I saw children dressed in their best pattu pavadais and kurta pyjamas descending on the place one by one. Each child was accompanied by his or her respective parents, grandparents and some extra uncle or aunt. I saw this particular family driven by the father stop the car and multitude of people getting out of their small car. Then the father got down, walked up to the boot to remove some instrument or bags needed and handed them over to the waiting family. The grandmother received the veena with both her hands and walked towards the stage area. He then drove to the nearest available spot to park and come back.
The mother then reached into her bag to pull out a thermos to give the child, all of maybe 8 or 9 years, an invigorating cup of hot milk or Bournvita. She waited patiently while urging the child to finish the milk. The child handed over the empty cup which the mother promptly stowed away into her bag. She then pulled out a handkerchief and wiped the child’s mouth. The child was dressed in a bright silk red and white checked pattu pavadai teamed with a silk blouse, with the garnishing of an odyanam (the decorative waist band) and vangis (arm-bands). Next she proceeded to extract a string of jasmine flowers and a pair of scissors. I couldn’t help admire the mother for her level of planning. She then cut out a moderate length, fished out clips and proceeded to adorn her daughter’s well-plaited long hair. The mother in me, the one who hasn’t had daughters let out a sigh at this beautiful sight unfolding before me. Once the mother down below was satisfied with the outward appearance, she then made the child rehearse the line she possibly wasn’t sure of, because the tune and the firm thalam wafted all the way to the 4th floor and I smiled at the adoring mother. I didn’t know at that time that this was the child that was going to be the main player. She let her daughter go to the side of stage where her Guru stood to give her last minute instructions. The father had by now joined the family and they all went and sat in the best possible chairs laid out in rows.
This scene touched me for many reasons. How exciting it is for parents to see their children showcase their talents to the world. How much pride the parents take in it while they are probably still inwardly praying that the child do a good job for it is so very important for them that the world see the best side of them. I can almost imagine the parents glowing while taking in the appreciative glances and comments of others, and it is like they almost want to inform the others – That’s my daughter! It’s like a part of them is out there for the world to see. It is indeed a beautiful feeling! How much effort a mother takes to make sure her child is presented to the world in the best possible way. How much time must have been spent ferrying the child to the veena classes. How many practice sessions must have happened. Through it all the mother probably ensured the child didn’t miss out on school or on her diet. The schedule must have been exhausting. What all planning goes into it! The father probably took permission to ferry his entire clan there. The mother too possibly took half day off to plan and prepare for the day. The logistics of it all! While it may not sound like a big deal to many, to a genuine parent, one who means business when he/she took up the job of being one, it’s priority No.1. And nothing beats seeing that child perform there. I guess for that everything is worth it!
Here’s saluting many such parents who leave their living aside to give their all for identifying and encouraging the talents of their children and enabling their best foot forward. Because without their help, it wouldn’t have been possible.
I heard the child play Nagumo mogalane nee naa jaali thelisi….in Aabheri ragam. My heart went down to those little fingers and that child holding that huge instrument on her tiny lap lovingly. I had tears and I am sure the parents of the child had too as she finished to a thundering applause. I went down and hugged the mother and shook the father’s hands for making this happen.