Blog post by Jayajanani Pattabhiraman
‘Vaa da kanna, oru paatu paadu paakalam’ – and that’s how you’ll see a traditional Carnatic kacheri becoming part of every aathu function along with the traditional vazhailai lunch. And why not? We are a clan of unsung heroes, spread across the world like pearls in the ocean. Tap our shells & you will be blessed to experience the magic of Carnatic music. After years of training in this South Indian Classical music, you ought to make every living room your stage to entertain all the mamis & paatis with the display of God’s gift to you, the mighty child prodigy.
Did I also mention that if you have earned more than five ‘Aha’s of the experienced mamis & paatis within one song, you really don’t need a certification in music. And with that, will begin song requests pouring in from every corner. There will be one or more forgetful paatis who cannot recollect the song or in many cases, do not know the song and will latch onto which ragam it could belong to. ‘Kanna, anda Kokilapriya ragathodu anda paatu irrukke.’ and that’s when the test begins.
It’s the test you never signed up for. Your brain automatically starts to function to filter all the songs you have learnt or heard or dreamt of in Kokilapriya ragam until it comes down to the one that experienced mami wants to hear.
And then, once you get it, the test only begins. You close your eyes & pray. The Gods arise & bless you so that you can begin singing that unbelievable song in the most accurate manner. And just when you hit the highest note. ‘Thaalam enna thappa irrukaramaadri irrukku?’, one mami mutters over her steaming cup of filter kaapi. And oops – is that so? I better correct the thaalam before anyone else notices & as I do it, I open my eyes to step out of the trance I was in & wink at awesome filter kaapi paati to save me from the debacle. She smiles back & awards me with her –‘Aha, ennama padara kozhandai. Chamatthu kutti, yen chellam.’ And before I can take it in & bask in the glory to earn my filter kaapi, she goes – ‘Anda Kharaharapriya ragathodu paatu konjum. ’ Sigh – and of course, the pursuit of endless chamatthuness continues.
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