Its been really long since i have written. U need to be in a certain mood to be able to write.I experience springtides of writing at times and have to sit with my laptop to flush out the outpour of words in me. I almost feel my heart swell when i delay in doing so.. I can feel the same rush today.. Its been so long since i have felt it. I almost accepted that it’s gonna never to return, but now, i’m happy that it’s finally come back.. 🙂
It was in the year 2007. My HOD, Mr. Venkateshappa, called me to his chamber. I went in asking myself if i had giving anyone a reason to complain :P..
Our college had set a dress code for us. We wern’t supposed to wear jeans.. A notice had once been put up dat said, “Boys are adviced to wear only formal trousers. It has been observed that some girls wear ugly clothes. Girls are adviced to come in decent salwar khameez to college.” We could interpret everything except for the word ‘ugly’.. What on earth was that supposed to mean!! We encircled it, drew an arrow mark and a question mark too when der was nobody to check on us 😛 ..The notice barely made any difference. We still wore jeans to class..
I was in my blue jeans nd white shirt on dat day..(my favorite white shirt…i luv its cuts) I didn’t want to be dictated what i should wear. I didn’t want to be given a lecture. That was the only possible reason he could have.. couldn’t think of any other..
I entered the chamber and saw another lec hu taught us control systems dat semester.. I wud take his notes only when he wud pass by me.. 😛 The rest of the tym wud be spent making funny comments nd creating wierd stories on his infamous paunch wid my frns 😛 I was wondering if he said something to the HOD.. I took a deep breath, smiled and greeted them both. They smiled back. “Come in Ishma. How r u? We just received an invitation from MVIT.. They have a music concert today at their campus. Our college has been invited. Pt. Shivkumar is performing. What do u suggest? Should we go? who is he? Classes will have to be cancelled if we plan to attend it…” By the time he finished speaking a hundred thoughts had crossed my mind. Starting from relief for not having been called to be reprimanded for any reason to exhileration i felt it all.. I had decided that i must attend that concert come what may. I thought, “Should we go?? What a Qn was that?? He’s a maestro damn it!!”
The Santoor is my favorite musical instrument. I just can’t stop falling in love with it.. The first time i heard this magical instrument was while i was recording at a studio for the BGM of a musical. We had taken a break for lunch. I was the youngest artist there.. barely 15 yrs sold.. Everyone else were over 30. They would pamper me all the time and joking call me a manager because i wud do all the little things like make notes for them etc apart from the main job which was to sing…. The instrumentalists had just finished their recording.. mine and the male singers’ aalap was due.. That was post lunch..As i listened, that one sound, the sound of santoor had captured me.. It drew me closer and closer to itself.. I chose not to go for lunch with the others dat day.. I said i’m not hungry and and stayed back at the studio..After everyone left i walked up to that enamouring instrument.. I dunno why but i felt nervous..may be because no artist wud like another lay person touching their instrument(every true musician pays huge respect to his instrument..)and that too in his/her absence..But no.. it was not just that..I still remember dat feeling.. I picked up the mallets.. I was scared to strike the strings.. I had heard such enchanting sound from it.. I didn’t want to break out of that captivity.. I almost felt like i wud disrespect it by trying my hands on it as a novice.. Finally i managed to gently strike the mallets against the random strings.. It still sounded great..
The santoor is such a wonderful creation dat every sound it makes is enthralling…
“Yes sir. We must go. Pt. Shivkumarji is a santoor player.. Moreover, he’s a Padma Shri and a Padma Vibhushan.. We shouldn’t miss it..”,said I. It took me a while to convince him that he must cancel our classes and take us to the concert but i finally managed to do so..
Most of my fellow students were excited only because they wudn’t have to attend boring classes..Who is interested in classical music anyways..? The transport was arranged and in an hour we reached the venue. The huge hall was packed with students and other music lovers..All seats were full. None of my fellow mates were ready to stand thru the entire concert or sit down on the carpets dat had been spread out after all the seats were full..
I managed to cram myself up somewhere in between…anything for music.. how does the place matter when u have a legend performing before u? 😉
In d next 30 mins my college mates left. So did the lecturers. I told dem i’ll manage my way back home and stayed back.
He played. He conquered.
He also understood that a lot of the young college goers might not be able to relate to pure classical and played quite a bit of contemporary too.. He floored every person in the hall.. It takes a great talent to make hundreds of rock loving youth not only to applaud classical music but also ask for more..
The santoor basically is of persian origin but Shivkumarji gave it completely new dimension. His playing is consummate, never below par. The whole combo is flawless- Santoor, Shivkumarji, persia, Kashmir(dat’s where was born and he got his taleem from).. I was in a state of trance by the end of the concert.. I wished even Rahul Sharma wud have been there to perform. It wud be great to see the father-son duo on stage together…Also, he was the new rage among the youth during that tym for both his music nd his looks 😛
It happens everytime.. even to this day.. everytime i listen to the santoor, i feel some sort of fullness in side me.. I dunno if i can explain it the rite way..but something creeps upwards starting from my gut till it reaches my heart till it swells and then my mind..and my soul.. I feel tranquilized..elevated to another state of being.. How could something so great nd Godly be created by man? How could something be so magnetic..so magical.. The only word that could describe it aptly is ‘divine’. I deliberately pull myself thru everytime i listen to it bcoz it entraps me in way dat is almost scary..almost hypnotising…I go thru similar feelings when i listen to Chinese music.. But nothing like the santoor in Shivkumarji’s hands..My eyes turn moist by the tym i finish listening.. I listened to Shivkumarji’s hamsadhwani once and it took me a while before i cud shake myself out of its bewitching charm..
Here’s a link to the d same..http://www.esnips.com/doc/cdc6533f-2958-4923-b081-0a428a9a4ff9/Raga-Hansadhwani—Alap,-Jod–Gat
We had a question answer session post performance and he obliged kindly to every Qns from the audience.. I waited for him to come out of the hall.. I just wanted to be around him for a while.. There is a certain aura exuded by such great artists.. U gotta be around them to understand what i’m trying to say.. U can actually feel the positivity nd Godliness around them..
It was almost 8 in the evening and i was 35 Kms away frm my house.. I managed to catch hold of a bus driver of another college and requested him to take me along..He offered me a ride till my house along with many other students 🙂