Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Biker Banter

My first biker memory was of running over my brother's foot on a grey hand-me-down tricycle when I was about three. Since my vocabulary then did not yet include the word "sorry", I just laughed insanely at my brother, pedalled away furiously, and crashed into a wall.

When I was 8, all the Trivandrum bois (including brother) started to learn how to cycle. Not to be outdone, I persuaded a senior boi to hire me a rusty green rattletrap from the cycle shop for 25p a day. The chain would lock itself tight every 10 feet or so, and send me flying into random puddles. When I finally mastered the green bike, I yelled to mommie dearest to look out of the balcony. "Look ma, no hands", I said as I careened down the slope leading to our house, and crashed into a wall.

My brother's red BSA SLR (with pump) was the most beautiful thing I'd seen. Using it, you could go anywhere you wanted in the world. Even all the way up to Prashanth Nagar (3 km away). The bizarrely vertical hills in Trivandrum, however, were not the easiest to negotiate. You had to get off and push your bike up cliff like inclines, and clamp both breaks down hard as you free-wheeled down them. My first brake wire snapped when I was half way down the Prashant Nagar incline. "Ende ammachiyey!!" I screamed as I hurtled down the hill and crashed into a wall.

Sriharikota was the flattest piece of land I had ever seen. No hills, no valleys, nothing. Just a flat-as-a-board mass of windswept scrubby tropical evergreen forest stretching out in every direction. "Heaven", I thought, as I climbed onto the BSA SLR that my brother had discarded in favour of a TVS champ. Little did I realize that Sriharikota's gusty winds were craftier than Indra's celestial nymphs. The wind would be behind me as I cycled into school all fresh in the morning, carressing and pushing me gently forward. On the way back, it would hit me square in my face. I'd huff, puff, wheeze and collapse on the pedals, only to find myself red-faced and barely breathing, 10 feet away from the school gates.

One cyclonic day however, the wind changed direction. I hopped on as usual at school and pedalled away furiously, expecting to make slow but steadyish progress towards home. The wind however, swirled back around me, jettisoning me out of the cycle path faster than a GSLV D3. "Orrey babooo!!!" I screamed as I flew over the footpath and crashed into a wall.

My rusty red steed followed me to Bangalore, where my home of course had to be located on the steepest incline in Malleswaram. Anyone who has cycled up the precipitous sloped of Kodandaramapuram and 11th cross, knows that it is a near-impossible task. "Pooh", I said when I first saw it, and set off to conquer it immediately. Switching on Sriharikota-wind-in-my-face mode, I monkey-pedalled up the first 15 feet easily. Suddenly the slope became twice as steep, and my world, half as bright. Half way up the slope, the infallible bikerdude, err.. fell. No more breath. Infact, almost no more life. Cycle slid back. "Ayyayyo, hoythallappoww..", I screamed as the cycle capsized, jingled, slid and crashed into a wall.

Trusty steed was replaced by two-geared Hero-Puch, trendy student-carrier of the 90s. After two years of plodding through city market on my way to college in a BTS bus, I was convinced this was my ticket to coolville. I conjured up supercool images of slicing through the market lanes at breakneck speeds of 30kmph, and dazzling everyone with my beautiful white moulded wheels. My joy was short lived. A scooter pulled up next to me at a traffic signal. The kid on the pilion tugged his father's shirt and said "Appa appa, can we buy this bike? It's so small, I'm sure it's cheap." "Aye cheh!" said the father. "Puchchu gichchu ella huchchare odsodhu" (Aye cheh, Puchch, gichch and all only mad people will ride). "Whaaaat? Bu..but.. Waiiiit!" I screamed, chasing after them, and crashed into a wall.

With my first salary, I bought the only four stroke motorbike on the market that was semi-cool and affordable: a smooth, beautiful black Hero Honda Splendor. I got on it, never got off. My ample rearside moulded itself to the shape of its beautiful black seat. I would sing loudly as I drove in the rain, and curse just as loud when the first trickle of rainwater got into my chuddies. I would take off on long lovely bike trips down Kanakapura road friends and significant others. When my office moved to Hosur road, I would be the first to get home, squeezing through the monster traffic on it in record time, escaping the incessant mind-numbing squawk of RadioCity on the office bus.

We've had a strange love-hate relationship, my bike and I. It has always been my best friend, fixing me with a baleful stare through all my trials and tribulations through its single square eye. I'd park it outside cinemas, pubs, garbage bins, rock shows and friends' homes, and always find it waiting for me dourly when I returned. It's been towed away, bashed up, scratched, dented and scoured, but never left my side. Probably because I had the keys.

