Music lesson


The whispered notes of the sitar player merge with the introductory alaap of the tabla player; and the beats form a rhythm that slowly expands, as I half listen to the build of the Megh Malhar raag, as classical Indian music is not really my thing. Then the maestro starts in his deep voice and suddenly I am mesmerized by his words. He seems to reach deep inside me and open windows to my soul, that I thought even I had forgotten long ago. The raag takes on a body and the sitar player seems to have suddenly strung his sitar with my heart strings and the tabla player is pounding out my hidden emotions with his rapidly moving fingers it feels, and I forget all that I was doing. The maestro’s voice takes on a different hue and the urgency of his words take on a sinister mood; as he sings to the approaching dark clouds of the monsoons. He evokes a time and place that is primordial, and now I know I am lost and he has me and my world at his mercy.
He takes the words right out of my inner being; and asks the clouds to stop, and the thunder and lightning that accompany the coming showers to go away, and leave him to his loneliness. They have no business to bring this beautiful weather, while my love is still away, he sings. Now the beat is stronger and the melody faster; and my breath is shallower, as he pines for the lover that is away, but the rains do not stop. The maestro has now taken complete charge of my being and environment and a tear forms at the corner of my eye, as he brings the raag to a climax. How could this ancient song of a monsoon estrangement speak to me here in this southern state, I do not know? What is the magical power of this maestro to bring down the rains from the heavens and make my eyes flow freely at his pining. All I know is that I wish that he would stop; so I could breathe again, but he just goes into a faster and higher rhythm and the tabla and the sitar are now building up to a crescendo, which leaves me breathless. I weep with his pain and the pain of all the lovers who are thus parted over the eons, during this weather of love. The thunder and lightning flash and the earth is soaked under the onslaught like the sudden summer storm bursting outside my window, and I can feel the raw pain of his desire and the tempest just rises higher. I am thrown from a cliff and lie exhausted in a fetal position, as the maestro finally brings the raag to a close. I fall into a dreamless sleep; too exhausted from the baring of my soul, by a few strings of music and an ancient melody that magically controlled my environment, and left me defenseless in this storm of epic proportions.

7 thoughts on “Music lesson

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