Late 1980s. Time: 8 am in the morning. Place: Bangalore, India. Summer holidays. Me –a school-going boy - drowsily sleeping in the makeshift mattress placed in the middle of small living room. I could hear my maternal grandma in the kitchen, busy cooking breakfast for the entire household. She would have been already 3 hours into the day. I could hear my grandpa vigorously moving – he would have called it ‘exercising’ - his oiled body before heading to bath. Somebody else in the household would be busy sweeping the house. I knew that I will be woken up soon and the makeshift mattress had to be folded too so as to complete the sweeping process. Amdist all these, M S Subbulakshmi chanted the celebrated Shri Venkateshwara Suprabhatam in the dilapidated tape recorder.
I liked the setting.
I liked Subbulakshmi’s rendition of the Suprabhatam.
Mid 2011. Time: 8 am in the morning. Place: Boston, USA. Summer. Me - a 31-year-old employee in a prestigious firm - walking on Federal Street in crisp blue blazer and Raymonds trouser, amongst hundred other people in equally if not better attire. Some are running to catch the connecting transport - be it bus or train. Some are tourists – carrying in their hands Boston map and tourist guide, drinking in the history all around them. Positive energy all around, strangers smiling at one another and commenting on what a fine day it is. Tall buildings on either side of the street making a canopy of comfortable shadow. The breeze from the Atlantic Ocean causing a tingling but nice chill. In my ears are the headphones from ipod. M S Subbulakshmi chanting the same celebrated Shri Venkateshwara Suprabhatam.
I liked this setting too.
I still liked Subbulakshmi’s rendition of the Suprabhatam.
Some things change so drastically.
Some things never change.