When it grew old and would stop in the rain, Id take it aside and curse it gently until it sputtered reluctantly back to life. When it had its customary flat-tyre at 11pm on a Sunday evening, I'd always kick the other wheel and abuse it in the most loving manner, while the impossible-to-find mechanic would smile evilly and say "tube hogbittide(gone) saar". And whenever I jammed its non-existent brakes, it would always oblige me with a hair-raising squeak and crash into a wall.

My relationship with my big beautiful black steed has probably been the longest (and perhaps least healthy) attachment I have had with any mode of transport in my life. It is no longer mine though, but I really hope it's happy wherever it is now. Somewhere nice, I hope. Leaking last year's monsoon water from its torn seat cover into the pants of someone nice, I hope.

I loved you, my little black beauty, though between all the screaming and singing, I don't think I told you that often enough.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ring out the old, ring in the new

Bangalore's pretty old christmas-cake cottages are biting the dust like never before. People are moaning ceaselessly about important pieces of history being lost to the world forever every time one of them does.

People who've lived in them seem strangely dry-eyed though, having gone through a lifetime of dealing with rusty pipes, leaky roofs, stuffy kitchens and a 100 year accumulation of wild life in their cupboards.

The majority of us, however, just move on. We tut-tut when they go down, but happily waltz into the shiny modern apartments and malls that take their place. Is this an exclusively Indian phenomenon?

To ascertain this, I met up with a cheerful lady in in a diaphanous red saree for pani puri on 8th cross the other day. Her long flowing black hair was barely held in place by a crown of gold. She beamed at me in a most motherly manner, while using her tri-coloured flagstaff to pole-vault gracefully across a puddle to reach Rajanna's chaat trolley. After we ordered one masaaley and one pani sweet, we proceeded to converse thus:

"Vande mataram."

"Mataram vande, my child. Rajanna avre, solpa khara haaki." (Mr Rajanna, lay on the green chutney)

("Kottey! kottey..!") (Giving, giving)

"Maathey, why is the west so obsessed with preserving its architectural heritage, whereas we, as a nation, are largely unbothered?"

"Thoo some easy question ask I say."


"Seeee.. Western culture is visible and tangible and therefore needs to be preserved thus. India's is not. We look down our noses at everything ephemeral, such as brick, stone, life... and this pani puri. . gulp..

"I don't know about this really. It's lovely to say and all, but do we really believe this, deep down? How many of us are truly detached from life and the yen for aquisition?"

"Yen aa? Rupiss no?"

"Shh. No really, Even my thaatha, who'd say "Yennathai ozhachchu, paadu pattu, saaptu, thoongi.." (Whats the use of working, toiling, eating, sleeping..) was probably just saying it for effect. We're just complacent and unbothered, is what I think."

"True, but not necessarily in a bad way. We just don't see merit in preserving stuff that has outlived its value. What is not used crumbles to dust sooner or later. "

"As if. Just because you are Bharat Mata I should believe everything you say uh?"

"Hello I am new age Bharat mata. Bharat akka even. But look around you. The only Indian architecture that has been preserved culturally, is that which is still in use. Places of worship, government offices, rice-paddy terraces, etc. The rest of it - the forts of Rajasthan, the ruins of Hampi, the great baths of Mohenjo Daro - are all preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India, who probably do it out of sheer force of habit. I'm sure even the ASI wouldn't have been this gung-ho about preserving stuff, if it hadn't been formed in colonial times. "

"So why aren't we, as a culture, motivated enough to do it ourselves?"

"Boss I think we have our own ways of dealing with history and preserving our culture. We are not big on physical reminders. Our detatchment from material things has infact often been misunderstood as unbotheredness. History in my opinion (as new age Bharat mata), is meant to be learnt from and let go of."

"But Mummy Indie, our history is precious. How would we remember, if we don't have icons to represent it?"

"You don't need physical icons. Especially redundant ones. Besides, if all your ancestors were this hoity-toity about ringing out the old, you'd be sitting on 40 centuries of redundant architecture! Rulers regularly demolished and rebuilt entire kingdoms to suit their current needs. That's part of life. You can't expect an entire country to preserve 200 generations architectural heritage just because your highness wants iconic evidence of it! Maaad I say. Take pictures, make movies, document it, compose songs about it. Grumble about it if you want. These are Indian things to do."

"But can't we at least preserve the facades of our buildings and modernize the insides, like the west does?"

