Class Sick Musick

My first experience with Indian Classical music was listening to MS Subbi cassettes. However I did not know it was classical music. Other experience with classical music was listening to Dasavani of Bhimsen Joshi. Again, I did not know what the hell classical music was.

As I grew up I understood classical music. It was a strange sounding shout which only very few liked and nodded as if it was a great music. I would ask myself, "what is wrong with these people, why do they shout and do all sorts of dance with hands and show screwed up faces". In fact my uncle said once "why do not these people sing something nice!".

I was as old as an ass when I liked a Bajan. This happened in the second year of engineering. There was a temple next to our hostel: Koranti Hanuman. Saturday it used to be full of boys coming to sight girls and girls coming to sight boys. Like those infamous wall bathing, and window shopping this was Sacred Sight Dating. My room mate was a devotee of Lord Hanumaan. He visited the temple everyday. I went to the temple along with him sometimes and especially on Saturdays! An exception to this was when Hanuman himself called me by cutting power to the hostel. I chose to visit the temple whenever there was power outrage! The temple poojari played a Bajan cassette sung by Bhimsen Joshi and Lata. Meera Bhai Bajans were so good that I eventually got addicted. I asked the poojari if he could lend the cassette so I can record it. He gave me the cassette without even asking who I was.

There was one Umesh from Orissa he had a double cassette player. I asked him to record meera Bajans on one side and the super hit pop song "I want it that way" and few others. I named the cassette "Ram Naam Dhoom Dham". My favorite Bajan that made me record the cassette was "Baajere muraliyaa baaaje......". Others were, sumati seetharaam aatmaraam, krupa saroovar kamalmanohar.... Yes there was a Hindi song too "Mere hivadame nache moore thaka thaiyya..".

"Bajere muraliyaa ": it is from this Bajan I became interested in Hindustani. I heard it so much that I gathered courage to sing it in the department. After few years my all time favourite is Aami Khans "aaj more ghar ayina balma...". Thanks to my neighbours they tolerated when I shouted along with Aamir khan. I heard Rashid khan recently 6 months ago I think.

I enjoy it when I can get to the mood of the song. Then I can think of my own variations, anticipate improvisation. I mess up the shruti (drone). It is very hard for me to sing a song in a different shruti. Simply I need training otherwise I suck.

I will start learning Hindustani some day when I get back to India. Why? There is no alternative way of experiencing that kind of bliss. I do not drink but We can get to an emotional state listening and more so while singing; I do not think it is possible to reach such a state doing something else.
Oh yes I returned the cassette to poojari promptly.


  1. Nice writeup... damn you man.. now ppl from other cities will flock towards Koranti


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