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!


Gauri said...

Oh ! I am SO a black sheep too - when it comes to the music dept. While the rest of the family belt out the Thodis and the Kalyanis with ease, I would end up bleating and putting a sheep to shame even at that :D.

That said, yes - I love listening to music and so totally agree with the theory that music is a universal language and a very powerful medium. It does not "belong" to just some :).

Btw, please keep the posts rolling in - I love the way you write :)

Have a nice day :)

Pillpopper said...

Thanks Gauri, keep the comments rolling.I love being praised.It all stems from being the neglected middle child.

Hip Grandma said...

I too can't sing but that doesn't make me tone deaf.Your SIL was just being mean.Let's shake hands.Iam like you too.