Morning Raga

So begins another day? with a welcome absence of emails in my official inbox. And I can lose myself for a while in the Carnatic Strains of the Morning Raga? the movie. Fabulous music, beautiful scenes and the wonderful Shabana Aazmi. Must say, not a bad imagery to start the day.

Somehow, music always plays a defining role in my life. It was in the first year of engineering college that I discovered that I could escape a fair bit of ragging at the hands of my seniors if I sang. And realizing that I was a not-so-bad singer, I embarked on my first sessions of singing in public.

To be honest, I never was a grand success. I somehow could never keep track of beats. The percussion had a way of getting into my knees and shaking me up from my very foundations. Overwhelmed by the noise my voice would emerge as a high pitched squeak which in the words of my erstwhile room mate ? bore a strong resemblance to Bappi Leheri?
So this went on for two complete years? I being the guy who sang in the Hostel corridors through the year, was hoisted on the stage at any cultural function worth the name? where I proceeded to sing with the drums and Tablas and the dholaks? sounding more unlike myself with every passing beat. So I remained? one of the ?Also Sang?s? in every music competition, sometimes delighted by an occasional ?Third Prize? or a Consolation Prize while the winners pranced about with the real thing?

Then, one day, I walked into Vinay?s room to find him fiddling about with a broken down guitar?. One of the many hand-me-downs from the senior batch that dotted our rooms. Over the next couple of weeks, Vinay had the guitar mended and before the end of our semester was quite playing his C and D cords with 鬡n?

A week before our foundation day, I had a tiff with our drummer, a senior who deemed fit to play the beats with an intensity and decibel levels far removed from the real thing? but a nice chap at that ( one of those after-so-many-years afterthoughts).

So as I sat complaining to Vinay about the unfairness of it all, he cam up with the simple suggestion that if you cannot sing along with beats? then don?t sing along with beats?
Sing with me?

So that was it? the end of my ignominy as a singer and the beginning of a new phase of friendship with Vinay. We practiced songs that we liked? and never found reasons to regret it. I withdrew from the competition and me and Vinay continued to make music, in our hostel rooms, at the college community center? and for once I was happy with what I was singing.

We did perform in public ,eventually, and I did win competitions in the years to come? and Vinay continues to become a better guitarist by the day?.and I still find myself singing ?.. Yet, the music has ceased now.
Me and Vinay , different cities, different jobs ? we hardly meet now. But sometimes when I play that old cassette recording of our songs, he still seems to be there in the room next to mine, strumming away?

Comments from the past:

hs
21 Jul 2005, 9:23pm

Morning Raaga was a great movie. I loved the way they completely changed the songs that i learnt when i was about 13 ..:) ..nice post !

san
25 Jul 2005, 9:20pm

Enjoyed reading your blogs. Like the way you describe Hyd & Pune. One I belong to; the other we are about to move to.

Ashish
27 Jul 2005, 10:17am

Hey folks.. thanks for reading my posts!
And San, welcome to Pune, its a great place to be.. though a bit wet at the moment

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