Sunday, August 22, 2010

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN ………experience culture?

I love all civilizations. I would love to know about their culture. Let us take Egypt! I go visit the pyramids! Wooow! Masterpiece! Now I know everything about Egyptian culture! I love Indian culture too! So let us hit Rajasthan and catch up with their folk dance, and to know about south Indian culture, let us feast our ears and eyes to carnatic music and bharatnatyam! (:o)
So you think you understood their culture? NO! (wish you could hear me scream!)

It does not work in this manner friends! You might probably understand their ART but never their culture! ART and CULTURE… They are different but inter-related! ART is a part of CULTURE. ART is an outburst of creative thoughts and putting it to action while Culture is the way of life! If you really need to go in depth about one’s culture, then probably you need to become one among them! BE A ROMAN IN ROME is such an apt quote that sums up my message!

Not many days ago, while travelling in an AUTO in the unavoidable heavy traffic of MUMBAI, I spotted this tourist with a very peculiar vehicle! It was a cross between a cycle and a inclined cart carrying himself and his bags. The whole picture gave me such a thrill and crave to explore places his way! Now you understand what I am saying? Instead of renting a car or a tourist bus, see how well he got in touch with the place! We got to learn from what we see around! And that way we learn the most and the best!(:))

Art is definitely an important PART of understanding a culture but the various other folds are food, manners, festivals etc. But all these are not to be experienced individually!

Monday, August 16, 2010

TN Sheshagopalan kacheri @ Fine Arts


For a 5.30 pm kacheri of Sri. T.N.Sheshagopalan (who hails from Madurai :D), I ended up at the FINE ARTS society’s auditorium only at 7.30 pm with my 30 yr old best friend KALS (Kalyani hariharan). I could hear him end a really heavy song garnished with thundering mirudangam beats and ganjira. The auditorium appeared packed but somehow we managed to find seats in the last rows.
As soon as I took my seat, I could see very little black haired heads among a sea of cotton colored ones! As expected… Honestly I have never heard T.N.S. sing. I totally depended on KALS’s very unconvincing opinion about him. She claimed that only very few of his songs were masterpieces. But I, unlike her, have no enough knowledge to opinionate on such great vidwans!
As I am a huge FAN of ragam reethigowlai, I was hoping that he sings a song based on this ragam in the remaining 2 hours of the kacheri. He commenced with a song which was based on Abheri. No qualms at all! DID YOU KNOW (:P) that abheri was the 1st ever ragam that I fell for? And coincidently I like all ragams which are derived from KHARAHARAPRIYA ( reethigowlai too is a janyam of this ragam).

He sang the alaapanam as if his lungs and food pipe were well lubricated with nalla yennai (:/). I was eagerly waiting for him to soak into that ragam and present its most beautiful form ever to us but in vain. Somehow somewhere I felt that he wasn’t using the right combination of swarams in his alaapanam. With a slow death of his voice, a gradual birth of the music of VIOLIN( my most favorite instrument) happened and filled the auditorium with divinity!
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