A sense of alert restfulness ran all through my mind-body existence. There was no hurry, no acquired or imposed need for timeliness. Fingers touched each resonance string, gently, deliberately, waiting for each note to rise and fall before the next was sounded. I was completely in sync with the pace of life, in harmony with the universal melody.
The inner space was already filled with the essence of Raga Charukeshi – a gradual, gentle, lazy and fond sense of waking up to the early rays of a freshly dawned morning. The notes on my Indra Veena came alive as if to represent the imagery. Interspersed with deliberate, natural pauses, each note made its presence felt rendering a distinct character to the blossoming melody. The glides, again gradual and deliberate, squeezed every drop of emotion they represented. Time and technique lost relevance as the musician lost his ‘self’ savoring in the expression that came forth, drowned in vortex of stillness.
By and by, the tempo increased. In small increments. The raga added color to itself. Stillness played hide and seek with harmony and movement. Consciousness traversed through peace and tranquility to joy and love. Not for once was I playing. Music was happening as I was guided in my musical action, as if in a trance. So intense was the stillness that had enwombed me that I almost had stopped breathing.
Though I was deeply centered, I could see and witness all that was happening in the periphery. People moving with their chores, discordant noise in the basement from vehicles vrooming to business and the clanging of vessels in the kitchen trying to make a grand announcement of some frugal breakfast a-cooking. I was also in touch with life’s own travails and troubles – some seeming far and inconsequential, others there, warranting action, when required, without the need of hurtling with senseless activities.
By the time the recital concluded, about forty minutes had elapsed. As I had lost sense of time and space, it did not at all seem so. Though audibly the recital was over, the raga and my association with it lingered on, in me, for quite some time. I had no need to rush and drown myself in meaningless activities. I had no need to look busy and relevant. I was perfectly at ease with appearing odd to the world around, which already had perched on the frenzying merry go round of ‘work’.
Almost the entire of the rest of the day, my location did not change. Still and centered, buoyant and at ease. I was completely in sync with the pace of life, in harmony with the universal melody.
And that’s how it is as I sign off.