SPIC MACAY : An inward transformational journey; A Cultural Immersion – Convention 2017

I am very fortunate to undertake the soulful inward journeys laced with the culture pilgrimage of SPIC MACAY every year, all through. For every ambassador of Indian and world culture it has been a very enriching one as always. Here I captured the essence of the pilgrimage 2017, SPIC MACAY international convention 2017 held at IIT Delhi recently. You can check the visual captures, in still form, at my FLICKR stream

The Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi, inaugurating the International convention 2017, in his inimitable style of eloquence, pays tribute to the movement of SPIC MACAY and also to the founder of the movement, Dr. Kiran Seth. Beseeches the youth to embrace the spirit and purpose of the movement.

The following short video documentary, in five parts, captures the essence of the conventions, the daily schedule followed, the spirit of volunteerism, the passionate facilitation by gurus who have dedicated their lives for the cause of artforms, the earnest desire of every participant to assimilate, imbibe and live the spirit as well as the art forms, as much as they can.

The week long convention is an endeavour to instill the discipline and have a sublime control of ones own life and expose every participant to the mysticism of arts and culture.

The days start at 4am with YOGA, then shramdan to keep our environment clean and tidy, then after a break of an hour for morning ablutions, commences with the intensives. Every participant will undergo an intensive to gain deeper understanding of an art form works with a Guru for seven days, four hours a day. The afternoons after the lunch is devoted the exposing every participant to a variety of genre like not limited to music and dance but also theatre, choir music, folk music and dance, puppetry etc. The evenings are devoted to classical music and dance performances.
Enjoy watching!

The last day is all about sharing the learning during the week gone by, in every art form. .Here are a few of the showcasing I have been able to capture at a couple of venues. I apologize for not being able to cover all the five centres of performances.

Come participate and contribute to the propagation of art forms and the spread of the spirit of brotherhood and composite culture. UNITY in Diversity.


Narthanam – SPIC MACAY Special, decked with Sreeni’s photo captures

NARTHANAM’s (a respected quarterly journal on Indian Dance) special issue, dedicated to the movement of SPIC MACAY is out!

Sincere bow to the movement of SPIC MACAY (Society for promotion of Indian Classical Music and culture among youth) for kindling the love for music, dance, culture and heritage. The special issue of Narthanam on SPIC MACAY is embellished by hundreds of captures by me, of the movement over the years, as my humble dedication to the cause ..

Narthanam - SPIC MACAY Special, Sreeni's photo captures

Kindly contribute to the cause of spic macay, and also subscribe Nartanam. See the excerpts from the issue at http://www.nartanam.in/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/special-issue-on-s…

Love and regards,

SREENIViews Photography & Visual arts

Discover yourself – It is all about your inner journey. Excel and help others to ..

Glad that one of my journeys that I will continue till my last breath has been yielding the results that is of value to others.

One of the things I have been pursuing passionately is photography, along with various other passions. I love performing and fine arts and as a contribution towards keeping this alive and inspire many more, I do serious documentation of these, including visual through photography. You can visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/sreenivasan/collections to enjoy this journey of mine.

For the movement of SPIC MACAY (Society for Promotion of Classical music and Culture Among Youth) an initiative by inspiring mentor Dr. Kiran Seth, another inspiring volunteer guru Ms Rupi Mahindroo from Dehradun got a few students to create this video. I am glad that many of the photographs that I captured of life on stage, of eminent artists, of enthusiastic rasiks including children are found strung meaningfully to create this video, like pearls in an ornament adorning the beautiful movement of SPIC MACAY.

Get inspired, Get into Action… Help others get inspired.


THE HINDU : Three of Sreeni’s photos appear in “Celebrating selfless service” by Madhavi Puranam – June 28, 2012

“THE HINDU article “Celebrating selfless service” by Madhavi Puranam

The HINDU article carries three photos taken by Sreeni at SPIC MACAY convention, Surathkal

The HINDU article carries three photos taken by Sreeni at SPIC MACAY convention, Surathkal

SPICMACAY made the spirit of volunteerism a highlight at its recent national convention.

