Attended a musical evening organized to commemorate "Sharad Poornima" day before yesterday. It wasn't anything "Heavy" (Classical), but the usual Film songs based on the theme of "Chaand". I too sang an everlasting Mukesh number "Chaand aahein bharega, phool dil, thhaam lengey". But this post is not about my singing ability or rather the lack of it ! The show was started by a singer of the orchestra which was invited to provide the support to our over enthusiastic efforts. And what a blemishless performnce it was ! He rendered an evergreen Jagjit Singh ghazal "Kal chaudahveen ki raat thhi". With the full moon rising above the upper lake (Badi Jheel) of Bhopal and a gentle breeze blowing across the lawns (show was organized in a housing society facing the lake), we felt transported to another world. There could'nt have been a better start to the evening.
At the end of the rendition however, all of us got the shock of our lives when the compare announced that the singer cum keyboard artiste was in fact blind ! During the entire period before the show commenced, all of us had interacted with the entire group of the orchestra in order to rehearse our songs, but never did we get even a clue that the lead keyboard artiste was blind. He in fact was guiding the auxillary keyboard artiste regarding the change of beats, sound frequencies etc ! We all felt subdued in front of this man who had conquered all odds to pursue his hobby.
This brings me to the point which I always knew but never realized - that music is felt or experienced and not "Learnt". That is why in Indian music there is so little emphasis on the visual aspect. Of course I'm not talking about the crass Item numbers or the remixed fare that we are subjected to these days. This is the reason why we instantly close our eyes the moment we hear a soul stirring peice of music. Music therefore transcends all barriers and unites us with our true self. I am indeed grateful to the blind artiste (Mr.Ravi.Rao) who showed to me the pathway of appreciation of music in the fullest sense.