Friday evening.Tickets to an orchestra which was a part of A.R.Rehman's "Unity of Light" tour.Expectations,I would say, was mixed.I didnt fancy sitting through a DCH-Sydney-opera-style performance on a very cold Friday to start to the weekend.

First peice, was "Asathoma Satgamaya", an Indian tune set to music with the whole orchestra joining in. This was followed by a brief explanation of the main differences in style in Western and Eastern music.An awesome rendition of "Ahirbhairavi" set to these two different styles,one synthesized with an Australian Tribal tune, and the other, "Albela Sajan" from "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam"caught me unawares. Srinivas on the Tabla and Anupama on the Sitar were superb.

Next up, was a tune from the Middle East.It was a poem for peace, which was apparently found in the pockets of Itzhak Rabin,the day he was assasinated,and set to music recently.This was followed by "Bethelehemu" from Africa.In those days of the missionaries,the African tribesman, simply substituted some christian sounding words in thier tribal chants to fake conversion.This was followed by a very peppy Cuban number.

Back to Indian music, the band shared some experiences from ARR'S tour, before going on to perform his numbers "Ramta Jogi" from Taal .The next peice had me in tears, well, almost. Patrick, a percussionist in the troupe on the Gatam, Srinivas on the Tabla and a fivesome on the drums, set the stage for one of the most mesmerising peices of percussion play I have ever heard.A vocal recital (much like our jugalbandhi)between the ghatam and tabla players - well, it is not my first time, but then, just looking at Patrick, looking so much at ease with legs folded, wearing a black Kurtha and doing the Aadi Taal with both hands and reciting sequences of "Taa Dhin Dhin taa" with so much poise had me ashamed.(Legend has it, that he was so taken by the Maestro that he dyed his hair black when he went to meet him.) I mean, just looking at these wonderful Christines and Paulas decked in sarees and singing verses of "Mein prem ka pyala piya"nonchalantly before a predominantly Desi audience has me re-examine if I am really doing the right thing in life.(It also has me regret the countless wasted opportunities,to explore and learn more. Dr.Anil Roy, hope you are not reading this!!!)

There was a time when I was sure that music is, indeed my calling.It was put down to childish fantasies, and years later, I am still doing something I can barely stand.But I still dream, and my dreams only get stronger with such experiences.Maybe, just maybe, someday I ll find my true calling.Something which i truly love doing.Something meaningful for an existence.

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