Monday, May 18, 2009

The Naming Ceremony- Desh Raagam Description

The Naming Ceremony

The rays of the Sun had not even broken through the morning mist when the preparations began. The men were hanging up the torans of mango leaves and chrysanthemums, some filling vessels with water; “The time when they cut off the water supply is very unpredictable, and most likely to happen on days like these” the elder one commented sagely. Young mothers bathed their children en masse in the backyard, dragging the mischievous half-soaped ones to the water tap who ran helter-skelter absorbed in their play. Older women prepared delicious dishes in the kitchen delegating work to anyone and everyone who entered it in the hope of a bit of the goodies, thus successfully shooing off the ones who came and also anyone who had planned to set foot in the kitchen. Work was on at a formidable pace, the guests will start arriving soon! Usha, go and help the mother get ready, she will still be cooing her baby without readying him! Subbu, tell your uncle to ready the plantain leaves for breakfast, I hope we have enough for all the guests… and tell that girl Lata to freshen up! Its about to strike 7 and she looks as if she is sleepwalking!

In the next half-hour activity reached its peak. By 7:45, every face sported a smile and the house sported a cheer that befitted the occasion. The children played gaily in the veranda, silk dhoti-clad men and women in bright sarees added glamour to the setting. When the new parents entered with the tiny infant in the lady’s arms, there was a collective cheer to which the child responded by emitting a cry in his thin, high-pitched voice which brought another round of laughter. The mother laid the child in the cradle decorated with silk and a silver hanging (the grandparent’s gift for the firstborn). Together the new mother and father rocked the cradle calling out to their child “Surya, Surya, Surya..”. Who could guess the depth of emotions in those two faces as they looked upon their newborn and called out his name? A world of sentiments congregated in their eyes, undistinguishable in the fervor with which they felt it- love, exultation, pride, a warmth igniting their very souls, and a sense of wonder holding the reins over them all. The Universe is a mystery, a veil covering so many secrets. But right now, it was banished by the tiny bundle in front of them. Today, they couldn’t spare a moment even to the sense of wonder; today they lived the enigma without caring about the why of it.

The celebrations continued with renewed vigor after everyone had their fill of breakfast, coffee and sweets. Everyone wanted to hold the child, bestow their gifts, congratulate the parents. The guests took the child from the parents and cooed over him trying to interest him with their clicking tongues and snapping fingers. The child gurgled in a sleepy stupor sending them into raptures of delight. The parents were loath to part with their child, wanting to look at him till their minds and eyes were utterly sated. But even the guests wanted to see the beauty of their child, and how could they deny anyone the joy of looking at him? Whenever they chanced to have him in their arms, they teased each other that he looks like you. Every little detail about him was absorbed by their eyes to be stored in their cherished memories, to be recounted at leisure, to be the source of another loving argument. And yet again, the child would be taken by some loving aunt or uncle, leaving them to continue teasing each other that he looks like the other, its your nose the child has got, its your shrill voice he’s taking after, its your temper he’s got when he screams so……..

The Inspiration:
This is what I visualized when I listened to Lalgudi Jayaraman Sir, the master violinist’s own composition in Desh Ragam. Yes, his music is truly potent, I did nothing except close my eyes and this vision swam before my eyes…….

Here's the link. Listen to it. I would love to know what your mind sees when you hear it too. Click on Desh and hit Play.


Monday, May 11, 2009

I created a blog.
11:15, monday night.