Declaring 2012 as the year of volunteerism, SPICMACAY, during its recent 27 national convention at Surathkal near Mangalore, celebrated the spirit of contributing selflessly to the movement.

Socrates enunciated the importance of musical and poetic education for the youth that could penetrate deep into the soul, more than anything else. He would surely have commended the efforts of the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPICMACAY).

The queen of HINDUSTANI from Brahmaputra Valley, Guru Parveen Sultana

The queen of HINDUSTANI from Brahmaputra Valley, Guru Parveen Sultana

At the gathering, a variety of art forms by noted artists were staged and seen at their resplendent best and it included Malavika Sarukkai, Madhavi and Arushi Mudgal, Margi Madhu and Chintale Ramachandra Hegde. In vocal and instrumental music, Hindustani and Carnatic maestros such as Begum Parveen Sultana also performed.

Some disagreed with Socrates as was seen by the sardonic remark of an influential connoisseur of arts, who said, “Please! Do not give me that inanity! Do you for one moment, believe that dance and music actually lead you to experience divinity in today’s world?”

On the other hand, a young participant after a long recital of classical music, exclaimed, “What a piece of divine art!” The boy is quite a subject of concern in his family of doctors who are worried about his artistic inclinations. “To keep my parents happy and prove that I have talent, I participate in and win a couple of film music competitions. But my dream is to learn Hindustani vocals from a maestro,” said the teenager.

The "PIED PIPER" Dr. Kiran Seth, with Socratic Vision

The “PIED PIPER” Dr. Kiran Seth, with Socratic Vision

Dedicated team

While one juggles with these questions, SPIC MACAY diligently continues with its firm belief that aesthetic experiences improve the soul and establish universal harmony in one’s being; and that every child has a right to experience the rare heritage of his arts.

Over the years, the activities of SPIC MACAY bear testimony to the efforts of Dr. Kiran Seth and his dedicated team of selfless volunteers. They have continued to provide India’s youth with the very best in classical arts and by the maestros. Kiran Seth, a man with a Socratic vision of utility of arts, leads by example. His infectious zeal is the spark that ignites the fire in the thousands of volunteers across the country. At the convention, his nada yoga sessions at 4 a.m. drew the young participants in droves. Amazingly, their hectic schedules would end quite late each day, after the performances in the evening. A thundering Baba Amte urging the youth to stoke the fire of idealism, in a rare documentary, was an inspiration. The week long convention also had rare film screenings in the afternoons. The meticulous workshops on dance, music and craft introduced the young volunteers to the rich art forms.

The LAMBADA and other handicraft techniques were learnt by the youngsters

The LAMBADA and other handicraft techniques were learnt by the youngsters

The joy of a young girl, who had never danced before, knew no bounds when she discovered her innate talent for it. A restless youngster found spinning on the ‘charkha,’ a meditative experience. The crafts village bustled with activity with workshops on Kalamkari, Phad, Madhubani, Saura, Pattachitra and the tribal Gond paintings, Mooj grass and Bamboo crafts, Leharia dyeing and Lambadi embroidery, to name a few.

Many of the participants might not become enthusiastic converts to classical arts right away, but one cannot take away the high probability that the seeds have been firmly sown in the young minds. The rigorous dance and music classes of the maestros showed how high art is made and the discipline with which the skills are cultivated even as one grows spiritually. Each volunteer is an architect of the unique movement of preserving and propagating their very own heritage. With competition and materialism marking this era, one does marvel at the spirit that made people martyrs for the cause of their country such as during the freedom movement. Indeed that was volunteerism at its best. In the context of high art and elite spectators, Roman aesthete Cicero’s view is significant. He said that even an uneducated crowd can perceive charm and elegance in the arts through an amazing power of nature; one could judge art without any formal training in its artistic principles. Cicero’s words proved true when one saw children enjoying classical art forms at the convention.

SPIC MACAY’s ambitious vision to reach out to every student in the country by the year 2020, seems a worthy strategy to nourish young minds and turn them into ideal citizens and rulers that Socrates had envisaged.

Keywords: SPICMACAY, Hindustani music, Carnatic Music, Kiran Seth, Kalamkari embroidery

%d bloggers like this: