Unsung Heroes

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Singing Away Blues

gokul dasStalks of files and reports, deadlines stare you in the face…day in day out. Routine life. Boredom. Ennui.

Where on earth will you find time or energy to dig out the talents in you? As days pass by, your talents lie dormant somewhere deep. Years into work, you tend to forget about them.

You leave your dancing feet behind. You stop humming a tune or do it apologetically.

But thanks to one man’s efforts, some of the employees at the Secretariat have broken through the boredom.

All Gokul Das wanted was that his colleagues at the Secretariat should not waste their talents. Soon after he retired as Joint Secretary from the Secretariat, he came up with an association called “Paatu Kootam” (Music Group). It is a gathering of people who are interested in music—singers as well as music lovers.

"The main aim of Paatu Kootam is to promote talent and create opportunities for all music lovers,” says Das. “Some people have inhibitions about singing on stage, in front of a crowd. Through this association, we hope to encourage them.”

He remembers a girl who could not even stand up and sing as her whole body trembled because of stage fright. “But after some time, she boldly stood up and sang for us. That is the kind of courage we hope to give,” adds Das.

Paatu Kootam meets on the first working day of every Malayalam month. Since its launch in August 2007, it has never taken a break. Every month, they come up with songs of a particular musician—singer, composer or lyricist.

“However, we usually focus only on old Malayalam songs, especially the ones which are not so popular.”

He adds: “Last Sunday, which was our 31st gathering, we sang songs penned by Sreekumaran Thampy. Next month, however, we are commemorating the late Gireesh Puthencherry, and so it will be relatively newer songs,” says Gokul. It is not always film songs. It could be light music or songs from theatre.
Most of the participants of Paatu Kootam are employees of the Secretariat. However, others join them after hearing about the programme. The expense of booking a hall and a mike is shared by the participants. “There is no such thing called membership. Anyone who loves music is welcome to join us,” adds Das, who prepares a quick quiz every time and gives away prizes.

Posted By : Sabin, On Apr 06, 2010 12:28:53 PM
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