Monday, September 19, 2016


If you are on a few WhatsApp groups, you are likely to be bombarded with forwards extolling the virtues of attitude. Attitude, with a capital A. The word has become synonymous with good, great or right attitude. The plethora of such messages is sure to change your attitude towards attitude.

A few decades ago, I encountered attitude, the great and the not-so-great,  in two music concerts, twenty-four hours apart.

Dasara music festival was on at the Mysore palace. My guru told me that I have to play the tamboora at one of the concerts - of a famous instrumentalist! I was thrilled! I was to accompany an artist I admired.

The concert started and I was enjoying myself and trying my best not to forget to play the tamboora. As the meandering alaap increased in volume, the artist paused between passages. During one of them, he turned to me and whispered, in a complaining voice, sounding quite irritated, "there is an echo"! He then turned back to the audience with a smile and continued playing. This happened quite a few times.

I was disappointed.

The very next day was the concert of Dr. N. Rajam. This time, I was in the audience. She started playing and the concert was going on in brilliantly, in her inimitable style. She was playing with her eyes closed and face down. When the  alap became a little louder, as on the previous day, there was an echo. She heard it, she looked up with bright, shining eyes and smiled. She continued joyfully, playing a sawal-jawab of sorts with the echo!


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