1.21.2012

The "also sang"

Indian Classical Music is a chore.
You got it right and it is my opinion. I have not yet understood the nuances of Carnatic or Hindustani music and to say I have been around for quite a bit.
While I can for a small amount of time get involved with Carnatic music mainly because I can sing along a few, Hindustani falls flat on my ears. I dont for the life of me garner more than four words in a rendition. I think a part of my refusal to connect to Hindustani is because of death. Let me explain. Growing up with Doordarshan ensured that I would listen, to four days of uncomprehensive singing and unreasonable amounts of Shehnai, in the unfortunate event of a state head passing away. Pressure like this takes away from pleasure and pushes in dread.
In my own defence I did try with Carnatic music. I wouldnt call it entirely my doing because honestly how many tamil brahmin families does one know where the girls in the house are liberated from the ardous task of being good singers? I was introduced to classical singing only by the age of 9. Late bloomers and such dreams. That turned out to be a classical saga which warrants itself another story. By the following year I as well as my well wishers had realised a deep disconnect between the raagas and what strangled out of my mouth and I was granted absolution.
Many of my friends and relatives are accomplished singers. One of my closest friends is the best singer I have ever heard but she knows my aberration. In college, she was one of the most popular stage singer as well as gap filler. Without fail everytime she was asked to belt out another hit number from Thyagaraja's Kirthanas she would catch me rolling my eyes and would laugh heartily at my plight. I implored her to learn a few hindi movie songs, for variety I said, but my intentions were not all white.
I do like the set of songs that I know by heart including Baghyada Lakshmi Baramma and Lambodara. One of my all-time favourites is Suprabhatam by MS. I also like her rendition of "Endaro Mahanubhavulu". I have written before about a song from Shankarabharanam. I like some of the songs from the telugu movie "Sree Ramadasu". I like the Yesudas rendition of "Tulasi Dala Mulaje" and my grandmom's presentation of "Krishna nee begane baro". Since these songs are not foremost in my mind and are tucked away in some crevice of my brain which is holding on to musical heritage, I do not recall all of them.
I do have an ear for Carnatic music to a certain extent. This extent is for the songs I already am familiar with. I do not have the patience to dissect them for their raagas, taalas and such. I like them for their friendly tune and sing-along nature of lyrics. I do not possess the forbearing for songs new to me. This should explain my first statement.
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