Disclaimer: TL; DR.
Thatha – a major influence in my life is no more and I have a lot to say.
He was mostly my guru, shared all that he knew musically unconditionally – not just with me, but with all his students. He made all of us complete individuals and gave us exposure beyond what we could imagine at that tender age.
He was mostly stern with me, when it came to classes and practice sessions. Instances I recollect that I’d get a share of unpleasantaries for fellow students making mistakes while singing. It used to be a rigourous 6-8 hours session per day. To compensate for his rigor, my paati would pamper all of us with delicacies and gratifying words.
Between 1998 and 2005, I’d participate in singing competitions across various sabhas in Chennai. And, by chance if thatha appeared as a judge, I know I have no chance of winning – even if I gave my best. Fellow musicians in the judging panel would encourage my performance whilst Thatha would find a gazillion mistakes in my performance – starting from the posture, to shruti, to kala pramanam, to diction and raga bhavam.
Almost until my early 20s, I’d blindly follow whatever he’d say. Because I knew nothing other than that. To support his views, my parents would never come in the way. And those years helped me see a person beyond a guru in him – an orator, an organiser, a disciplinarian, a creator, an artist and above all a bhakta of Saint Narayana Tirtha.
Thatha never said words or preached to help us learn things. He’d simply do them in action and meticulously followed them until his last breath – I can assure. Today, in his absence, I connect dots backward and know that there’s so much he has taught me in an implied manner.
He liked being challenged and deeply appreciated acumen in a person and accepted creative (non conventional) ideas readily.
He was one of the early organisers to encourage budding young artistes and would go out of his way to support and help them build a career by putting them in touch with other leading Sabha secretaries.
For those who knew him deep, they’d absolutely adore him for his straight forwardness. Despite his natural traits, he was extremely good as an influencer and loved being around like minded individuals.
From concert recitals, dance performances, stage dramas, harikatha, namasankeertanam, villupaatu, jugalbandis to talk shows, debate sessions, short films, street play, he explored spectrum of ideas to reach out compositions of Sri Narayana Tirtha.
Seen a man of dreams? Yes.
Seen an entire family beholding this man’s dreams? It’s rare. For, its seldom we witness such things.
I consider myself blessed to grow up in such an atmosphere at household. Differing views, conflicting interests, personal opinions will fall short completely when it comes to one subject – “Narayana Tirtha” – where the entire family unites unanimously.
In the recent past, we bonded beyond a guru – shishya relationship and shared ideas across subjects – food, travel, politics, history, culture, psychology, medicine, fitness, architecture. And maybe, this was when, he was more of a thatha to me and expressed his purest of sides with joy to me.
His leaving is irreplaceable but he has given us a purpose beyond our imagination – to each one of us in the family to hold onto and reminisce him in many more years to come.
P.S: His strength and love, V Rajalakshmi, my patti – is currently in loss of words to express what she’s going through. Hope and pray for her well being.
2011 was pretty quick. 365 days went by in a jiffy. Let me recollect what 2011 meant to me.
Some good memories –
- Was Awarded B Grade for Carnatic Classical Vocal Music from All India Radio
- Parents turned 50 this year
- Had a brilliant Summer Internship Experience with Hanmer MSL, Chennai
- Headed the Student Academic Forum (aka SAF), Council 2011-2012 at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune
- Parents 25th Wedding Anniversary also happened this year
- Bagged a Music Scholarship for a period of 2 years from Ministry of Culture, Government of India
- I am placed with ‘A’ company. Awaits my offer letter. (Will update soon about the company, profile, etc. as when it becomes official)
- My friends have been my biggest strength this year. Truly realized who my real friends are and I thank each and everyone who have done a lot for me without even asking and expecting. Love you guys!
Some not-so-good ones –
- Passing away of my guru Sri Chingleput Ranganathan
- Some of my friends family losses deeply moved me and made me realize how life is never what you expect it to be. They really made me strong. Looking at their will power, I learnt not to crib about puerile things
- Everyone in the family has been going through rough times with respect to health and a few more losses.
Overall, 2011 has been a very challenging one for me personally. It has moulded me to a better person, I hope. This year has really taught me a lot with respect to life, respecting relationships, people, emotions, valuing time, and one’s health.
On this note, I look forward to an eventful and a better 2012. Have certain goals and vision for this year. Hope, I would accomplish the same with my best efforts.
Here’s wishing the entire human kind a very happy and prosperous new year 2012. Cherish every moment of your life, live it to the fullest, and never regret any of your decisions.
Regards and Love,
Who are they? Well.. Long long ago.. So long ago.. There were two people who fell in love (..obviously a young boy and girl..) when they were around 24 years of age. And you know how the 1980’s era was? Especially when the tam brahm girl loves a non brahmin boy.. Caste apart, they were two individuals who wanted to take their parents consent for their marriage… And, the usual filmy stuff happened and Yes! They fought the world who stood against their love and went ahead to marry each other..
Today, on your 25th marriage anniversary, I wish I had spent some time with both of you.. Probably, doing my bit of troubling you guys.. But, just that you escaped my gig today! (.. how I wish I smashed a cake on both of you..*drooools*..)
And you know what.. You have stayed together not just for 100 days.. but 9125 days till date.. *Claps Claps* (.. I always knew my dad was a bravo.. and my mum was extremely adjustive.. )
Jokes apart.. Stay the same.. and hope you relived your loved moments..
You are selfless. You are quite your unusual self. You are in bliss. You smile. You blush. You wanna express love in every possible way. You are in your ecstasy. You dream of all good things. You wish for beautiful things. You can drool over silly things and consider the most important things too. You love everything on the planet from a paper to be thrown in the dustbin to a stupidest forward message you receive on your phone. You aim to be at your poetic best when you feel love within. You listen to Raja Music 😉 or any romantic slow music. You sing half of them (forget about you know the song or not, but you start singing, however good or bad you are at singing :D). You are more strong. You wish to be pampered. You try to associate your feeling to someone. What if you don’t have anyone special in life? Well, you can still be in love. Love is not just holding your boyfriend/girlfriend’s hands and speaking all romantic stuff or anything on those lines, but love is an emotion. Love. Love. Love is in the air for me. I love this moment. I am quite enlightened maybe 😉
Today, Nov 7th 2010 is the JAL cyclone day. Quite struck at home because of continuous alerts on news channels stating the same news about the cyclone. So, I was quite by myself at home today. Parents were home too. It was a sweet day with parents. Teasing mum and dad, listening to sufi music, nature watching from window pane, enjoying the rain breeze, curling inside the blanket, is all love in my opinion. A day of enlightenment. A day of love. A day of expressing love. Spread love. Love is all that can change bad into good. Love is the mantra 🙂
~When we make the choice to fill our heart space with unconditional love, our worlds blossom into a beauty far greater than we have known.