Tuesday, October 17, 2006

EngellAm ThEduvadhO !

It was June 1993 at Delhi. “The Hindu” contained an article on IR.

I could realise that it was on the occasion of his 50th Birthday.

It was giving me the wonderful piece of information that IR has composed and got recorded “The Grand Symphony” at London by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and that news sent me for a roll!

I simply could not believe it, even though I used to dream for such news for a long time.

Then onwards any news on this topic I started watching keenly; and all the articles and news bits like John Scott visit to Chennai, the massive facilitations arranged to IR etc only enhanced my expectations and longing to hear that music as soon as possible.

But somehow, on the immediately following period, there were no news about the possible releases of cassettes/ records which worried me a lot.

It was that time, around October’93, all of a sudden, I got an opportunity to visit Sweden for a training programme from my company.

While any foreign tour would have set off some dreams and expectations in anybody, I was looking that in another angle.

That is “I am having a fair chance of getting the Symphony before others, if it is released during my stay there!”.

Dreams…! Wild Dreams !

It was a period of well over two months of November-December winter I spent in Stockholm. While as usual, any training or official work always take a backseat when compared to having a glimpse of the country of stay, atleast I remained focused on certain things..ie “whenever opportunity is there, search for music albums, particularly that of IR!”

Believe me, with so much enthusiasm I started searching whenever I entered any shopping mall there at Stockholm. I was truly amazed by the collections of Classical Music albums in any musical shops. (Now-a-days, we are also having Music World, Planet M etc. but in those decades, we didn’t have such exclusive music collections in one place).

All albums were alphabetically arranged by Composer’s name and no guess I could have rushed every time!

But the alphabet “I” always drew a blank.

Then I even searched for Asian or Indian music collections which again never existed.

It was a painful lesson to me that our Indian music, leave alone South Indian music, has not got its due share of attention, whatever you know or think about its richness and variety etc.

But atleast such searching gave me the chance to know and purchase a lot of WCM albums which remained a dream earlier. Particularly due to the forthcoming Christmas period, it was discount sales declared everywhere and classical music sections were one of the attractive sections.

Another peculiar thing I observed was that prices of cassettes were equal or costlier than CDs. Though I didn’t know much about the CDs in those period, I decided in favour of CD collections and went on purchasing and built-up my Bach and Mozart collections.

For the first timer like me in a foreign country, it always remained the fight between your dream ambition versus limited foreign exchange currency of those time.

We used to get our weekly allowances from our sponsor company. I controlled my personal spending as much as possible (being a “vegetarian” in all respect, there’s nothing you can spend money in such European countries) and whatever saving earned I put sizeable amount on CDs.

But, soon I had to put a halt for those purchases, when I heard my friends were planning for a Paris trip on their way back home with the saved money. Then it occurred to me that, why not I try for London, where I may continue to try getting the IR’s Symphony CD etc.

Then onwards, it was still rigorous savings I attempted. Parallel to that, herculean efforts went on with the embassies to get the Visa to London (even an African would get a visa easily in Europe, but not an Indian or Asian).

Finally, the Visa was confirmed, a month ahead of my planned visit. Then began the counting of days as well as counting my savings for London trip.

So when the training was over and when I arrived at London, it was last week of December.

Then came the shocking realization!

It was a virtual holidays for entire week in London and for that matter for the whole Europe.

The source whom I was depending for stay and other logistics (and also planned to take the help for searching the Studio where IR recorded etc.) had to go on leave, the rare leave he gets in an year.

Even though he made some arrangement for my stay etc it consumed more than 60% of my savings! So, I realized that I could do nothing now.

Anyhow, I spent the remaining money in some more CD purchases and in Oxford street Again whatever limited searches for IR Symphony in shops were not as fruitful as expected.

Finally signed off to London with a sigh and landed back homeland.

But then in 1994, I still sustained my hopes that, one day I would get that!

Slowly the facts emerged that it was never released and would never be available at all !

By hindsight, now I still believe that, IR has already given us more than that !


arvindh said...

Are you sure that it will never be available? Can you elaborate on your findings about the Symphony in future postings? That would be a great help to me. Thank you!

LalithaMurali said...

CSR Sir,
I have been waiting for this post for a long time!
Here it came, finally, as a whiff of fresh air!
Why the haitus?
You must have been very busy of late. Please tell me when is your next post.
I feel very disappointed when i log on to your blog and dont find any further updates!
Best regards

Anonymous said...

'I believe he was hurt by a critics review, and this is the reason it has not been released.'
that was John Scott's reponse when asked, 'Why symphony has not been released & there hasn't any news about it.'



