Somehow, the morning has changed. Growing up in a slower India, mornings felt different. It might well be nostalgia, but they did not seem to be as full of portent, as crammed with activity, as performative in their character. Mornings hung on to the day, not in clammy desperation but in airy surprise at the newness of everything. If the morning today is a perpetual flashback in blur, a compressed space rarely experienced and only occasionally remembered, it seemed that the mornings had time to be themselves, before hardening into the day.Memories of mornings as they used to be invariably involved the radio. There was something about the AIR signature tune that did not merely usher in the morning; it became morning in all its unfolding sonorousness. Meter bands sprang gently to life, and tanpuras filled out empty spaces in the day, curling into the distant corners of the room. The sound became the light, as Tanpura echoed the coming to life of a new day, contemplative, unhurried, setting the background to the activity to follow, refraining from giving us any concrete signs of what was to come.Somehow, morning time is Tanpura time; where the intent of the day is not fully ripened, where time is rubbing sleep from its eyes and settling down, stretching to give itself room to eventually take some shape and form. Sound that creates diversion but avoids shape; that gesticulates musically without articulating any precise content; that is all aura and little substance. Like the newly born day, morning radio music was content to play the apprentice intent on meditative practice and not the maestro launching into a fully realised and exquisitely finished performance. Gradually, strains of sunlight streamed in through the veranda, light claimingterritory patch after bright patch.Window panes glowered as if caught unawares; light began to get tinged with heat, stirring the bones into some form of activity.By Santosh Desai
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