Ayyappa Dikshitar says he hails from a family of musicians. He is also a astrologer.
He has used his music training, contacts and support from colleagues to host small music festivals. He seems to have been the one who decided to stage the dance festival too, at Sivaratri time.
"As the people who conduct the rituals and who know the spiritual side of what this temple is known for we are also knowledgeable in the conduct of dance here," he told us as we began to record for our docu-film on the Natyanjali.
Ayyappa seems confident about not only conducting the fest this year but carrying on in the future.
"Padma asked us, what can I do for this? - when we told her we were to host the fest and sought her support," explains Ayyappa of the call they made to Padma Subrahmanyam, as we chat at his home which is located in a tiny lane off East Car Street.
He and his team have much to do to improve this fest.
Photo here, by Mohan Das Vadakara is of the festival inauguration inside the temple.