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Vid Dev

Musings of a music student

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Poem

A Monsoon Song

Here goes, ‘paar”vi kalyani… ahem I mean a song in purvi kalyani. Listen and you will understand what I am talking about.

Read along the basic setting for the song –

Its pouring in torrents,
The exquisite peacocks dance in joy,
You are returning back home in the train,
Hearts thumping with excitement!

Doesn’t this weather warrant something hot?
Adai avial and crispy vadas
Might make your mouths water
Or stomachs drumming in despair!

Composed, tuned and sung by Dev and Vid.

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

God’s own Country

Where grandmas paddle rowboats with ease
When a rainbow appears at the stern view
Where it drizzles above while your boat skims the waters below
When caught fish is thrown back to live
Where land strips alternates backwater canals
Where the Jew town’s festooned with graffiti on walls
Where cab drivers have rubberband adorned gear fetish
Where the masseuse looks so young to have five grandkids
When your hot city welcomes you back with pleasant showers
Which marks your life with 7 firsts
What more could I ask for!

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For a detailed account of the trip, kindly check out Kerala Diaries, here.

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Distortion and Interpretations

This verse below is one of the Divya Prabhandams written by Andaal.

பைங்கிளி வண்ணன் ஸ்ரீதரன் என்பதோர்
பாசத்து அகப்பட்டு இருந்தேன்
பொங்கொளி வண்டிரைக்கும் பொழில்வாய்க் குயிலே!
குறிக்கொண்டு இதுநீ கேள்

சங்கொடு சக்கரத்தான் வரக்கூவுதல்
பொன்வளைக் கொண்டு தருதல்
இங்குள்ள காவினில் வாழக் கருதல்
இரண்டத்தொன்றே திண்ணம் வேண்டும்

– நாச்சியார் திருமொழி

(for those who can’t read Tamizh script… ) Paingili vannan Sridharan enbadhor Pasathu agapattu irundhen

Pongoli vandiraikkum pozhilvaik kuyile! Kurikkondu idhu nee kel

Sangodu sakkarathaan varak koovudhal; Ponvalai kondu tharudhal

Ingulla kaavinil vaazhak karudha(i)l; Irandaththondre thinnam vendum. – Nachiyar Thirumozhi

I happened to watch a beautiful performance of the song enacted by Anita Ratnam. The text above is lyrics from this video link.

Now, let us look at the last stanza, especially. The first three lines are pretty objective and do not convey much of who is to make what of the verbs (actions). This of course enhances the beauty of the poem, giving rise to a minimum of 4 interpretations, all of them legit. There was, however, one other meaning that came out of the way the words were sung – typically a distortion.

1. She tells the cuckoo, “Listen to me very carefully. Go to him and bring my bangle back. Or else, if he wishes to keep it, then ask Him if he wishes to come here and stay with me. Let Him choose from one of the two.”

Unfortunately, the singer in the video link mispronounced a word, or so it seems. He said vaazhak karudhal (at 8.05 in the above link) instead of vaazhak karudhil. Damn, how it changed everything!

Plausible interpretations from the verse, with the cuckoo being asked to vaazhak karudhil:

2. She tells the cuckoo, “Go and bring Him here, or else give Him back the bangle He gave me. If you want to stay in this place, you have to do either of the above, for sure.”

3. She tells the cuckoo, “Go and bring Him here, or else remind that I miss Him by showing the bangle He gave me as an identity. If you want to stay in this place, you have to do either of the above, for sure.”

4. She tells the cuckoo, “Go and bring Him here, or else remind that I miss Him by showing my bangle as an identity. If you want to stay in this place, you have to do either of the above, for sure.”

5. She tells the cuckoo, “Go and bring Him here by showing my bangle as an identity. Or else, go away from this place. You have to do either of the above, for sure.” (my interpretation)

When we can appreciate the beauty of the song in so many ways by keeping the lyrics intact, why distort it?!

Note to self – more caution on lyrics henceforth.

Your ideas?

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

This is my 100th post and supposedly a special number, a milestone. I cannot say if what I am writing below is special enough, but the person whom I write it for is.

I am thankful that he has always been

Dependable;
Epitome of wit;
Very very patient;
Artistically creative;
Narrator of ingenious stories (most of them written just for my sake);
Adjusting and accepting, even if our principles don’t match;
Tamizh Teacher (my first outside school!);
setting High standards for me to reach;
A perfect edagudam;
Notoriously optimistic;

He is all this to me and much more!

