Friday, June 13, 2008
My encounter with music....
Some of the tortures my mother put me through in the tender years of my life were Hindi and Music classes. But it was music that I loathed learning the most.
My folks brought home this carnatic singer cum violinist whom my dad endorsed after year long consultations with his fellows whoz kids were put to test as well. Finally one vijayadasami day this man came home. Initially i was very reluctant to join my bro and my twin sister who were very eager to start their formal course. As they were looking forward to it. I was asked to join them by force. Though i actually thought i would be only an hindrance in their pursuit for knowledge they took me wrong and wanted me to join them. However another reason for this is that this would hamper the only free time i had for doing my so called research (those who knew my childhood advendures would exactly know what am i talking of )
And so began my encounters with the 7 swaras at a tender age! There I sat in my shorts, cross-legged before this man who seemed hippy-like compared to my 4 feet height ! Shaven, shoulder length oil dripping hair bawled in front, a red beetle nut coated tongue and wearing a filthy white shirt, he resembled a gardener more than a guru. Before I could make more assessments regarding his appearance, he made a huge slap to his thigh in sync with his harmonium and crooned "Saaa, paaa, sollu paakalam"
And the smart-ass that I was,asked, pointing to his thigh - "Apdi adikanuma ?" (Well come on at that age, I was ignorant of the very existance of the concept of taalam!) He let out a guffaw and said - "Aama thambi" ! I looked back at my mother who gave me a Do-what-he-asks-you-to look. So started my encounter with singing while the other two smarties made remarkable progress in days i was seriously clambering raga to raga such began my saga... Especially when my brother accompanys my sisters harmonica with his violin, they ask me to sing the geethams in sync (Yes i've completed singing those swara varisais so called sarali varisais, janta varisais and so on...) Gosh its hard to cope up with.
It all was very hard for me.. suddenly i had no time to do my homeworks (yes, i'll always do them in the morn in the hurry-burry time after playing all evening. Something which i enjoyed than my brother who always used to study) More harder are the days he comes in the evening... He'll be having so much time to censure. i became very much frustrated. Somehow i've completed those geethams and graduated to sing varnams while the other two were singing keethanaas by now.. I stare at them when they laugh while i still struggle to sing varnams. Every class from then onwards, I was taken dutifully by my mother coaxed and cajoled in the false hope that, it would be my last class. Somehow the kind soul thought he would elevate my spirits by teaching me some keerthanas so that i could stand with them. Then he realized what a mistake it was.... Yes i made him realize that very day...
Irritated with this he had decided to talk to my dad in his office. While my dad could'nt take this. how can my son be such a moron ??? And then they've decided to fix a day especially for me to review my progress. Finally the D-Day comes as he began testing the things i've learnt so far, began the test of my time. He asked me to stick to the kaalam (Tempo) which i could hardly cope with (shruthi as well). He grew impatient as he kept telling this no. of times. And then left-out a loud cry "Theruvila Naay aadu maadu laam thaan oodum nee yenna naaya??? soldrathu puriyala... motham abashwaram" (its only the dogs, cows, and goats that runs in roads... are you a dog ??? can't you understand what im saying. Fully out of swaram) Tears were ready to fall from my eyes... but i didn't let them ( I've never cried so mean. Not even during when they sent in four c-like injections to my spine marrow during my dingue illness. Believe me i was the first to be alive in my home town as the disease hit our town).
Sensing this he felt uneasy and claimed some excuse as if he had a class somewhere. Drunk his Coffe as usual with his BP tablet. Just when he was on his way out nearing the gate i blasted out... cried-out loud saying "Pooda Vazhukka manda.... Naan appudithaanda paaduven" (hey bawled head... i'll sing like that only....) All of them were shocked hearing this. My dad was awestruck. Couldn't digest his son saying those words... Slowly I turned waiting for the repercussion of my act of bravery... But he left the gate and plied in his dabba car as usual as if he haven't heard anything ( i still think hez half-deaf) or hez undeterred as i thought he obviously must've seen so many seens like this....
But it all was understandable. from the next class i was not asked to sit with them, neither he asked why im not joining.... and they asked me to do namaskaarams for him after that... such ended my encounter with the classical music.
But since then i began listening to music verymuch, practicing all the geethams, varnams and keethanaiz... i began learning every keerthanais my bro and sis learns from him... i'll sing with them while they do the sadagam daily... Learnt quite a bit of Keyboard and violin to an extent i can play keerthanais. But when he comes for his class.. i'll abscond, hiding myself in my room keeping myself busy with those experiments :)
Today, I'm so grateful to those days, for instilling such a deeply rooted love for music. Now i love music in every form. listen to lot of carnatic musics across genre. Hear Hinustani, Pop, Rap, Rock, and what not... May be they've missed the big picture constraining themselves to virtual boundaries of carnatic music. For the world out there is so colorful.