Arts and Medicine Enters in 250th Episode; Ansar & Anju Make it Memorable


The famed ‘Art and Medicine’ entered its 250th edition today when noted singers Ansar and Anju Joseph gave a breezy concert at the General Hospital Ernakulam that has been the venue for the all-Wednesday show since its start in 2014.

Initiated by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) as a programme based on music therapy to the benefit of the patients as well as their friends and families at the hospital, the weekly feature yet again saw jam-packed audience at the two-hour recital in that went on beyond noon.

The special episode went on to hail the rescue efforts of fishermen in the floods that ravaged Kerala four-and-a-half months ago: it was inaugurated by Shiji Thayyil, president of Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, Ernakulam.

Anju and Ansar sang 14 songs, some of them based on ragas that are to be rendered at different times of day. “We had plans to sing even more,” said Ansar, who is brother of renowned ghazal singer Afzal. “The day is getting hot; so we couldn’t. Never mind, I will come here again.”

Ansar, who had earlier sung at the show in 2014, said the spirit of soothing has been a highlight of ‘Art and Medicine’ being held in association with Mehboob Memorial Orchestra. “This social cause is very much close to my heart,” he noted, adding that they run a similar programme. Called ‘Aswasam Samashwasam’, it concentrates on health and beauty through music.

Ansar, a gold medal winner of Kerala’s first reality TV show (organised by Doordarshan) titled ‘Hamsadwani’ in 1997, has a successful band by the same name. The singer got a major break when he became a member of first television music band ‘Ilayanila’ by Jeevan TV. Ansar has sung in 25 films and several albums.

For 28-year-old Anju, the programme at the hospital was a new experience even as she had “heard a lot” about Art and Medicine. “I did my masters from Maharajas College during when I used to come here to listen to various singers who would perform here at the Arts and Medicine,” said the vocalist who has sung for films such as Doctor Love, Alamara and Avarude Ravukal. “I am glad that I am myself here. It’s a great experience.”

The songs at today’s show included ‘Sangeethame Amara Sallapame’, ‘ Kannale Kannale’, ‘ Tumse milne ki thamanna hai’.