Owen Sound, Ontario
The sound of a mrdanga drum breaking cracks my heart. Such happened this morning in the home of Garuda Vahan, my past cross country walking support person. It happened in this building, an old church that had been turned into a Pottery Barn, now an open concept apartment. Garuda’s son, Tulsi, picked up the clay drum. The strap broke, causing this precious musical instrument to hit the floor… CRACK!
I could let one heart attack go, but this was the 2nd drum crack within 24 hours. Last evening our best sounding drum was placed in the trunk of a car destined for a home program. When reaching that place, our drummer opened the back door, causing the drum to roll out, CRACK! OUCH!
My consolation to this is looking out the window of the arched window at the fresh snow fall. The view opens up to beautiful Georgian Bay. It’s relieving somewhat. When I turned around I saw the Niagara Escarpment behind me and I’m told that there are hundreds of trails on top of this ridge with its old limestone rock. More comfort.
When you attempt to play a cracked terra cotta instrument, it has lost its tone. Tulsi tried to keep a happy face of optimism. Okay, but these musical treasures, mrdanga drums, are a little hard to come by, they are not available like a slurpy drink found in the local convenience store. New drum means a trip to India and to an exclusive workshop in a remote village somewhere in West Bengal.
Since this beautiful sounding percussion becomes the heartbeat of kirtan that consoles the soul, it becomes a heartbreaker when a tiny damage is done. Fortunately two other mrdangas were available to compensate for the loss of one. The Hannah family who hosted the program along with Rajesh approached the kirtan with such enthusiasm, that we ultimately overcame any sorrow.
Jaya! (Victory). Heart Repaired!