It has been quite a time since I last sat to tickle my thoughts ( NINAIVUGAL).. had too many things rumbling in !.. well the other day I was watching a Tamil TV channel airing a show encouraging the budding singers and the programme being anchored by one of my favorite artist S.P.B. ( S.P.Balasubramaniyan.... a legend in the Indian cine industry who was... is ....and will SING along ... as of now he has sung almost 25000 songs) Even to assume attempting to sing a song, the palm gets wet with shivering...- thoughts of the microphones.. headsets... sound proof recording rooms...quite trembling ..
I should say my childhood it is quite well scented and punctuated with incidents were ... it was like... those days the one and only entertainment was the RADIO and listening to the programme was some thing a gift! or you can say a prize for the good performance by us either academicly or socially..i shall rather put it more specifically.. that if we had fared well in our test / exams the we get the opportunity to listen to the songs that would be aired between 7.45 P.M. to 9.15 P.M. in the Vivid Bharathi channel of All India Radio, regional language..and if you could be lucky then it was the channels from Ceylon (now Srilanka) that will be recievable provided it is good weather ... which was quite unlikely..!
We spend our times with nothing much of complaints for entertainments as we would be prying to be let out to get fried in the scorching sun..!Above such life style with that limited timings to listen to the songs... I had all my sense sharpened such that .. the moment the R.J. ( Radio Jockey)starts to play the songs.. at the start of the tune .. I would catch up with the song.. ( Is in't it good..!!?? )likewise to whose ever house I snoop around in the colony , being one of the most adored kids around.. I would be asked to sing songs and without hesitating..i will blast off... At times at home I would be keeping myself by singing songs .. at the worst .. not being able to bear to the punishment my sisters would let me listen to the radio..!
That was the time of the mourning for my paternal Grandma's death. As you know our family is one of the well know Family for the close knit Joint Family...( Later all our Uncles left and my Dad had to carry the torch of the family as the saviour abiding by my Grandma's insistence to follow all the rituals and sentiments and all others would exhibit their solidarity by proxying their attendance for the occasions)
That day I was back from the school and I as I entered the house I was humming one of the songs that starts with a long slow melodious Ah!.....( My Aunt and others who were still in their mourning .. )Just listening to the voice all at home sensed that someone is visiting to condole the death of my Grandma..!In our custom all the ladies would group together and cry singing praise of the bereaved and also mentioning their deeds and achievements which we call as "opaari" to sing that way one has to prepare by making space around and squating and stretching out the arm and holding the next person on their shoulder and swaying as per prevailing mood.
Though it does appear little awkward to imagine but that is how the event unfolds..!
Well coming to my incident.. at the centre of the hall where the picture of my Grandma was hung with the garland and the incense sticks ..and my Aunts ready for the opaari.. not realising that it was me who is entering the hall.
I was perplexed seeing the mixed feeling of shock and disgust in their eye... and I was stumbling with my humming and my voice chocked seeing the situation... as my imagination drifting like someone else has passed away.. and the the air got cut as I couldn't let my imagination run amock, that is why all are so sad and ready to sing the opaari.. and for my Aunt.. she felt deceived that after preparing themselves to accept the condolence by the assumed visitor...it was all like snip shot .. in a fast forwarding motion...
The moment I could see the sadness in my Aunts' eyes and in a flash it all evaporated and all began with a roar of laughter and I was transfixed there standing and gapping at all..My sisters, Aunties and my Mom all burst to laughter and the scene transpired to more lively and after my Grandma's death maybe a fortnight that was the day all laughed their heart out..!My Aunt then detailed me like rubbing salt to the wound.. that ," We all thought that somebody is coming to condole our Grandma's death and we were getting ready to sing Opaari and finally it turned out to be You coming in singing...!"
I was feeling like a squash being dumped on the rock... yet I never gave up SINGING....!