Crucial Craziness

Amma, I lose. You Win.

“Why do you want to learn, now?”

I couldn’t give a definitive reply. I sat giggling.

“So what do you want me to teach?”

“I don’t remember anything. I want to start over from the beginning.”

“Why did you stop and not continue?”

“Because I hated it to the core”

He raised his brows and gave a hopeless look.

My 25th Blog Post. After thinking long on what to write, finally I’ve decided to write on something that I’m very delighted about.

I was admitted to a music class when I was 7 years old and was forced to attend them regularly. Though no one wanted me to be a singer, they expected I would learn properly at least to sing decently. On the contrary, I hated going to class and singing. I don’t remember practicing even once at home. I tried giving all excuses possible so that someone would ask me not to go.

For few years, my mother left me in class as I was very young to cross the main road. She would pick me up an hour later. I had no other option that to go with her. Then, I was sent alone (‘chased away’ gives the real meaning)to the classes.

I went to a music teacher who lived in the first floor of an apartment. A group of 20 children would sing(scream) in high pitch that would make anyone hearing it get scared that their vocal cords would get worn out of ultra-high frequency vibration. The sound would be very scary indeed, mixed with the droning sound of tambura. The noise gives me a mental imagery of the Mahabharatha war scene-people running with swords and gathas screaming all the way. Thank goodness, the people in the next house did not file a PIL.

The sound would be heard few meters before, as you approach the class. I remember very well, whenever I wouldn’t hear that sound while climbing the stairs, I would run up anticipating a paper note in the door saying ‘Classes cancelled today’. Most of the time, I would be disappointment only to find that the teacher had paused to have water.

In classes ,I sang hopelessly-with no spirit. A college girl who came along with me to my classes always kept pestering asking doubts after singing each line, hence extending the one hour class beyond time. I had had the urge to dump cloth into her mouth. I hated her simply because she made me sit there for extra time.

Whenever I would forget (once in every two times) I would mock up wrong swaras and manage. And, no one could find it out too as we sang as a group.

More than my mother, my aunts were very keen that I should learn music properly. I have a cousin, an amazing singer(a pro!) whose mother is a musician herself. They pointed her out as an example and pushed me to learn. “Ava epdi paadra paaru! Neeyum try panna kandippa mudiyum”, [Look,how well she sings! You can too,if you try.] they would exclaim. But, I proved their strategy wrong. I was unbothered about who sang how.

Whenever I was asked to sing to someone, I would do a world-class fuss. The more they asked me to, the fussier I became. My mother has told me many times how embarrassed she has felt at those times. I was unmindful of it.

Once, two of my relatives visited home. (I still don’t know how they are related to me). Someone said I go for music classes. As expected, as everyone had been doing, they asked me to sing. I don’t know what stopped me from executing my ‘well-rehearsed-well-performed-scene-of-fuss’. I asked them what they want me to sing.

“What have you recently leant in class?”,one of them asked.

“Mohanam Varnam”

“Ok,sing that.”

I told them that I didn’t know it by heart and needed my textbook.

“What? What is the point in seeing the text and singing?You should never do that.Have you not memorized it?” –the other raised her voice.

“No”. I was scared.

“Ok, bring your book and sing”

I searched it as I always did, because I used to fling the book after returning from the class and everytime search it before the next. My weekly ritual that was.

I found it,went to them and started singing.

“G G R…S S R R G G R R….”

“Wait!What pitch are you singing in? Bad! This is very low .Higher!”

I almost had tears in my eyes. They screwed me until I completed the song, saying this and that and that and this for every line I sang.(Don’t ask me what ‘this’ and ‘that were. If I had comprehended, I would have written).A long session of lecture(verbal attack) followed. I almost started scolding the ‘don’t know who’ person who told them I could sing.

I already hated singing and that incident made the hatred intense. I pulled along for some months and one day, I started a serious fight with my mother saying I wouldn’t go to classes anymore. I put the blame on ‘heavy burden of studies’. After a week- long argument, she gave up and asked me to quit.

In few days, my music textbooks had mysteriously vanished and I realized it almost a year later, when I was asked to keep them for the Saraswati Pooja.

For years, all that I sang were 1)At the school prayer ,just because I was a part of the choir 2)Some random movie song while taking bath, until my sister would scream at me to stop wailing and come out soon.

I was very happy that I needn’t go to classes any longer. I was not a bit passionate about singing and I wasn’t a good singer either. Altogether, I lost nothing because I stopped singing.


All of a sudden, I have started developing interest to sing. I have reasons for it. Few people I have known/got to know.

First-One of my college friends was sailing in the same boat as mine. She learnt music when she was young and later quit as she had to concentrate on studies.(But, not out of irritation as I did).When at college, she started going for classes again, passed theory exams and also started learning to play the guitar.

Second- my cousin who is a year younger to me. Though she’s very busy with her college, she has been able to find time for her passion, music. She could get a teacher arranged who could come to her house after  9PM and take classes. She has also learnt to play the keyboard herself, very beautifully.

Third- Another cousin of mine, a good singer who never learnt formal singing, but knows to analyze ragas and create medleys. When asked how, he said that he simply loved music.

Fourth- One of my colleagues who started learning to play the keyboard before few years, who has traveled from Bangalore to Chennai just because he doesn’t want to miss classes.

