05-Jul-2007

Singing praises

Singing is not my forte. Ask anyone who has heard me sing in Antakshari games and you will get an unbiased opinion on my pitch being the exact one that will strike a chord with the canine segment. Sadly, with the blind spot that afflicts most parents, there was a time in the past when I was enrolled in singing classes.

I was about ten and living in Calcutta. Living a few streets away was Ambi Saar who taught Carnatic music. His genius lay not in imparting a solid music education to keen young minds. He recognized the price that nostalgic non-resident Tams would pay to expose their offsprings to Tamil culture. Consequently his classes were full and attracted more than their fair share of singularly untalented kids. My sister and I sat in the 6th row of class and added our voices to the cacophony. On day one, we were taught the warm up chords ‘Sa Pa Sa Pa Sa’. On day 30, we were still singing ‘Sa Pa Sa Pa Sa’ like a couple of birds, albeit clockwork. On day 31, we were off on our month long annual vacation. When we returned, Ambi Saar was off on his. Three months later my parents took stock and realized the following

1. Two daughters – can sing Sa Pa Sa Pa Sa (which is beginning to get on everyone’s nerves)
2. One music master who has been charging fees whether classes are held or not
3. 600 rupees spent as fees
4. One book full of music notations which neither daughter can read well since it is in Tamil

Our music lessons ended.

It was with some surprise that I found out recently that a cousin of mine had taken to singing like a nightingale. She was apparently cooing at all competitions in college and had appeared on Regional TV no less. I was quite proud. So when she was called to sing at another cousin’s wedding, I waited to hear her in eager anticipation. Surrounding us was a sea of relatives-to-be-by-marriage all of whom seemed to have spent their childhoods running from the art class to the music class to the dance class. My own family assiduously avoids public singing and the whole experience was new to all of us. My cousin took centre stage in her silk saree, gold jewellery and jasmine flowers. And promptly burst into Cranberries’s Zombie with a kind of fervour that only kids in college bands can muster. The richness of her rendition really came through in the ‘in your head’ bits that reverberated through the silent hall. After a pregnant pause, people clapped politely and sweetly refrained from remarking ‘we were expecting something more traditional’. My cousin admitted later on that perhaps her choice was slightly unconventional for an engagement but having practiced it non-stop for her college cultural event this was the only song she could come up with at the spur of a moment.

All the same, singing genes do exist in our family and clearly the next generation will also be put through 3 months of Ambi Saar’s classes before reality shows the way.
P.S. This is my 100th post. i.e. if you don't count the first 2 which were removed at some point or the ones that have been abandoned in my C: When I last checked, no public ceremonies have been organised to mark the occasion but I must admit am pretty proud. Pat on the back

4 comments:

Archana said...

LOL - I was recently telling about our "singing" classes to someone else too :-)!

Congratulations - already 100 posts?? Too cool :-))! Looking forward to lots more!

barbadkatte said...

100 posts and counting ... way to go

Bharathis said...

Congratulations on your 100th post!
-Mom

Bharati said...

100th post...congratulations.....
gr88888........this article is really funny.....i enjoyed reading...i jus now recommended to one of my frnd to read ur blogspot....keep up the gud work....Bharati