Thursday, 20 March 2014


The Academy mini hall was bursting at the seams. People were jostling each other and there was hardly any space left. The erudite scholar from the North was making a presentation on Gita Govinda as part of the Lecture/Demonstration series during the Music Season. Even as this was on, a senior citizen got up from his seat and walked towards the passage. Nonchalantly taking his camera out, he focused it on a gentleman sitting in the extreme corner. The gentleman- a young but a senior musician known for his radical views- turned back and with a frown and a grimace, shooed away the senior citizen. The latter did not  budge and was bent on using his contraption. The musician had to raise his voice and say  ‘NO, PLEASE GO AWAY’ with a very stern voice. The senior citizen finally retreated but I am sure his objective was achieved.

 The gentleman with the gadget wanted to take a picture of the musician-in all probability to show off to the entire world that after all he was also present in the same hall where the great musician was sitting as part of the audience. Going by the present day trend, he would have wanted it to post it in one of the social media sites to get most number of ‘likes’.  Is there anything wrong in this?

 I feel ‘Yes’.

A presentation cum lecture was on and by moving around and indulging in something, he was showing disrespect to the person who was lecturing, the audience and also the great poet Jayadeva . This very act smacks of indecency and very bad manners.  But what hurt me the most was the Senior Citizen’s total disregard to the musician’s privacy. After all, the musician is a human being in flesh and blood and is a rasika as well.  By trying to take a picture of his, wasn’t the senior man conveying that ‘Oh this is something special’ when in reality there was nothing special about it? Most importantly, he was intruding into the private space of the musician.

How many of us even realise that each living being on the earth has a space of its own- a space very personal and the denial of which makes the living beings very uncomfortable, gives them jitters which is and make them suffocate?

All of us yearn for this personal space but when it comes to giving that space to others, we look the other way. By having our own space where we do things we are comfortable with and things we enjoy the most-though this is subjective, all I meant was a ‘legitimate space’- and respecting others’ space, our lives become more meaningful and the world itself will be a better place to live.

 Today is ‘World Sparrow Day’. The sparrow, that beautiful creature is now almost extinct and is likely to be declared as an endangered species soon. The same digital world where Apples and Berries are no longer associated only with fruits is the culprit. It is of course very easy to argue that if not for technology, we would not even be sharing such thoughts just at the click of a button. Agreed to a certain extent but let us also lean back and think if we have ever felt that this world is not just for us but also to millions of other living creatures. Let us start questioning ourselves as to what can be done to restore such extinct creatures and decide to allow these creatures their space which itself will be a first step towards recognising the ‘space’ of all our fellow humans apart from our own space.

The rare gem of the day, Nattu vaiccha rosa chedi from AraNmanai kiLi (1993) may not have anything to do with sparrow as such. However, I feel a breath of fresh air whenever I listen to this song which is based on the Hindustani raag Durga. It could be because of the exuding cheerfulness and joy. Or even simply because of the folksy tune.

The chorus, the percussion and the beats in Tisram in the prelude take us to a typical village in Tamizh Nadu. The sweet voice of Suseela amma in the Pallavi-which itself flows like a tributary of Cauvery.

Almost throughout the song, the bass guitar gives a very special sound-something like a ‘uRumi meLam’

The mid octave and higher octave notes are played together by the piped folk instruments in the first interlude making us take a walk alongside the spacious garden with the branches and the flowers nodding their heads to the tune of the flute.

The lines in the charaNams ooze with energy with the chorus and the piped instruments in the second half giving the impetus.

The second interlude dominated yet again by the chorus, percussion and the flute give the genuine flavour of our villages.

Surely a breath of fresh air permeating our personal space with music. Let us cherish this space and make others cherish their respective space as well..

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