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Streetsmart The Boy Wasn’t, But Sublime Is His Music

Childhood innocence has such exceptional bearing on a talent’s music that its special charm seldom resounds in later years. Here is one beautiful reminder from a Carnatic prodigy

He tries no less than three times to get the right pitch. Finally, when the ‘street boy’ does find the ideal shruti in the fourth attempt, the gentle vocal that wafts out blows away the small crowd of aesthetes accompanying him in the bhajan procession.

Particularly impressed is a grandson of the composer of the song.

There are several elements that add to the charm of this roadside music even though it was most likely just another sublime performance in the bustle of the 1993 edition of Margazhi festival in Chennai. Yes, it happened 23-and- a-half years ago in the capital of Tamil Nadu, where summer is at its peak today at the start of the annual Agni Nakshatiram. Now, that’s in complete contrast to the nip in the air that you feel in that metro when it celebrates the December season—the colourful occasion that primarily showcases south Indian culture.

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