This is my first time living full-time in Pandanallur. He usually comes down for a visit every year, and I go with him, but they've been short stays. But this year I'm here day-in, day-out, like that song says ... anyway ... now everyone has opened up to me, after 13 years I'm no longer an outsider. Now they all speak to me freely.
I don't concentrate on the music and the choreography he's teaching me during lessons and instead my mind goes a wandering. We are singing "Sami Nee Ramanave" in kamas.
And he is very keen on this varnam. He really starts getting deep into the correct way to sing the neraval for the first line. Oh, it is so sweet a varnam. Viscous like honey. We are sitting in the front verandah of his house and it's early morning. The mist is lifting, soon it will all be burnt off by the scorching sun. Outside on the street, a row of little goats, all stepping daintily. There is a dog, maybe a big puppy, it keeps trying to play with the two goats that are butting each other but they ignore it. All very idyllic. He snaps at me. "Where is your concentration?"