Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blotting out Boundaries...Raagas everywhere!!

"His father was in the foreign service. They used to move places. Hence he got to see various countries, their cultures, history, monuments, music. Well, one thing which bothered him the most was that where ever he went, he was asked the same question!! "Where are you from?" He never knew or cared.
" Does it really matter??, he always pondered!

It was on one occasion when they moved to that wonderful city which he instantly felt that welcomed him. It was in this beautiful Bangalore city that he met her. He met her in a rock concert. He observed that she was a trained classical singer which shocked him. He did not expect a classical singer to appreciate rock and definitely did not expect her to be humming the tunes of Joachim Andersen! The thing which attracted him the most to her was that she did not ask him where he was from! She didn't mind.
"Does it really matter??", she asked!

Soon, they were spending time together discussing music, she singing and explaining, him listening and trying to understand. His interest and enthusiasm appealed her. She used to ask him to meet her at dawn. The sunrise of the rainy season was a bliss with a canopy of green above the street and a carpet of the fallen golden flowers on the street. "What raaga better than lalit at dawn?," said she,


A song in the raaga lalit is what the soul craves for at this point of time as the narrator sets us in the middle of a golden Bangalore street lit by the orangish glow of the early morning sun with the sky filled and not so filled by clouds! This was how the narration went on during a lovely concert I attended in this nice city (honestly, this concert changed my attitude towards Bangalore, believe me!) Vidushi Chaitra Sontakke and company...enthralled a packed auditorium with an equal number of people sitting and standing. The Mohana Veena was instrumental in that musical journey.

The thing I liked the most about the concert, "Raagas everywhere" organised by the Bangalore International Center( an initiative by The Energy Resources Institute) was that not only did it have a blend of Hindustani, folk, Sufi and western classical, but the narration, the raagas which were sung accordingly, to match the situation, only to make the imagination that came with it very memorable. One more thing I liked about the concert is the way the lead singer moved her head in an inclination, with a faint smile on her face, raising her head by a small angle upwards in a swift action, in a nodding sense to her colleague on Tabla signalling him to start dancing his fingers on those thin membranes.



There was western classical too. The Italian Opera. "He moved to Italy. "Wow, the birth place of the Violin and the Piano!!,"she said. Music has no boundaries. It is all about learning, loving and leaving." The song went to Shud Kalyan raag(I guess) in India and some Opera song in Italy. They were the same(yeah, cool!) So, they did a bit of fusion. But when both of them were mixed, I did not like it much. I feel the song of a Nightingale is beautiful on its own as is the trumpeting of an Elephant on its own. But I am not sure if one can mix them both. However, the sounds of a nightingale and a squirrel might make a good combination (spring evenings!) One should know what to fuse together. I guess they did a good job!

The concert ended with the raag Madhuvanti, the raag of love. Oh! did it end? I guess it marked a new beginning. It broke apart boundaries and brought down Kilometers by a factor of ten raised to five!!

"You know what I liked the most about you?" He asked her. "The fact that you never asked me where I am from!" He told her on that sound instrument which keeps distances close by.
Yes, it doesn't really matter!