Monday, April 14, 2008

As I dream of my son becoming a...

really good carnatic music vocalist, I see the Gods lining up against me and having their share of fun. KB loves music - like all children love music when exposed to it, he does too. He used to bring me CDs from our CD rack and ask me to play particular CDs that he chose for that moment. But for the last couple of months or so, he has learned to open up the CD case carefully, insert his index finger in the center of the CD and put in a new CD very carefully without touching the edges of the CD. So now I feel safe in telling him to just pick a CD and put it in himself.

And there lies the problem too. He decides what CD and puts it in himself - but this choice never includes carnatic music! I see that the more I pine to see my son, who seems to have keen music sense, showing promise of being a good singer, more likely it is that he will probably go completely in the western track and only that. Or may be he is just teasing me - which is very likely knowing him. He can identify a ton of CDs by their case now. He opens his eyes bright and wide and says "Mamma, am going to play Thelesio Monk" (for Thelonious Monk). That CD gets over and he keeps track of it while doing something else and tells me "CD mudinj peth" (CD over). He runs back to the CD rack and brings "The Moody blues" and turns that on. That's done and he brings "Tchaikovsky". And then "Leonard Cohen" his ultimate favorite. I hear him hum "Every body knows that the dice are loaded". He talks to his Periamma and sings this to her!

After a round of random selections of all non carnatic music CDs by him, I tell him hopelessly, "KB please can you play mamma's favorite CD - kurai onrum illai"? He looks at me like he is the older one looking at a child and says "Yen daa kurai onrum illai'ye poda maatengre?" (Why don't you want to put "Kurai Onrum Illai" CD?). And then says, "Mamma sad". I tell him, "Amam Kanna...Mamma very sad. Can you pleaaase put Kurain onrum illai? Mamma is very sad that you don't play it". He pauses. Looks at me intently for a second. And says "Mamma Mamma don't be sad...I'll give mamma a hug".

KB runs to me and hugs my legs while I continue cutting vegetables.

"KB so are you going to put Kurai onrum illai now?"

"Noooouu....I am going to put "Dire Straits".

Save for the fact that he really enjoys carnatic music when I sing it to him, I would have completely given up all hope of him singing it for me. I enjoy all the other music, but if I dream of him singing for me, I dream of him singing carnatic music, not playing electric guitar for me. Don't live your dreams through your children, Noon, I tell myself. I think to myself "Well, at least he loves music as much as I do...thank God for that". After nearly two months of this sort of discussion between me and KB, this morning he very decidedly went to the CD rack, picked up a CD and went and played it. It looks like he does like to tease me. He did not play "Kurai Onrum Illai" after all. But I was over joyed to hear M.S.Subbulakshmi singing "Mudakaratha modakam". Again this is a song he knows quite well because I sing it to him very often. Well, at least he finally gave in and played one carnatic CD for me after all these days! I can't tell you how happy I was at this trivial thing he did for me!

22 comments:

ranjani.sathish said...

Noon
I think the reason KB does not pick up any carnatic music cd to play, might be that he thinks none of the cd aunties (MS, or any other person) sing as well as his mom ;-). Have you thought on those lines ? May he just loves to hear the songs only from you !!!!!

DotMom said...

jazz is just as good :) and its hard not to like dire straits :)

noon said...

Hey Ranj - you flatter me! But I don't have any such illusions! :) I think he doesn't like the CD covers for carnatic music and now it has become funny for him to not put it because I want it so badly...kutti villain! :) I tell him, No puppy, I don't like "Steely Dan" and he really literally opens his eyes wide and quietly tells me in a whisper "I like Steely Dan"! And esp if he plays one "Kenny G" CD that I have - it sounds like elevator music - really boring CD - he puts it on and tells his dad "Mamma doesn't like Kenny G". I don't know how all this started!

noon said...

Dotmom - I agree - Can't not like Dire straits...and I do love a lot of the jazz CD's he chooses - those are our CDs after all...and it is good in a way - thanks to him changing the CDs so promptly every time he is around, we get to listen to good music. My only lament is that he simply will not choose a single carnatic CD. I just don't get it - he obviously is accepting of all kinds of music - from Nusrat to western classical to rock to Jazz - why not carnatic - I just don't get it...this is why I think it is destiny! I so want him to love it and he so doesn't want to play it even! :)

utbtkids said...

What's wrong, Noon dear? I don't get it.

Ain't it all music?

Do you think Unnikrishnan/KJ and other great cranatic musicians listen only to carnatic music?

I think it is 50% experimentation and 50% teasing. Give it a blind eye and things will reslove by itself.

noon said...

UTBT - No, I am not complaining in any serious manner - if I was so serious that he should listen to only carnatic music, I would not have exposed him to all this other music - I could have made all these CDs inaccessible...it's just that it was interesting to me how I am all gung-ho about carnatic and he so actively avoids playing any carnatic CD! I feel so curious to know how his mind works...when I see him sometimes standing in front of our CD rack and pulling out each CD and looking at the CD cover, putting it back...picking the next...and then suddenly in an instant decides on a particular one...and is very sure of it. And in all this, not once he has chosen carnatic...even if he examined the CD covers for a few seconds...:)

Poppins said...

