S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Monday, 15 January 2018

Letter from a `Budding Rasika` to Sruti magazine

Dear Editor

The 400th  issue of Sruti magazine which I read in two sittings is truly a collector`s item. I am  a recent entrant to the world of  Carnatic music and a reader of Sruti magazine only for the last two years. Though I found every article written by veterans in their respective field  interesting and informative,  I could particularly relate to the article by Jaya Akknapragada titled `Joy in the morning` where she talks about how accidentally she  got hooked to Carnatic music and how  she is thoroughly enjoying the experience now. I would like to share my own experience with Carnatic music.

 I have been  a resident of Chennai for the last 44 years,  the citadel of performing arts.  However the  Carnatic music bug never caught me in spite of the best efforts of my good friend R.T.Chari of the Tag fame .  In the mid eightees he used to conduct `Chamber music` in his flat  and invite a few friends including people like me to share the joy of listening to   Carnatic music, which he discovered late in life. Since my late wife was fond of Carnatic music,  I used to accompany her  to a few Concerts. I would become fidgety  after an hour into the concert.  I was guilty of not allowing her to listen to the full concerts at Hamsadhwani, where I had become a member for my wife`s sake.  However, after she passed away 5 years ago, in celebration of her memory I started attending a few concerts and willed myself to stay till the end. I also started listening to Carnatic music at home  at least for an hour every day by visiting the `You Tube` - a treasure house of all kinds  of music.  At a click of a button I am able to access the  recording of a singer of my choice. Though I still cannot recognize the ragas,  I am not only   enjoying  the music but also find  it  very  relaxing.  Apart from listening to stalwarts I find the enormous talent being displayed by the younger &  upcoming  singers amazing.  I am now truly hooked to Carnatic music so much so that any other light music does not interest me anymore.  And Sruti has only helped me to increase my appetite for Carnatic  music.

I find  the  magazine  very interesting, even to a lay Rasika  like me.  I am glad that I subscribed to it two years ago because it has been helping me improve my knowledge base on music and also about people who  are contributing to its popularity. I  eagerly look forward to receiving my copy of the magazine every month . I must congratulate the entire  team behind  the magazine for bringing out an excellent magazine devoted to Performing Arts.  I wish them all the best in their future efforts.

Though I have started late, I am happy that at least after 70 I have come under the spell of Carnatic Music and my life has become that much more interesting. As they say `It is better late than never`.

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