As I write this blog entry, sounds of a violin playing carnatic music are wafting through my head. I do not recognize this piece of music. Perhaps I heard it somewhere or maybe I'm some kind of genius who composes scintillating Carnatic music in his head without being aware of it :P.
Why a post on carnatic music you might ask? Why would a culturally ignorant boor like me choose to write on what is considered a divine art form? Let me tell you why.
Throughout my formative years, I never really appreciated any Indian art forms.Bharatanatyam bored me and Carnatic music put me to sleep. Words like 'Raaga' and
"Thalam" were esoteric words limited to old pensioners and the occasional geeky teenager with thick glasses and lots of coconut oil in his hair(in all probability an IITian). Unlike western music, you need a tuned ear to appreciate Carnatic music and I never bothered tuning. Western music was easier to appreciate. The lyrics were simpler to understand. You dont need raaga and thalam to headbang to Metallica.It would be difficult to imagine Kurt Cobain stopping his concert and asking the audience " Can you identify the Sruti? " Pop, Rock and Roll, Disco,Jazz, Blues, Trance, country, folk etc..none of these are subtle forms of music. No special training is required to enjoy them.
Now at the age of 21 years, 7 months and 25 days...I realise I'm a total ignoramus when it comes to Indian culture.That kind of attitude was ok when I was a teenager trying to fit into the crowd but really not admissable now. I'm at a phase in my life now when I no longer appreciate rock and pop with the same enthusiasm as I did as a kid. Simply because after a while, they all sound the same to me. There's only so much you can do with themes like love and frustration.I dont want people like Eminem making money just by talking about their pent up anger. And I mean talking, not singing. I hate the whole 'attitude' thing.
I attended a carnatic concert last evening and I realised that it was sort of ok....not bad at all. A pretty famous old man played the violin and he would often stop and ask the audience to identify the raaga....and they got it dead right each time.Me? I had no idea what he was talking about...and it made me feel ashamed.
There was a Manipuri dance after that...and I found it sweet...very pleasing to the eye..quite strange considering I've never really appreciated dance...
I've made up my mind. I cant go on living as an ignoramus. I have to attend more concerts with my mother.Something tells me I'll be missing out on a lot unless I do so.