Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Some times you have got to stop and smell the roses

To use a metaphor from the game of golf: We get to play only one round. As we walk through the fairways of life, there are plenty of challenges and tests. But some times, you have got to stop and smell the roses. Because you may not get another chance.

Today, I would seek your indulgence, dear reader, to share with you a particularly fragrant rose that I had a chance to stop and smell some time back, when I had the privilege of attending a memorable classical music concert.

It was an august audience. Corporate bigwigs rubbed shoulders with top Government officials, doctors and lawyers. Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, a noted vocalist, was also present.

It was a vocal performance by Ashwani Bhide Deshpande, a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Bombay and a top vocalist of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. I had heard her on CDs but this was the first time I was hearing her live.

A classical music concert tends to reflect not only the personality of the performer but the performer's mood at that particular time. Ashwani created sheer magic that evening.

She opened with an extended 'khayal' in Raga Maruvihar, followed by a composition in Raga Bageshree. She then sang a semi-classical 'Jhoola'. But Ashwani had saved the best for the last. A melodious 'bhajan' in Bhairavi had the audience enthralled.

One has heard stories about how Mian Tansen could produce raindrops from a clear sky with his singing. The best exponents of Indian classical music have this ability of entering a state of bliss, where the voice is no longer human, but attains unity with a universal sound that emanates from a greater being.

When Ashwani was singing the full-throated refrain of the 'bhajan', I do believe she attained that exquisite union:

"Jab praan tan se nikley, 'Shiva, Shiva' man smaran ho"

("When life begins to ebb away from our body, remember to take the name of the Lord").

Fortunately, the stock market gives us plenty of chances - provided we have learned the basics and practised hard at acquiring the skills required to succeed. And the harder we practice, the greater the chances of winning.


Titu said...

Hello Sir,

As you like to listen to music, i like to read books, last week i read a very nice book named "It's not about the bike my journey back to life" written by Lance Armstrong, a very inspiring real story of a stage four cancer patient who won the tour de france race with record time

scorpio said...

Was expecting some stock music at the end of the post ;) but it was not there. Good that you enjoyed the show.

Subhankar said...

@Titu: Thanks for the suggestion. One book I always find inspiring is 'An Autobiography' by M. K. Gandhi.

@scorpio: There was a small bit of stock music in the last paragraph - guess the volume was a bit low!