Sunday, May 10, 2009

(s)tone deaf

One of my life's regrets is that I am completely tone deaf. Coming from a family of music buffs who used to sit through all night music concerts of Chemmangudi and Ariyakkudi, I am so obviously the black sheep.My aunt did make valiant efforts.She got me really good music teachers. I used to wonder why my music teachers looked so pained when I sang.I really couldn't sing. My uncle who used to visit us , felt it his duty to make us practise our music. He told me much later that he used to feel quite nauseous when he heard me sing. It was a strong sense of duty which kept him at it.
My aunt tried teaching me veena ( after the neighbours started buying earplugs, I suppose)
She finally gave up on me.
My sister-in-law sings really well.She gives concerts also.Once when she had come home during Navaratri, I asked her to sing. Even though I am tone deaf. I like to listen to music, especially when I understand the lyrics, especially Dikshitar's.Later my older sister-in-law told me that she had said that she did not enjoy singing to people who are tone deaf.

That hurt! I imagined a lot of cutting retorts . It rankled. It rankled so badly I never ever asked her to sing again.

Just yesterday I was listening to some music on the youtube. The Ranjani-Gayatri duo. They were asked a question by a member of the audience.The woman said that she did not know any thing about music.. she couldn't identify ragas or anything , but she did enjoy listening to music.. was that okay? The answer was an eye-opener for me. Gayatri said that it didn"t really matter whether you identified the raga or understood the finer nuances.. if the music touches a chord in your heart that was the best reward for the singer.In fact connoisseurs listen to music on a fault finding mission.
Hurrah!I am back to listening to music.. Never mind if I think Kambhoji is Devagandhari!

Appa's filter coffee

I read emolior's blog with great delight. I love compliments .I just soak in.Unfortunately not everyone in the house appreciates my filter kapi.
Until the time I left for the U.S. in 2002, my husband couldn't or rather wouldn't make his coffee.But when I planned to go I taught him how to. Now he no longer likes my coffee. He makes his own coffee.
When Emolior hears him in the morning making coffee in the kitchen, she feigns sleep.She will rattle something or if need be, kick me to get me to wake up. You ask why? Read on!
My husband gets his coffee powder specially ordered. It has 50%coffee and 50% chicory.He asks for tips on making coffee. Following one such tip, He put coffee powder in the filter, added three spoons of sugar(my mother said, a pinch) heated the filter red hot , ended up with coffee syrup as the sugar melted. The actual tip was , always slightly heat the filter to remove any blocks in the pores, add a pinch of sugar on top of the coffee powder .
He always makes the coffee real strong and believe it or not adds a spoon of instant coffee. The resulting brew can wake up the dead.Jet laggers like Emolior will never recover from their jetlag.
He is always hurt when his offspring refuse his offers of coffee.But pitrubhakti can be carried only so far, isn't it?