February 23, 2007

They also matter...

I felt very touched when I saw this father-daughter* combination working together, playing the melam beautifully at a wedding in Vishakapatnam. There was a certain dignity, a certain reverence to their craft, and a naturalness as they played their music.

There are not many women who play the melam, that too at weddings, so that makes this scene unusual. Yet, it was accepted as matter-of-fact, no one stared, there was no extraordinary curiosity. Except for my Kodak.

Unsung, unpublicized, there are ever so many genuine artistes in small corners of the world. One only needs to be sensitized to observe, and not necessarily comprehend or analyse.

Yet it is only a miniscule percentage that makes it to the magazine sections of newspapers, and a smaller percentage still, that has a claim to fame...and if one is not alert, one can very easily get brainwashed into thinking that it is only those few that matter.

*Sri Balasubramanyam (a lecturer in a music college), and his daughter Kumari Lakshmi Suvarna.


dharmabum said...

very beautiful observation!

whats melam? we call it the nadaswaram here. and yes, women doing this are not many, but i have seen a couple of them too - long back!

as far as recognition and all - barring the survival aspect which can make things difficult, i think the reward of art is itself.

sadhana said...

Thanks so much, Dharmabum, for not only reading my stuff regularly, but for leaving your comments too...I do value them!

'Melam' in Telugu means 'shahnai'. Re the reward of art being the art itself... agree with you 100%.

dharmabum said...

curious na, in tamil, melam means sthing like a drum - percussion instrument :)

and the south indian nadaswaram makes a very different sound when comepared to the north indian variant called the shehnai, no?