Music of a Sunday

If there is any one art that could wrench your heart right out, what would it be? 
For me it's easy...music. Nothing - not film, not theatre, not visual art - can match music for me. I'm admittedly a pop music junkie and somewhat addicted to Youtube. Born in 1966, I was ripe for the sounds of the  ‘70’s. Led Zepellin’s Immigrant Song to this day can turn my head right round, right round, make me go down, down. But the ‘80s were also fantastic – Oh, Prince! Or T.A.F.K.A.P, why have you disallowed your songs from being played on Youtube? Besides pop, I will listen to most anything that answers for me all those vague karmic longings - MS Subbalakshmi’s Shuprabhatam, Dexter Gordon playing ‘Round Midnight, Billie Holiday singing God Bless the Child, Abida Parveen, Bhimsen Joshi, Daude, Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma…

Here’s what went down one week in October.

A team of German theatre-makers from the Schnawwl Theatre were in Bangalore to meet musicians, experience sounds and instruments and jam on certain ideas for theatre. I roped Kuki in because I knew he’d have some funky places up his sleeve. Sure enough, he first took us to the old music shops in Balepet. Through narrow corridors and between pawn brokers, he led the way, telling us that all the old shops that had previously specialized in veenas and mridangas were now beginning to make guitars. Bingo! As we entered the first shop, dusty and interesting, a young family, mother and two sons, walked in and asked to buy a guitar.

We looked in on a khanjeera maker and bought beautifully crafted goat skin khanjeeras (lizard skin khanjeeras can only be purchased by traditional khanjeera players) for the remarkably low price of Rs 150 a piece.

And then on a Sunday, a bevy of musicians brought their loveliness to Infinite Souls. 

Vidushi Shanthi Rao & C.N.Anand. 

Ambi Subramaniam, incredibly talented son of Dr.L.Subramaniam.


Coordt was on hand with his cajon and Kuki with his guitar.

And Shrunga, the young actor playing Naz in Boy with a Suitcase, all ready to improvise with his script.

In the soft October light and with a wind coming through the banana field, we listened to them. Painting pictures in sound, Carnatic making way for Hindustani, Kuki always solicitous of others, listening to the intention behind Shrunga’s words, trying to create through silence and sound the experience of travel, danger, strange lands, longing.

Then Pallavi’s vachanas ringing true through open space and reaching the ears of Neighbour Huchappa and his goats. This unusual combination of Kannada words in the Hindustani style... Indina dina Aananda

Bob Dylan once wrote of Joan Baez’s voice
“When all at once the silent air
Split open from her soundin’ voice
Without no warnin’ from her lips
An’ by instinct my blood reversed
An’ I shook and started reachin’ for
That wall that was supposed t’ fall”

Pallavi has that sort of voice; a “soundin’ voice”.

Shanthi and Ambi playing a tillaana together. The one so experienced, playing her veena, Goddess Sarasvathi’s instrument. The other so young, playing his violin. My heart, floating elsewhere.

Just as Shrunga speaks about goats or cattle, Huchappa’s goats being meh-mehing.

Actor/director Josefina Baez often uses the word “gladly”.
Gladly, I lived that Sunday.
Gladly, I heard this music.


  1. This rainy Sunday,sitting at home& thinking of that beautiful, sunny, wonderful Sunday with super music. Thank you.

  2. Hey the time is 6.34pm not 5.02am

  3. i'm jelous. I always want to be in this music. maybe someday