Monday, June 15, 2009

Music and My Friend

During my growing years, I used to learn Carnatic music, much to my dislike. I never had an inclination for Classical Music. As much as I tried hard to appreciate it, I went farther away, and almost shunned it. Sometime when I started attending college, my friend and I decided to join music classes under Shri Ravikiran, a prodigy in the world of music.

While B went on to pursue her career in music, I pursued my other interests while music took a back seat. My mother has always been upset about this particular decision. It was her dream to see me as a musician, and nothing else. But I had other plans, and maybe so does fate. I had a greater fondness for travel and arts in general. But was not focused enough to ensure that my life revolved around it.

But music has always been a part of my life, even if I was not actively learning it from a qualified Guru. I enjoy Western instrumental music, be it the Saxophone, or the Pan Pipes, and not to forget, the melody of the Guitar, and Jazz. So I chanced upon Classical Guitar classes held near my house, and I enrolled myself for the weekend classes. My teacher's fingers weave magic from the chords; it is simply mesmerizing to hear and even better when you watch the nimble fingers play tough notes with such ease.

My greatest moment was when I played on stage as one of the winners, when I earned a distinction in the Theory of Music, Grade 1 Classical Guitar. I realise how much I enjoyed, and still enjoy playing for an audience. After a long hiatus, I rejoined classes, but I am back to the basics, having forgotten most of the lessons I had learnt.
In between all this, I also got in touch with Bhargavi, who has since become a professional Carnatic musician, both in vocal as well as the Chitraveena. Over time, the company you keep also rubs off on you. I attended some of her classes that she takes for her students, and I was impressed by her method of teaching, guiding her young students patiently. We have known each other for over 20 years now, and it is with a lot of pride that I look back on our friendship. Thanks to her, I am slowly learning to appreciate the beauty of Carnatic music. You must listen to this hauntingly beautiful instrument, the Chitraveena, to believe and appreciate what I am trying to convey. The music moves you. Music is so divine, it transports you to a different world.

If not for my basic foundation in Music, I would not have been able to pick up both my Initial Guitar classes and my Grade 1 Guitar classes within a considerably short period of time.

Today, I had come down with a terrible headache because of my sinusitis, and decided to visit B if she was at her mother's house. Thankfully, she was practicing there, and I decided to just drop in and listen to her playing and come back home. We had some good conversations and managed to munch our favourite Tirupati ladoo in between all this.
By the time, I left, my headache had vanished without a trace. Was it the music or my friend that did the trick?

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