Thank You-from Happiest man alive

With her becoming better and better, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find words to write this tribute piece to the wonderful soul in my life. Like I said earlier, we are not celebrating her Birthday, but her presence in our lives.

To say that she is like that gift that we keep unwrapping every day of our lives – Someone who never stopped giving to all the kids (and Me). The better half whose missionary zeal to make everyone of us even better is something I never stopped admiring

I am truly at loss (otherwise over verbose) to find positive adjectives to prefix to her name, and gave up after a hour. Thought it is better to attach a thesauraus and still find there were more that could be added. That is the value she brings to the huge family – not just maternal or marital but to the huge extended family that we are so fortunate to possess.

All the DaMaKi family was unanimous in their agreement when I said “Thank you for being with us and for just being you” Personally, I am extremely proud and privileged to be a part of, the one who makes me feel like a hero, every single day for the past 43 years that we know each other (Oh yes, it is that long, and it seems like we just met a few years back for the first time).

She is my biggest fan (beesanige alla). The one who instilled all the confidence in me, when in those rare moments I lost belief in myself. I have gone through those moments and thanks to her presence in my life, those moments were so rare. She pushed, prodded along, and never allowed me to quit.

Not sure if I told this earlier but saying this nevertheless, on a trip abroad, a foreigner whom I met on the flight amidst our chat was shocked (mortified in fact) that I have been married for so many years and remain married to the same person. What is so normal in our part of the world is indeed a rarity there. He wanted to know how the journey has been. Humorously I replied (borrowing from someone more experienced) – “Yes indeed, we have been married for 30 SHORT years and it has been happiest 15 years of my life.” I was not kidding, life has not been without challenges. The co-passenger of my life never allowed me to even think it was a phase of trials and tribulations, ups and downs, elation and grief too. She navigated around all the bumps and waves to hold this vessel steady, ensuring that  we never crashed. Prouder moment for me was when he said – “this is what makes India & its tradition so different from other parts of the world” (INDEED). Thank you Aparna. You are the reason I was able to say that with a lot of conviction.

One of the significant achievement  of my life was my ability to convince Aparna to marry me (I should confess on the side that it is one of the best gifts she got *running*

She means a lot not because she is a perfect person but only because she is a perfect Aparna – That is good enough! On this special day, from all of us, a BIG thank you for being what you are. Have a wonderful day (which we are hoping to make) and a super duper year ahead (which we are hoping to make again)

I cannot sign off without a song dedicated to you. This is at the top of my mind today.

Happy Birthday

May the Divine’s and Gurudev Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji’s blessings be showered on you in abundance

Carnatic Sadhak cum rasika’s take down of Dumeels

This was a discussion or a debate I had about 3 years back after I shared the link to the recording of Thyagaraja Aradhana in Thiruvaiyaaru. The second part there was a music reviewer who tried to threaten a rasika for his article in India Facts, with legal action. We desmystified what real art is and for all we care her legal note will find itself in its rightful place – shredded and in the trash bin. Read on

Sharing some thoughts on what it means as a student in the context of Preachy @raghavasimhan_t googling and trying to show off. Nothing personal but general thoughts
Long held tradition maintained with “Spiritual fervor and purity” by the organisers. For the real student that is biggest tribute one can offer to Saint Thyagaraja
There was this Gyani who was focussing on the riches, jewellery on display and cribbed about lack of Bhakti. Ironical that his person focussed on things other than music. For real student of music, nothing but music matters
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The atmosphere is unbelievably eclectic (be there to experience, no words can ever describe what it is to be there) If your focus is on its music value, you have something in it for you.
This gentleman is doing a great disservice to Saint Thyagaraja by reducing his great work to ability and diction of an artiste. By there logic Instrumental concerts cannot exist. His compositions were beyond lyrics – it was for the soul
A true Connoisseur of Carnatic concert will focus less on what an artiste wears or displays. They judge and enjoy the aesthetics of the music (not the musicians)
Carnatic Music (for that matter any music) is meant for ears and soul (I would say it is even beyond) and not for eyes or your skin. Then you have a total musical experience. You also respect an artiste for what they are. A True Sadhak
Salutes to every single artiste who come and participate, maintaining the tradition here year after year. It is not about Perfection. It is about Devotion. Else next generation would have lost this wonderful gift
Throwing lyrics around and display of knowledge on Twitter is no match for those artistes sitting on the banks of River Cauvery and rendering #PancharatnaKritis to the best of their ability. Yes. It is matter of giving. Not bothered about how.
As a percussionist practicisng for 40+ years, I know the years of hard sincere Sadhana a Vocalist or Violinist or flautist or Sitarist or Saxaphonist or other lead instrumentalists puts in.
An artiste begins as an artiste and becomes the art itself. Singer becomes Song, Dancer becomes dance. That is true essence and spirit. This can never be achieved or experienced on Twitter or on Google or even intellectually.
Quoting Sri Devadasan Chatanadath Music is actually decibels arranged in a particular fashion and it has a relationship with Mathematics since the composer need to size and re-size and then arrange the decibels accordingly to induce happiness in the listener.
Quoting Sri Devadasan Chatanadath (Contd.) Truly speaking, it is the sound waves that induce the effect, which we call music, in us. It is due to this reason, it is said that music does not have language and reason we enjoy music in “any language”
Quoting Sri Devadasan Chatanadath (Contd.) “Music does what it is expected to do even when we do not understand the language!” Beautifully explained…So gentleman focus on what is… Not what can be (as per your intellect)
Here is the complete recording of today’s Aradhana https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1531804333581897&id=1085771148185220

