I’ve to write about him – my Appa…especially the way he connected with music.
Appa came to Chennai from Kumbakonam after he got a Govt. job – you know the kind that your life is made!
But more than the job, he was interested in theatre and so he started acting in plays. The typical man from Kumbakonam with betel leaves in his mouth and hence a red-tinged lips, with great Tamil pronunciation – he did make his mark on stage.
But that was before music took control of him. Going to the sabhas where plays were performed gave him the opportunity to listen to amazing music from legendary singers. He absorbed the music into his soul.
And went out of the way to buy cassettes so that he could listen at home too, which was considered very ahead of time in those days. He could identify the ragas, talk about alapanai, even knew which song was each singer’s fav.
And this brought him in closer relationshipship with the sabha and he joined it as a Committee Member. I seriously doubt if he wrote Govt exams and applied for promotions at the Govt job, but am very sure he pursued this honorary post at the sabha with such fervour that he got elected as the Secretary in a matter of years.
Music and him were inseparable and we enjoyed the benefits of growing up in a home where music played non-stop. Carnatic, devotional, Tamil classical, slokas – anything set to good music featured in our play lists. Even movie songs – both Tamil and Hindi played non-stop.
Vividhbarathi was the station we woke upto and went to sleep with too. Appa loved ghazals…esp the ones sung by Rafi were his fav. Vividhbarathi played the Rafi ghazals on Rafi’s death anniversary and without fail Appa will be awake to listen to it.
And always he became emotional when he listened to good music!
He was inseparable from music but you know what – he can’t sing to save his life!