With the music season at its peak and the dance fever catching on. Vazhapoo vada, kuzhi paniyaram, kasi halwa and coffee at Jayaram’s Gnanambika to satisfy my stomach on a timely basis, things couldn’t have got more exciting for me in a December month in Chennai.
21st December, 2009 started off with the weather playing spoil sport. A lecture demonstration by M.B. Vedavalli on Ragas with dual names in the post trinity period followed by a talk on Hindutani and Karnataka Music styles with reference to Aesthetics and Gamakas by T.V. Gopalakrishnan at the music academy was in the brewing. Recitals by Shashank on the flute and Embar Kannan and Kanyakumari on he violin was to follow as the schedule for the later part of the day. The raindrops however had me immersed in the sounds of nature. It was then that I decided to go to the beach and spend my day absorbed in the music existing all around us. You know when they say things happen for a reason, you nod your head but don’t really believe it till you experience it.. well it was one of those days.
I drove to the beach with no great hurry, windows down, wind blowing through my hair, the sweet smell of rain and chirping of birds kept me company. The sound of traffic and honking of horns was unheard at 6:30 a.m. A broad smile extended on my face. I was looking forward to a day with the sea, assuming of course that activities on a Monday morning at the beach was very unlikely in the city. I was proved wrong just as I neared the parking. Cops swarming all around isn’t a common sight. I noticed that cranes were being mounted on the sea-shore.. completely bewildered I marched up to the group of people by the crane and enquired as to what was going on.
“In matters of pollution we feel that nature s the ultimate victim, and yet we never listen to what the victim has to say. We’re conducting a project in collaboration with Greenpeace to try and get the sea to speak to us,” said Joono Simon, the Executive Creative Director, South for Mudra Communications.
Not that I had any problems of comprehension, the statement somehow went a good four feet above my head. Yet interested in the thought of the sea speaking made me stay a while longer to see what he meant. Soon after the cranes were set and cameramen were seated high, large alphabets were carried to a couple of boats by local fishermen. With the letters tucked away in the boats, the firsermen set sail. After going a hundred feet into the sea, they set afloat the three foot high blocks of wood wrapped neatly in khadi and paper pulp. I noticed that the event brought together many more curious audiences like myself.
It was a spectacular event! The sea did break the silence! The word ‘HIC’ was washed ashore leaving everyone there spellbound. A chill down our spines, a certain awareness and sensitivity that was rekindled.
Nature is saying something all the time. The music is there all around us. All we have to do is listen.
After a long hiatus, I sat down at the writing desk. The sound of the waves still ringing in my ears, and the music continuing to fill my soul.