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<time datetime="2008-12-05T00:00:00-08:00" pubdate><span class='month'>Dec</span> <span class='day'>05</span> <span class='year'>2008</span></time>
<h1 class="entry-title"><a href="/my-last-veena-performance.html">My Last Veena Performance</a></h1>
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<div class="entry-content"><p>I started learning to play the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veena">Veena</a> when I was 11. It was the most irritating experience at that time. I did not want to play the Veena, I just wanted to read <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Tintin">Tintin</a> or draw. But I stuck with it and learnt till I was in my X standard (&ldquo;O&rdquo; levels by singapore standards). When I came to <abbr title="Nanyang Technological University">NTU</abbr> I found a vibrant carnatic music scene (in the Indian carnatic music group called Shrutilaya) and I brought my (then) 5-year-old Veena all the way to Singapore to start playing and practicing. I also was getting training from the disciple of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._Balachander">Veena Balachander</a> and it was wonderful to learn about the maths and the rationale behind the structures of carnatic music. I learnt quite a bit and with a lot of enthusiasm. But my teacher left for India and my interest waned again. I never quite picked it up after that.</p>
<p>Since 2004 I have not touched the Veena. Yesterday, realising I need to do something with it, I called <a href="http://www.sifas.org/">SIFAS</a> (the Indian Arts Association in Singapore) and asked about donating a Veena. They asked me to come today. It sank in today morning that I was going to give up my more-than-15-year-old Veena. So, I sat down to play something. What follows is the video of my performance. I was really bad at playing it, after such a long period of time (especially without the required clips and vaseline). This version of the Indian National Anthem is not even what I have been taught, but something I tried on my own. So it is doubly worse. But still, I have a permanent reminder of the Veena that has travelled the distance with me during my growing up years. Here it is, for your entertainment:</p>
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<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/cTnXDDgG91Q&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/cTnXDDgG91Q&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
<p>Video taken by <a href="http://deepak.jois.name">Deepak Jois</a></p>
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