Bangalore: Beaten by price rise and stressed out from the daily grind, Bangaloreans can look forward to be enthralled by scrabble champions and music and dance exponents in the coming days.
World scrabble champion Sherwin Rodrigues, World No 4 and All England Open badminton champion Nigel Richards, Santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and saxaphone exponent Kadri Gopainath will be in action at separate events in the IT hub.
Rodrigues and Richards are among the over 65 word experts from 12 countries who will scramble to form words at the three-day starting Saturday.
'Bengaluru Habba', the culture festival in B'lore showcases art and theatre as well.
The finale of the seventh edition of the International Scrabble tourney will take place Monday. The overall prize money is Rs 600,000.
Along with the international tournament, scrabble lovers from corporate biggies - Infosys, Cognizant, Siemens, Goldman Sachs, ARM Embedded Tech, AOL, Headstrong and iGATE - will fight it out to emerge winner in the 3rd iGATE inter-corporate scrabble tournament Monday. The total prize money is Rs 150,000.
The iGATE, an IT services company which was in the news recently for buying out India's seventh largest IT firm Patni Computers, has this year introduced scrabble tournament for college goers as well.
Teams from six institutes, including BITS Pilani and IIT Chennai, will vie for the Rs 150,000 top prize.
As experts in making words end their show, it will be a cultural feast for Bangaloreans which will last till January 29.
Called 'Bengaluru Habba' (Bangalore Festival), the two-week long event showcases both Indian classical music and dance and rock music besides theatre, film and arts.
Though the festival will be inaugurated with an art show Friday evening, the classical music and dance performances as well as shows by various rock bands and jazz concerts start Monday.
'Bengaluru Habba' is organised by Artists' Foundation For the Arts (AFFA), set up as a non-profit organisation in 2002 by noted Bharatanatyam dancers Padmini Ravi and Nandini Alva.
For the last seven years, Airtel has been sponsoring the 'Habba' and so it is called 'Airtel Bengaluru Habba'.
This year, the 'Habba' has 15 events playing out at 24 venues with 67 performances and participation over 900 artists, besides craft stalls and art show.
Apart from Sharma's santoor and Gopalnath's saxophone, there will be Hindustani music concert by Keerti Kumar Badseshi, Bharatanatyam by Priyadarsini Govind and Padma Subrahmanyam, and Odissi by Italian Ileana Citaristi, who was awarded Padma Shri in 2006 for her contribution to Odissi dance.
The 'Habba' will conclude Jan 29 at the sprawling Palace Grounds in north Bangalore with a performance by popular band Eka and a Bollywood musical extravaganza by singer Kailash Kher.