Looking at all these people, I have realized the stupidity on my part. After an 8 year long break, I’ve started learning music again, afresh.

“Note it down, one day you are definitely going to regret about quitting singing .When you grow older, You’ll surely go to classes again. Take it from me.” my mother said years back when I fought with her that I can’t stand music classes anymore.

I had challenged her that that would be the last thing I would ever do.

Now, I realize. My mother was right. What she said has happened.

Amma, I lose. You Win.

PS: Amma in tamil universally means Mother. It doesn’t refer to a ‘heavily’ controversial person.Just trying to be safe.


Growing Younger

“Today is thatha’s birthday!”

As I boarded Bus 219A today morning and started searching for an unoccupied seat, a guy offered me chocolates. I looked up cluelessly, and he said- “Today is thatha’s birthday!”

Without knowing whose birthday it was, I took a chocolate. (Who doesn’t want one?)He understood I was confused. He pointed out a person sitting in front, behind the driver’s seat. A very cheerful old man, in his late seventies was being wished by a few people around. He had brought chocolates to celebrate his birthday in bus. A lady asked him his age ,and he replied with a giggle, “I am 78 years young”!

Someone in bus called out,”Why don’t we sing the birthday song for Thatha?”

People applauded and in no time the whole bus started singing.He was all smiles and felt a little shy.In some time, I could comprehend that he was a regular passenger in that particular bus and he was fondly called “Thatha”(Tamil word for Grand Pa) by all.

People like him are rare to find. It is so inspiring to see such people who are good spirited and cheerful even after they have grown old. They have the gift of transferring their charisma and positivity to others, in no time. The moment you see them, you would definitely feel immensely euphoric.

I’m fortunate to have known a few people like him.

An Octogenarian lives opposite my house. Right from the day I knew her, she has been living alone. Her husband passed away long ago and she has no children. ‘Kamakshi Paati’.A svelte Iyer lady in her late eighties, who always wears a smile on her face. What amazes me is that she tries not to depend on anyone for anything. Be it paying EB, Telephone Bills, visiting a doctor, or be it repair work at her house. She tries to take care of everything pertaining to her, herself-even after she has grown very old.

She is an awesome cook! She knows who in my house likes what and remembers to send them when she does. Even though she’s alone, she enthusiastically celebrates all festivals. She celebrates-just for her!

I remember, before few days, she traveled all the way to a place about 1 hour from here just to buy good mangoes for making her favorite pickle. I was surprised. When I lived alone for few days, I would conveniently skip dinner very often because I have to go out alone and eat. It never occurred to me that I need to take care of myself. Now, I feel sheepish.

Another person who stupefied me was a retired eightyish old English Professor who took Verbal Ability and Vocabulary classes after retirement. He teased boys. He played pranks. He was a master of puns. I have never found any other professor of mine, even the young ones to possess such great sense of humor.I’ve heard him quip  often, ”Man,I’m only few years older than you”.In his last class, when he said he is retiring and is not taking classes anymore ,I could feel my eyes getting moist, involuntarily. That is the impact that he had created.

Learning things by observing people is something that I have learnt lately.  I’m glad I started at least now. These people are old by age, but not heart. To them, age is just a number.

From them, I take this lesson-‘However old one grows, never in life should one cease to love oneself’

Hats Off to these young people who are sources of inspiration to others.

With utmost respect, I bow before you all!


P.S:I hope I wrote something that made sense.The people who suspect,No..I’m not drunk!

Thanks to Sriram,who always tries to make me sane and sensible.Thanks for the title too! 🙂

1 Comment »

Wordpress says-Title(optional).So,I’m not giving one.

An erstwhile teenager started a blog a couple of years ago to put in writing all ‘nonsensical-absolute-no-meaning-stuff’ that occurred to her. She gave it some random name that WordPress liked and accepted. And, she did write –absurd jumble of words that broke and shattered the rules of English grammar, with pictures that would hardly qualify to be funny. She would call her close friends and ask “Was it funny?”-An amazing question to which they never dared say ‘NO’ fearing direst consequences. Her mother somehow found her blog (how do these mothers find out?) read it and went away headpalming knowing that her product is creating sheer genius stuff day after day.

She wrote aimlessly,whether people read or not.

Ok, No more Tamil movie style over-build up dialogues. This is the silly blog. And, here is the silly girl.

It never occurred to me I had a blog until someone asked about blogging.I realize I haven’t written anything for almost a year except one piece of crap.

Having retired from childhood and the teenage adolescence, expectations are that I have to do things that make sense. As a part of it, if at all I write I have to write humanly things, unlike the monkey stories I wrote before.

At this juncture ,I stand perplexed. I know I should stop jabbering, but…

1)How do I write ‘serious’ stuff? Put in words like ICU, Emergency, Surgery?

  2)Blog about Technology, Software Development blah blah etc? BIG CAPITAL BOLD ‘N’,BIG CAPITAL BOLD ‘O’

3) When there are so many people who can write nice things- politics, poetry and philosophy, who will write junk and do service to the society?

I end this post, still not knowing what kind of things to write. Da Vinci is great,but to me a child’s scribbling is more interesting.

It feels good to be funny and silly. But,not always.Is it?Or,is it not? Ahh…confused!

I want to write.But,what should I write about?


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