Vid Dev

Musings of a music student


December 2012


We all know that Sivaji Rao is a conductor-turned-hero. Here, I present to you, a real-life-hero-turned-conductor and his version of the incident which made him an unsung hero.

“My name is Gopinathan. I live in a small slum area in Triplicane adjacent to the famous Marina beach. Our place was a happening but tiny street in the slum, a little away from the sea. Kids playing all day, neighbors’ street gossip and songs blaring from adjacent temple, the place will be a din forever.

I lived with my wife and 2 kids and we had a small business operating from the first floor of my house. We had taken up our family business, one that had been the bread-winning-occupation for over 3 generations, weaving and embroidery. We were experts in designing sarees with embroidery work on it. Our main customers were located in Sowcarpet and I used to take my bike there and win deals time and again. Business was going just fine then…

On the previous day, even though it was Christmas, I had gone to meet a client and he had paid rupees ten thousand to me in cash, and I had casually kept it in my shirt pocket. I just hung the shirt on the door hook and went off to sleep. The money lay untouched. The next day, dawned as a doomsday on all of us!

Yes, it was the 26th of December, the boxing day. But the year was synonymous with something tragic – 2004. The beach near my house was the most popular spot in Chennai. People used to come here for walks, laughter therapies, a game of cricket… That morning, the beach had attracted crowd for the same reasons.

We did not even know a word called Tsunami existed till then. My kids who were playing with the neighbors’ came running to me and said: “Big waves came…. people are crying… car, boat, even people got dragged into the water by the waves… come soon… come and help…” I thought they were playing a prank. Or someone had scared them inadvertently. But their faces shone with truth, and I decided that this was a thing for me to go and check out.

So I took my shirt from the door hook and wore it. Then I started out on my Bullet bike towards the main road, to check what had happened, and see if I can give a helping hand. The kids came running behind me till the end of the street.

When I drove along the beach road, a young man carrying a teenage girl (she was unconscious) signaled me to stop. Voice shivering, he said, “this is my sister… she is unconscious… she has swallowed sea-water… please admit her in the nearest hospital that you find… I have to go help my mother”. Poor boy, I took pity on him and agreed to help.

Both of us together placed the girl on the backseat of my bike, her back lying on the seat and limbs and head hanging on each side. I drove with one hand behind, holding that unconscious girl. It was a hell of a sight on the road, with people screaming, running helter-skelter.

The nearest hospital in that area was the CSI Kalyani. We were the early entries into the hospital, apparently. The staff had however got information on the calamity and readily admitted the girl. I was not even able to give them the girl’s name, as even I did not know. They told me that they were taking her to the ICU and will try to save her in whatever way possible. With that assuring words, I took off back to the beach road, hoping I can be of more help there.

Thus, I transported a second person, and then went back a third time. Now, there were policemen around trying to bring in some order. Unfortunately for me, they were also rounding up a few thieves who were making use of the chaos and stealing stuff. That was when I remembered the cash I had in my pocket. I was one sure suspect to the police, if they noticed. So I had to returned home.

But back home, I was very restless. I wanted to atleast know the condition of those people I admitted in the hospital. So I took my bike and went there. There was a mad crowd at the lobby, and people coming in now were being rerouted to nearby hospitals, as there was no space left.

I saw this lady, whose face looks like a xerox-copy of the first girl I saved. Mustering my courage, I went to that lady and spoke. Inquired her if she had a daughter who was admitted. Told her that it was me who admitted the girl. The lady thanked me profusely and then informed me that the girl had been in critical condition in the ICU and only few minutes before did the doctors confirm that she is out of danger. I was so happy that something good had happened out of this episode and the girl was saved.

A few days passed and life turned back to almost – normal. Then one evening, a car came to our area, to my house. The lady and her husband had come to visit us and personally thanks us.