I had written a Caeser Box cipher, few years back, as an after effect of reading Dan Brown.
It goes thus -“YTTTLD OHDHED UEAEWA ABDWOD REIHRD ESNOLY”.

It is safe to say that this has not been cracked yet and I would rather reveal it away. It meant,
You are the best dad in the whole world, Daddy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, DADDY!!!

– Love,
Vid 🙂

Gossip, Jealousy and more

So the topic that has been frequenting me recently is, how music conveys emotions. I heard novices of classical music identify emotions to phrases being sung in a packed-hall in IIM Ranchi, I conversed about how a raga as nice Mayamalava Gowla convey pathos in a song like Manam Irangadha, I read about Atana being personified as a stealthy-caressing-gentle lover.

Initially, it is amazing. It is even a tad confusing. We cannot just map a feeling to a raga just like that. I mean, words mean nothing here, you need to listen to understand. It would be empty enough if I wrote a table down saying Neelambari is for sleeping, Mohanam is for joy, or whatsoever. Generally that might be what the raga emotes, however, it is the way a phrase is sung that actually speaks out.

In similar lines, there is this song called Adhuvum Solluval by Subbarama Iyer. It is a padam set in the raga Sowrashtram. If you ask me, I would say Sowrashtram is one of the most drab, colorless raga I ever knew. But, it has been wisely used to paint a vivid and enthralling pictures of jealousy in the said song.

The song is set like this: two women gossip about a third who is not in the scene. This lady is said to have been poor and below in status than one of the gossiper, but now she has got sudden riches and flaunts it big time, causing the jealousy.

I especially love the charanam. That is where all the drama is. She talks about how this poor girl who used to come to borrow things from her, now has a mansion with superior furniture and silk sarees filled-wardrobe; about how the house is full of help maids and she is full of pride.

It goes:

enneramum inge vandhu nagai endrum thuni endrum iraval kaetta naal poche
enakkedhiraga avalukku sanna karai itta meddhai veedundaache
unnadam unnadamaga kattilaachu medhaiyachu
uyarndha raga magamal pattu pudavayum achu
thannaivida bhagyasaali kidayadhendru ennamachu
thaniyaay irundhavalku thaadhi maargal undachu
(adhuvum solluval aval anegam solluval aval mel kutram ennadi, adiye podi)

Listen to Ms.Geetha Raja (from whom I learnt this song) sing the song, here.

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

The log of wood

The floating log, that is me,
On the river, on your left,
I bounce, I float, I do not swim,
The current takes me adrift.

You bestow me with swimming prowess,
Now I can travel both ways, to and fro!
Against the current I do progress,
As I always wished to do.

Its beginner’s luck, and the first
Phase proves to be a worthy quest;
Then by obstacles I get whipped,
Finally my fins get chipped.

I am back to being the log of wood,
And I go adrift again;
The same length that I went up
Now me (and my efforts) down the drain.

‘Peryaatru neervazhip padooum punai pol
Aaruyil muraivazhip padooum’, they say.
How do I react when I get blessed
With fins a second time!

photo courtesy - Sandhya Menon
photo courtesy – Sandhya Menon

P.S: Manipravalam is allowed in poetry, why not Tanglish!

– 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

Memories

The ability to remember things,
So says the dictionary meaning;
A collection sweet and sad,
To recollect and be shared;

This is the Road ‘not’ not taken,
But virtually traced back to see
What you have been through
As many times as want be.

Some to remember the studied,
Some of the enjoyment breed,
Or sad enough for self sympathy,
Memories are a variety;

It can keep bonds alive,
In it, one at leisure thrive;
Incidents past and prime
Etched in the sands of time.

– Until next,
Vid 🙂

Time

My dilettante attempt at poetry:

Don’t mess with me, beware!
I am Time, I wait for none;
More complex than molecules,
They call me a fourth dimension.

Theories abound on how I work,
But not one yet convinced this amateur;
So she is still in the dark,
She who writes about me, though to kill me;

Can you travel through me?
Can your past and present meet??
If the Happened can be revisited,
What do you call the future, present and past???

Rework on past being this difficult:
My future can you predict?
But celestial beings or sheer coincidence
Still helps some keep up the confidence!

The more you study me,
The more I confuse you;
In course of time, you might get me right -Oh!
In course of ME, you might get me right!!!

– Until next,
Vid 🙂

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