennai.

Sudha was to inaugurate the painting exhibits of the artist Padmavasan on 1 December, 2007 at 5 pm. What better platform could one get……in the ambience of art, the artiste, the musician, the art lovers (pun intended) – music bathed in beauty indeed! Hence the art gallery served as an apt launch pad for the fan site that would please her various fans from across the globe.

Now, what is the need for a fan site, one may ask. Well, it is to create an exclusive world for Sudha’s fans. Just so that they could reach out to her, feel her nearness, experience her being one among them, discuss her music, seek guidance, educate each other on their enriching experiences during their interactions with her and finally join hands with her for the causes that she undertakes through her very own Samudhaaya Foundation.

The scene at the launch was indeed a moving one. Sudha was welcomed by her fan Aravind, who then requested her to light the sacred lamp. Ragunathan, Sudha’s husband graciously joined her. It was now Jayanthi’s turn to express to Sudha and the rest of the audience how and why this fan site happened. It was an overwhelming moment – the love for the musician, the passion for her music, the respect for her art, and the pride in associating with her, the gratitude for the knowledge gains in the innumerable interactions that she had with Sudha….all this reflected in Jayanthi’s emotional speech and it was indeed a touching moment for Sudha too. She was then led on by Jayanthi and Pyarilal to press the magic key to launch the fruit of labor… And there it was, live to the world, Sudha’s fan’s very own portal, a platform for experiences and expressions! On behalf of her fans, Sudha was then presented with a Tanjore painting of Lord Ganesha, which would now get added to her huge col lection of Ganesha’s occupying the pride of place in her home.

Sudha was requested by her fans to speak to them. The moment she began, there was stillness in the air and her words of affection and gratitude to her large loving family of fans across the world, simply reflected from the walls, the ceilings and the paintings, as though bearing testimony to the fact that the entire atmosphere was in acquiescence of her acknowledgements of this very special gesture and tribute from her fans.

She thanked the group and emphasized on her commitment to music and also for the causes through Samudhaaya Foundation and she urged her fans to come up with ideas on how to make the goodness more widespread. She was full of gratitude to the Almighty to have brought her so far, so successfully, in her career and given her the gift of such loyal and affectionate fans.

The vote of thanks was by Pyarilal, who explained each of the photographs in the fan site. They were situations and instances that depicted Sudha, in all humility, engaging with her fans, her versatility while interacting with other professionals, her devotion to the art and her respect for the older generation

The event concluded with Sudha giving away her music discs to two of her fans who had left the first entries in the Guest Book at the fan site and then the crowd dispersed after a light(n)ing filled photograph session.

A moving moment in her life, an etched day in her calendar, a day of achievement for her fans…all has gone down in the history of carnatic music..1 Dec, 2007. The world gave to Sudha with gratitude for what she gave them through her music – to the thousands of lives that she has touched. Long live Sudha and her pristine music!!

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