Friday, September 4, 2009

The percussion passion!

This post has been long pending but had to get it out today. From toy drums to vessels, from little dholaks to basins, from drum-sticks to spoons and ladles... V's repertoire of playthings (read percussion instruments) is fairly big.
It all began a year back when a neighbor gifted a toy drum on  V's first birthday. Long before that, when he was barely  a month old, my father bought this toy dholak from T.Nagar. But V's 'no-germs-from-anywhere-obsessive' amma stashed it off in a place which even she could n't remember. After the toy drum arrived, it became V's only passion for life. Soon the long forgotten dholak also came out. So the drum's sticks were used on the dholak (also called mirudangam, thavil for V's sake) and vice versa. Soon, a toy xylophone joined the party. So all three were used together and what it resulted in was a harmonious cacophony. Glass tables were beaten upon amidst fiery Nooos. Rice drums, steel plates, idli plates were all the variants that formed the jugalbandhi from time to time.
V, whether he is at home or at a friend's place does n't  bother whenever another kid plays with his toys. He generously lets the other play with his toys and just sits and watches them! I, needing one other reason to panic did n't know what to make out of it. I was a little worried that V was not 'normal' because he does not fight for himse...errr...his toys, much to H's consternation who just wanted to let him be. My fears were nullified one day (some three, four months back) when a friend brought along her three year old. That kid was playing with V's toys and as usual the little mister was the silent spectator. Suddenly V started crying uncontrollably albeit from the place he was seated without moving an inch. We first could n't find the reason and then it dawned on us. The other kid was playing with V's dholak! Thankfully when he saw V crying, he gave him back the dholak and started playing with the drum....Generous kid! And I was son is not 'all angel'!
Apart from rhyme videos what keeps him 'occupied' are...hold your breath... videos of naathaswaram kutcheris where the thavil vidwans go dum dum tak to  his delight. These days, "kurai Ondrum Illai' and Old Macdonald have taken the backseat. V wants to listen to Naathaswaram as he goes to sleep! H began  playing a piece, one that became popular as the 'western note' in the film 'Thillana Moganambaal". The one that we have is by Namagiripettai Krishnan. Since the note begins with "Ga ma ga ri ga pa" swaras, the song is 'Ga-Ma' to V. So it is 'Ga-ma' paadu (sing) or podu (play) all the time. He sits with his drum and I have to play the 'pippee pippee' with whatever is available - the remote control, spoon, stick, toy trumpet or anything that has a handle! The lazy amma can't get past the 'ga-maga-riga-pa' part and continues with more pipee pieeee...
He seems to be showing some interest in music...but I am not going to get carried away. Even if the familial pressures are greater than those that originate in the Bay of Bengal this tough 'nut' is not going to crack (already 'people' are talking of putting V in singing and mridangam classes and insist that I play the music DVDs when everyone is around. Also, I must add a reminder to read this post a few years later to check if the determination has persisted or has fizzled out!!)
In the meanwhile, whenever we meet the neighbor who had bestowed upon us a truck load of goodness by gifting the drum, we never fail to thank them for their thoughtfulness so much so that whenever they catch us from the corner of their eye, they run a mile in embarrassment. It actually turned that the neighbor aunty had bought some 'A-B-C' kinda toys and her husband who did not want to burden such a young child with educational toys exchanged that with the toy drum. After we learnt that story we now praise the uncle and only he does the running these days.
I want to add a lot of thing to this post that they don't strike right now and I hope this is good enough for me to take a trip down memory lane a few years later. The reason for the hurry is that, a couple of days back 'Thilla Moganambal' was telecast on KTV and poor V was asleep then. But as if taking a cue in his sleep he got up much earlier (much to my dismay) and sat watching the 'pipee pipee, dum dum, not quietly though what with him playing the drum to 'accompany' the artists on screen. So there I more thing to add to my woes...while I thought it was only a matter of time before V catches up with power rangers, dora, mickey mouse and what not and all the happy struggles between amma and his he was watching Sivaji Ganesan's histrionics in 'Thillana Moganambal'!

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