A reader discovers a new disorder — the Irresponsible Rasika Behaviour!

December is undoubtedly the best time to be in Chennai, not only because of the fine weather, but also for its cultural outburst, leaving you spoilt for choice. It exposes one to the best music and dance talent in the country.

Besides this, it provides an interesting platform to analyse human behaviour. So I have coined a new disorder as the Irresponsible Rasika Behaviour or IRB. It is when a rasika behaves in a manner which is insensitive either to the performer or the rest of the audience. More research is required on this subject.

Imagine listening to Sikkil Gurucharan’s rendition of Ka va va in Varali, and the smell of oranges rudely hits you on the face. You turn left and there is a kanjeevaram-clad woman with ear-muffs, chewing away on oranges. Of course, it is wrong to expect people to follow the no-eatables-inside-the-auditorium rule, and stepping out to the cafeteria is definitely not an option because you will lose your precious seat in the second row and may have to move to the fourth row instead.

Then there are the classic cases, in which people simply won’t put their cell phones on silent mode for the duration of the concert. In between the Tani Avartanam, there is the popular Nokia tune for accompaniment — perfect!

The third and most amusing category is the know-it-all. They know the ragam as soon as the singer starts singing the first swaram, slap their thighs with the perfect taalam shaking the entire row of chairs with them, and appreciate every second phrase with a loud “bale bhesh”.

IRB is unique in its effect because unlike the usual disorders, this one has too much of an effect on others.

The writer is in her III year, School of Excellence in Law

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