Friday, August 03, 2012

Life sometimes teaches us many things. I continue to learn. I can count with my both hands and a few toes the number of people that have contributed with well-wish and prayers to the person I am today. Only one person can take credit for this human being I am today, that is my mother. 

I happened to tweet about relatives  today and how suddenly I am remembered in super distant family circles that I have no idea about. I mean, you need to grow up with these people to know who is related to you and how. But then that's a different story. I happened to be in one of my sarcastic moods, but 140 characters sometimes doesn't convey sarcasm. It gets interpreted by the reader as anger. I wonder why. Sometimes, what I tweet is plainspeak. Perhaps someday I need to videotape 140 characters so that people know how I look :p OK now that's really too much, but I had to say that.

I repeat time and again there are things I won't forgive this Mr God for. And that is for the tough life mom had to face. For all her brain and intelligence, which truly intimidated and scared people then and they did everything they could to stop her, and they succeeded, sadly, and they are some of the biggest names in the classical music arena that one might know today. Celebrated as legends, great musicians. Perhaps. But I sadly saw faces that were loathsome behind all the marks of devotion that graced foreheads. Behind the silks. The said sanctity. Conniving. And I saw some 'great' people's true colours when I was around 8-9 years old. Was I disappointed. I totally was. The next time I met some of these people, even if mom told me to do a namaskaram, I wouldn't. I'd embarrass her. But that was me.

I was training to be a Carnatic classical singer. I belonged to a lineage. A certain school of music. Playback singing as a choice that happened when I was about 13. Around the same time I switched to Hindustani Classical music. I was a CCRT scholarship holder for young talents, was receiving the scholarship for Carnatic Classical, at a time when my judges were doyens like Smt Mani Krishnaswamy. Not easy to pass under their sharp ears and eyes. I remember her with fondness, one of the few people I truly respected in the Carnatic music field. 

However I threw in the towel and decided I will not sing Carnatic music - Why? Because I could never get on stage and praise some of the musicians I have known to be downright mean and unjust. I could never bow to them in obeisance. Even if mom kept telling me to respect the Saraswati in them. And then I was like why does She dwell in them at all? They don't deserve it. Such was my sense of perhaps misplaced justice (or whatever it was, foolhardiness or anything else you may want to call it) and I decided I ll never sing Carnatic classical on the competitive arena. I might sing it because I adore my mom's school of music. The way she sings. But not otherwise. My progeny will learn from her. Was my mom disappointed? Of course she was. She was sad. Perhaps she cried without my knowing. But she let me have my way. Inspite of people believing she has an iron hand over my life, she has let me take most of the decisions in life. I think any other parent in her stead would have asked me to shut and force me to sing Carnatic Music. Overnight she switched over to teach me Hindustani classical, something she pursued when she was in Bombay (that's what the city was when I was born there) for years. She was apprehensive, because she did not have a 'stamp' of a 'successful' musician. So she sent me to a few people. I would last 2-3 classes. And bounce back. That's all.

Sometimes they say you need the proverbial fire in your belly to push you toward your dreams. Just when I might even hazard to think that perhaps, just perhaps, God is contemplating being kind, the fire returns :) Someone's wrongdoing, a word here, an action there. And trust me on this. These words and actions have a certain effect. It is not about ignoring weirdos really. There are people we must ignore. And people we must not make the mistake of ignoring.

One might think that I had it easy with a break like Kannathil Muthamittal. But, (I have quoted the Late Pt Bhimsen Joshi before on this blog I guess), "if you had to see the path I had travel, you'd not want to be where I am today". 

But what makes someone a fighter? What is it that gives the will to fight instead of just throwing hands up and resigning, with enough already (must say here there was a point in time, not too long ago that I thought it was end of the road, end of music, everything {not to be mistaken for suicidal tendencies - [have to put that disclaimer too coz God knows how that will be construed]}) *those multiple brackets I last used while battling algebra... Oh well anyway... I drift.. these words will typically fit in a speech bubble hovering around the 3rd line to the top from here. Ufff!*

So anyway, what's the point of this post? Which I have come to type down after more than a month? Ah yes. 

Someone on Twitter told me that when I was introduced people used to make fun of me because I said "Amma this.. Amma that" I am here because of Amma. I mean, really, why so much vitriol? Why does it irk people that I am grateful to mom? Not that it missed my mom's notice that she used to come when an interview would be shot and tell the crew to edit the portions where I mentioned her. Yup she did that. Glad most crew didn't oblige. (Nice people :D)

And today the same people respect me for who I am, and mom too. I couldn't help but smile to myself that it takes about 10 years plus to prove yourself. It takes a decade for people to know what you stand for. Not that I really wanted to prove a point, in retrospect, but, I learned today that there is nothing wrong in sticking to your guns if its based in truth and dharma. (Yudhistra is my role model. But being completely like him won't work today. But I try) No matter how uncool you are perceived to be. No matter what the 'cool'er people think. Your life is yours to live. For yourself. Your own conscience. None of these '4 people' really care a damn. They'll clap if you do well. Spit on you if you don't. Very few people will ultimately matter. You are lucky if you have those few people with you, fighting with and for you. If you think you are alone in a battle, know that you are not. The creator and the Universe is with you. As long as the war is based on Dharma (In my Humble Opinion).