"Thats just silly. Why should a city look like it did 200 years ago, when everything about it has changed? It's like stuffing a dead pet. "

"Err I guess you have a point, but doesn't culture need an anchor? Something that stands as a reminder of its unique identity, something that will remain static over generations, for people to relate to?"

"An anchor can only be dropped when the sea is deep enough. The west has anchored itself on architecture that represents the zenith of its power, which it attained about 150 years ago. New India is only 60 years old after all, hasn't reached the peak of its power yet. I'd probably guess that buildings that survive 50 years after we reach our heyday, stand a greater likelihood of being preserved."

"So you're saying western preservation efforts are all about power in the end? And that India will start preserving icons that represent the peak of its power, whenever that happens?"

"That's what I'm saying."

"But hello, you're contradicting yourself. You just said we are culturally ephemeral and aren't into all physical reminders."

"Uff. Boss, India is land of contradictions. Leave off now. As it is I have a permanent headache with this stupid crown. Chumma don't eat my head and worsen it. Want to split one dahi puri?"

"Thank god you're pretty ma."

"Ei, suryanige torchaa? (For sun only torch showing aa?) When ledis-god only is standing in front of you, which other god you will thank I say? If you fools had drawn me a chappal, I'd have hit you with it, insolent fellow. Ri, ond dahi haaki." (Sir, put one dahi puri)

("Kottey! Kottey...!!")

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Of Kunjavvas and soLLe kaatas

Growing up all over the south has made me a victim of complete and utter linguistic chaos. I speak Malayalam when I mean to speak Telugu. I confuse random people in Malleswaram by breaking into Nellore Telugu when I need one kg bendekaai. I perplex priests in Kottayam by asking them where the college hostel is, in Bangalore Kannada.

My parents are Tamilian, though my mother's family has been in Karnataka since the 11th century. Probably for the weather. My father, having moved out of Madras in the 60s, speaks Tamil like an orthodox Kumbhakonam vaadiyar. So no help there. Plus, my dad had a transferable job which made us relocate to Kerala and Andhra during my childhood. I spent my wonder years swearing at my brother in Trivandrum gutter-malayalam, and my teens up a jamoon tree in Nellore, from where I conducted several conversations with passing cows in villager-Telugu. Resultantly, I murder all these languages with the ease of a college canteen chef.

My zealous quest for a South Indian Esperanto, has however, made me stumble on many charming crossover languages, spoken by small cut-off communities that migrated centuries ago from one linguistic region to another, each with it's own little nuances. This post is about them. For my sanity alone, Ive grouped them by crossover-category, with example crossover sentences, as follows:

Tamil-Kannada crossovers
Widely spoken all over Karnataka. Ancient tamil words, completely out of use in mainstream Tamil, are combined with contemporary Kannada idiom, resulting in a machine-gun-like, super-efficient, hilarious set of languages that are a riot to listen to.

Mandyam Iyengar Tamil: "Vaaron, vaaron. Coffee utkolreera?" "Anne ma, ippo thaa theerthamaadyoot vandhe." "Innu sheth podhle utkore."
(Do come, respected person. Would you partake of some coffee? Nay, mother, I just suffused myself in hot water. I shall partake of some in a while)
Hebbar Iyengar Tamil: "Kitki ella muchyoodu pa, sheegron." "Inge solle kaaton jaasthi ikkarna."
(Close all the windows quickly. We have a mosquito menace)
Bangalore Iyer Tamil: "Yennango, tiffin acha?" "Hoonungo." (Well, did you have your tiffin? Yes.)
Bangalore Cantonment Tamil: "Masth bejaan male vandhitkeedhu love-raj. 'Naathk ivlo vardhne therley." (It's raining a lot. Don't know why)

Telugu-Kannada crossovers:
The settling of Shettys and several other sub-castes from Andhra in Bangalore, saw the evolution of a peculiar brand of Kannada-Telugu, that has the melifluousness of Telugu combined with the cadences of Kannada.
"Em bava, mayintki vachnara ninna?" "Hoon ra, nee intlo naa beegam-chei marchpoi vachesthi." "Oh adh meedh beegum-cheina bava, adhe yevrdhani alochna cheskon undmi ."
("Hey brother in law, did you come home yesterday?" "Yes. I had left my keys behind." "Oh were they yours? I was wondering whose they were.")

Kannada-Marathi crossovers:
Spoken extensively in the Hubli-Dharwad and Gulbarga area. Completely the territory of the legendary Thoppai Mama. Kindly oblige :)
Aye bai, parghihann esht kotti? (Hey lady how much are those sweet-tart peppercorn-like fruit that contain large pips?)

