Tabala

When the fingers speaks!

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A tribute to my guru late Korambu Subramanian Nampoothiri.

A comment on one of my earlier post about him prompted me to sit down and record this video.

I was lucky to learn mridangam from him during my childhood days. He used to come home all the way from Peruvanam temple, approximately 15 kms away from my home, after finishing his temple duties. Half way walking and half way by bus, to save money for taking care of his family with his meagre income from the temple. The fees that time was somewhere very very small (if I remember correctly Rs. 10/-). There was no greed or instinctive approach to get the students to the so-called mainstream limelight by way of arrangettam within 1 or two months of learning during those days.

Again, if I remember correctly, a group of students including me, did our arrangettam during Koodalmanikyam Temple Festival after several months or years of training. I still remember the songs and my stage fear during that day in front of the large audience. His humble and simple presence sitting in front of us encouraging us not to miss even a single beat.

Again, if remember correctly, Uma was singing and then Rajesh, Ranjith and other stalwarts amongst us joining the group. The small start that day then slowly transformed to a bigger and better version and became the first of its kind in percussion history, named as “Mridangamela”, which is now being diligently presented each year at Koodalmanikyam temple festival by his children with students who are learning directly as well as through online.

I am really worried about the parents these days who force and influence different channels to get their children to play musical instruments or get on to stage with a short stint of direct training or alarmingly even with online training!.

Relax, they are children and let them practice and play on and on… Daily practice is very important. And do not expose them until they are well versed and get the full go-ahead from their gurus.

Again, I am also worried about the gurus who give consent to children performing within a short time period of training…If you do that you are doing injustice and spoiling a genuine talent.

My pranams to my guru late Korambu Subramanian Nampoothiri.as I present this practice session of today. Nothing special, just played and recorded what came into my mind. No mathematics, physics or whatever involved….purely divine presentation to him and also to my divine guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Yes, it is also very important to have a good musical system and also great support from the person behind the sound console for the success of a musical presentation. There should be also strict discipline among those accompanying artists to play within the framework and guidelines.

My humble pranams to all my manasa gurus, to whom I listen and observe online as well as through phone or other channels and whenever possible directly and learn various tips and tricks from them.

Each day, yes I practice every day, in front of him and my only prayer to him is bhagavan – when I play, please be with me and let you play through my fingers and not to miss even one beat. Hence the name for this video : When the Fingers Speaks”. Sri Gurubhyo Namah and Om Sri Sairam.

Once again, this is just a practice session and have not followed any strict patterns or guidelines.