The Season is round the corner in Chennai and all kinds of classical music performers are going to come out from under the rocks and swarm the music sabhas all over the city. There will be good, bad and the terrible performers. And the constant will be the music rasika exposed frontally to their rendering of art. Or at least their version of art.
I happened yesterday to got my hands on an article my father had written on 19th December 2002 – at the peak of The Season, after perhaps undergoing a frontal attack of a mediocre artist (bless him for what he inspired of my dad). Coincidentally, yesterday was September 10th, dads birthday. It looks like this was meant for either The Hindu or The Indian Express, or some publication I am not sure. And I am not sure either if it was published at all.
But here I present to you, verbatim, the article I found.
The singer on the dais after battling it out and making mincemeat of raga Shanmugapriya in his Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi – part of his concert, suddenly went rather effeminate.
He became a Kopikasthree as I’ve seen in dance programmes and started pleading – nay, bleating in raga Yamuna Kalyani to Lord Krishna to hurry up and waste no time to borrow.
From her, obviously.
(Pathenote: Listen here. This is Hariharan singing, I’d imagine, a much better version(though NOT at his best). Inserted here for your benchmarking reference to the raag and lyric)
The singer made her beg of Lord Krishna, in a line of words in three (if my counting was correct) different languages: Kannada, Tamil and English.
We have known Kopikas pleading with Krishna for their dress back at the village pond, chance to dance with him, etc., etc., but this was a rather strange request, wasn’t it, to Krishna to please hurry up, waste no time, in fact rush forth to borrow.
Why should lord Krishna borrow? And be very quick about it too? Did he ever tell anyone he was hard-up for cash? Was that Kopikasthree making that strange plea in fact a money lender keen and anxious to invest her surplus money and earn an income by way of interest at God knows what rate of interest? Has she not heard of other avenues of investment like Mutual Funds, Bonds, Shares, Debentures, etc., etc?
It is obviously then a borrowers market up there. Too much money lying around, idle and yawning in boredom of inactivity. That particular Kopika madam must have already invested some of her money on cows. But how many cows Gokulam could accommodate, already full of cows all over the place? Too many cows, too many Kopikasthrees, but only one male around, in the person of Krishna. Couldn’t they think of any other trade or business than of milk, curd and churning butter thereof? And Krishna was helping himself to butter from every household.
A likely story, indeed.
They just wanted to lean on a male and all this attempt at a irrational rational explanation is just a cover-up giving the whole romantic affair a spiritual veneer!
There seemed to be no schools, polytechnics, computer institutes to provide the girls there with some useful diversion and concentration. All that they had, to pass the time of the day was to long for the male company of Krishna.
There is no mention of Krishna’s response to the open offer of a loan. The singer did not present the other side of the story. The audience was left to work it out whether Krishna proceeded to sign a promissory note, which doubtless, the lady moneylender would have promptly produced before him before parting with the money on that quick, double-quick loan.
If I were Lord Krishna, I’d just tell the materialistic Kopika off.
“Scram lady, get lost! Why don’t you just confine yourself to Jalakridai (playing in water) with me? No ugly commercial abhaswaram in our song and dance routine, understand? Keep our playful flirtations pure and free from filthy lucre. Nobody tells me, or calls me to borrow. I just wont allow that. It’ll be, if ever, entirely at my discretion. And there’s always my mom to turn to, in case of need. Who needs cash, anyway when I’ve the card? Sorry, is it curd taken out of milk and not the card? No card, no ATM cash? Well, never mind you’ve made your offer and thanks for considering me creditworthy. But must you make it known to the entire world, in raga Yamuna Kalyani that id rush to you to borrow at your mere say-so? ‘Neither a lender nor a borrower be!’ That’s my motto, principle. That’s what I intend saying in The Gita which, for your advance information, I am going to deliver later, after all this fun and frolic at Gokulam, at the battlefield to a confused Arjuna. Even if I do miss uttering that quotable quote in The Gita, what with all the war-cries around, I’ll let one William Shakespeare say that in one of his plays, as if it was all his own, original, much later in the flow of Time. Who said it isn’t important? What’s said is important.”
“So, go back, my dear Kopikastree, I’ll call you. You don’t call me. But then tell me why you chose raga Yamuna Kalyani of all the thousands of ragas?
Oh you use Mukhari Raga* for bad loans?