Kannada-Konkani crossovers
Spoken in Karkala, Mangalore and its environs. Almost perfect Konkani, but a completely Kannada numeric system. Originally evolved to confuse family members from the Konkani diaspora about the ages of their female children.

Malayalam-Konkani crossovers (Konngani)
Mostly malayalam, except for a few key Konkani words
"Genabadhy Bhattarey, enganey undu? Ithra divasam veetilaayirunno?" "Nakko Nakko, njaan Kodihaaluvare poyathaa."
("Mr Ganapathy Bhat, how are you? Were you home all these days?" "No,no. I was in Mangalore")

Tamil-Malayalam crossovers (or Talayalam)
Another significant branch, with a large section hailing from Palghat. Other large populations exist in Trivandrum, Nagercoil and Trichur.

Trivandrum: "Kuzhandhaai, paal ambudum kudichutaaya. Bhesh, bhesh. Naalikku choakLayyte kondu vaaarein kaettiya?" (Child, did you drink all your milk? Very good. I'll bring you a chocolate tomorrow.)
Nagarcoil: "Enna chechi, unga veettile cabLe TV vandhittaa?" (Yo sista, did you just get cable?)
Trichur: "Ee ende pennnnil innnngu theeeeeeeraaRaayi. Ramaswamy maamayindeduththu ichchiri medichondu vaadi." (Mostly malayalam) (My pen is out of ink. get some from Ramaswamy mama)
Palghat: "Ennadi Kamalai, yedhukku indha neraththulai choarukku oda-oda resaththa vittu nanna chappitindirukaai?" "Yaen maami pandhrendu aachallo." "Aiyo Illai dee, paththumaNi aakkum. Enna, un cLoakku sariya nadakkalaiya?"
("Hey kamala what sort of time is this to eat rice and runny rasam?" "But maami, it's 12 after all." "No dee, it's ten. Isn't your clock working?")

And finally: The South Indian Esperantos..

Kodava takk: A charmingly perfect Kannada-Tamil-Malayalam crossover,with a sprinkling of Telugu (debatable). Spoken by people in Coorg, a border district in Karnataka.
"Kaveri kunjavva, engane ulliraa? Undit aacha?" "Oh gauji madiyand ullo." "NingaLa kandittu naaku bhari khushi aachi."
("Aunty kaveri, how are you? Did you eat?" "Oh I'm in great spirits." "I am very happy to see you."

Sanketi: This wonderful quadruple-crossover language is spoken by Sanketi Brahmins, orginally from Shenkottah in Kerala, but now settled in Bangalore and Mysore. The language seamlessly blends in Tamil grammar with Kannada and Malayalam phrases, and throws in a small sprinkling of Telugu words and case-endings. The language is not spoken outside the community, so I never had a chance to learn it properly. I will, however, attempt to write a conversation that I overheard a long time ago. Corrections are welcome:
"Ay Harsha, Raju koowde. Attathle rotti vechikkrani. Vandh sawda cholle." "Raju paai yerinji orangikyund ikraani." "Aiyo, orangikyund irundhaa yendhirpi vaaNaa. Yendhpinne neegl rend perko kalyanathe kurichi vivaramuga chollrani."
("Hey Harsha, call Raju. I've kept some roti on the shelf, tell him to come and eat it." "Raju is fast asleep on a mat on the floor." "Oh if he's asleep then don't wake him. When he's up, I'll tell you both in detail about the wedding.")

So, yeah. Now you know why I'm like this only.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Monsoons on Moore Road

" 'Ey Clyde! Just 'eard de good news chy.. c'ngraats. "

"Thanks men, whe'yall went? I came 'ome last week but y'all weren't dere. "

"I was in Austrailyer chy, visiting Jo's brudder'n' 'is huncles. "

"Ah, say so! I was so 'fraid y'all ran off widdout telling me even. "

"G'on m'n, 'ow I'll go widout telling y'all. 'Ere only I'll stay until y'all drag me off. Hey what chy, I 'eard 'Arriet's come first in music 'n' all? Give 'er my love, no? What she'll do now? Litrachur ein?"

