She Came, She Smiled, She Conquered!

Before the readers raise their eye brows, I must hasten to add that I’m talking about my grand-daughter who visited us last week all the way from the US. Her  4- day stay with us in Bombay was unforgettable. She had a ready smile and she smiled for no reason as if to convey that one need not have a reason to be happy. And her spontaneous and unpredictable smiles instantly sparked excitement all around with everyone joining her in the laughter. It was accompanied by shouts of – Kutty sirikkardu ( li’l one is laughing!). Whatever she did was breaking news! Even if she did nothing, it was still news! I still remember my other daughter from the US calling me up at 12 in the night to proudly announce that her 7-months old son did it…….on the potty! I told her it was just a coincidence like the story of a crow landing on the branch of a palm tree and a ripe fruit falling to the ground. The two events may be apparently related although in reality they are not!

Last 2 weeks were quite hectic for all of us and for the poor kid it must have been a nightmare. Imagine spending more than 24 hours on a flight and suddenly facing a sea of humanity and everyone trying to extract a smile as if she is a smiling machine!

We had a brief half-a-day birthday celebration for the baby in Chennai which was well attended.
The function started off with a glorious chanting of the musical Samaveda followed by a Vedic ritual called Ayush Homam. The kid was also seated on the dais along with her parents. Just when she seemed to be enjoying the proceedings, she was given a shock treatment. All of a sudden she found herself seated on the lap of her uncle and before she knew what was happening, a guy was brought in to pierce her tender earlobes with a sharp piercing gun. Piercing the ears of the crying infant surely must have pierced the hearts of several onlookers. To my surprise the uncle who was carrying the baby was himself so moved that he handed over the baby to another gentleman and went away! I also saw a couple of girls in tears as they watched the scene at close quarters. This ritual is perhaps avoidable during the function.But then traditions are traditions!

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in the park 6

CYMERA_20000105_120128suchi in pavadai smiling

in the park 7

My post on the function will be incomplete without my mention of my brief meeting with a well-known musicologist who attended the function. The person I’m talking about is the famous octogenarian Sri SR Janakiraman, popularly known as SRJ to music lovers in Chennai. He is highly respected for his scholarship in music – both theory and practice. I had a brief chat with him about the great Rallapalli Ananta Krishna Sarma, who is well-known for his work on Annamacharya compositions. TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devastanam)entrusted Rallapalli with the responsibility of reviving Annamacharya compositions. These compositions, inscribed on copper plates, were lying in TTD storehouse for centuries. Rallapalli singularly edited and tuned the compositions and brought out several volumes way back in 1950s. SRJ said that he was an exceptional personality who exhibited expertise in several fields of music. When I mentioned in passing that Music Academy also recognized him with Sangeeta Kalanidhi, SRJ was a little disturbed. He said: Let us not talk about Music academy when we are discussing good things!

Little did I know that the prestigious academy has a darker side. When I mentioned this to some of my knowledgeable friends, they did confirm this with a big list of what they considered as the omissions and commissions of the academy. Several great artists like Flute Mali, my favourite MD Ramanathan and Lalgudi Jayaraman were ignored by the academy for the award of the prestigious Sangita kalanidhi. No wonder, today the award itself is no more prestigious!

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Published in: on January 18, 2015 at 12:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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