Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Music

“Bahot kuch life mein first time hota hai mamu” says one of the famous movie characters in one of the critically acclaimed movie. Something happened for the first time in my life this week and I was a total enthusiast to it. I was a part of a ganesh procession in a small but significant manner. My dhol playing antics got the most of me, where I participated in a procession and my joy knew no bounds. No thrill of whom I am playing with, no excitement of who are the people who are going to be around me, no thrill of whether the audience will like me playing it , just pure zeal of playing the musical instrument.

A parallel expression to explain the sudden rush of feelings in me would be like a child given a favorite toy which he is longing to get since ages.

All of the years before, I was being an ardent spectator for the ‘other’ dhol performers, always in awe of their capabilities to create music that was class apart. But this year, it was an elation to ‘being on the other side of the fence’, where I was a part of the troupe to ‘create’??? sounds the audience can gyrate onto.

Yesterday being the first day of the Ganesh festival, a celebratory mood was in the air since early morning where we got the idol of most revered deity at my home. After installing it with pujas and aarti’s, I headed directly to my friend’s place where we had to ‘perform’.

The dhol being the ‘traditional’ musical instrument, it is used mostly to celebrate the home coming of the deity. It is mostly accompanied by the infamous ‘Tasha’, another musical instrument that needs specialized skills to derive the soothing sounds. One has to be a master to get apposite sounds from it. Dhols form the base for the Tashas, where the two play parallel to compliment each other. Thus the duo-combination is called ‘Dhol-tasha’.

All of us – the dhol players gathered together, tied the pleasant-sounding instrument on our waists and headed to the starting point of the procession. With the slogans of ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya’, one of the Tasha players gave the salami with an impressive note. Respecting the Tasha, the dhols followed suit , thus creating harmonious beats. As the music flowed, new beats, new rhythms and new compositions followed. Slowly and steadily, the much empty street started having anxious yet smiling faces of the onlookers. They were being receptive audience for the show that was being put up in front on them. Within no time we were surrounded by a considerable number of people around us. It was a wonderful feeling to see people around you, who don’t know you, but are enjoying the way you are playing the musical instrument. ‘Being on the other side’ excites you sometimes!

The procession continued for an hour and half and the climax was no more of an enthralling performance. The whole experience can’t be penned down thoroughly, but captivated my heart to the maximum. A fitting experience for my passion for ‘the music’.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sheer Ecstasy

It was round and was lying just in front of me, waiting for me to have a go at it. The long cherished dream of holding it around my waist made my energy levels soar high. I touched it for the first time and could sense the thump of excitement running in my body. It was nice, round and had a big black spot on its centre on either side, marking the area for it to be hit upon. Its only sight used to make me touch it, feel it and quixotic.

I got a pump when the moment was nearing, when it was going to be tied to me around my waist.

A burning desire to hold it around me and enjoy its presence around me made me like a restless kid and suddenly when I realized that it is going to be close around me, my joy new no bounds.

Before anyone comes up with any vivid imaginations regarding what I am mentioning, let me make it clear that the ‘it’ that I am referring to is the dhol.

I always dreamt of playing the dhol during the much awaited Ganesh festival. I used to be a joyful spectator listening to the beats of the dhol and its echoing sounds used to fill vigor in me.

And the moment had arrived when ‘the dhol’ was tied around my waist. My romance with it was about to start. Lot of anxiety, curiosity and adrenalin pumped in my body as I was about to play the dhol for the first time in my life. Mixed feelings of whether I would be able to play it right, whether I can match up with my fellow counterparts, the fact that the dhol would be tied to me for long were running in my mind. But as soon as the first beat of other dhols hit me, the oomph flowed and I slowly transcended into a new world. A world of music, of vibrancy, of passion, of sheer bliss. I followed suit and could surprisingly match the beats of my comrades instilling the confidence in me that i can be a good drummer ( given a chance though).

The vibrations that the dhol created when it is hit hard rushed into my body and took me into a trance for a whole one hour. This was the state I made myself enter into for an hour for the entire week which was of 'sheer ecstasy'.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Mask Effect

Come August and the terms H1N1, influenza, swine flu which are otherwise ‘medical’ terms ring the ears and eyes of many in the ‘market’. These have suddenly become a part of everyday lingo of the people. Otherwise used as medical terms are looked as terms to scarify the populace. A virus started somewhere in Mexico , traveled all the way to US, UK, several parts of the world has now arrived in India, that too in a big way. As the news reports suggests, it is gripping the country and taking it by storm.

As in case of the normal flu, this one proves even deadly as not a full fledged vaccine / cure has been derived yet. Moreover, only ‘American’ company based tablets??? (read Tamiflu) can prevent the virus. On one hand, there is a shortage for the same tablet and on the other the municipal corporation plans to make these compulsory for all the citizens.

Another preventive measure is wearing masks / handkerchief’s to cover up the faces, especially. It’s funny to see everybody turning out to be a Jim Carey with their version of ‘the mask’. Wonder if this mask too does the same tricks as what Jim’s could do??? (Carry on ‘mask’ing) . I see all the people around with those surgical masks as if they are about to operate someone or the other. ‘An operative mission’ perhaps?

Really funny are the shapes and sizes of these masks. Eventually these have become a ‘fashion statement’ for the people. The day is not far when we will have some designer masks donning the rounds of the market with various colours, cuts and laces. Otherwise neglected ‘mouth coverings’ have abruptly gained importance in the daily attire of people.

The measures subscribed by ‘Baba Ramdev’ too are doing the rounds with mixtures of some jadi-buti and asanas to cure the alien body, thus proving an Indian version of the cure.

Numerous text messages, mails, brochures, pamphlets, banners, posters are making their present felt in the lives of the people. The otherwise crowded spaces of the city are having a totally deserted look. An ideal time to really enjoy these places sans the crowd, perhaps?

The imperceptible germ has seized the city and slowly marching to clutch the country at large (hope that doesn’t happen). Was a surprise to get to know that the city like Pune is getting affected drastically from an international pandemic? A positive aspect to look at is the presence the locales have in the international market. All public places are shut and talks of accepting the ‘Mexico’ model are on. This will create a shunted image to the city. But if closing down the city because of the deadly virus is going to help then let’s go for it. Let us enjoy the walls of our homes, let us enjoy being at home at long, and let us enjoy the frustration of not going out in the city.

I was just wondering – strange are the ways of the world where an invisible bug can have such a ‘visible’ catastrophic effects on the mankind that can ultimately lead to ‘the mask effect’.