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boy with dog


Sometimes, when you discover new music in a collection that you've already had, its sort of like unearthing buried treasure. The thrill of stumbling upon a brilliant piece of music and listening to it ad infinitum has very few parallels that I'm aware of.

One such instance of discovering new music and getting mesmerized had taken place around May 2007 when my ex-flatmate Kutty had given me a CD titled Adviteeya by a certain friend of his, named Kuldeep M Pai.

The CD is a unique effort, as Kuldeep, a native of Cochin, not only renders the vocals, but also plays the Kanjira, the Mridangam, the Ghatam, the Veena and the Violin among other instruments. Multi-track recording had rendered it possible for Kuldeep to come out with a CD that contains six pieces, for which he's supplied the complete music as well as the vocals.

I am not trained in classical music per se, with my only first-hand exposure to the same resulting from having been one of the few guys in our class in school to have been selected to attend the music class during SUPW, more as a luck of the draw thing rather than as a conscious choice.

Most of the girls in school opted for music and dance, while guys were also inadvertently bundled in along with them. This provided the girls with a much needed opportunity to make fun of us guys, and was one of the prime causes for most of us indulging in the first of many instances of truant behaviour.

My memories of the music room include that of smelly socks and dilapidated instruments that were placed within showcases safely out of harm's way, with our music teacher using a tambourine to keep time. Somehow the only two mental images I have of people playing tambourines are those of my music teacher in school playing it and seeing a video of 'Stairway to Heaven' when Robert Plant plays it as well.

It would be fun for them to switch spaces, but you'd have to be there, I guess.

In any case, I did not learn any Raagas and only learnt a few Taalas that I've promptly forgotten in the absence of practise. However, I think I can spot good music when I listen to it, and Adviteeya is certainly good music to listen to.

I'd given the CD to my landlord to check out sometime last year, and it was quite recently that I decided to ask him for it again, and my mornings now begin with Mr.Pai's rendition of Mahaganapatim, and I must confess that it sets the mood for the rest of the day. Thank God for the music!

PS - This does not mean I endorse those who sing about Dwarapalakas in open forums. (Inside joke. Once again, you'd have to be there, I guess.)