Great grandfather of musicians and the man who is yet to be honoured with the title of Kalaimamani by the Tamil Nadu government at long last was recognised by our Indian people living in Dubai.

It was an evening of entertainment with a cause when expatriate Malayalis packed an auditorium here to pay tribute to the living legend of south Indian music, V. Dakshinamoorthi, who has carved a niche for himself in the music direction for over 125 films was honoured by 'Hridayasarassile' (In the Heart), organised by Kalabhavan Dubai.Malayalam films' best singers of the Malayalam film industry performing in fully packed to Sheikh Rashid Auditorium here Friday night.

The event was organised as a charity to collect donations for the Cochin Cancer Society (CCS).Playback singers P. Suseela, P. Jayachandran, Vijay Yesudas, Madhu Balakrishnan and Shwetha Mohan performed some of the music director's best numbers.

The evening started with Dakshinamoorthi invoking god's blessings by saying that music is one form of worshipping god.

The 89-year-old doyen then sang the evening's title song "Hridayasarassile", with Vijay Yesudas, son of acclaimed singer K.J. Yesudas.

Dakshinamoorthi's works now span three generations of music lovers as he had composed music for Vijay Yesudas's father as well as grandfather K.J. Augustine.

Well-known Malayalam lyricist Sreekumaran Thampi, who was also present on the occasion, recounted his long association with Dakshinamoorthi.

As the evening progressed, Susheela, who described Dakshinamoorthi as her 'appa' (father), Jayachandran, Vijay, Balakrishnan and Shwetha sang some of the musician's evergreen numbers before an audience listening with rapt attention.

Vijay and Swetha, who had won a Kerala state award last year for their song "Kolakuzhal" in the film "Nivedayam", also sang a couple of duets.

"This is the third such event we have organised this year," Suresh Krishnan of Kalabhavan Dubai told IANS.

"All our events are linked to a cause," he added.

Friday's function saw CCS president V.B. Gangadharan accepting cheques of Rs.200,000 from Dubai-based businessman N.M. Panicker and Rs.25,000 from Wisemen's club.

Thanking the donors, Gangadharan said that the money would be used for the treatment of poor cancer patients.

"This money will go only to treat cancer patients from poor sections of the society," he promised.

CCS, which was established three years ago, is a charitable group which provides financial aid to poor cancer patients in Kerala through donations and medicines. It also provides counselling for patients and family members.

Affiliated to Kalabhavan Kochi, Kalabhavan Dubai is run by the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based business group Countach. With two centres in this west Asian metropolis, Kalabhavan Dubai offers courses in instrumental music, classical dances, vocal music and art.

"We also formed a new Kalabhavan Arts Club last year to create an elite music lovers' club," Krishnan said.

The club, he said, would endeavour to bring high quality programmes, each linked to a worthwhile charity, from India to the UAE.

"We are planning a fourth show later this year comprising Carnatic music and classical dances," he said.

Earlier in the evening, India's Consul General Venu Rajamony lit the traditional lamp to inaugurate the function. He also accorded a traditional felicitation to Dakshinamoorthi.

Countach managing director Unni Bhaskar, welcoming the audience, said that music was one way of treating cancer.

"Everybody of us have cancerous cells in our body. Living a stress-free life is one way of not allowing these to multiply. Music is one such medium," he said

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