Thursday 2 December 2010

Tuning special hearts!


Healing Session in Sadhanalay

Shyamala Sajnani does not talk about 'music therapies' or "raga effects". She actually DOES IT!!! And how??!!
In a city like Mumbai, she carries her own veena (carries it all the way down the three floors [in an apartment complex that has no lift] of her building, places the veena in her car and drives herself to Sadhanalay (school for special children)which is on Peddar Road, Mumbai) to offer musical solace to the special children with special needs and skills.
In her own words she told me about what makes her do this- "All Veenas ( almost all) have a dragon head at the left base. Legend goes that there used to be a fiery dragon which was wreaking havoc by breathing fire and causing devastation everywhere. Nobody could calm the dragon until the Goddess of learning, knowledge and truth, Saraswathi came to help. When She played on the Veena the dragon calmed down immediately.The dragon had just one wish. He asked for a boon by which he will never be separated from the sound of Veena, And that is how till today Veena bears a dragon head.I just felt that the dragon could be a metaphor and probably the sound of the Veena has the ability to soothe and calm the live dragons in all of us. It could be our desires, emotions, diseases and just about anything. I also realized that since I have been playing Veena regularly (through out the day) I also fall sick lesser. You can notice all the veena teachers and easily conclude that they all have longer, healthier lives.I happened to get talking to a teacher in this school and offered to play there for the kids for an hour simply to help them relax and feel calmer.I have no goal , some kids are very very receptive to music but are not able to go to specific teachers to learn. I just want to help them out , if I am able to, to have a better understanding of music, may be learn a bit myself. I do strongly believe that sound can bring in a lot of change.The change can be any which way,Sangeetha gnyanamu with bhakthi will have sanmargamu, as sung by saint Thyagaraja.

The kids were curious, happy, some sing along and some get emotional..... So far I have done very few compared to how many I would like to due to rains and also renovation work in progresss there has made it quite difficult to play for long.
The idea is to play for an hour when they are having lunch so they can relax and special time of 20minutes to 30 minutes for kids who have noticable skills in music. Ragas used have been, Desh,Hindolam,Shama and mostly Bhajans which they know from these ragas. "