Saturday, February 21, 2009

Writing Prompt # 4

Rules: Take 10 minutes to write. Please time yourself. When you have finished writing, please leave a link to your response in the comments box. Have fun!

Prompt: Write about an ordinary, everyday event in your family's life. It could be something that your mother or father did every day - ironing clothes, cutting vegetables, doing puja. Or something one of your siblings did - washing the moped or scooter, perhaps. May be even something that all of you did together regularly.

Talk about regularity or routine and the first person to come to my mind is my Appachhan- my grandfather. He was the kind of person that we might describe as one could set the time by .

He was up at dawn, with the Khaddar mundu tied around his chest and no dentures. He would gaze at the pictures above his bed – that of Lord Dhanwanthari and his Guru. Then followed morning ablutions.

He would emerge after bath with the fragrance of sandalwood lingering in the air. The flowers would have been picked and arranged ( by ammamma or me during the holidays) in the ‘thaalam’ ( plate ) to be taken to the temple. After putting on the cumbersome 'methiyadi’ ( wooden sandals) he would march to the temple. On his return, he would go into the puja room, sit on the wooden platform (aavani palaka ) and chant shlokas aloud in his resounding baritone . Next it was breakfast time, after which followed a kind of ‘Durbar’ session with his friends in the adjoining hall. All kinds of topics- current issues, Sports, Arts, Politics everything would be discussed and there would be laughter too. I hardly understood what was going on but the memories and the ambience lingers with utmost clarity.

He would then change into his Khaddar shirt which kind of reached his knees. It was now time to go to the Nursing Home.

Evenings would see him writing his diary meticulously and neatly. There have been times when others have retrieved records after referring to his diary. His ‘Dinacharya’ was on clockwork mode and we told the time by the sound of his footsteps.

However, there was one thing that did not quite work for him by clockwork- and that was his lunch time. Consultation with his patients made him lose track of time and ammamma would send rice gruel/ soup or Horlicks through the hands of the house help.

More about my Appachhan :

Fragrant Memories

Death- Ultimate Reality

and one by my cousin sister in Malayalam

ഞങ്ങളുടെ അപ്പഛൻ

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sublime Experience

After reading this, I felt that I had to share my experience of Margazhi Raagam too. I had wanted to do it soon after I watched it but somehow found myself at a loss of words to describe the experience.

When I first heard about the attempt at filming a concert on celluloid, I did not know what to think, what to expect. I thought that perhaps the regular sabha hopping music lovers would not be too enthusiastic about it. However my curiosity had been piqued and anyway, I was an ardent fan of Bombay Jayashree. So when they were screening Margazhi Raagam at our place, I knew I could not miss it.

A friend arranged for the tickets and there I was waiting at the venue eager and expectant.
The screening began with no ado and it was a different feeling altogether- I mean – looking at the screen in a theatre waiting for a concert.

The lights dimmed in the theatre and the screen came alive. The backdrop, the aesthetic décor, the lighting, the sound experience - was indeed unique. And though this was not a live performance, I don’t know why it felt like an intense personal experience. Like it was only Music and the listener- everything else was blotted out.

I remember the surprise and delight I felt when how first Jayashree rendered the Khamas serenely, then followed a percussion interlude and finally brought to an unexpected buoyant culmination by T.M. Krishna!

The piece with just the Tampura as accompaniment was out of the world. If I'm guilty of using hyperbole, its only because my experience was such.

While Bombay Jayshree closed her eyes and let Music flow out of her soul-it was like she was having a personal conversation with the Divine and we were the lucky eavesdroppers. And Krishna,he sat there playing with Music - the swaras, the thala like he was on some jocular jaunt...and did not mind us joining him ...

When it was over, I did not want to leave, I wanted a little more… I emerged out of the theatre in a trance...


I saw "Slumdog Millionaire", "Rock On", "Welcome to Sajjanpur".

Dare I say I did not like the first very much?
I liked the kids though- they were too good.
Happy about A.R. Rehman's awards though I've liked some of his other scores better in the past.

The second one reminded me of 'Dil Chahta hai", 'Rang de Basanti' and 'Jhankaar Beats'.
Cute movie.

Loved the last one.