Monday, November 19, 2007

On being average

It is difficult to be an average person. I don't excel at anything. I am a fairly okay person but I don't exactly blow away people with my personality. At work, I don't have 10 people hanging on to every word I say in a meeting and scuttling off to discuss the ramifications of my comments. As far as looks go, I am far from being a head-turner. I think my paternal grandmother was secretly unhappy with my regular, brown skin. I am an average singer. That means I can't get away with claiming total ignorance. I'll be classified as a snob. Having some basic singing knowledge dooms one to sing with off-key swarams, talams and all associated paraphernalia. Sigh.

Last weekend, S and I went to K's house in Cincinnati for Dikshithar Day. A bunch of very talented musicians get together every year on Muthuswami Dikshithar's anniversary and sing his compositions. There was a veena player, a flutist, two mridangists (S being one of them) and lots and lots of singers. A 12-year old kid captured everyone's hearts with her beautiful renditions of some ghana ragas: Todi, Gowlai etc..In addition to singing flawlessly, she also played the violin! I was dreading being asked to sing in front of all these super-knowledgeable, super-talented people. S, dutifully, called out my name. He, of course, was scintillating on the mridangam and rarely ever worries about being not-talented. I think I managed to acquit myself fairly decently. Chitra Visveswaran's niece was there to demonstrate Mamava Pattabhirama & Rangapura Vihara through abhinayas. She wowed people with her performance and also her looks..:)

So what's my point? That it is extremely hard to be an "average" person and get through life. It is like you don't have any identity at all and it is unfair of God to distribute talent so unevenly. Hmph. Maybe I should try to be a bit eccentric. That way, people will remember me at least as that "weird, eccentric lady who kept pulling funny faces whenever someone tried to talk to her."

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Red Phoenix said...

There's nothing wrong in being average - u won't be noticed. But it's absolutely perfect to be the 'weirdo' - at least ur seen by the legends/above average.... V (most of us) know ur the best among us and thats what counts. Doesn't mean that u have to b in the same level. Just keep on going up like the high pitch u sing with ease (Sorry I have no clue abt singers or songs. I just listened to everything)

arun said...

tell me about it! i know you are gonna roll your eyes at that comment, but honestly, this is EXACTLY how i feel..

for one, you know my supreme ability to not remember any lyrics to any song whatsoever.. :)

but i love the feeling that i can atleast participate in discussions with whatever knowledge i have on the said topics without being considered a complete idiot.. heh..


kshitij said...

I think one tries to compare oneself with people you think have abilities superior than yourself, giving you the impression that you are average compared to them.

You will find many that find you as an intelligent allrounder and are envious of your talents.

I for myself think you are extremely talented and level headed person. I think it all depends on the perspective. There is always someone ahead of us.

Nice blog, also congrats on your marriage.

Kishan said...

Exactly. Being average is being ignored. I can relate perfectly with you.. but you are not average in one respect --blogging..

HN said...

Subha,this from you is unacceptable...If God was to appear and ask me whom I would like to be like in my next of the few names which will come up is yours!!It is all relative...I am sure there are tons of people who believe you are the best!So average is really a relative term.

HN said...

check out my earlier post!!

Anonymous said...

'but you are not average in one respect --blogging..'

adhe adhe...repeat several times..


Priya said...

subha.. neeye averagenaa naanga ellam enna aolradhu..well, its a relative term.. andha crowdla probably..
but freea podu..

anm said...

Everyone starts out average. So - no shame in that... I guess what really matters is what you do with it.

Considering you care enough about your music to actually try and better it - I say you're already a step above average [and not many away from greatness... :-)]

Kay said...

I liked Priya's comment. Namma talent namma irukura crowd poruthu thaan. Dhadhi crowdla nammathaan talented, talented crowdla nammathaan dhadhi....ippadi appadi rendume nadakarathuthaan :)