PART 2
A discussion with a music Critique who could not stand a debate for a while but temporarily blocked and ran away and later comes back to lock her account and scoot to Instagram

Music Critiques can be very very harsh on artistes especially when they don’t conform, more so in tradition steeped Carnatic Music circuit. For those who think it is defamatory need to go back to school. Raga, Thala, Sahiti, Artiste, Rasikas – All of them are critiqued
It is something that even artistes understand. And something considered very risky is experimentation. Those taking that risk should definitely be open to damning criticism too. If it clicks, a star is born. Tampering with compositions of Trinity is considered a big NO!!!
And regarding a particular piece written by an author of good standing @upanishadist it was exactly that. A rasika aggrieved by wanton tampering and disrespecting of the Tradition and Dharma itself. Probably triggered by one of the artiste needling public at large
I examined the piece of @upanishadist once again. As I see, it is purely critic of the “act” not the actor, the liberty taken by the artiste has been criticised not the artiste as a person (I don’t think he gives a damn to them as a rasika)
Remember! That is the reason why a particular artiste conceded and apologised for taking liberty with Sahitya of Thyagaraja (notwithstanding a lame justification that both are set to different raga and hence not tampered)

This is what triggered the above Thread. This lady know it all of music, taking baby steps was threatening @upanishadist a connoisseur and ardent rasika taking exception to wanton tampering of sahityas of much revered Trinity of Carnatic Music

Some one teach this lady Jack whatever on what defamation suit means. https://twitter.com/krupage/status/1028143767180718080 (She deleted these tweets) and brings in a lawyer to argue for her on TL. What an apology he turned out to be. Read on
I’m a lawyer. Defamation is when unfounded degradation of a person’s reputation is made on a public forum. This article is full of slander against TMK and Nithyasree. Calling TMK a Rowdy or speaking without any evidence of his “endowment” is definitely harm to his reputation.
Simple. Bring it on.. that was my first statement
Oh Saar! Tell the lady this defamatory piece stands a better chance in the eyes of law. Whereas Music Critiquing has not a chance https://thewire.in/communalism/communal-campaign-threats-carnatic-music-artists-ramanathan-rsss
Saying that the song sung by Nithyasree is a “copy” without any understanding of music is currently defamatory to the composer. (if Nithyashree was the composer, she is at liberty to whatever the hell she wants with it. In any case, she apologised for that, but our Lawyer/Musician man went on and on)
Hahaha… I think some serious deficiency in argument here. Back to school
Composer… Singer…. Sir you seriously have a problem here. Now tell me insulting ones intelligence is Defamation or not
I don’t even want to go into the imputations against Nithyasree or the blatant falsehoods against the “Carnatic Music fraternity” in the piece. Actually, a whole host of people have been defamed by this.
And that is why there is a lawyer composer apology? Anyway as an artiste it is not appropriate for me to judge other artiste. But calling it defamatory is Stretching law from Kashmir to Kanyakumari
Not sure you got the right person to step in. With due respects to whatever his capabilities are (This was to @krupage)
Same language that you used to comment of the author. His knowledge of music was Jack something. So I thought as a artiste in the circuit for 40 years + is enough to know something about music. Nothing personal there. A word for just born wannabes who think they know it all. (She was referring to my 40+ years of experience in the circuit which possibly was more than her dad’s age. She used exactly same words while critiquing @Upanadhisht piece. In any case as can be seen, my tweets are still there and she deleted her abusive tweets and ran away).
40 years of experience probably more than Dad’s age is a compliment I thought… no? (Honestly, isn’t it? It only means she is too young to be using such language. Young is a compliment)
LOL!
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Here is where the discussion started and when we explained nothing Jack Shit about music critiquing ran away Image
Why did you deactivate Madam? (She had in the meanwhile deleted her tweet and deactivated her account. From threatening the author with legal action, she was chickening and running away, because not only legally, this thread was an expose of her Critiquing ability as well as knowledge of the subject)
You reactivated and follower/following count is yet to be updated. But tell me why did you run away? You asked some questions and I don’t think there was a word of abuse except clearly explaining you the nuances of traditional Indian Classical Music (Once again this was honest question. When there was never an abuse, which you never find on my TL anyway, she had no reason to scoot). Interesting person following her (I just saw while writing this blog)Image
Show me one tweet where I have attacked? You attacked, threatened some tweep about defamation. Rest assured you will not get away so easily after blabbering on matters related to music or law. It is a public platform
Someone will wait for battery to drain. Else please guide how to switch off 😛
Can someone tell @krupage that you don’t need to deactivate your account to have her lunch in peace. Simply log out 🙂 After music, law here is another topic that she needs urgent helpImage
Returned the favor
LOL! She tweeted this to promote an upcoming piece on The Wire (where else?) And she wrote a joke. Tampering Sahitya promotes someone’s political ambition would have been more appropriate ImageImage