Now, I don’t do the embroidery work any more. I am a bus conductor at the B19 route. My wife just now found an old piece of paper with the lady’s number. I am wondering if I can call…”

I was so humbled on hearing this story and was reminded of the kural

Kaalathinaal seidha udhavi siridheninum

Gnaalathin maana peridhu

What he did might have been a very simple thing. But, to have the heart to go out and help however he could, in times of crisis… and to think of going back and helping more people… is something worth applauding. He would definitely be a hero-figure at least to the families of those whom he saved. Kudos, Mr.Gopinathan!!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Impressions from a TNS concert

It is not fair if  I call this a review, me being the novice. I am writing down my impressions on the concert I attended this evening, at the Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha. A full bench with vocalist TN Seshagopalan, M Chandrasekar on the violin, Mannargudi Eashwaran on the mridangam, and B Purushothaman on the kanjira.


I was as usual late to the concert and he had finished a couple of songs by then. When I entered, he was singing swaram in raga Kamas and thalam Chatusra Jadhi Jampa. No idea what the song was. But I just felt – if God can take away one very important ability, sight, and instead bestow you the power to control the world with the music, then so be it! – on listening to Chandrasekar playing.


Aarabhi ragam started, and I was so very sure, it was going to be “Oongi Ulagalandha”, today’s Thiruppavai. It turned out to be a virutham emphasising “Kodhai Tamizh”, supposedly one of Aandal’s pasuram. Extensive phrases made me wonder, what next. That is when he takes you by surprise yet again, by singing “Oongi Ulagalandha” in Kanta Chapu thalam. Now, the tune I observed to be very similar. Maybe… maybe he modified the thalam so that there might be more space between words to do his usual gimmicks on brighas.

Link to the recording of this song… Aarabhi – Virutham + Oongi Ulagalandha :


Then he sang Subapanthuvarali, ragam notes ranging almost 3 octaves – from high Da to lower Pa. The song was Sri Sathyanarayanam by Muthuswamy Dikshitar. For the swara kalpana, he started with a casual vilamba kalam with combinations of “SRG SRG S… PDN PDN P… SRG SRG S…” this phrase as the basis. There was almost a sportive-competition happening between vocalist and the violinist, and they played nearly 20 minutes of 2 avarthana korappu.

And then it happened – TNS was in such a frenzied mode with ideas flowing, that Chandru simply put down his violin and let him sing uninterrupted. What a man!! The tani avarthanam was way beyond my comprehending abilities, so I give it a pass in this narration.


After the thani got over, he started singing ragam for the next piece. And I began guessing the ragam. Manirangu… no, it is Needhimathi… ah no, sounds more like Kaapi… a little wierd, probably Kaapi from yesterday’s decoction!?… hindustani/masala Kaapi… Lol 😛 TNS relieved all of us of the tension and announced the raga name as Varunapriya and gave a brief – the exact stuff I found on Wiki a couple of minutes later. Woah!!

The lyrics was customised to request rain, enhancing the raga’s qualities –

“Tharunamidhu Karunai Pozhi Varunapriya

Aazhi Mazhai-k Kanna… Nee” (repeat)

And the raga shifts were done in Amrithavarshini (more rain request), Subapantuvarali (water from eyes as well), Kaapi (he did sing the ragam finally!) and back. The piece was set in kanta jadhi thriputa thalam.

I was so engrossed in the concert, that I just did not bother to even unlock my phone and check – something we do always these days! Plus, I am so going to take my rain jacket to office the next day, just incase 😉


avarthana – a cycle of thalam

brigha – faster rendition of a phrase in aalap

chapu, thriputa, jampa – types of thalam

chatusra – 4 beats

full bench – all the necessary accompaniments are present (violinist, and 2 percussion instrumentalists)

kanjira – similar to tambourine

kanta – 5 beats

Kaapi, Needhimathiand Manirangu – are names of the ragas I guessed, wrongly 😉

Kamas, Aarabhi, Subapanthuvarali, Varunapriya, Amrithavarshini – are names of ragas of the songs performed

korappu – a pattern of swara singing

Swara, neraval, thanam, aalapana – various forms of showcasing the skill, improvising the raga on the spot

tani avarthanam – is the phase of the concert when the percussion instruments alone play

vilamba kalam – slow pace

virutham – format of singing a verse (/sloka) improvising, usually without thalam

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Awesome Blogger and Liebster Blog Award – I’m tagged