"No m'n, Im tellin'er to take up Cannadda. Never know when dey'll make it a bloomin' first language 'ere and land all of us in a bloomin' mess. "

"I know chy'. If y'ask me, dey should send us all 'ome and speak Cannadda till dey turn blue in de face. Dose Tumkur blue grapes are dere no? Laddat. "

"Whae' m'n. Hopp'tunities are much more now 'ere no, wid call centerz 'n'all 'iring like nob'dy's bloomin bizness. We c'n teach dose blighters a ting or two. "

"True chy. No point goin'way anymore. 'Appy we're 'ere only. "

"'Ey whats 'appning to de city m'n? 'Sbeen raining cats 'n' dogs all week! Miranda's 'ouse is c'pletely flooded, poor thing. Bluddy raining, raining all de bloomin' time. Never used t'be like dis in Bangalore b'fore, no? Gets me hangry whenever I tink about it. "

"No point gettin' hangry wid the rain chy. F'get it. 'Ow dose bloomin' corporation buggers've f'gotten our Seppings Road no, laddat. Umbrella y'ant eh? "

"No m'n, whats de use, I'm already soaked like a bluddy spongecake even. Hevvry day 's' bin raining m'n, like bloomin' Cherrapunji. "

"I know chy. If y'ask me, we should change the name of Roger's Road to River's road I swea'. You sh'look at 'ow much water's c'llected dere. "

"I swea'. Dat Lloyd's dere no, in Hulsoor, tell'im to repai' 'is boat 'n' bring, we c'n row down de street hevery Sunday. "

"Ey by de way, I 'eard Jake's got a new job 'n' all? "

"No men, 'oo'll give 'im a job. But I swear, 'f 'e doesnt get one soon, 'e'll 'ave it from me. What 'e thinks, dis is a bloomin' soup kitchen or what. I'll give him two bluddy uppercuts on 'is kidneys and kick 'is bloomin bottom out of d'ouse 'f'e doesn't find a job soon."

"What chy, 'e's only 25 no, littl'un 'e is. Let 'im find 'is hown feet first chy. Den y'all c'n 'dvise 'im."

"But I'm so 'fraid m'n. 'E's getting into bad company wid all these Cannadda boys from college. Dunno whe' 'e's 'eaded, dat boy. Praying hevrryday 'e doesnt become like dat Leslie bugger men. Sitting shamelessly at 'ome wid his mudder. "

"Whae' chy, 'is mum wants 'im dere no? 'Oo'll look hafter 'er udderwise. All dese old biddies no, clever dey are. If y'ask me, dey should all sudd'ly dis'pear from de planet in a puff of smoke. 'Ow dose Thoms' mutton puffs dis'pear after Sunday mass no, laddat. "

"Krekt, I swea'! Hokay m'n, come by at Christmas ein? And give my love to Lizzie, Ralphie and Hannabel."

"Cert'ly. Y'all coming f'de wedding no? "

"G'on chy, has if we'll miss it! G'bye, God Bless. "


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Carnatic contortionism

Where have all the quirky artists of yesteryear gone, I hear you ask? OMG I knew we were related! I often ask this myself!

Artist vakras (idiosyncracies) at a concert have been a dying art form for several years now. They have been almost completely obliterated by the new breed of rigid necked, poker faced, young artists of today. Whaaat is this I say?

All these self-righteous, modern music teachers are to blame for this, I tell you. I have personally seen them correcting the facial ticks and grimaces of young impressionable pupils right from their childhood. I myself have been a victim of this modern brainwashing. My beloved and late Shakunthala Teacher, a well meaning and very talented Trivandrum AIR artist, would always tell me after an inspired grimace during a difficult varnam passage: "Kondhaai, moonji-geenji elaam pannapdaadhu kaettiyo? Yellaarum un paattu kaekarthukku bathila, un moonjiyai paapaaLaakkum." (My child, don't make face-gees. People will look at your face instead of listening to your song. Ok? Ok.)

This post, however, is dedicated to those few, far between (and usually immensely talented) artists, who have managed to stick to their old school ways, and continue to grimace, gesticulate, cough, and slice their way into the hearts of their rasikas. Presented below is my humble attempt at documenting artistic vakras at a lively carnatic kacheri, in the hope that it may be used in the future to rejuvenate this wonderful lost art:

Varaaha Vaidyanathan: For the uninitiated, this is the delicate art of piggyface making. Especially prominent while executing delicate sangathis during a raga: "Thu dhu rin na nu....uuiiium", or during a long phrase in a Thyagaraja Krithi involving words like "munu ju joochuchumu".

Self Appreciater : Breaks into a hearty "aaaan" and "sabhaash" after executing a complicated gamaka. The usually timid violinist is forced to smile weakly and agree, while producing a mouse-like answer to the same phrase.

