The Indian Gene

07 Jun

She was barely able to talk and said, “aa…a..a…” with a tinge of melody.

“Ponna pathiya , ennama padara.” “Enga aaa…”. Blame it on the indian gene, which thinks almost everyone is a good singer , right from when they are born.

She was around 3 when encouraged to learn singing. Not that she might have singing as a profession, but just because she had all the characteristics of a good singer. ” Mogu, elli aunty ge ,lambodhara hadi thorsama”. And the aunt, out of sheer courtesy says that their daughter is very gifted and can grow to be a very good singer if properly trained. Blame it on the Indian gene which makes people think singing is easy and general courtesy, where people tend not to be straight forwarded.

By 7, she lost interest in classical music just after starting Varnams, but started singing all movie songs. Blame it on the Indian movie industry , which is abound with hummable music. To be frank, songs which anyone can hum,not just a good singer. From then on, in all get-togethers, she was asked to sing her favourite movie song, which shamefully turned out to be ,” Idhu rathiri neram , ammama, ammama, ammama,” and she sang religiously with all the rightly connotations , much to the glee of her sisters and cousins.

She was 14 when the carnatic bug bit again,much to her parents’ enthusiasm .They bought her a shruthi box and she was the class favourite , not to mention that she was the only 14 year old among all the 4 year olds. Paatu Maami’s chella kutti, she was. Blame it on teenage confidence , which makes teenagers think that being better than 4 year olds makes you the best.

She was 15 and ready to take her board exams for 10th . “Singing can be learnt anytime but board exams come only once”, the parents said. She had barely made it to the Varnams and the shruti box was used as a desk. Yes, it was one of those huge harmonium types. Blame it on the Indian gene , which prefers education to anything else. A good education is a must at any age.

She finished her studies with flying colors, got married , moved to the US, working in a reputed firm and her singing was confined to bathrooms and cars. On finding a music class close to home, she decides to hone her singing skills again. Starts again from Sarali Varisai and this time with an electronic shurthi box. Bummer ! Gets pregnant and the shruthi box is used to soothe the baby to sleep. Blame it on the Indian society and family , where you are expected to reproduce and show off your fertility within 2 years of getting married.

Her daughter starts cooing “aaa….aaa” at 6 months… .”I think she has just the right voice to sing, We have to put her in a music class from early on”.


Posted by on June 7, 2009 in General


4 responses to “The Indian Gene

  1. Sri

    June 9, 2009 at 4:17 am

    Nicely written.
    I must comment with guarded “nicely written”.. blame it on my Indian gene 🙂

    This blog captured the real issue (I would not call it a problem) in a matter-of-fact and funny way.

    Well done my girl..
    Ippo maama/maami vandu irukka paaru.. paadu parkallam?

    (turning to maama/maami): hee heee.. she always sings well.. little shy avalavu thaan…

    (maama/maami): Nalla kural valam…even my daughter was like this and she sings very well these days .. she is 14 now 🙂

    • shoba

      June 9, 2009 at 11:07 am


  2. Saumya

    June 9, 2009 at 9:25 am

    🙂 The Indian Gene confuses a lot of things! The sad things we want to make children all-rounders. We actually revel in the feeling that the children have talents outside of the mainstream, but we still have that inate insecurity of first securing a living, and then doing what you like!!

    • shoba

      June 9, 2009 at 11:08 am

      I think this might change in the future generations , when one starts finding out that engineers & doctors may not be secure too.


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