It is not everyday that you get a couple of awards on the same day!!! First I saw this notification from WordPress saying I got an award for completing one year of blogging with them 🙂 Hours later, I get tagged in the  “Awesome Blogger & Liebster Blog Award”, thanks to my blogger-friend Gitanjali 🙂 🙂

I would call this concept an excellent effort to revive lazy bloggers and give them a reason to write. And I am reacting to just that by this post. Well, here are the rules:

  • If you are tagged/nominated, you have to post 11 facts about yourself.
  • Then you answer the 11 questions the tagger has given you & make 11 questions for the people you are going to tag.
  • Tag 11 more Bloggers.
  • No tagging back.
  • Person you tag must have < 200 followers

awwesome-blogger-award liebster-blog-award

Facts about myself:

  1. I need a reason to do anything, never can take a blind order in life
  2. The only thing that can definitely make me cry is good music
  3. I have this never-dwindling to do list that I try everyday to shorten
  4. I can stand sarcasm better than artificial smiles in people I talk to
  5. I am obsessed about being rational and logical (whether I am is an altogether different question, I just want to)
  6. I like a book better if the plot does not go as how I have guessed
  7. I love performing / singing infront of an audience… it gives me that adrenaline rush 🙂
  8. On the contrary, when it comes to speaking infront of the same audience, I get a little scared 😦
  9. My family is completely orthodox, I am completely the opposite!
  10. I love black color, Harry Potter, shopping, “akkaravadisal”, pets…
  11. The scale-balancing theory of a Libran suits me too well (read Linda Goodman if you don’t und)

Answering questions:

1. Blogging to me is_.
An expression of my thoughts and ideas; wooing more than just my english teacher through the exam paper!
2. I recommend the following 3 blogs for you to read when you are free: _ , _ and _. 😉
A Learning A Day (this guy blogs everyday, something informative,thought-provoking and awesome)
 and every other blog in CBC…
3. 5 songs on my play list. (Losing inspiration here)
Suttum vizhi sudardhan kannamma (bharathiyar – Kandukonden)
Iravum Nilavum (Karnan)
Omana Penne (VTV)
well… its mostly mood based – and the list is big enough for a post… So I shall stop here…
4. The last 5 books that I read were___.
Chanakya Chant
The Krishna Key
The Mahabharatha (by Kamala Subramaniam)
Atlas Shrugged (half way through and at a standstill)
To kill a mocking bird (reading)
5. The one movie that made me cry__.
My Sister’s Keeper
6. Some day, I will _______.
Be just the same Vid!
7. Ten places i want to visit before- whatever.
Chennai (done) 😛
Darjeeling (done)
Vatican City
Machu Pichu
some nameless village (where you get no signal also)
8. The one person who made a HUGE impact on my life would be?
There is not one. This bunch of people (friends) who have/can influence me in various walks of life – I call them my Inner Circle.
9. The last time I goofed something up __.
 It happens too frequently, I cannot isolate and tell you just one 😉
10. New year resolutions for 2013?
Like every other year – not to take any resolutions
11. (finally!) One secret that nobody knows 😛
Ahem, they are secrets… So no, I pass that…
Asking questions:
  1. What is the one thing in your life you would erase, given a chance?
  2. Your favourite 5 movies…
  3. Your one best trait / skill?
  4. Something/someone you just can’t stand?
  5. A quote that inspires you…
  6. 3 favourite blog posts – yours or someone else’s…
  7. Your take on God
  8. One really funny/embarrassing incident you were involved in…
  9. If you knew today was your last day on Earth, how would you spend it and why? (now that the day is so close ;))
  10. What is the speed of darkness?
  11. your best-kept secret (don’t get mad at me for this qn… and please do answer!)