Heart of Gold

It is 10,227 to this day when I carried the best bundle of joy, a precious Gift that I ever carried in my arms – just seemed that the entire family waited for that day for lifetime to see her appearance into the world. The first Girl of the family in generations and how lucky we are to be her parents, uncle, aunt, cousins and most importantly Grandmother. (I so badly want to add Arun into the equation but then let me confirm if he really is :-P)

A lot of what I write here maybe a repeat, because she never ceased to be the great human being she was ever since she came along – it only got better? To write instances will need Terrabytes of webspace, but suffice to say “Trust me, ask anyone who has crossed her path – what I said is truth and nothing but truth”

From that day on 3rd April 1993, to a being a bride last year and first Birthday as a wife, you have grown gracefully into an amazing young (and beautiful – my genes you see) woman. You are that human being that I often wished I could be. You are beautiful, confident, smart, and well-liked by everyone.

This was the journey so far. My Precious one in my Arms at 28 hours and 28 years

Thank you Divine, for this wonderful gift – Akhila a.k.a. Divya – who has been more a friend than a daughter. It is always tough to write my heart out in limited abilities with words – because there is so much to write and to choose some is a challenge when it comes to writing about you. To start with, incredibly proud of you darling for the way you managed our expectations, by and large exceeded meeting it. You made up more than for small little disappointments when in the rare event you did not meet it. Looking back, it was great that you yourself set such a high expectations on yourself, which means you never ever felt you are undeserving of anything great that the creation has on offer.

As I have kept saying, I only pray that you continue to remain as confident and experiment. Best learning we all drew from you is not to be afraid of making mistakes. Many doors opened due to that, a lot of lessons learnt making you even greater person. As some wise man (don’t know why it has to be a man always :-P) said mistakes create the path to the amazing life one can aspire for later.

Isn’t it a great virtue of how you make friends and people are so easily drawn to you – highly magnetic feature that is everyone’s envy. You can go to a God forsaken place, half way across the globe, or into a desert, where you know nobody, yet I am sure you will come back with loads of new friends (and yet a few more of Whatsapp groups, Amma would say this). No adversity has ever dragged you down as we saw over the years. Just shed the moment and keep moving forward. I pray to the Divine that all these characteristics are never lost on you ever.

You are the best daughter, best grand-daughter, niece, sister, cousin, friend and now (assumedly) a great wife too. Keep smiling like you do while you make light of navigating the worst and most choppy seas of challenges. The way you, Arun and Vishnu managed along with everyone in the family those days when a lot of us were down with Covid, was simply unbelievable. Made it so easy for all of us to come out of it unscathed. Those words you wrote after it was over (in a week) was very touching – not showing any worry outside but what you were going through was so evident in that FB/Insta post. WoW Darling – You are unmatchable

Loads and loads of love from all of us here

Happy birthday Di, my beautiful and invaluable Friend! It’s still unbelievable that it is 28 summers ago on this day that we met for the first time – as a few minutes old, 3.1kg lively “staring” bundle. Keep your chin high and stay happy and progress in life retaining all those great traits that you possess. I love you more than you will ever know. Have a lovely day and a great year ahead.


From Grateful Dad

On this special day, here is my pick for you (or rather for me)