Last week my triplets performed in their music and dance school’s yearly recital. They rendered 3 dance numbers including a classical form called Kathak and a few Vocal Classical songs. As a parent, I was very excited, but I also felt and bore the heat, because, its when I realized that dressing up a few girls for their dance performances is no joke. Its a tedious JOB.
As much as I was excited to see my kids on stage, the pre work was hard hard work. After a year long torture of making them practice and listening to the teacher’s taunts when the kids happen to go unprepared to the class, there was more to follow. Preparing them for the recital. What I thought would be done in at most 2 hours took me more than 3 hours (Go ahead!! count me among the clumsy too! ). Then I had about 10 minutes to dress myself up!
When we reached the venue and were about to park..I realize, I forgot the music CD for their dance. OMG!!! Hubby was not just mad, he went ballistic. Late is something he cannot stand.
How about a little justification?! So easy for him to have such expectations, if only he had to do all the work that the kids and myself put into all of this! I can still picture him standing around and watching them getting dressed, not needing to move a finger.
“”OK Mr, I should have started another hour earlier, I miscalculated!!!”” I yell back at him.
He was able to come back just in time, just as the kids music recital was about to start.
Yey! I cheered, silently. Talk about tiny moment pleasures.
It was when I realized that he could have missed the kids recital that I felt so guilty for being such an airheaded a--. And that’s when the kids started singing. Ask a mom how it feels to hear her kids sing in such harmony. I tell you from first hand experience. Its Pure Bliss!!
In spite of the mike that went into a squeaking mode sometimes or blaringly loud at other times, I wasn’t able to hear all that dissonance. The rest of the audience did. I was just fixated on the voices of my kids. Sure! their voices don’t sound like the Classical Guru’s and Pros, but, it was in rhythm and the notes were hit at the right spot. And the vibrations that came out of that recital..HEAVENLY, EUPHORIC!!!
They rendered a Saraswati Vandana (A song of praise to the goddess of knowledge and music) in a Raag called Raag Yaman. Yaman is a very beautiful Raag. So versatile and vast that its depths haven’t even been fully explored yet. That, its been used to compose an assortment of emotions. Be it agony, romance, devotion, frustrations of separated lovers. This Raag is also one that allows a lot of flexibility and freedom, in the usage of notes, since there are lesser restrictions.
To me..from the little that I’ve learnt and heard, it paints a romantic picture in my mind. How can one forget that beautiful song of the yesteryears..”Chandan Sa Badan”. Every time I hear it, the lyrics and the voice that added so much to this Raag, inundates me and I get transported into this romantic world where nothing can go wrong.
This Raag belongs to the That class of Raags. Meaning, all the 7 notes are used in this Raag. A very important sequence of notes, when one hears..you can be sure this is Yaman…is
Ni, Re, Ga, Ma, Dha Ni Sa. (Pa skipped in the ascending)!
Re Ga Ma Paa,,,,Re, Sa. (Notes need not descend in order)
Even though, I had started off to write about my kids performance, as usual I got carried away with the technicalities of this Raag. You see, I’m in love with this raag. Not because my kids did a performance based on this raag. Some of my favorite songs belong to this Raag.
Like I was reading a fellow blogger who mentioned about being tone deaf vs tune deaf. I fall in the same category. Unlike her, I cannot say that I’ve learnt enough classical music already to be able to recognize a Raag being rendered. But, I surely recognize and memorize tunes easily to hum it..
Considering the time I have spent on this Raag myself (about a little less than a year!)..I am not sure that I will be able to point out, if a Bandish is based on Raag Yaman but, on one thing I can bet…I’m surely going to like the song.
Apart from the one listed above, there’s another melodious song that belongs to Raag Yaman. Anybody who knows it will surely have it in their list of favorite songs too. I’m sure! Remember…
“Zindagi Bhar Nahi Bhulegi Woh Barsaat ki Raat”
There is a very famous Meera Bhajan that my Guru had been kind enough to teach me. “Jo Tum Todo Piya , Mai Nahi Todu” and a few bhajans.
Being young, they still have a long way to go, to even understand the essence of a Raag, the power they hold in their voice that can create strong emotions in people who listen to it. To move them..such that they may end up getting overwhelmed. That, it would be hard, not to cry. That power, that skill, is going to come with age and with training but, with their immature kid voices, they were still able to hold the notes so perfect, in unison.
Then, PNK (referring to my triplets) presented a dance recital on “Maa Durga”. A beautiful number choreographed by their music teacher who is also their Kathak Guru. I had gone armed with my Nikon D90 to shoot stills and video in HD, all in one. As I opened the tripod to set this HEAVY camera of mine…it BROKE!
“Forget the tripod”, I yelled to myself silently.
I held the camera high up, above all the heads that came in the way, with shaking hands, to shoot the video of their dance. Then, within 2 minutes of it..the recording is terminated…
OMG!! What was this camera doing? I didn’t even have time to fret. I pressed on the record again.
Talk about perseverance and murphy’s law in the same breath!!! Now, the lens refused to focus. It wasn’t able to find the subject.
Is this what is called, “Lens Malfunction”, I wondered???!!
And I had been worrying about “Costume Malfunction” all this while?!!! I had been checking their saris repeatedly, making sure all the ties were proper and in place.
I still didn’t give up. I terminated that recording again and restarted. This time it was able to record the last few seconds of the song. Luckily, Hubby dear was having this teeny tiny camera in his hand and he was able to get the dance in full.
Yey! I cheered silently!
After that, it was time to get them dressed for their Kathak performance. As I opened the suitcase for their costumes, what did I notice? The costumes were missing!
OMG!!! Not again! I didn’t keep their costume in the suitcase??! I shouted in panic. The teacher was quick enough and decided to change the sequence of the program. She switched the dance items. In the mean time Hubby dear had to drive back home again to bring back the costumes. It was clear, I had been a total failure!
Forgetting all this, I dressed the kids up for the dance item, that was to be presented in the end but was moved up now..That was the bollywood dance number “Dhadak Dhadak” from movie Bunty and Bubli. Hubby was able to come back before the dance started.
Yey!! I cheered silently, for the n’th time!
“He’s making up for all that effort he didn’t put in…during the year!”, I thought and how wonderful! I was giving him a chance to make up :-))
After that, it was time to dress them for their main performance, the Kathak Recital. Every thing in place, this time. I was even given a chance to assist the Guru on the vocal, to sing the sargam. Wasn’t I grateful for that?!
All in all, I came back home with my family, feeling like one proud Mama. I did grow a little plump that night from all that pride, I didn’t swallow.
Who said that?!! No way! No exercise and lots of food makes J a fat human being?!! you say.
The audience were very kind to us. They showered lots of praises and I loved it. I bid good bye to anything that referred to modesty and humbleness being a virtue, that evening!
I have posted some pics here of my kids from the program!
The next morning…Richa found the costume and said..
“Mama, I wish I can wear that costume too… can you help me?!”
Her voice sounded so cute..I just had to help her get into the dress. I could understand how she must have missed being part of a celebration where every kid seemed to have a part except her! Her sisters had stolen the limelight from her.
Here is my Anarkali!!!