Passing the tag:

I would like to tag the below awesome bloggers in this post:

  1. Archana Menon
  2. Rajiv Nagarajan
  3. GB aka Ganga Bharani
  4. Sowmya Raghavan
  5. Sowmya Swaminathan
  6. Nirmal Anand
  7. Ashwini CN
  8. Sinduja Ragunathan
  9. Bragadheesh Prasanna
  10. Aarthi Rajendran
  11. Aarthi Shri

Please accept the award and pass on the tag and award to the deserved!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Girl in the Green Scarf’s festive ensemble

“When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again. ” – from the Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Well, it is not everyday you get to shop and choose your entire attire at the same time not emptying your wallets – every girls dream. When I saw such a contest open on Indiblogger, I wanted to grab the opportunity at once 🙂

Presenting to you below, my choice of the perfect festive attire and the combination of accessories.

starting something new with Shopper's Stop
starting something new with Shopper’s Stop


  • Green Mandarin-collared poly-silk Stop Mix and Match Kurta (7254707_9463) for the tops, flaunting a trending traditional style
  • Wine-color skinny fit Cros Ladies Corduroy Pants (6991922_9667) that speaks volumes on comfort and style by itself
  • Red leather Hidesign Handbag (6548899_9607), with vintage handles; sexy and safe 😉 (I own one, and I vouch for it!!)
  • Infinity Necklace collection (6092425_9999) – Rhodium plated pewter with clear and Garnet CZ
  • Fossil Women’s Watch CH2825 (6813589_9999), having a round gunmetal dial
  • Lemon Pepper Ladies Footwear (5920801_9612) – Trendy and bold,call yourself a true fashionista

Was able to make a selection of all the above and make a collage out of it, thanks to Enjoyed choosing, creating and writing for the contest, especially because all these processes were very me!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Long Road

Another guest post, a poem by Archu… Hope you enjoy reading as much as I did! – Vid 🙂

As the sun started to rise
Dispelling the darkness of night,
I see you stretch for miles.
Unsure when I would reach your end-
I start with courage and determination,
To keep up the promise long given.As I drive along my path,
I feel my heart thumping with joy.
So am I realizing it isn’t my usual drive,
But something special long assigned.

It was coarse at the beginning yet,
Feeling light, I crossed it-
Within a short span of time.
I now enjoy the smooth drive-
Discovering my new life-
Giving me, an ocean of joy.

I know it can take its turn anytime,
But I’ve my instincts at the same time,
Speaking in delightful tone that-
It is the path long awaiting my imprint.

Setting my mind I continue my drive,
With one wish not to stop before-
The end, that would in-turn-
Stretch beyond its imaginary line.

– Archana.G.R

Exploitation of and Passion for the art

Last year around the same time, I wrote a post The Concert Phenomenon, about the fun part that happens around a concert. I think it is time to get a bit more serious.

An opinion in general is “a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter”. If you and I have the same opinion in all aspects, we will essentially be the same person (/people, what should I use here?)

That being said, what happens when opinions clash? When you say a thing is right and I say it is wrong? Classy people will accept the fact that perceptions differ and let the thing at rest. It might be a healthy conversation with egos not getting tampered. But so is not always the case, unfortunately. The others end up trying to persuade the opponent (in opinion) to come over to their side. “You still have to grow up”, they say. Well, who told that you have grown up already?

So you might wonder what on earth am I talking about? I am not sure I know. Well, read along 😉

I always wonder what would yester-year stalwarts like KVN/MDR or probably before them, the Mummorthis’ do if they had lived in a era of social networking like today. Unfortunately, we do not get to find out. I also wonder if in their times they would have been subjected to satire/sarcasm to this extent in those days. If so, they are greatness personified. Even otherwise they are greatness personified. Does that mean that anybody but them is good at the art?

On one hand,  agreed that exploitation happens. Some people are not even aware of what is happening at a concert, but go attend it just for the popular names. Some, we are not sure, are that talented to perform. There is a charged web-casting of programs and people are ready to pay for it. People write columns about concerts and you wonder whether it is just a play of vocabulary. Yes, tamasha happens.

On the other hand, people try to innovate, think out of the box, and experiment. Fusions happen; themes get researched and presented; classical music get english lyrics 😉 As in any new venture, these things can fail. But passion to the art continues. Let the mutual love for something creative NOT be lost and relegated in the necessity to criticize and increase standards.

“Yaarachu edhana try panrangala… Pidicha appreciate pannu… Improve pannalam na suggestions kodu… Illana pesama un velaya poi paaru…” – is the what I am trying to tell.


– Until next,

Vid 🙂

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