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She Saw The Genius In Him .

id-100275260When I was in college all those years ago, I would spend my Saturday afternoons in my best friend’s house. Her mother whom I called Kasturi aunty, was a teacher in a school in Chennai, where we lived.

Kasturi aunty used to speak to us about some of her students.

One of her favourite students was a young boy, who was a wizard at playing the key board. She described his prowess at making soul lifting music on the keyboard and would always end her story of the boy by saying:

“Mark my words, this boy will go places.”

“One of these days, he is going to become a renowned musician.”

“He will become very famous when he  grows up.”

But after a few years, the boy discontinued from her school for unforeseen reasons. She later heard that he had joined another school in Chennai itself. She felt for the boy and wished him well in her heart.

In the year 1992, when my sons and I sat before the television watching a special telecast on Independence day, the lilting music of a song wafted across the screen and filled our rooms and our hearts with the song, “Chinna Chinna Aasai” from the Tamil film Roja.

A musician was born. No. Discovered!

My father called me from his house, even as the song was being telecast, “Are you watching TV? Are you seeing this Channel? What a song! Who is the musician?”

Soon “Who is the music composer of the film, Roja?” was on everybody’s lips.

Kasturi aunty jumped with elation.

“It is him. My student,” she said taking pride in a student as only a teacher could.

The young musician showcased his brilliance in  film after film and soon he became a byword in the music industry.

IN 2009, when he held aloft the two Oscars and said in all humility, “All praise be to God”, Kasturi aunty was not alive to witness the jubilation that rocked our hearts.rahman-birthday_sl_5_01_201

But I am sure, she would have been the happiest person in all of India, had she been alive, because she had predicted this a long time ago.

I don’t have to mention, that the person I am talking about is our very own music sensation, the Mozart of Madras, Isai Puyal... A.R.Rahman!

Jai Ho!

Story by Gulsum Basheer@talkalittledo

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The hand of a craftsman is always pure.

img_20170126_072520Honesty is a much berated word in these times. But I have a story to share with you which shows that morality, integrity and trustworthiness exist, even todayOn my recent visit to my brother’s house in California, my sister-in-law took me to visit one of her close friends. The lady was an Indian, married to a well-respected Indian professor, the head of his department in a prestigious university in USA.

Her house’s interior was an eclectic mix of different cultures. A Rajasthani sculpture here, a Kerala elephant there, huge Arabian wall hanging occupying a prominent wall and a lacquer painting from Vietnam adorning her son’s bedroom walls.

The lacquer painting caught my eye and I spent some time admiring them. That is when she told me the story of how it came into her possession.

Her husband used travel to Vietnam for conferences quite often. Near the hotel where he stayed in Hanoi, was a crafts shop where you could commission the craftsmen to make a painting for you.  The professor paid a certain amount to the artist there and asked for a painting which was to be done in four panels. It was quite an expensive piece of work but the professor trusted the man and paid the amount. He left his card behind and said he would collect the painting on his next visit to Vietnam.

Few months later when the professor looked for the shop in Hanoi, it was no longer there. On inquiring, he got the news that the craftsmen had relocated to different places and no one knew about their whereabouts.

Being of stoic nature, the gentleman wrote off his loss as a bad investment and returned to USA.img_20170125_171015

It was almost two years after the professor had placed that order, that the artist called their home in the US. They had forgotten about the incident completely by then.

The professor’s wife was enjoying a peaceful afternoon at home, when  she got a call from an unknown person, speaking with an orient accent. The man wanted to know if the professor still lived in that address as he had a parcel to post to him. He recounted his acquaintance with her husband in Hanoi and explained that circumstances had made him quit Vietnam and that he was now living with his daughter in America. He said that he had completed the painting ordered by her husband and was sending it by courier that week.

My sister in law’s friend did not comprehend him fully and just did not take him seriously

But a few days later, a huge parcel was delivered at their home from a city on the east coast of USA. On opening it, the husband and wife found the beautiful painting that the professor had commissioned to be done for him.

It was perfect to the last detail!

The artist had stuck to his side of the bargain, across continents and across much time-lapse.img_20170124_072856

No one would have penalised the Vietnamese gentleman for not turning in the painting. In fact, no one would have discovered him in the vast expanses of America. Yet he chose to be honest to his profession.He had even spent out of his own pocket to mail the bulky panels all the way across America, from one coast to another.

When the lady of the house narrated the story to me, she said with awe in her voice:

“You know something… he could have sold the painting for a large amount in the US…It is that expensive!”

Before I left her house I looked at the painting one more time. I admired it all the better now because it portrayed not only the artist superb craftsmanship, but it also carried with it, the imprint of his honesty and righteousness!!

It had now  become that priceless!!

P.S: The hand of a craftsman engaged in his craft is always pure….Manu.img_20170125_170243

Story By Gulsum Basheer @ talkalittledo.

Photographs shown here are of the original paintings  that I admired  in the friend’s house.

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