Until some years ago, mom fought a lone battle. And then I joined in. Life goes on. Is battling fun? Absolutely :) I have music with me all the time and when I need a break, I bake. That's all :p I bake egg free.. I bake quite well too even if I say so myself... I must put up a photoblog.. ah well. I am no good with the camera.

Just a couple of days ago I heard a pretty caustic compliment (yup there is something called a caustic compliment) about the awards I won for Sarakathu. Its divine grace that I won every award that I was nominated for this year. All thanks to Ghibran, the composer, for that. Vairamuthu sir and Sargunam sir too. I think once in a while God decides to hand us a candy once in a while. :D

Anyway the reason I didn't blog in a month was I had a viral fever attack. And absolutely no urge to write either. 

To you, reading this post, if someone is constantly contributing to the fire in your belly, while you are working toward your goals, say thanks to the prodding. Because they are losing all their energy in irritating you then work toward their betterment. And hence you are getting ahead. 

In our pursuance of whatever we want to pursue, if we but take that extra effort to be righteous, it all seems worth it. In the end. In the middle. On the way. Throughout. 




27 comments:

Chinmayi's fanatic said...

Few people's cunning minds created strong hurdles for your mom's musical career! May be that's why to compensate that, God has now been helping you to break down such barriers of your own and to reach the place where you're now! So many beautiful songs and achievements are on your way, chinmayi ka! Not a mugastuthi, but aatmaarthama solren, ''You are the voice of our TamilNadu''! Neenga innum nallapadiya munnuju vara aandavana vendikuren! Keep rocking! :)

Kothai said...

Always like you for wat u are n as always admire aunty for making u wat u are..Ur post shows d courage u hv but to point out u earned it by ur mom paying a lot wth her determination.this post is undrlined wth d pain she faced.. U r blessed to hv her. God bless u both ever :-)

Kothai said...

Always like you for wat u are n as always admire aunty for making u wat u are..Ur post shows d courage u hv but to point out u earned it by ur mom paying a lot wth her determination.this post is undrlined wth d pain she faced.. U r blessed to hv her. God bless u both ever :-)

Anonymous said...

உங்கள் வலைப்பதிவை புத்தகம்மாக வெளியிட்டால் இன்றைய தலைமுறைக்கு மிகவும் உபயோகமாய் இருக்கும் (குறிப்பாய் பெண்களுக்கு).

வாழ்க்கை ஒரு போராட்டம்!

Lakshmipathy said...

There are many ways people influence and inspire me. I do look forward for your writings in this blog. Your writing and truth and honesty in those words is really an inspiration.No doubts with your writings i could surely say, reading your life history of your mother is much more inspirational. Some people fail but they never fail to make others successful. Your mother is such a kind. But at most of the times you give the whole credits to your mother and to your mother only. As a reader i would have loved to say in this world we are dependent with each other for everything directly or indirectly(like your personal doctor, may be trainer, teacher, etc.) can these people can also be credited? Because sometimes it gets a feel(it may be a perspective from myside) like Leave me and my mother, We do not need anyone else. May be you like(love) your mother so that is how you how you like yourself to be. I think this is your identity. As long as , you are happy being yourself, people who like you will understand who you are(like your mother) will always go in accordance with you and the rest will move on when the day comes. Anyways Keep going. Writings are powerful.

Anonymous said...

I have read your latest blog more than 4 times. My respect towards your mom increases with each reading.I hv only one prayer to God that please protect these two beautiful souls from every unfair circumstances.You continue your dharma. None can defeat you....loads n loads of prayers& love.

My share of life said...

Dear Chinmayi, I am glad mom and you sustained through it all. Your success in music and your success with Blue Elephant speaks for your hardwork, ethics and skill which has been consciously built over the years. I believe you have much more to give to this world (as much as each of us) and wish you the very best for it.
Take care.

divinitypours said...

"No matter how uncool you are perceived to be. No matter what the 'cool'er people think."I love this awesome spirit in you and your own principles on life.Love the way you are.Thanks for another inspiration.I'm younger to you and I'm happily learning good values from you.Wish you all happiness and success!

Anonymous said...

Gone through your blogs.I can see the fire in your eyes. Let this fire be a sign of love, victory, & self confidence. When everyone is just talking about ethics& values,you try to implement these in your life.keep up this spirit. Prayers. I Wish to be unknown:)

Saradha said...

Another great post. Could relate to it. My mother says, great troubles come to people who are destined to achieve greater things. You have already achieved so much and made your mom proud.

