Tuesday, March 30, 2010

“It is the best of times. It is the worst of times”


A rainy evening in Palakkad with the sun setting

Living in Palakkad, quite strangely I am reminded of Charles Dickens, the immortal writer. Last week, as I took my son to the small farm behind our house, as a project of the “save earth” campaign to free the space of plastic wastes, I told him of Dickens’s novel Nicholas Nickleby and about a character Wackford Squeers, a cruel school teacher who used to take advantage of the orphaned boys by giving them all menial jobs.

Secondly, as Dickens described, I thought that we in Palakkad are living in the “best of times as also in the worst of times.”(Charles Dickens began his book, “A Tale of Two Cities,” with the following words: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of hope. It was the season of despair.”)

What made me think as above was the things happening around. Palakkad was reporting very high day temperatures with the mercury soaring high. Then, there was a brutal murder in the neighborhood in Puthur. As we returned after a drive, we saw an unusual crowd of Policemen and the locals in the area and learned that a housewife had been murdered during day time by intruders who came for theft. Today we read from newspapers that the prime suspect died in police custody ostensibly due to the third degree torture by the police. All these news are sickening to the core.

Violin concert by the maestro :Dr.L.Subramaniam at Puthur.

Again, last week, it rained cats and dogs one evening bringing much relief to the heat. In Puthur we also witnessed a music concert by the legendary violist L .Subramaniam and his wife Kavita Krishnamurthy at the Devi temple premises. The world renowned maestro, widely acclaimed in the West as much as in the East gave a stellar musical performance. Hearing such virtuosos is an experience because they immediately make us feel the touch of a genius and remind us that they are made of a different stuff than what the common folks are made of. He was ably assisted by his son Ambi Subramaniam an upcoming little master and his celebrity wife Kavita, musician and playback singer.


The administrators of this little temple in Puthur seem great organizers as they bring world renowned musical masters to this little known place .Last year the place was blessed with the presence of the great master Hariprasad Chaurasia with his divine flute. In 2008, it was the turn of another master, Pundit Shivkumar Sharma on Santoor.


I can’t complain. This is a happening place. Today, my son’s 10th class examinations are also coming to a close. “It is the best of times. It is the worst of times”


Palakkad, South India
31st March 2010.

13 comments:

士凱 said...

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.............................................

Murali RamaVarma said...

Thank you, 士凱. You have a point there.

Regards,

Sunita said...

L. Subramaniam in Puthur? Wow! It really is the best of times. I first heard him when he performed with Shakti years ago. I love the way he's matured and scaled the heights ... what a maestro!
By the way, I found this YouTube link of both father and son performing together. Not a patch on hearing them live, of course, but if you can overlook the rather tinny acoustics of PC speakers, it's worth a look : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EfQ5_6Z70E
And, April can be the cruellest month, especially for the parents of students who've just finished their 10th (and 12th)standard exams. I totally understand what you and family must be going through right now. I was there last year :)

Maddy said...

nice to read something from teh home town..might miss teh trip this year..I have listened to Kavita, but not LS..we are getting ready to listen to SPB in a few weeks...

Murali RamaVarma said...

Dear Sunita, Thanks for the comments. I too was quite surprised to note of the visit of LS to Puthur. As you said, he has matured over the years. My Spanish friend, Juan noted as follows
"L Subramanian also has a profound knowlegde in western classical music, obtaining his master's degree in California. Many of his "East-West half way compositions" have been performed by important European philharmonic orchestas. And his Carnatic music has not been corrupted, but much enriched, by this knowlegde."

Thanks for sharing the link, It was fabulous!

Regards for your understanding too! All the best!

Murali RamaVarma said...

Thanks, Maddy for the news. Palakkad is changing! Enjoy SPB!
Regards,

GVK said...

Your description of life in Palakkad reads like notes for a screenplay. Was reminded of visuals from the film (was it 'Morning Raga' ?) where we have Shabana Azmi playing carnatic music person.

陳石薇 said...

與其爭取不可能得到的東西,不如善自珍惜運用自己所擁有的........................................

Murali RamaVarma said...

Thank you, GVK Sir. So much has been happening around and I simply jotted it down. My wife and daughter said that they had watched the film "morning raga". Sadly, I had missed it. Kind regards,

Murali RamaVarma said...

Thanks, Manoj.

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Meera's World said...

I read the book- Morning Raaga,didnt know there was a movie too!Will try to get it.It was shocking reading about the murder and even more shocking hearing about the brutal death of her killer.
My son is going to be on
10th:)

Murali RamaVarma said...

Dear Meera,
Good to hear your news. Yes, we had these unpleasant news too.

Happy to note that your son is going to Xth. It is a tense period for most of the moms, I have noted.

But the boy will be as carefree as a young deer!

kind regards,