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January 11, 2011

Group Songs

I rushed home and threw myself all over my mom and announced “Amma, I got selected”.
For a moment, she would have thought it’s the Indian Civil Services I was talking about.

“Selected into what moaneh?” she instantly threw a question seasoned with motherly hope.

“My school’s group-song team amma”.

I was in my 2nd class (in a boys’ school) at that time. That’s when I started discovering skills in me I didn't even know existed. I used to feel so proud when a random 3rd standard student I usually run into in the school urinal, standing right beside me piddling, holds out his ‘unengaged’ hand for a handshake "Hey. Weren't you part of the group
that sang Asathoma sadhgamaya on stage on Independence day?”
With an indefinable sense of pride, I would finish ‘it’ up first and then leisurely clasp his hand, uttering an arrogant "Yup" and quickly draw myself away.

Mrs. Swarna Latha, a teacher and self-proclaimed head of singing department in school, selected about eight class-2 students (including me) with promising tonal and rhythmic abilities to redefine the singing futurity of our school. Any school event – republic day, independence day or annual day – our group ruled the stage banging away patriotic and devotional chartbusters. From correcting us during rehearsals to applying lipstick to our mouths before performances – Mrs Swarna Latha took care of everything. I wasn’t the lead vocalist of the group, however, on any given performance day, you could always locate me at either of the extremes in the front row - wearing white kurta-pyjama and red lipstick while looking straight into the sky, passionately singing away "Hum bulbule hain isukkiiii...."

This lasted for a couple of years and I was (approximately) in class 5 by then. A couple of days prior to our annual day, in between a dry-run which she was supervising, she called me over “Tch. Your voice range is somewhat different now a days. If you don’t mind, can you please stand in the second row, hmm…behind G.Vishwanatham?” -- And I sincerely believed her. And continued singing standing in the second row with the same spirit and joyful enthusiasm as I did before.

My participation in group songs (standing behind G.Vishwanatham) continued until class 6 when, for reasons incognita, Mrs Swarna Latha didn’t call me in for rehearsals for the upcoming republic day.

"I saw Vishwanatham going to the rehearsals room sometime ago"  Sudhakar, yet another classmate told me. I immediately ran up to the rehearsals room. I saw Mrs.Swarna Latha standing by the window leisurely turning over pages of a notebook in her hand. The other singers were in a group few feet away having their silly talks --break time may be, I thought. She saw me getting in and I went right up to her to share critical information "Teacher, you forgot to call me for the rehearsals teacher"  my hands folded and legs straight, in the white-blue typical school uniform.

She cleared her throat “Actually, I didn't call you because your voice wouldn't suit this song. Can you please go back to your class room now?” was all she said. I extrapolated the hidden message. And I silently went back to my classroom. Like Kamal Hassan in Moondram Pirai I broke into tears with confused squalls.

Thereafter, I never got any calls for rehearsals from Mrs.Swarna Latha. So during all such school events, one could invariably locate me clapping hands aloud sitting in the very first row in front of the stage.


irfanuddin said...

hehehe... how honest u r here, while sharing this..... gud.

(lets laugh @ourself... my new post)

Anonymous said...

Good one from your school days...i remember your singing days..especially the event you mentioned in your blog. ...

Unknown member of that singing group..

Victor Guerra said...

Orai Sudhir Mamidipalli ? Is that you, the same guy who stood in the second row extreme, while I was a little better on the first row extreme?

Nonsensefile!! said...

"Ouch" to your exit from the song team, but it made a good read. Like your style, following you!

Victor Guerra said...

Thanks nonsensefile.

magiceye said...

:) love your write!