Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kancheepuram shines and fab india fades

I finally did it. I accompanied amma to a carnatic music concert.

A brief trip with her to madras during the music season had left me somewhat scarred. While all the concerts were superb - my impressionable soul was scarred by the appearance of previously unknown extend clan members such as chinna thatha's mudal ponnu,* T nagar pattu teacher**, Kotturpuram mele veedu mami***, periama's US naathnaar**** - all kancheepuram saree clad and immediately appraised of my age, my gothram, my ability to cook (or not cook- depending if she felt close enough to the person in question to admit my deficiencies), my inability to sing but ability to appreciate music. This would be followed by an interrogation by kancheepuram maamis- skillfully ranging from - which ragaam did I most appreciate, -what I thought of the singer, -if i could adjust to life abroad, -whether I planned to let my hair grow,- did I notice the singer falter in her second composition? All of which I has no response for - the degree and intensity of the swaying of some music academy type ancient person's head in the audience was my measure for whether something was good or bad.

It was very traumatic and filed away to be revived to cheer myself up after particularly bad vivas or RCC interviews. They were a piece of cake compared to music season kancheepuram maamis.

So I went with some trepidation to Good shepherd's auditorium in Bangalore to hear Nithyashree sing. We dint run into one acquaintance and while the regular mamas and and maamis were there, they seemed somewhat disprited, the kancheepurams a we bit less shiny, and the kancheepurams looked anxiously around them at the long haired boys and girls in fab india faded kutras jute bags and digital cameras. I even saw a girl in a business suit- pants shirt a blazer -in plaid. I saw some short skirts and someone in something that resembled a fur jacket. It was very disconcerting - watching the energetic and eager fab india kurta clad music listeners or office wear clad music listeners who turned up apparently simply to listen to music and did not have on their agenda to find their long lost yet very close family friends and pounce on unsuspecting your girls and boys and size up their potential. I unconsciously found myself checking to see if my pottu was in place and gave a loud sniff when a knee length cargo clad bald boy hurried to find his seat- reaffirming my kinship to kanjeepuram maamis.

(I promise not to turn into one of them tho)

post about actual concert coming up.

*chinna thatha's mudal ponnu, - grandfather's younger brothers eldest daughter
**T nagar pattu teacher-
music teacher from T Nagar
*** Kotturpuram mele veedu mami-
the lady who lives on the top floor in Kotturpuram
****periama's US naathnaar -
mother's sister's sister in law who now lives in the US.