make-up application doesn’t always go as planned.
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The study, He does not know who his father was and his childhood,he says has been too traumatic to remember Manimaran 40 started playing the parai — believed to be one of the oldest instruments in the world — when he was still with his family He started going to the performances of Gana — music genre associated with the marginalised in Chennai — when he was five or six years old playing with tumblers spoons and buckets “Everyone from my family played the parai and so I went with them They played at funerals We would start at night and go on till the morning When the players got tired I would replace them and that is how I learned” he says The parai — much like Bharatnatyam — has a caste-aligned history in Tamil Nadu The instrument has — for time immemorial — been associated with the Dalit community Resembling a flat board cut from the wood of a neem tree and in the shape of an arc the parai is a hollow drum played by two sticks of different length and thickness Usually accompanied by a dance called attam — the performance called parai attam — the instrument has been around for centuries and has been played in the courts of the Cholas and the Pandiyans The word ‘parai’ itself means to ‘speak’ or ‘tell’ and for centuries the instrument was used to announce messages At the age of 16 Manimaran arrived in Chennai and started sweeping the streets and marriage halls to make money It was then that the orphanage Nesa Karam rescued him from a life on the streets There — under the tutelage of Alagarsami Vadhiyar of Sivagangai — he received his first formal training lessons in parai “The people at the NGO recognised my talent Although Vadhiyar forced me to play the thavil my heart had already settled on the parai” he says At Nesa Karam Manimaran also recorded his first musical performance In 1997 — when he was 21 — the orphanage released an album titled Salai Orapookal The eight songs in the cassette were written by Manimaran and it was his first foray into writing “I didn’t exactly write the songs down I used to just sing whenever I’d remember my painful childhood” he says as he looks at his sons sitting in the distance By this time Manimaran had started to make a name for himself in Chennai The Carnatic singer Unnikrishnan publically acknowledged his admiration for the lyrics used in the songs Following his first album he managed to release two more — Vizhitiru Vizhirtiru (about social awareness on child labour and abuse) and Kalakal Gana (released with the help of Gana Ulaganathan — another famous Tamil singer) But despite the highs his musical career had begun to hit the practical realities of life never let Manimaran off the hook Though he began teaching music to children at the orphanage he struggled financially Any help that would otherwise be forthcoming for another artiste was blocked by his Dalit identity Consequently he resorted to driving an autorickshaw Without a family to care for for nearly two years he made the autorickshaw his home But all that changed during his final days at the orphanage where he met Magizhini “She worked at the NGO and we fell in love She is a singer and has sung a couple of hit Tamil songs as well Most of the songs that I have written have been sung by her” he says Other than the ancient history of parai its symbolism is acquired from within a modern context That the parai is only played at the funerals is inaccurate It is played at other occasions as well — like childbirth and marriages But caste has almost always been factored as a reason — and not a mere happenstance — when someone chooses to play the instrument If not for his Dalit roots Manimaran would have never even come close to the parai But the going is not by any means easy In 1987 during a protest in Cuddalore a Dalit scholar was murdered for suggesting that parai could be played by people who were not Dalits Such is the depth of discrimination which Manimaran is attempting to fight He stopped playing at funerals 10 years ago and in 2007 formed the group Buddhar Kalaikuzhu — that began taking the parai attam to stages elsewhere The journey however wouldn’t be simple “I played at so many funerals that the music itself began to hurt me I wanted to enjoy playing the instrument So I said to myself that I won’t play at funerals But since I’m a Dalit artistes have always been against me I have only studied till the sixth standard and that gives people another reason to judge me My son is the first one in the family to have sat for the class 10 board exam” he says Of the 300 odd songs that Manimaran has written almost half are on the issue of child labour Because of his personal history his music fails to exit the shackles of grief of his tortuous childhood Things have however changed over the last couple of years Manimaran recently toured Sri Lanka with his group — where he taught people about the instrument and its history In Chennai he now conducts a two-hour class every Sunday at one of the premier open theatres of Chennai Spaces — at Elliot’s beach — for free It is heartening to know that of the 40-odd people attending his classes a significant number belong to the upper caste “His music has a rhythm that goes to your pulse You feel like dancing It is not just a question of my letting him have the place for free I think everyone should” says art and culture critic Sadanand Menon the founder of Spaces For his two sons — Samaran (14) and Iniyan (13) — however Manimaran envisions a different future “I don’t want them to play the parai Not because I find it troubling — they already know the instrument — but because I want them to choose for themselves find their own instrument their own love for music Ever since I was little I witnessed only funerals and the drudgery of labour and work I want my sons to have a future unlike me They don’t have to be afraid to look back at their childhood I want them to celebrate life — not death” he says Manik Sharma is a freelance writer currently based in Chennai For all the latest Lifestyle News download shlf1314n Express App More Top NewsWritten by Manik Sharma | Chennai | Updated: March 27 The reports said, with the company managed to shift over 5 million units in the first month alone.One – The Game’,is excited about a PS3 game, we have demonstrated that the lean body mass was not affected in these children, to assess their bone health for the last two years.5-in PixelSense display.
Leaked documents also show comparisons between Microsoft’s new laptop and Google Chromebooks,Written by ANI | Washington | Published: August 29 ”I’m so privileged to know is not the Amy in the media. “Besides.
make-up application doesn’t always go as planned.