May 19, 2006

Life goes on....

This has been a busy fortnight. The dance workshop and my upcoming singing exams have kept me busy left, right and centre. Also, I need to complete the write-ups for the Smitalay site, and now I'm looking at this interesting brochure of Bollywood Odissi and trying to figure out how not to sleep on the keyboard.

I'm through with mangalacharan, the first and invocatory item in Odissi and we're putting up a small performance / presentation / demonstration on the 21st at
Smitalay. So if you are free and in Bombay, land up ! Be there are 4 pm. Smitalay programs will NEVER start late, Tai will make sure it starts on time, whether all the dancers are ready or not.

Learning mangalacharan was a fun experience. The best part was, it didn't DRAG like other things generally do, during a regular class. We practised regularly, concentrated on our stuff and finished it in two weeks. And since Jhelumtai was teaching us, we all behaved extremely well since we know that it's either shape-up or ship out with her !

Yea, all of us are pretty scared of her, if you look at it that way. I mean, she is an amazing person to talk to, and she absolutely does not go around with the 'It is my birthright to be angry' attitude like some people, and we can have a lot of fun with her, but at times, I'd rather let my tongue shrivel and fall off from lack of exercise than open my mouth in front of her.

When she teaches us, she positions all of us so that she can see what is supposed to be going on and what is going on. From the look of it, she is just sitting with her eyes suspended in space. (And that looks pretty scary especially after she's just yelled at you for the '25-paise act', ie: looking down at the ground when you are supposed to be looking UP .) Well, eyes in space, and she knows what TEN people in the room are doing ! If I had that kind of eyesight, I could have outflown and outgrown any of those far-sighted Siberian cranes !

But, looking back at the past two weeks, I don't resent the fact that I was yelled at, or whatever, because I've learnt so much. All those things go into improving technique, and after seeing those exceptionally dismal Odissi performances in Bangalore, I don't really want to realise after 15 years that I'm getting some basic fundas wrong.

All this apart, I've picked up new tunes, and I'm going to be singing Mohana Pallavi, Saveri Pallavi and Nachanti Range Srihari along with a few others. Nachanti is my favourite. It's just a very beautiful song. I find Saveri pretty depressing. Mohana is quite sonorous.

Meanwhile my singing teacher seems very enamoured with my voice of late. She was totally taken by my rendition of Bihag and now she wants my choice raga in the exam to be Bihag and not Malkauns, which she had chosen earlier. Anyway, I like her as of now.

My last singing teacher was a goddamned greedy chick, no words minced. She was not really a teacher to me, so I don't care about the Guru-shishya thing for her. She just wanted me to join her private classes over the main class and when I refused, she vented her spleen on me by pronouncing every note I sang WRONG. When I had to shift to this new teacher, I actually thought of giving up music. But then this teacher made me kinda re-realise I was not exactly dumb and I could actually sing. So now my gaadi is on the right patri again, and singing classes are no longer a Tuesday-Friday torture session.

Anyway time to shut-eye, since I have to get up at seven tomorrow, to sing, and then go to dance class at 9 and return at 6 and the attend a wedding. Talk of busy days...

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