Monday, March 30, 2009

I wonder

I am noticing that in most of the talent hunts, if the judges do not praise the participants - who are beginners, definitely have the raw material, (read talent) but which needs to be honed to become proper artistes of a certain quality - if there is no praise happening from the judges if a participant is deemed unfit in one particular round, then the judges and the show (if its an online event) are criticized, by the participants and their parents as well sometimes.
Talent today is definitely dime a dozen, but I have been brought up and have had the good fortune of being in the exalted company of refined musicians and more than anything else I have been brought up by one. I have been taught that a musician should always be in the readiness of a student and more than all that, students of any art form should not be subjected to praise in the nascent stages. And somehow, encouragement and praise seems to be confused now. I wonder if encouraging a musician requires sky high praise. The words "stalwart", "genius" is used very easily to describe younglings.
Great Gurus have almost never said a word of appreciation, though that amount of stoic behaviour might even be called corporal punishment these days, the maximum that they have done is probably give a wee bit of a smile or just a "hmm". Not more. This, makes the student yearn for that word of appreciation from the Guru and other learned musicians that they strive hard to be worthy of that honour. In about the same way, I have noticed several families asking the children to clear out of the area where elders congregate to talk. Childen/young adults were perhaps allowed to be their age and the onus was given on learning and education alone. Family set-ups made sure that the youngsters of the house did not indulge or subject themselves to anything that is frivolous in nature.
And now, I wonder if also this endless complimenting is encouraging insolence. At the same time, I have also noticed that the masters are not really bothered about the goings-on and nor do they discuss this phenomenon, if I may call it that. Very zen-like, they say, depending on the path one treads, its easy to figure out where someone might end up.
I have learnt especially in the very recent past that it is very necessary to move with people who have elevated thoughts and are refined human beings. For you to want to have the highest ideals, to be an achiever, it is necessary to surround yourself with people who are that way, no matter how scarce that breed might be. To move with people who have the highest intellect.
Just felt like typing this down. Perhaps the usual cathartic post. In a way, this post is like also telling myself to be better tomorrow, in whatever I do, than I am today.
To you, reading this, may you have the good fortune of moving with wonderful people who inspire you to reach the zenith.
Tathaastu

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Chinmayi,

Good that you keep your blog alive with very thought provoking topics of day-to-day life.

Keep up the good work!

Cheers
Viji R

Kannan - New York said...

"To move with people who have the highest intellect." - Thank you, thank you, this totally explains why you have become friends with me!

sakitya chaitanya said...

Art world has a well established circle that rings to hold the diamond called critic. They act as an interface between the art lovers and the artists. May be talent shows should stage real critics as judges rather than performers themselves. I always wonder that there is no protection from an odd performer chaired as a judge who feels threatened by any of the contestant and works against the objective of the talent hunt.

sakitya chaitanya said...

I can read that you simply adore and completely respect your upbringing. But what inspires me is your attitude of seeking inspiration. Guess having 'seeking inspiration' as an objective will create your World filled with such wonderful people who inspire you to reach the zenith.

Shiva S K said...

Dear Miss.Chinmayi..

Wonderful post indeed.. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the similarity of my thought process when i read the post, for I had just thought and written yesterday that there is just one way to live life and that is to stand out by being truly CLASSY in every which way.. Also, whatever i write i too do it as a means of telling it myself, as no one actually reads them except my parents..
Lets all constantly evolve as humans and never shall we get stagnated.. Cheers!

Bharathi said...

“And now, I wonder if also this endless complimenting is encouraging insolence” – this is a very valid point Chinmayee.

Most of us usually long to get back to our childhood days; we feel there is peace in those childhood innocence. But most of today’s kids have lost their childhood; thye have lost the beauty of being innocent. Most times it is their parents who hate their children’s innocence. They are forced into the ruthless world of competition and “Survival of the fittest “is the first lesson thought to kids.
Looks like they don’t have time for Amar chitra Katha or Aesops Fables. They are busy running behind accolades and compliments, not knowing what they are loosing.

I remember reading an interview of actress Kushboo, where she was asked what is the best thing about her kids. Her answer was that “They act like Children and they are typically how we were in our childhood. I am happy that they have not lost their innocence”

Are all our kids the same way? Shouldn’t children be allowed to enjoy their childhood?

Maheswari said...

Hello Chinmayi,

Good day to you.

"To you, reading this, may you have the good fortune of moving with wonderful people who inspire you to reach the zenith.
Tathaastu"

Thanks for these wordings Chinmayi.

Maheswari

Gayathri said...

Hi Chinmayi,

Nice post. Just couple of days back, I was talking to my friend that it is absolutely important to stay with the highest intellect. Sometimes we invariably get caught in a group or community that is not the best you could hope for. In that case I guess we should not get lost in the crowd and become a mediocre, but try to stay focused to excel as best as we can.

Cheers,
Gayathri

Sathiya said...

