March 19, 2002

Inspiration for the day




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Sasidharan. T. G, an employee of Indian Bank, Aluva

Music from a hollow bamboo reed, yes.  But music from a plain and simple comb?

Meet Sasidharan. T. G who plays classical music using a plain gent’s comb, the one with a tapering end.  Says he: “I love Hindustani music.  And I love the sound from the shehnai and nagaswaram.  For long I wanted to produce this music through something… but not them.  It was then that I hit upon the comb.”

But why a comb?  His reply: “Because it is something you and I can carry wherever we go and which fits easily into the pocket.  You can comb your hair with and what is more, play music too with it.  Can you carry a shehnai or nagaswaram in your pocket?”

What about his talent in classical music?  “My father, Gopalan Achary was an artiste, adept at playing the harmonium.  He fashioned a violin for me and for long I used to play it.  But it was from my grandfather, Ezhikkara Paramudas, a bhagavathar, that I learnt music and harmonium.”

Can any comb produce music?  Not so.  Only the long one with a tapering end.  The teeth of the comb also matter.  They shouldn’t be too close or too distant.  The quality of paper used on the comb also matters.  “Newsprint is best”, he says.

Sasidharan, an employee of Indian Bank, Aluva, has enthralled crowds not only at various places of Kerala but also in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.  His concert has been aired by All India Radio.

“I can play any raga on the comb with ease”, he says.  Moreover, while only 2.5 srutis are possible in nagaswaram, any raga in any pitch can be played on the comb”, he says.   

“My debut performance was at Guruvayoor on Ekadasi day 1990.  In fact I owe it all to the Lord’s blessings”, he admits in all humility.

“I consider the comb as my greatest musical instrument and the music from it the greatest art.  I am searching for the perfect tune”, says he.



Courtesy: Anoop Thomas, The New Indian Express

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