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Spring 2007, vol 5 no 1


Anunaad – The Resonance
Kala Ramesh


She sings. Yes, sings.

You need to listen to her to realize what music is all about. Her voice has a resonance that haunts you for days. We call it Anunaad. Naad is the primordial cosmic sound, but when that sound reverberates within another object -- say, like from within our body -- then it's Anunaad.

the glow
of the moon
on the blossom's fold

I went to her by accident. Well, to cut a long story short - my scooter broke down one day in an unfamiliar area. I knocked on a door to ask if I could use their telephone. Young lady, what are you doing loafing around in this precious hour? Do something constructive, she boomed. She looked all of her 60 years of sternness. I hesitated . . . no, my scooter broke down. May I use your telephone . . . I fumbled for words.

paper moon--
almost falling apart
this argument of mine

She seemed disturbed. I am practicing my music, she informed me. In fact, I never open the door to anyone. You are lucky I did. There was no smile on her lips. I instinctively knew she wanted me out as soon as possible. But something told me I had to see her music room. I love classical music.

Can I please come in, I plead rather my eyes plead.

the smile
lost in her wrinkles
deep autumn*

She opens her door wider. I hear the tanpura sound, the drone instrument Indian vocalists use. I stand transfixed. Can I see your room, I ventured? Come in, she said. There was a sudden change in her person. She became warm, loving and alive.

Her eyes closed, she was hardly aware of my presence. I felt positive that she must have forgotten I was there! After nearly 25 minutes she opens her eyes to enquire, do you like our classical music? I can hardly nod my head. Sing with me. Just follow me. Her face was firm but her beautiful eyes smiled. Can I sing? I have screamed in bathrooms, but beyond that? I mumble softly.

Just sing, it will come in due course, she says gently.

And my musical journey began . . .

a long trek--
I quench my thirst drinking
the moon's reflection

* First appeared in The Heron's Nest, Autumn 06 issue.

Tanpura - A musical instrument shaped like a sitar - extensively used by Indian classical musicians.
Naad is the Primordial Cosmic Sound - The Sacred AUM.
Anunaad: The reverberation emanating in another instrument, from far away - even as the sound is struck.

Kala Ramesh Kala Ramesh has pursued her Bachelor of Arts from Chennai with a combination of History, Political Science and English Literature. Her haiku, tanka, senryu, haibun and renku have appeared in leading e-zines and anthologies.

Kala has long had a fascination for Indian classical music and is an exponent of both South Indian and North Indian Classical Music Traditions. She was fortunate to undergo vigorous training from leading musicians. She has worked extensively on Pandit Kumar Gandharva's compositions and Nirguni bhajans of Sant Kabir and Sant Gorakhnath, along with the traditional compositions of the Gwalior Gharana, under the guidance of Vidushi Smt Shubhada Chirmulay, Pune. Kala has made a concerted effort to understand the 'spirit' behind Kumar ji's gayaki - incorporating the vigour and the vitality, which is so inherent in his style of singing; she has performed in major cities in India.

A proud mother of two young adults, Kala lives with her husband, a finance professional, in Pune, India.