“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Music in the Morning

I am not a morning person. Don’t talk to me in the morning, at least for an hour after I have woken up, unless you want to lose an ear. Barring the blue moon days I go for a walk, you will find me sitting on the steps to the verandah, a cup of tea on one side, morning newspapers, English and Malayalam, all strewn around. A grumpy old man, frowning from behind a pair of ridiculously small reading glasses perched so comically over his bulbous nose. Don’t come within 10 feet; only Sancho is permitted within this perimeter. In fact, Sancho is the only personnel authorized to lift my morning grouch. He would nuzzle my ear affectionately; pull my arm with his paw for a chest scratch. Sancho has some cat blood in him; he would rub the entire length of his body across my legs or toes, to and fro, to and fro.

My old music system had gone kaput for nearly a year. It was a good one and I could not afford to buy another. And I kept on postponing lugging the heavy system all the way to the service guys. Music was limited to the tinny noise coming out of the tiny PC speakers. Terrible. Hence the morning blues.

So? So last week, I got it fixed. Paid a whopping Rs.3,000/- but now sound floods my room from the big speakers. So? So, instead of reading the horrid tabloids, I flip open my mind to music – and get flipped high.

Biking my way to office, I hum Kumar Gandharva or Subha Mudgal or Prahlad Tipanya or Unnikrishna Kurup. Hemant Da and Mukesh and Talat have absconded from the heavens and are hiding somewhere undisclosed. At traffic signals, you might notice this man waiting for the green, relaxed unlike others, his fingers tapping a strange tattoo on the handlebars; you wouldn’t know the beat – it could be the Chenda, Edakka, Mridangam, Dholak, Pakhwaj or Tabla. Do not mistake him for an autistic, from the irregular jerking and twisting and twitching of his helmet – he is singing some great song inside it. If you approach this person in his office for help, you may not get it as quickly as you would like to, though you are sure to get a blank but happy smile; you see, he is somewhere far away in a village in Malwa .Or in Himachal. Or in a dark temple in Kerala. Don’t bet upon it, he could be at many other places, except where he should be, physically.

********** Balachandran V, Trivandrum 10-11-2010

Charlie Brown & Snoopy courtesy Late Charles M Schulz ( He is one among the 10 most lovable persons in the world - for me!)


  1. This is a delightfully pleasant image of you. Many of us probably should do the same. This would make for a better frame of mind for all. Great write Balan

  2. I completely agree with Sandy ...it is a delightful post.Nice to see you like this !

  3. @Sandy: Thats called music therapy! Suddenly I remembered your guest entry in poetry poem - I quote: Remember Balan, a rainbow awaits at the end of a rainy season. Time heals all things...and all things, are healed with time...' unquote

    You've been a great buddy for a long time, Sandy! Thanks!

  4. @Kavitha: You must listen to Prahlad Tipanya, Kavitha! Sometimes I wish I knew a little more Hindi, lived in places so rural and remote in the heart of India! See www.beatsofindia.com for folk songs of India.

    I am just passing through a comfortable, content phase. Hope it lasts - forever! :D

  5. SIR nice narration. good that even I found someone similar to me ;even i rock myself 'insanely'while driving,I am even lost at times and imagine myyself to be a 'free bird 'and dance to certain tunes inside the house all alone:)it's a blissful experience!music really southes you eternally.

  6. Music is therapeutic. It simply makes you feel so good that you can even take in the most irritating and frustrating moments with smile. You know I should always have music except while I am sleeping.

    From the time I wake up, I need music. I can work productively only if I am hearing to the beats.....So I can relate to you when you said "Do not mistake him for an autistic, from the irregular jerking and twisting and twitching of his helmet – he is singing some great song inside it."

    I always sway to the rhythm of music within me, people have also asked me, why do you shake your head so often? I say I am enjoying the music within me :-P

    Right now its Salama Ya Salama by Dalida :-)

  7. @Insignia: 'Music within me'! Thats a beautiful way to say it, B! After listening to it in the morning, the music stays on and on, all the while in your mind! What a great way to spend a whole day, isn't it? I have copied a lot of my favorites into the office PC; my old spare PC speakers are connected to it And I play it in low volume; in the afternoon, when there is a slack in customers, I raise it! Colleagues tolerate Malayalam oldies but when KG sings Jaayega Hans Akela, or Prahlad shouts Sun bhai Sadho!, well - um - I am known for my short-temper ( I used to be) so they keep mum!
    Have you checked out www.scholarswithoutborders.in yet? Folk songs of rural India - nothing like it!
    Right now, Rafi Saheb is singing Man re in my mind! What a song!

  8. @Arun: Thanks, buddy! You dig folk? :)

  9. @Raji: Its the lightness of being that happens when you listen to great music. I love the old Hindi films songs - 1940s to 1970s.
    Listening to man re tu kaahe na dheer dhare - for the 7th time!

  10. Ah...the sound of music is a natural healer. There's music all around you - the chirping of the birds, the pitter-patter of the rain drops, and such others, if we care to listen. Everytime I'm annoyed or stressed, I plug my ears with the ipod and listen to music - just about any music can bring the smile back :)

    Hope your 'content' phase lasts for ever ;P

  11. Thanks for the website. I will sure explore. Folks songs are hard to get. If its online, nothing better than that!

    Thanks so much again. :-)

  12. No Sir. But I thoroughly enjoyed ‘A Portrait of the Banker as a Connoisseur of Music’!

  13. Mornings!! I really dont know how to deal with them either, with age, i cant even seem to sleep in late, so i am up and not about, so I just bark around, stomp around pull curtains so nobody else can sleep, I get the paper, my cup of coffee, and "man re tu kaahe na dheer dhare" then the magic starts to work and I am completely with you on this one..apart from the fact that I dont have a sit out and a dog.

  14. Music in the morning means begining of a lucky day. :)

  15. Ha tolerant Sancho!

    Well written Bals. Music yes that has some wonder that is imexplicable.

  16. @Sujata: I have a friend, who for all the long years I've known him, begins his day with music, all the while till he sets out. He says that music as a background score for the usual morning drama, makes every day a comedy!

    Great to learn that you share my love for 'Man Re'. I have this silly possessiveness about Mukesh and Hemant Da; and this silly pout for Rafi saheb. Because when I was a small boy,every one in my house ( all of us loved to listen to Hindi film songs) was a Rafi fan, so I went for the underdogs! But, secretly I loved Rafi Saheb too. Another Rafi favorite of mine is - 'Itni Haseen itni java raat kyaa karen..' Impossible, isn't it? And Chauduvin ka Chand and Suhani raat and.... well!

    There maybe many people out there who haven't discovered the magic of music in the morning. This post is for them!

    And Sujata, for the sake of Bond, do get a puppy! You don't know what difference that would make to the kids!

  17. cant imagine life without music... music and books and u r no longer lonely!


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