Whoever said WHISTLING is the forte of road side romeos and college goers for cat-calls and booing, would have been put to shame had they watched the first ever whistling competition in INDIA held at CHENNAI recently.
Chennai’s pride truly!
For those of you bloggers / readers who do not know that there exists an association for whistlers/whistling, the INDIAN WHISTLERS’ASSOCIATION was formed on 19th September 2004 as a yahoo group founded by MR.RIGVEDA DESHPANDEY all of 18 years hence. It is quite typical of the teen age young man to whistle at pretty women, but MR.RIGVEDA DESHPANDEY foresightedly formed the IWA bringing into existence a new ‘clan’ of ‘whistlers’ thereby taking them to a much elevated platform promoting them from being ‘bath-room whistlers’ to ‘professional whistlers’.
There used to be a time when it was preconceived by the public at large that whistling was an exhibition of indecent behaviour. Some of our friends may also have been chided at home for whistling. However things have changed for the better! As of now, our friends in the IWA get a lot of encouragement from kith and kin alike. After all it is the most cherished human ‘instrument’ isn’t it?
Whistling itself has evolved over the years emerging as a musical human instrument with tremendous scope to improvise. The popularity of this new art form has grown in magnitude with numerous CD’s, movies and commercials featuring WHISTLING !
Now moving on to the first ever whistling competition held at Chennai, the show was a stupendous success! Ably shouldered by MR.JAGAT TARKAS, who heads the Chennai chapter of the IWA, the show was a great hit!
Competitions were held in four categories, namely- HINDI SONGS, TAMIL SONGS,
WESTERN SONGS AND CLASSICAL SONGS. A panel of eminent judges were invited for the morning and afternoon sessions respectively. For the morning session the judges were MRS.KAVITA PATEL, MR.SAJAN SHENOY and MR.HITESH SHELT.
The afternoon session had MR.SHYAM SUNDAR, MRS.NIKILA and MR.RAMANA as the judges. MR.RIGVEDA DESHPANDEY the founder and MR.CHITAN BHIDE ,the founder member were the chief guests for both the sessions. They also enthralled the audience with their guest performance!
The audience who consisted mostly of close relatives and friends of the participants were awestruck with the professionalism and class shown by the whistlers! They cheered non-stop, totally involved in the masterful show. The passion for whistling was very much evident in the child-like enthusiasm shown by some of the elderly participants, who also savoured every moment of their whistling, rendered so melodiously and effortlessly!
In other words our participants were not blowing their own trumphets but were playing their own flutes! Karaoke music was used by most of the participants and they did their best in the allotted 4 minutes. Hindi and Tamil music category had quite a number of participants while the classical and western had very few. What was heartening to note was that girls participated very eagerly encouraged and applauded by their parents. The participants and their guests sat through the entire day, quite eager to know the results.
MR.JAGAT TARKAS, as I mentioned earlier had made all arrangements meticulously, including that of excellent acoustics thanks to MR.GANESH, also the DJ for the day.
Nevertheless, I would like to make a few suggestions which the organizers may ponder over!
Firstly, whistling requires a lot of stamina, and the level of stamina gradually comes down as one ages. Breath control and stamina of a twenty year old and that of a forty year old vary drastically and it would only be prudent to categorise the participants into two categories-below 30 years and above 30 years.
Secondly, the participants were free to use either karaoke music or whistle along with the actual song apart from those who opted to have no music at all. This should also be addressed to next time and whistling along with the actual song may be discouraged.
Thirdly, classical category had some of the participants perform certain film songs which fell under the semi-classical variety and not under the classical category in the true sense of the word. The above mentioned are only some of the initial hiccups that any growing forum may undergo.
Moving away from the competition, the IWA should in the long run form its own ‘WHISTLERS SYMPHONY’, a completely professional whistlers’ troupe competent enough to perform in various sabhas and other organizations devoted to music.
I am sure with the youthful exuberance of the likes of MR.RIGVEDA and the elderly wisdom of the likes of MR.JAGAT, the IWA is sure to go places………….and the days are not very far off !