Friday, Jun 14, 2024 | Last Update : 05:00 AM IST

  Life   More Features  05 Jan 2019  Melody and rhythm are everywhere

Melody and rhythm are everywhere

THE ASIAN AGE. | J S RAGHAVAN
Published : Jan 5, 2019, 6:31 am IST
Updated : Jan 5, 2019, 6:31 am IST

The lady working her dry grinder for fresh powder of black pepper or whatever will handle it as if it were a musical instrument.

The Nature has place for even  such meek birds and their little, periodic, quintessential tweets.
 The Nature has place for even such meek birds and their little, periodic, quintessential tweets.

The early morning lusty call is the kokkarakko-kko of the cockerel heralding the birth of another joyous day. Subramanya Bharathi, the  mystic Mahakavi sang,  pozhudhu pularndhadhu naam seidha thavaththal   metaphorizing   the  bright sunrise as  the Great Light  to drive out the darkness of ignorance.

This rooster on its inviolable  duty would elongate its frame vertically by inches to pack and  throw out its singular musical call with  pith and vigour. Other birds, not so audibly endowed, would start chirping, chirruping, warbling  and tweeting,   the cuckoo among them giving out long repetitive  fluting whistles of joy, as if performing for a voice test. To fill up  the pauses, or for effect of relief,  the crows would, cluster together, calling their brethren  to congregate and  sound their caw, caw and caw in raucous chorus. Parrots in alluring  flashes of green and red would squawk, gurgle or trill in jubilation, will fly with whirringfeathers, from one frond to the other in pairs.
 
A cow in the backyard would moo,  ‘m-a-w……..’ in deep resonance that would resemble the muted  solo of a sax;  the long blare of the express train hauled by an electric locomotive at a distance, sounding like a trumpet heard from the ensemble of a   a brass band. The tiny sparrows hopping up and down in carefree merriment would chirp and chirp and chirp, in  contentment of such a simple act. The Nature has place for even  such meek birds and their little, periodic, quintessential tweets.   
 
The lady working her dry grinder for fresh  powder of black pepper or whatever will  handle it  as if it were  a musical instrument. At the first turn of  speed, if the grinder is in  top factory fresh condition, it would jump to life making sudden  whirring noises and  work up torque  as the knob is turned up. At full speed, running   for the duration decided by the Queen of the Kitchen,  it will  sound with uniform resonance, delightfully musical to the ears of the hungry man waiting for the lady’s call,  ‘elai pottachchu, sappida vaango.’
 
A dhoti or sari, dipped in water, and beaten on the raised stone adjacent to the well, usually in the sleepy afternoons, will invariably conform to the staccato, ‘that, that, that, that and that and subsequent collection of the cloth in both hands and wringing them to rid of the soap water, will sound like the cry of relief by the  linen escaping further thrashing, for having gone bad and collecting so much of dirt and stain. This may no longer be heard as the  washing machine pulsating like a marine engine, and revving up now and then that would  put to shame  a garbage truck,  is replacing all  the  stone slabs.
   
The sharp tinkle of the hand-bell from the puja room in  hurried but pleasing bursts  during aarthi will be heard  like the school bell when  the geography or history period will be mercifully over during a sleepy, summer afternoon; or more comparatively,  when the cinema theatre would signal   the tickets counter had opened, in particular, for the first-day-first-show.

Perhaps no other sound Is comparable to the rhythmic beat of the lub dub, lub dub of the heart of a patient devoid of symptoms of  tachycardia, bradycardia  or murmur, when his doctor would  listen attentively  through his stethoscope, after he had mended, medicated and  set right the organ under the rib cage of that human being.   Almighty God  would have engraved  an installed capacity of hundred years on the pericardium.  The  doctor,  His  emissary would have done his very best to make it pump rhythmically   till that benchmark.

(J. S. Raghavan is bilingual humour writer)

Tags: mahakavi