Hi Chinmayi,

I have a doubt which I think you can answer. I don't have any technical knowledge in music and hence when the judges say that Shruthi missing or Pallavi is wrong I don't understand anything. The doubts I have is, when a music director is composing a song will he keep all these things in mind? Or it is the responsibility of the Singer? When Mr. P.B. Srinivas was a guest recently in the Super Singer, I was surprised to know that he doesn't know carnatic music. So, when he sang in his days did he take care of all these things. I hear Tamil, Hindi, Telugu Songs sometimes English as well and I enjoy them purely based on the entertaining factor and the music itself. Is it a mandatory for a singer to learn music?

Regards,
Sathya.

Chinmayi Sripada said...

To sathya: there is a saying in hindi, taal gaya toh baal gaya, sur gaya toh sar gaya. Meaning lose the rhythm, lose your hair, lose pitch perfection and you lose your head.
YES IT IS Necessary to learn music if you want to be a professional singer. If you just want to pursue it as a hobby, than maybe not. Can you expect to get a job if you havent done 16 years of school and another 5-6 years of higher education? Then why is it that people expect fame, prosperity and everything else to happen, on no learning?? Why the step motherly treatment?? And legends like PBS had the good fortune to indirectly learn from most of the legends. Their ears were constantly bombarded with perfection. And they were willing to learn, from everywhere and there has been so much hard work. And yes they had more pitch perfection those days, the environment also contributed to that, the population, vehicles, generally the constant whirring of various motors/engines was not there. The atmosphere was more peaceful, aiding pitch perfection, and now it will be a tougher thing to maintain.
To any aspiring singer, I would definitely say learning music is necessary.

Arun said...

I have read in an article on Psychology.. It says that "When a persons sings a song he hears the voice of the actual singer of the song.. But the Ppl around him hear his voice..".. :).. SO better learn music and sing.. paavam naama oor karainga.. lol..

Sathiya said...

Thank you Chinmayi for taking your time out to clarify my doubts!

swathi said...

Hi Ms.Chinmayi,

That's exactly what I feel too, nowadays especially in our culture we see to it that we must praise in order for one to rise above the stars, but I think being encouraged and occasional critized has been deemed as the wrong way to bring up a child, especially in carnatic or in any art. I use to perform too and I was always told ways I could improve rather than getting that overpraise comments from my elders and I believe it helps you to grow more and build your knowledge :)
Some of the programs I watch with these singing competitions are overly 'nice' and don't help the singer grow.. I think they should be a bit more brutally honest like some of the American singing competitions, then we can truly see the real talent shine :)

xoxo

Swathi

Raymond said...

wow what an amazing topic
great to respect the real talent

Regards

Jayamurugan said...

Bitter Journey indeed :(
Hi Chinmayi,

Last week, when I was travelling to my hometown[Thiruvannamalai - which is hardly 3.5 hrs from Tambaram], bus driver stopped the bus near unknown hotel for dinner. Normally as per the rules I think they shouldnt stop anywhere as it is just 3.5 hrs of journey and also most of the buses to my hometown has been upgraded to Express Bus status. Even if they are stopping they should stop at Mamandur Hotel[which is a government run hotel]. Two of the passengers started fighting with the driver and conductor after they came back for the reason that they had not stopped bus @ Mamandur bcoz the food was not good at the stopped place and its been around 25 minutes time bus was stopped[they will stop for a max of 15 min normally].. Driver was not responding properly.. After bus started off, one of the passenger went near to him and asked for his name with the intention to book a complaint against the driver, he didnt tell the name and stopped the bus in the road. The passenger then came back as other passengers requested the driver to start the bus and asked this passenger to return back. All this fighting between passenger and driver had taken for just 5 min and driver started off the bus as per the request of the other passengers without giving his name. I remain a mute spectator. I found my guilty that I was not able to do anything like going in support to the passenger. I noted down the bus number and it is TN25 N 0057. When I informed this incident to my friend and one of relative both they told that nothing would happend even if you complain.. Also it seems that the drivers are stopping at unknown places just because of the fact that they will get free food from that hotel...

Just thought of sharing this...

Vicky said...

Hi,

Inspired about your quotes.. And i may tell you that i have learn't something very important for my career.. and that too from a person in the same line...Thanks a lot..

EsKay said...

Nowadays people are borught up with too much expectations. Even a slightest criticism is not welcomed let alone failure. Panel judges seem to be aware of this and looks like they try to meet the demand.

In the days of scoring 100% in science and close to perfection in literature, no one accepts anything less as an indication to success. Quality is aggressively diluted to keep the mass happy. In the world where Second best is considered to be a failure, how are we going to accommodate all the people to top echelon of the society. Well by degrading the quality.

'Vasishtar vaayaal maharishi' used to be the norm. But when Vasishtar is hard pressed for fame, certificates are easy to grab.

S.Kumar said...

