Even before P picked up paint brushes or paint, he picked up chenda kol (Kerala percussion instrument and it’s uniquely shaped sticks) and drums. P’s idols are the famous Kerala percussionist Kuttan Marar and the ace drummer Sivamani. He can watch both these artists for hours on youtube. We also try and make it to most of their live concerts.
There is much drumming happening all day long and it peaks especially after we go see a live concert. He would drum away at just about any surface, and hence we have a cracked centre table, many broken plastic drums and severely pitted furniture.
There is also a lot of role play he does during his sessions. He tries to dress and behave like his idols. Sometimes he’s Kuttan marar in his traditional attire, sometimes Sivamani, with his fancy bandana – his underwear is the closest substitute for the bandana look!
Sometimes it’s Zakir Hussain
I let P use most of the vessels and plates as substitutes for the drumming ensemble Sivamani has. Last week he had an additional request – he wanted the ching-ching, water drum and suitcase. P had seen him using these quirky objects to create various sound effects at a recent concert. I ruled out the serrated suitcase right away but gave the ching-ching and water drum a try.
Making the ching ching became a simple art activity in itself. I got P to string ghungroo (bells) and stick it around a tin can. We put some stray bells inside as well and we were ready for our jamming session.
As the noise levels grew, E1 and E2 also joined us and we had a great time drumming away.