Audience-confusing thaalam putter: A master of thaalam who never needs to keep time with the music, but will suddenly slap his/her thigh 27 times in the middle of an avartana, and confuse the entire audience.

Exorcist VI: While the usually talented artist sings with abject devotion to various gods and goddesses, all the demons of the netherworld surface on his/her face. "Mah-hwaaaaaaa(scary face) Guh-Na-pa-thiyiwwwwwwum (scowl)"

Roti mandir: Usually found in the North, this artist will begin the concert by kneading some imaginary dough, pounding and pummelling it, stretching it out, and finally rolling it into imaginary chappatis. Needless to say the audience leaves disappointedly hungry after 2 hours of tempting chappati making.

Bronchitis Bhatrachar: The artist who thinks nothing of going "harrrghgthghgmph" in the middle of a subtle sangathi, instantly popping a spell-bound audience back into the real world.

Uh-uh, nope, not possible: The negative percussionist that shakes his head in hopeless despair throughout the concert. If the audience had any intension of sacrificing a bonda-bajji break during the thani, it is promptly pre-empted by an extra bout of intense head waggling during the first mohra.

Shanta Idly Grinder: Goes into raptures while singing "Maadu mekkura kanne nee poga vendaam munne". Sits on an imaginary arisi-paruppu (rice and dal) mixture and grinds away by swaying body in a clockwise motion, now and then tamping down the imaginary batter with a thrust of her closed fist.

Karate Kid IV: The Black belt master at a hindustani concert, who aims expert air-slices at imaginary bearded chinese masters. Most of these singers also have a secret ambition of substituting the percussion accompaniment with a big brass gong.

Comedy Chakrapani: Usually a violinist or a ghatamist with a humungous vibhuti, pottu and fantastic wardrobe, who drives the audience (esp the kids) insane with laughter with all manner of quirky faces, grins, eyebrow waggles, and funny screechy notes, with an "I didn't do that" expression.

Agathi Alamelammal: The consumptive looking "pretty girl" playing the tanpura. Either bored senseless with the concert or completley hypnotized by the buzz of the tanpura she is playing. Nevertheless a good nirvana-esque place to be in.

The lotus eater: An over-humble artist who will anounce all his kritis with hand in lotus bud formation held close to his mouth in a gesture of humility: "This is my wown hummmmble caamposition. Please feel free to kick and spit all over it because I am your wown hummmble servant". An instant cue for various maama-maamis to leave, or catch up with the weekly gossip.

Shruthi sodhapper: The avant-garde flautist/singer who is never satisfied with the tuning of the tanpura. Will repeatedly adjust the strings right in the middle of the song. Worse still is the electronic tanpura adjuster, who will unhesitatingly make shruti adjustments in full volume, making the entire audience tut-tut in irritation.

Mridanga Manikyam: The artist who smiles brightly at the mridangist after every phrase of a manodharma swara. By the end of the concert, the mridangist's polite return-smile gets sealed permanently onto his face.

The overcompensator: A native tamil speaker, unaccustomed to the heavy plosive consonants of other languages, especially Sanskrit. Will overcompensate by converting all consonants to their heavier versions, in the hope of pronouncing foreign words correclty: "YenDhara nee Dhana, Ghendha BhoNi, JhinDha viDhuva Jhaa Rhaa, Kshreeee Raaahaahaamaa". Usually eliciting sniggers from the audience when performing outside chennai.

Blind Fury III: An artist who has cleverly convinced the audience for years that s/he is visually challenged, by screwing eyes shut throughout the concert. The eyes will pop open occasionally during a thani, but close instantly, before the audience catches on.

Witty Waradachar: Makes quips in mid-phrase about the faulty sound system, or the concert organizer, eliciting polite laughter from the audience.

The Devaranama/Meera Bhajan destroyer: The sort that is clearly convinced of the superiority of music over poetry, and the irrelevance of the actual words being sung. Hence if Meera sang:"Maii thwo kirithara ge ranku raaaajee", Krishna would still appear, albeit scraching his nails on a blackboard. This artist is also convinced that all devarnamas are composed using the two imaginary kannada words "Hothle and Hidhlu" and will sing an entire purandara dasa kriti using them.

Nostril Nalini: Eyes permanently fixed at indeterminate spot on ceiling of hall. While Yashoda had the privilege of seeing the world in her son's mouth, the audience now has the dubious one of seeing asteroids and other formations in the artist's nostrils.

Footnote: For all those die hard fans of the artists lampooned here, freeya vidunga (leave off I say). I love 'em as much as you do.