The Hindu LitFest 2016 gave me an unforgettable opportunity to listen to literary geniuses talk and discuss about things that had had a huge impact on them, the issues that, in their view would go on to bring in a magnificent shift in the general structure of acceptance and non-acceptance etc.
The first session that I attended was titled “Sing My Song” which had the renowned Carnatic Music exponent, Mr.Sanjay Subramaniam in conversation with Ms. Nirmala Lakshmanan.
I have always had great regard on Mr.Sanjay Subramaniam and Ms. Vishaka Hari because I know them to be Chartered Accountants who had the drive to pursue what they loved and to break the stereotypes of being auditors and the hype surrounding it. (I know the hype and also the respect it commands in the society because I am one of them)
Starting off with talking about being awarded the “Sangeetha Kalanidhi” award, he spoke about the massive personal responsibility that has been served upon him. Of course that did not mean that he had altered his journey or destination based on the award. He was careful about not letting the influence of the award and the recognition that it brought to interfere in his already pursuing path of music.
“Restriction breeds Creativity”
That was one of the prime take-aways that I had got from this session apart from the humour and cricket that was generously sprinkled. I found this statement from him to be very true and honest. In most of the cases, where there is restriction there will be rebellion. Most of the times such rebellion creates history. May be it is something to do with the human mind which is known to be complex and intricate. The mind is thirsty when it is deprived of something. The “yekkam” they say, is boundless during such situations. I have felt that personally and could relate to that statement in a more intimate fashion.
On the way the traditional carnatic music format is evolving, he says,” Art is never static” and that all art forms go through a phase of turbulence. Art is supposed to give rise to different feelings and opinions to different people. It is not science to be perceived in the same manner by everyone. True words, Sir!
An artist derives energy from his audience. That is a hundred percent true. An artist must be true to himself. He must be daring enough to take risks in his performance and to attempt improvisation. He must be ready to accept and must be open minded enough to experiment and explore the hidden realms of the art that he fervently and reverently practices.
Also apart from the little thoughts on the Vivaadhi Concept, the prominence of Tamil Keerthanams in his concerts, the impiortance of the rapport with the accompanists and also about the general dilemma of the superiority of the Guru-Shishya mode of imparting musical education over the now-prevalent trend of Skype Classes, the one thing that made me admire him was his acceptance.
When one member from the audience asked if he has done anything at all to spread and increase the reach of carnatic music on a grassroot level (What the question-asker intended to know was if SS was going to schools and doing anything tangible to increase the awareness of carnatic music), SS was gracious and grounded enough to accept that he hasn’t done anything of that sort. I admired that quality in him. Instead of beating around the bush saying superficial things or adopting to shame the person who had asked such a question to him on a public platform, SS accepted it. It kind of felt that it all boiled down to one’s own choices and one need not try so hard to fit in to another’s definition of something. It implied, albeit silently, that one can be original and be unapologetic about it. In my words, to one his own.
I enjoyed the session mainly because of the energy that it gave me and also for the core ideas that I had in me when I walked out of the auditorium. A very good start to an awesome feast, I would say.