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August 14, 2007

Ay monihaar aamay nahin shaaje

This necklace of precious stones does not suit me. It torments me – neither can I bear to wear it nor am I able to pull it off. Lost in such conflict, words fail me. My heart cries out, my mind wanders distracted. I find no solace in work.

I cannot face you with this necklace – my head hangs in shame. I don’t want this necklace; you take me, accept me. Only if you take the burden of this necklace, will I be able to breathe.

- Tagore

This song of Tagore's talks about the emotions that ran through him after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The same empire that had knighted him, had murdered so many people. He renounced his knighthood subsequently.

I have been learning Rabindra Sangeet from a supercool teacher in Bangalore for 2 odd months now. I find it very emotional and soulful, the best words I could come up with to describe the music! Atrei used to sing some of the songs when we were in New York. Heard Tuku sing them too. I just loved the music, though I could not understand what was being sung. When Gau mentioned that a friend of his had recently taken up playing the violin, I had an aha moment and decided to look for a teacher.

I came across Nandini Mukherjee on a google search. Thankfully the Hindu article had a phone number. She is great! Needless to say, she loves Tagore's songs and sings beautifully. She takes time out to explain the meaning to me and contextualize the songs. I love singing with her, our conversations in between practice about life, Tagore and everything :)


Shila said...

Hi Gaia,

Your blog is neat to read. I am a student interested in issues of sustainable development in India and am currently visiting Bangalore to learn about community health. Do you have any recommendations on places to visit or people to meet?

Gaia said...

Hi Shila,

Thanks for your msg!

I am not aware of community health initiatives. Will post here if I find out anything...

Anurag Hitchcock said...

aha- i see you have plenty of time to do your ramblings