A cool January evening, turned out to be a pleasantly surprising, transcendental experience, beyond imagination. It was a small gathering of music or rather classical music lovers, hailing from South India, and the occasion was Thyagararja Aaradhanai, meaning salutations to the one and only classical music exponent Thyagaraja Bhagadavar.
I am definitely not competent enough to speak or comment about this revered and profound subject, but I was just thankful and privileged to be a part of the electrifying atmosphere that evening. Just to be, as an observer, trying to drink in, the sheer pleasure of listening to a mesmerizing performance. The violinist played such soul-stirring music, that we found ourselves drawn completely into his world of poignant, soulful notes. Not in vain is it termed the 'queen of instruments'! The truth being we did not sit through the entire programme, but what I did manage to garner from those few hours was enough to make an indelible impression, which seemed to pervade me for a while.
Apart from the utter enjoyment of the scintillating performance, rendered by the group, what sort of shook me and made me realize, is how we tend to forget our roots, and miss out on the richness of the bottomless pit of wealth, it has to offer. As the speakers with their vibrant and striking words, unfolded before us the background behind the Thyagaraajar’s life, and about his astounding compositions, we could all but listen, in awe and wonder. The Pancharathna Kirthis was expounded upon so vividly, that for a lay person like me, who had no inkling that it had such such intense and insightful depth to it, it was a wonderful revelation. This might give you a general idea about, what I have or I had been so taken up with!
And of course it was so unbelievable being in a milieu, that could have easily passed off as a gathering, right in the heart of any town or city in Tamilnadu; the pattu paavadais, and kanjeevarams the diamond thodus (earrings), and the tinkling of Tamil all around! Was left to muse, how we uproot ourselves, to be transplanted elsewhere, and we sadly loose the initiative to celebrate the vastness and the incredible beauty of our beloved heritage. And it has been more than a week now as I think back, the intensity of my feelings has definitely petered out a bit, and am glad that I did manage to capture that moment in writing, for I would need a reminder about, things that lay beyond the everyday realms of our lives. The untouched ocean of knowledge, that lies beyond, to be tasted and savoured. And I would like to tell myself, I have …’miles to go, before I sleep’….