Drums… The very word vibrates with life. I do believe that humankind’s creative energy must have been woken up by the sound of drumbeats. As the first men and women leaped to the beat of the drums, so must have their consciousness leaped ahead. The sense of this I savoured at Auroville this weekend, experiencing a Taiko performance. What is this Taiko, you may ask. To define, it’s a Japanese art form wherein different drums of various shapes and sizes are played upon, to create music and tell a story. At Auroville where I saw it for the first time, it was not just about different sized drums; it was about people from different parts of the world coming together to perform Taiko.
At first glance, on the stage, they were people with different facial features, skin tones and hair colour – A French, a Spaniard, an Indian, Africans and Japanese, but then they turned into magicians filling the air with the oneness of their music. An abstract and perfect introduction to what Auroville is, neatly sketching that spark of unity in diversity. This performance made me realise that art can sometimes make us understand complex concepts intuitively and instantly, that even pages and pages of explanation cannot convey. Personally too, those drum beats woke up the creative energy I thought to be lost within me. An exquisite, extraordinary thing that made me see, hear, touch, taste and sense an awakening. A thing that made every one of my cells leap like that first human.
The beat of the drums was set to the seasons of life. The rustle of the flowers yawning and waking up from the frost in spring; The fiery and fun sun in summer; The final dance of the leaves in autumn; The slowing snow in winter – These elements echoed in the language of drums. In the musicians, I saw their culture reverberating in the way they played their drums. The Africans’ raw emotion in swaying with their entire body as they beat the drums; The joy of the Latino beats; The spirituality of India; The mysticism of Japan – A delight to dwell upon. Truly, Auroville is a microscopic vision of what this world can be, if nations more often held hands than turn their backs to each other.
Here’s wishing that like these drumbeats, hearts in different parts of the world beat together and echo the same music of hope for humanity!