One day, a few weeks ago, my zealous neighbours decided that their children must learn Carnatic music. A commendable desire I must say. So, they set out to find someone who would teach the kids Carnatic music. True to form, they found someone to teach the said kids, how to sing. Or, so they said. When I first heard Mrs. Paattu Teacher, I assumed she was just having a bad day that stopped her from singing well. I decided I should give her the benefit of doubt.

It has been 3 weeks since that fateful day. She somehow always turned up for classes when I was out doing something else. Call it her luck or mine, the fact remained that I never got to hear her sing since Day 1. Then suddenly, all that changed drastically last evening. I was at home, trying to watch TV, but without much success. I kept getting distracted by mum’s talking. Suddenly, I heard someone shout. Startled out of my wits, I decided to investigate. I stepped out of my cosy flat no. 24, only to realise that the noise was coming from No. 27. I stepped closer cautiously, not wanting to interrupt some kind of fight. I had a rather nasty surprise when I realised that the shouts I had heard were actually Mrs. Paattu Teacher’s feeble attempts at teaching the poor kids music.

Imagine my consternation when I figured out that the said Pattu Teacher could not hold a tune for the life of her. My neighbours, in their enthusiasm to teach their kids music, forgot to verify if the Paattu Teacher actually knew any paattu at all. My attempts at convincing them of the futility of teaching the kids music by appointing someone who barely knows the difference between noise and music have, by far been entirely in vain. I am hoping that they see sense and get the woman to actually teach music and not some vague song she likes to label as keerthanai. Heaven help anyone who actually tries learning anything from her!

PS: For my non Tamil-speaking readers: Paattu means song and keerthanai is a musical composition. Please leave a comment for any further clarifications, or contact your nearest Carnatic music teacher, who will probably explain better than me. 🙂

Music?? Really?

3 thoughts on “Music?? Really?

  • August 23, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Hahahahhaha… I laughed to tears after reading this post! On a serious note though, you’d be amazed at how many people actually claim to be paatu teachers when they can’t hold a note in tune, let alone a song! Trust me, I’ve lived and learnt thru it all! 🙂

  • August 23, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Trust me, I wish the earth would open up and swallow me whole when that woman begins to sing! And my neighbours refuse to listen. I finally decided to leave the poor kids to their fate…

  • July 16, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Hehe. When I went to learn music as a 10-year old I somehow associated music to anything that was loud enough to break all ear drums in the neighborhood. But then my teacher was good. I just did not understand the concept of “thurannu paadal” (open throated)


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