I think it's wonderful what he's doing. He gets to hear carnatic from you anyways so he's exposing himself to the other genres. He's got a musical gene for sure!

artnavy said...

u shld be happy - he is gaining exposure to all kinds of music and who does not like Dire Straits

maybe u could have some male carnatic singers he can relate to? just guessing....

the mad momma said...

ha ha. too cute. yeah yeah KB my boy - go listen to some more rock and roll. this mad auntie will send you some just to harass mommy :D

S.Praveen said...

Hi, was surprised to see this post when I recently asked for some recommendations from u on kids music.
And btw I cud mail u some Guitar Prasanna, try it on him :) can I?

utbtkids said...

As you said, it must be very interesting to find out his thinking process and reasons to pick a particular CD. But the mystery makes it even more romantic.

I can see Chula is very musical. But self and hubby are not. The only music that plays are the tamil rhymes in the car.

She loves MS voice. She sits next to the source and listens patiently till Bajagovindam plays fully. She is able to distinguish between arohanam and avarohaman.

Some times she asks me to sing a particular rhyme in a particular tune and to my dumb ears it all sounds the same. She does her best, repeats, but in the end gets frustrated :)

Fortunately she gets exposed to music in school. Plenty of creative music.

I had been thinkingof getting her some formal instruction. But no luck so far.

The TAAMommy said...

That is just amazing that your son knows so much at this amazing young age. I do play Carnatic when he goes to sleep, but doesnt bother anything to do with it. He just accepts. After telling to the girls, they now ask me, who is singing nowadays and i was thinking that itself is an achievement :)So easy to please me :)

noon said...

Poppins - well, I am happy, very happy - that he likes all kinds of music...and I don't know about the genes - but he surely seems to love music...it is in my hands to nurture it well...let's see...

Artnavy - I can't figure it out really (which is partly why I wrote about it)...he used to love Maharajapuram's Bo Shambo...even at 14m or so he used to ask for that particular song...and he used to love listening to Kurai onrum illai...but suddenly it all stopped...I think a)he did not find the CD covers interesting enough b)he figured I really want him to play carnatic so he actively avoids it...even though he likes it and wants me to sing it...

MM - you watch out woman, I will find ways to harrass you back! :?) Will just kidnap Brat and bring him here and put him in a cricket league! :)

S.Praveen - am so terribly sorry - you know I had/ahve all good intentions of getting all the links to difft CDs together and mail you about it...will surely do soon...
Guitar Prasanna - I have his CDs too - he likes one of them - he does like it - but that is a mix of carnatic/Jazz fusion music...but I will put this for him in the car now that you remind me - KB does like this CD - just that it is my car always...

noon said...

UTBT - see this is what I mean...if you don't care much about it - they do it...but if you are all keen on it - they don't! :) KB sings a bunch of bhajans and slokas - but it remains to be seen if he will enjoy learning carnatic music...
BTW - if you are serious about teaching carnatic music for Chula, and if you want her to learn it really well, just beg Ms.Anu Sridhar to take her in...train her enough with the basics and somehow get her as Chula's teacher - I think as a teacher she is just fantastic...I would have loved to have someone like that teach KB - but we don't live there so...

noon said...

Taamommy - I think all kids absorb things - just difft things fascinate difft kids...I think the reason he listens to all kinds of music is that he is genly not the "break this" kind of kid...so I was able to allow him to touch our CDs and look at them from a young age...and somehow I think gradually he got into it...if I had child proofed our CD rack none of this would have happened...

S.Praveen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S.Praveen said...

Hi thanks a ton :), no hurries, do it at ur convenience.

Do u think, exposing kids to film music based on carnatic music arouse further interest in them?

Mystic Margarita said...

It's great that KB is listening to different kinds of music, na? He'll learn to love Carnatic music more as he grows up and starts understanding the nuances, I'm sure.

noon said...

Hi Praveen - not sure...I think if the music appeals to a child it just does - no matter what...

Mystic - yeah am SURE (evil grin) he will like carnatic music - or else ! :)) (just joking).

Aryan said...

Ahh..how come i missed this post?? The blogger never showed this post though I visited you blog many a times to see if anything is new..
Happy that KB agreeed to put Mama's favourite CD.. And that song is anyway fantastic..
AM

bird's eye view said...

My kids are so into indian music - and no, not classical, though they do like sufi - that they refuse to dance when we put on westerm music. they just stand around looking awkward, these desi kids o' mine! I guess all parents get teh reverse of what they were, eh?

molarbear's posts said...

KB may, or may not, like Carnatic music; just leave it to him! As a Carnatic musician myself, I tried teaching my daughter, first myself, and then through a friend, but she didn't show a liking for it; so I left it at that. She sang in the choir at school and college, played the guitar reasonably well, and enjoys music a lot...and that's all that matters.