M el ody on the move

The paper: Times of India, Chennai dated 8th Aug 2015


The page 14 opened up with a fresh note of our music director A R Rahman.

Quote: ‘Every time I sit for a song, it’s like a beggar sitting waiting for God to fill your bowl with the right thought’.

 Indeed a thought provoking statement. I could hear a musical jingle in it. Yes he is right. When we look at the world for our existence, we are lifting our arms as a beggar and asking for our daily bread. Just like the statement every adult has a child in him; this also will give a feeling by just calling ourselves as ’bloody beggar’.


The editorial caption ‘singing Modi Sarkar’s Tune created a funny feeling. One there in south is showing a Wallet before them to push them out once in 144 years and here one is offering jobs to sing the song of six pence. Ultimately we need beggars, but we don’t. Then what type of beggars are we?


Napoleon Bonaparte once said ’The army marches on its stomach’. Now it is a new avatar. ‘Beggar moves on his song’. Feed the beggars and make them sing.

Recruiting 3000 beggars and paying stipend for their ‘services’. They are going to be the preachers praising the present government in the form of songs and ballads. It seems they will be given the freedom to travel in any mode of transport system that is presently available in India.


If they are itinerant musical mendicants, they will tell ‘Less begging, more singing and make travel a pleasure’. If someone tips, it’s a bonus and for this as gratitude they will sing again. See they have not tied any waist belt attached with cassettes or I pods and only moving their mouth as most of the songs are of cinematic tunes. May be mimicry is also in the itinerary.


Most probably a mendicant would have been there inside the compartment eight score and two years ago when the first train chugged out from Mumbai to Thane. In that jubilant moment nobody including Dalhousie would have heard the wail. Catchy lyrics were penned for the movies by noted lyricists suitable for the beggars in all the languages. Slight modification in words will meet the present demand. Their dress also can be changed from rags to riches; I mean rags to silken gowns according to the type and class of compartments and trains. If the train moves through the Rajasthan desert, they can dress like a Bedouin.


Few ads on their dress by prominent brand names will provide an added income for the national treasury as a payback.


In the ‘metro’ and in the Palace on wheels and in the forthcoming ‘bullet train’ what type of songs, slogans and dress are in mind?


Will there be ‘flight beggars’. Will the jets get a thrust by their voice? The sound energy can be tapped. They will be paid at the fuel rate.


If they happen to be street singers, apart from showing acrobatics, they sing. For this category also we have enough songs.


At this rate will there be a classification on their jobs and will they get a permanent berth till retirement. As singing is an art and cuts across all barriers of cast, creed, colour and religion and also age, we can presume it will be perennial and their children also can join as they grow up just like politics.


If they are asked to be the singers in AIR, my mind started to unwind to the olden days of Radio Ceylon and BBC. They will become the ‘Modern Kings of the Airwaves’. Unfortunately we don’t have an Ameen Sayani and  Hamid Sayani as anchors for the Hindi songs. We have lost the signature tune of Great Bismillaah Khan in his Shahnaai from  AIR and TV. Now that slot will be spoiled by the latest ‘the wail of the mendicant.  B H Abdul Hameed and S P Mayilvahanam are no more as Tamil announcers.


All in chaos now and the songs will create a cacophony effect in all counts. After all the dance and songs are for nothing but to make fun about our own mischiefs and not the achievements.


Now, the age old people who are living and had studied the Indian history of the bygone era of Kings will be dreaming THUGLAK.


By Sundareswaran Date: 10th Aug 2015.


From a beggar’s notebook:  One school is on the way to implement a course on ‘Mendicant music class’ with a catchy slogan ‘If failed in begging, join in  singing’, just like ’if 10th fail, join 11th and already the queue has formed in the front door and a heavy rush through the back door. It seems there are agents also.

Now beggars can’t be choosers is to be read as beggars are chosen. The demand curve has changed the course!


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