"Wherever you go, go all with your heart"
These lines spoken by legendary Chinese philosopher Confucius have a significance in the life of Das K S Puram, who literally carries his 'heart' in a denim bag, wherever he goes. A seasoned flute player, Das makes sure that he makes people happy by playing countless tunes on his favourite flute.
He is no stranger to the hundreds of commuters in the Venad Express who boards from the Piravom Road station in Ernakulam. From the old to the young, everyone in the train loves listening to Das playing some all-time classics on his flute. They do not hesitate to shower praise on Das, whom they fondly call 'Dasettan.'
All Das needs in a train compartment is a place for him to lean onto. He would then begin playing his flute, instantly drawing attention from the passengers. This journey often continues till Thrissur where he meets up some of his friends. He would then catch another train back to Ernakulam south railway station. Das' musical journey wouldn't end there as he would immediate board the next train to Amabalappuzha. Das says he tries to board different trains to these directions each day, as he enjoys meeting different people. Even if he catches the same train, he makes sure that he gets into different compartments every day. Most passengers record his performance on their mobile phones.
Lover of journeys
Das' father made flutes and used to play it as well. Das owes his impeccable talent to his ancestors. Though he is not a classically trained artist, Das has many beautiful memories associated with playing flute. Das recalls that the renowned singer Yesudas, the original 'Dasettan' himself, once gifted him Rs 50 after the latter was impressed by his amazing performance. He was just a school student when the legendary singer was stunned by the ease with which Das had created mesmerizing music on flute.
"Rs 50 wasn't available as a single note in those days. He had gifted me 5 ten rupee notes. I retired from work and am receiving pension. My three kids are well settled. I don't really enjoy sitting idle at home. These short journeys make me incredibly happy. Besides, I feel great making others happy," says Das.
For the passengers who regularly board the Venad Express, the magical music that flows from Das' flute is something that takes them back to the enchanting world of the golden past. Das' life and his passion for music would remind one of the famous words said by legendary Italian musician Andrea Bocelli, "I also always carry my flute. It is very important for me to try to relax when I'm travelling, and playing my flute helps me relax."