Hi Chinmayi,
Truly your comments are very encouraging. As parents we always criticise our children and make them YEARN for good comments. My daughter complains that though she sings well we never praise her and she is fortunate that her guru also doesnot praise her.

The point is that when there are othere lesser performing students and they get praised by some event organizers and also some 'gurus', the really worthy student feel out of place. We see bias. But we should bring in maturity into the student to see the merit in criticism, evaluate and do self correction.

Chinmayi your blog brings in such thoughts and pursue on the path of perfection.

The younger generation always must be tutored to take in criticism positively and never be let down by praises.

As parents and mentors its the senior's role to play that part perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Well When young people find no excuse to pick up the handguns ...I think Art is something You gotta want it bad.

No matter how bad these younglings perform...they are still genius or stalwart in my books.

They are quite different from all those people whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his/her lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.

Appreciation is the magic rupee for all younglings to make a effort towards Art ...why not spend it without being wise ???

Aswin said...

good if people (parents in particular) read this.

Abdul said...

hi,
good post. except for this line-'For you to want to have the highest ideals, to be an achiever, it is necessary to surround yourself with people who are that way, no matter how scarce that breed might be'.
I completely disagree.
While the company of 'refined human beings' will influence our thinking I don't think it is NECESSARY to be surrounded by such people. We can learn from anybody and everybody, directly or indirectly. Because we look at the intellectual ones with awe and respect we learn from them. And we usually neglect the ones we think are inferior to us. Everyone we see teaches us something. It is our stupidity that we fail to learn.

I sometimes feel that I have not been blessed with the company of intellectual people but can't stop wondering if that company would have brought the same amount of joy and understanding of life as the people around have (who my earthly standards can't be called 'refined').
It is my humble belief that more than searching for intelligent company it is better to be such a company to the people around us.

Good day

Vivekram Venkataswamy said...

Hello Chinmayee,
Can you please let us know when Aahaafm will be back online? It has been many weeks we are out of touch from our country.....By listening to AahaaFm it seem we are in India. I really miss Aahaa FM. Please inform us when it will be online again.

Vivek

Senthil said...

Evry day when i open the blog i find topics of diversified nature...don really have words chinmayi...u bring in thoughts that are hidden in so much peoples minds these days.. way to go..

S.Kumar said...

Excuse me Chinmayi for a point.
Mr Anonymous and Mr Aswin have to differentiate between encouragement and flattery.
A child's psychology gets pampered by flattery and self sought praises and many times such pampering , praising goes overborard when the child grows-up. The Child as he becomes an youngster develops headweight later-on and that is self-destructive.
I am remembered of our Indian traditional Gurukul system wherein the students learn, they are encouraged, but never praised.
Viswamitra gave confidence to Rama during the yaga protection and said that "HE can" but even then he never praised HIM as he was GREATEST and so on.
That moulded the character of Rama and though HE is an avathar , HE lived the life of a human demonstrating how man should live.
We as seniors and must encourage our children and provide support but never extoll our children as great, legendary, prodigy and so on.
The line between talking encouragingly and indulging in self sought flattery has to be clear. Only then the child with talent will bloom into a fascinating flower emanating fragrance.

i,me,my music said...

Hi Chinmayi, Good post ya. Its vry true that sometimes the judges are not being honest n wrongly encourage the youngsters with sugar coated words which r dangerous to growing youngsters. Some ppl are clever enough to selectively take only the shortcomings. But the majority is the other lot. I loved this line, "This, makes the student yearn for that word of appreciation from the Guru and other learned musicians that they strive hard to be worthy of that honour." You will never stop learning if such ppl surround u. I am a student in tat way. Had been and love to be surrounded with strict, musically intellectual people .

Anonymous said...

hello chinmayi, your writing is amazing:) liked all ur posts.on seeing this one about new upcoming singers,i thought i could ask u this.. i have been learning music for around ten yrs..and my dream is to become a playback singer. but i do not have a clue as to whom i should approach or how to pursue it. can u give me your valuable suggestion?
janani.

Chinmayi Sripada said...

TO anonymous: People are as different as they come. Everyone's experiences are different. What drives me is the miracle of opportunity. I am offered an opportunity to express myself on several levels. There are people who would love to have the opportunities chances that I have. I am making full use of whatever I am being offered. And all these opportunities make me a better expressionist :) One of my big role models that way has been SPB. Here is a man who has done it all, singing, acting, dubbing, producing directing.. And in such a superlative manner.. I don't think he has left anything. I utilize most opporunities that come my way, and none of them have encroached upon my basic identity as a musician. I run a company, am a linguist though I don't have the time to be translating myself anymore, I am an RJ where I address social issues and would be doing more to bring about a change in the society, I have hosted on television, I am the voice behind some actresses and the whole process is brilliant, being the speaking voice of someone and being a part of story telling in that aspect.
Here I am and this is me and there is absolutely no necessity to be like someone else :D
And the person in question has been a judge on quite a few reality shows and as for the financials one of the highest paid as well. Hope that answers the questions :)