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The Rhythm of the Tabla

A few months ago, my son Neil had a problem.  He is in eighth class (the year BEFORE the O level/Junior Certificate/High School Certificate year).  He was faced with the  dilemma of having to drop a subject.  My sons attend an English language public school.  It is a very commercial institution and in fact prepares the children for the business world very well.   He wasn't sure whether to drop Art or not.  I wasn't sure myself.  I advised him to listen to his heart.  Like me, he wasn't great in art - he usually got pass marks, nothing more.

The other choice was music.  This is what he ultimately chose.  Now he is learning an Indian  musical instrument called the tabla.

I am so glad.  I always had a good ear for music and participated in church choirs throughout my school life, as all convent girls do (at least those who can carry a tune!).  But the extent of my musicianship has always been singing, nothing more.  I never really learnt how to play a musical instrument.  I wish I did, though.  I would have liked my children to learn but I had no idea how to go about it.

My brother-in-law Sanjeev got a second hand set of tabla drums from a musical shop.  They  have a nice antique look about them.  These drums are played by hand.  All I can say is that one of the drums looks thin and tall and the other looks fat and round.

Neil practises every day, especially on holidays.  The sound is beautiful and he seems to enjoy this hobby.  He is not a boy who likes reading very much - much to my despair!  But this is another interest for him apart from playing cricket in the park.

One good thing about drums - it seems to help get rid of aggression.  Neil's sister Mel fights with him a fair bit, so instead of fighting, I tell him to just ignore her and go and practise the tabla.  It seems to be working!


  1. hehehe exactly! Tabla and the likes are more of a 'stress buster' instrument! Even i went to learn Tabla when i was 9-10, but dint go beyond a month ;)......but yes as you will divert and reduce kids fight with sisters and i completely agree that point as i did the same back then ;)

  2. My parents tried to drum some sense into my head and did not succeed. Perhaps they should have given me a pair of tablas! I might have amounted to something in life!

  3. Music is a great hobby and who knows it may turn to a career some day!

  4. Wonderful! Music is a fine art! And if it helps in getting along with siblings... even better, don't you think? ;-)

  5. I love tabla, but they are not easy to play, I nearly got a set, but watched a class first and got freaked out.


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