Gowri Shankar said...

Dear Mr.CSR,
FINALLY you find time to make a post?!Like IR fans, we have also become CSR fans, coming regularly to see if anything new has been posted!Happy to see such a long post.Hope you can keep at shorter intervals.
On the post, whatever IR has written should still be available right?It has not been played/recorded, thats all.Why not after 'Mozart Meets India', that be taken up to be played by our musicians/in Eastern Europe?
Impressed by your writing, I have also started my own blog.I try my hand at humor/sarcasm mostly on world events or other random things.
Best regards

CSR said...

Dear All,

Thanks for the instant encouraging comments.

Arvindh & Subramaniam:

The matter of Symphony was time and again discussed by all people in various forums and net result what we all learn is "It will never be available"

Reasons may be many and again only IR knows the real truth. Though people like Subbudu listened to that (and a few others may be also), we are not fortunate enough.

But what I feel is IR might have distributed many of the pieces from that Symphony (or similar to that)into various songs and bgms already. That's only my guess.

Murali & Gowri:

So nice of you and I am really sorry that I could not continue the blogging with same quantum and vigor as earlier due to the heavy office works that are mounting. Anyway, its my passion also to write about IR and every opportunity I will use.

Gowrishankar, what you say is true that the written manuscript is already available. (In fact, for that ,matter, even the recorded version is also available with IR).

But the real problem is, there may be certain formalities for recognising and publishing a Symphony, and there IR might have felt the hurdles.

So even publishing or peforming may also be a problem.

But, forgetting that as a Symphony to be recognised by unknown people and solemnsied by rituals and formalities of those so called WCM experts etc, IR can still release and publish that, like any other of his creations, viz HTNI or NBW or TSO, and thats my wish and dream!

Once again thanks to all for your valuable comments.

vinu said...

Nice, Nice, Very nice!
‘Engellam theduvadho!’- Unga title romba romantic aa yerukku!
I enjoyed your write up while listening to couple of classics.
WAIT!!! I share with you the pattus!
So... for your listening pleasure CSR, enjoy the passionate ‘vaidhegi raman....’ pagal nilavu
Majestic Yesudas in
jab deep ....Chitchor! MIO la kettukkongo!

Anonymous said...

Dear CSR,

By hindsight, now I still believe that,
IR has already given us more than that!

Ungalin indha varthaigal enaku oru samadhanam dhan.

IR in works enbadhu namaku theriyamal povadhu enbadhai ennal accept panni kolla mudiyavillai.

So, IR symphony, enravadhu ,eppadiyavadhu, nammai vandhu adaiya vendum enbadhae en

With Love,
Usha Sankar.

Anonymous said...

Dear CSR,
I read through all your posts here in one week (including reading your WCM posts - I have been very vetti!) It is great to read, I felt like watching a movie or drama (with IR music!) Maybe you can consider filming it as a documentary (and have music composed by IR!)
Anyway, its great to read your experiences, which I can only dream of now. Please keep writing.

CSR said...

Hi All,

Thanks for your comments.

@Vinu : I know this title is your favourite also.

@ Usha : Let us hope that one day IR will solve the puzzle in favour of his fans.

@Ananth : It gives me a great feeling that you could read all these postings in both the blogs. (That's a tough task and need great patience to read all such blah-blahs).

Documentary on IR...! I can only sigh...! Since these are available in documented form, anybody may use these information in future in any documentary efforts on IR.

Thanks for all the encouraging words.



CSR said...

Dear Pradeep & Sara,

With due respect to your views and with due apologies in advance from me, I decided to delete the comments.

Pradeep :

I believed that particular article deserved no comments. However, having seen the comments of Sara(2nd review) I believed that above url reference also needs to be deleted from my blog and hence the decision.

Sara :

Having done the above, I also deleted your comment to avoid further correspondence on the same topic.

Hope you both understand and agree with me.



Anonymous said...

Adadaa!! What happened to my favorite author?? Why no post?? Romba naal kezhichu vandhu paartha !!!
Maybe this early raaja treasure may motivate you,
enjoy the tranquilizing ‘sindhu nadhikarai oram....’

Gowri Shankar said...

What happened to December quota?Write something soon..

James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Muthuswamy said...

Dear CSR Anna,
I am not sure if you have read my comments in your prior posts. Thanks for your great posts. You can actaully write a mega serial with your content...

(your college junior)

CSR said...

Dear Muthuswamy

Thanks for your nice words and affections shown to me. I belong to 1978-83 Civil Batch of GCE. Good to hear you are still in touch with the college.

You may contact me through emails in following addresses:


Regards and Best Wishes