I was in Chennai a few days back. After a rather hectic day at work (and some very stressful meetings), it seemed divine to be at a nice carnatic music concert in a temple close to where I was staying. It was a 2-hr concert by Soumya, a pretty famous “star performer” in carnatic music circles. While I had heard her before, what I wasn’t prepared for was the ambience created by the powerful voice, the echoing columns of the Rathnagireeswara temple, the small but very appreciative audience and some outstanding music. A rare opportunity to listen to pure music sans any commercialism or sensationalism. No fancy standees welcoming or barricades dividing the music lovers basis their monetary status, nor a blaring 2000 watt sound system blaring. It was a musical experience that I had thought had become rather extinct! At the end of the two hours, I hardly remembered that I hadn’t eaten much all day and was almost starving, not to mention the stress at work. All I remember is the innocence of the performance and the soulfulness with which the musicians (the vocalist, and her accompaniments, a violinist and a percussionist on the mridangam) performed, not mindful of the fact that the audience comprised of hardly 40-50 people, mostly in their 60s. I felt like the purity of music and the purpose with which it existed among us was truly experienced at that time. For a long time, after the concert was over, I enjoyed the humility the evening had instilled in me!!!!