This day, that age

Attended my first ever concert with K, on new year’s eve. It HAD to be Sikkil Gurucharan, no? It was. Turned out to be an amazing concert(Being me,I had decided it would be one even before I went there). Bilahari is officially the more sprightly ragam of this season. Love. I was a little concerned that K might get bored thro’ the 3-hour concert, but he enjoyed it as much for the most part – atleast thats what he said(He SHOULD know I take that as a sign to drag him to more concerts next time around). On the same note, managed to catch most Margazhi Mahotsav excerpts on TV – Abhishek Raghuram ! What-A-Talent – should listen to him live, soon – maybe off-season!

…Dont remember when I attended my first kacheri – reckon it should have been earlier than I can possibly recollect given how carnatic music crazy dad-mom are. But I do remember the time when the likes of Bombay Jayashee, TMK and Sowmya were regarded as “upcoming artistes” and would be slotted in the morning free kacheris in most sabhas. There were fewer sabhas, but hey! those were simpler times right ? The three of us would go piled up in dad’s blue Chetak, sometimes with A perched up in the front when there was noone to take care of him. Now I think we must have looked like a spectacle right out of Jumbo Circus. The tickets would cost no more than Rs 25, dad and mom would have deep misgivings to buy 50-rupee tickets. It was an expense-overhead, and we would try to stick to sabhas that had Rs 25 seats. Each song would start off with a combination of anticipation, tension and pressure – the Ragam HAD to be figured out. I had exactly a minute into the song/alapanai before dad played spoilsport and triumphantly announced the ragam. I would put my fingers in my ears and beg him to not reveal it till I figured it out myself, and then there would be a debate in hushed tones in case there was a difference of opinion. Beyond the ragam identification, the rest of the song was only waiting time for the next song to begin. I would lose patience thro’ the main piece and tani avartanam and wait impatiently for the RTPs and tukkdas to begin. It was much later, maybe from around 10 years ago, that I started actually revelling in the music itself and not stopping with just ragam identification. The margazhi of 2010 that I spent in Mylapore is easily the best, music season-wise. So many sabhas, so many kacheris, a more mature ear for music – but, the first minute tension  for each song never left ! Some things never change, do they ? 🙂

Mom-Dad’s company was sorely missed this season. Man! I cant wait for them to get back to Chennai !

Fourth edition of the Chennai TAP happened again this year! TAP ? In Pilani, TAP stood for the annual Tyagaraja Aradhana Practice. Over the years, the actual Aradhana we held at Pilani came to be referred to as TAP too, and hence the name sticks to the Chennai edition! We have been hosting TAP in Chennai for 4 years now(Sigh! Thats how long it has been since I graduated :|). With each passing year, though the BITSian representation in Chennai has been slowly diminishing, we have managed to pull off full house Aradhanas(never mind that the “house” in question is pretty small), thanks to brilliant enthu levels of the Raag alumni to take up organization of the event. Despite the initial to-have-or-not-to-have TAP confusion, things somehow fell into place this year and after a hurried rehearsal, we went up on stage with more junta than we had hoped could participate. The show was not without its usual share of goof-ups and eye-winks and coverups – after all, those are the things that contribute to the fun and laughs of such annual gatherings, but overall, it was a good effort. Saint Tyagaraja, hope you were pleased 😀

…TAP in Pilani was a regular second semester event that happened on the Founder’s day every year. Apart from the actual Aradhana itself, the practice sessions that we had for nearly a fortnight and an exclusive dinner grub on the day of the event were the most memorable aspects of TAP. Every year we would have a couple of people from Raag teaching the Pancharatna Kritis to everybody interested, and we would perform them to faculty and students on the day of the Aradhana. Have very fond memories of certain regular goof-ups we were known to make, like mixing up the last few charanams of Dhudukku gala, starting Endaro on samam etc – and unfailingly, every year, atleast one of us would promptly execute these goof-ups!

This year was no exception too – but that SOOO brought back memories of campus, of chilly wintry evening practice sessions in 2217 and the old Raag room in FD-2, and Vind/Nimmy/Enthu/Chak and the Raag enthu !

PS: I have a strong suspicion that I might have been Cheran’s sister in my previous birth. It freaks me out how I go off into the gyabagam varudhe mode so often! *Should ask him if happens to have a mortal fear for dogs now and hopefully rule out suspicion.*


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