Cheers
Saradha (regular reader of your blog)

HaRsHaa..~!@!~ said...

i just loved the way when u said, fighting battles is fun! And remember sahana girl, 'Being sarcastic is an art'. When u have writen that u didn't bow when u were a kid, amma didnt scold u bad, i guess. Where she has also adored ur boldness. Not everyone takes a right decision. I thoroughly admire u, for having a wonderful attitude. I keep reading conversations on how u react to people and just adore the sarcastic pinch if the questions were rude! U respond almost everyone where again none recognizes. Be bold and stay precious as u are and u will reach places. Big namaskaras and i whole heartedly take a bow to u. (im being nice to u and not sarcastic). Thanks for making padma amma enter twitter. I like/love/adore/rolemodel her more than u. A sincere request make amma also to blog.

Archu said...

Too good a reflection of my thoughts ..Kudos to you Chinmayi ..that namaskara matter was way too good.Just cant's believe you said Universe and creator are with you. such powerful terms those were, .Big wow once gain

Unknown said...

Hello Chinmayi,

"There are people we must ignore. And people we must not make the mistake of ignoring. " - Well said...so much maturity in you...
Ah!yes - creator and universe are with us...

Godspeed good people
Maheswari

Arrchana Raj said...

Sometimes in life, we come to a pause. Not knowing what to do next! Sometimes out of failures and Sometimes out of loneliness. There are lot of things which might help resume the Play button. Always your posts give some kind of energy to push the Play button! : )

Arrchana Raj said...

Since a year, When I was complaining about weird, in-sensitive people to my husband/mom, they would scold me back for wasting hours thinking and talking about them. But that was my way to push out my negative thoughts. It brought down my confidence a lot. When we meet two-three such difficult-to-deal-with people in a year, One starts thinking low about oneself.

reNUka said...

That was an excellent message in the bottle. Congrats on your awards for Sara Kaathu song!

Jayamurugan said...

Most of the articles are very nice. It is truly inspirational.

Want to meet to at least once in my lifetime.

Take care and GOD Bless..

Anonymous said...

"respect" and "WOW celeb factor" +1 each

PurpleHeart said...

You know your honesty is another attribute of yours your mom can be proud of. There can easily be a celebrity who would, at such a high point in career, wanna just shrug and say 'well, I deserve it you know'. But you still go out there, time and again, and shed light on the hardships and the experiences you've had thru' all unfairness of life. And inspire. Now, that's true spirit. I really believe you are an inspiration to the generation of this day and your mom to the one that belonged to yesterdays. Keep going !

Chinmayi Sripada /Chinmayee said...

TO GD:
Just decided to respond to your comment. Sri Rama, an avatar of Vishnu took a human form. He had to go through quite a lot of troubles and scours. Sita even worse. And for no fault, Urmila - Lakshmana's wife. Years and years of separation from her husband. At least Sita was there with Rama for a while.
Now what Karma could God have?
I don't know the answer to that. Reading so many ACK (amar chitra katha) titles did give me some idea about human avatars of Gods. It was always for a reason. Rama had to suffer to prove a point, as did Sita, Goddess Lakshmi incarnate. So did Jesus Christ.
There might be several answers to several things. There is also an interesting story about how Krishna explained the concept of Maya to Narada. Perhaps when I pass into an afterlife I might know the answers.
But this is my relationship with God.

Nakkeeran could challenge Lord Siva and say Netrikkan tirappinum kutram kutrame. He could have been burnt to ashes and revived too for that. But humans, even in mythological stories are known to question God and say S/He is wrong.

And in that very same vein, because I have seen what my mom is for all my life, I have the audacity to say I fight with this God. I don;t have a said form of God in my mind. Strangely it is formless. I even whiplash God in my mind for all the injustice today. And I also have the audacity to say, as perhaps some devotees have, [also a form of bhakti, no? :)] is God's Karma to suffer and be questioned by me in this aeon :)

Chinmayi Sripada /Chinmayee said...

To anonymous: I wonder why people like questioning under anonymity. Strange i find it. Anyway, the answer to your objectivity question is YES. Throughout history women who had special gifts were either branded a heretics, witches or mad and burned at the stake. Check history :)

Chinmayi Sripada /Chinmayee said...

Oh and BTW i see with my own eyes. God has been kind to give me a brain and eyes of my own. :)

Unknown said...

Started reading your blog recently.It truly feels nice to read a frank & frequently updated celebrity blog that one can connect to.I am one of those guys struggling to persevere with my dreams while I see the world mocking at me for what I am now.Reading this post increased my hope to keep fighting and thanks for that :)

Maddy said...

Time and again your conviction is reflected in your writing.

"in retrospect, but, I learned today that there is nothing wrong in sticking to your guns if its based in truth and dharma."

Keep going. God bless.

Archu said...

Somehow liked ths a lot so read quite a few times :)..

CMCK said...

You write beautifully! The prodding is vital, for most of us. Some are fortunate or perhaps gifted enough to wend without it.what do you do when you dont really have a so called enemy?

CMCK said...

You write beautifully.
The prodding is vital, to most of us. Some are fortunate perhaps gifted enough to not require it and wend without it. What do you when you dont have a so called enemy or that someone to whom you must prove?