The importance of being a Rasika

A Rasika can probably be defined as one who enjoys the essence of any creation, be it gross object or a subtle work of art. Again a rasika need not necessarily be a connoisseur. While it is certainly an added advantage to have knowledge of any given subject, it is not mandatory. Does one need to know how to make sambar before certifying as to its taste? Knowledge is helpful in so far as to substantiate any judgement made.

With reference to music, one can categorically state a successful performance is one in which a performer manages to retain his audience. It would not be an exaggeration to declare that the whole show is packaged and presented with only one person in mind - The Rasika. Needless to say, but for the presence of this elite band of people, the performer would have been sitting at home. Why does a rasika choose a particular concert in preference to the other, be it vocal or instrumental? Why has the Vina slipped from its position of popularity in so far as the platform is concerned? The answer to these lie with this ‘huge assembly of verdict givers’. This position of importance given to the rasika is well justified when we remember the fact that in a performance lasting well over two hours, the rasika chooses to nod his head and award his prized comment ‘Bhesh’ just about half a dozen times.

These statements are applicable only when music is offered on a commercial plane. What if one practices art for art’s sake? Are the esoteric terms ‘Atmanubhavam’ and the rest only mythical expressions? Where does the role of our hallowed trinity fit into this? To which rasika did they perform? To these barrage of question I have only one answer, which I pose in the form of a question. Does a performer enjoy his music? If so, when? The answer is - when he stops identifying himself as a performer and judges his own music from the standpoint of a rasika.

Lakshmi Devnath


Mail us your experiences


Musings home

Query and Inquiry

Wonder Box