Archive for February 2007
I discovered this uber cool acoustic jazz group on YouTube called Acoustic Alchemy. It's a wonder how many talented artists there are out there. And many many of such artists lose out to lesser talent when it comes to commercial success.
He looked something between a gawky teenager and a gnarled old man. Disheveled mop of hair rising awkwardly over his head, skin drawn tightly across his bony skull whose lines betrayed a strain much beyond its years, frail of frame, coat a little too tight and trousers a little too baggy, deep-set restless eyes which never seemed to focus. An unkemptness even self conscious, almost comical, like the Tramp.
But his words, words enmeshed with the uncomplicated rhythm of his guitar, tempered with clumsy intermittent wails of his harmonica, words rendered in a peculiar high pitched rasp which somehow strikes you as the Voice of Wisdom. Words not speaking of matters of the day, or even everyday matters – not about cars, houses, jobs, wars, injustice. Words not even lauding the beauty of love or expressing the pain of heartbreak. Words speaking of the timeless, of the Self, the self in relation to Nature perhaps. Words expressing a mood, a mood of passiveness, of utter resignation. Of a spirit so weary, yet running asunder, unshackled, on the plane of imagination.
The greatest song of all times – some say.
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey ! Mr Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following’ you.
When I hear “Tambourine Man” I see a fiddler in an ancient village, dancing and playing on a timeless sunny day making you want to lie on a bale of hay, staring at the clear blue sky, letting your thoughts float free.
Though I know that evening’s empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming.
Weary…so weary. “Evenings empire has returned into sand” – a sand castle washed away by the lapping waves perhaps?
Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling’ ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels
To be wandering’
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it.
Ever felt like your hands don’t have the energy to grip?
Though you might hear laughing’, spinning’ swinging’ madly across
It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escaping’ on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facing’
And if you hear vague traces of skipping’ reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn’t pay it any mind, it’s just a shadow you’re
Seeing that he’s chasing..
Laughing, spinning, swinging madly……..
Then take me disappearing’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
What better description of sorrow than “twisted”
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.
What better expression of freedom of the soul, of weightlessness.
Ahh the day has finally arrived…..
The day you will receive endless cards which make you puke endlessly. (Or rather, cards that your friends receive, which in spite of their pukishess leave you envious.)
The day when you endlessly scour the “personals” pages on all the local papers hoping someone has submitted their profession of love for you finally this hear. But your heart sinks when there is no sign of your name in the endless lists of jaanus, sweetos and popos.
The day when you wince endlessly when you hear the word “Valentine” and “Love” being mentioned in every group and gathering as you try to slink by unnoticed.
The day when you are scared to step out of your house because everybody seems to be looking at you with doleful pitying eyes and thinking “poor single weirdo”.
The day when you have to be subject to endless debates and messages about:-
1) The sanctity of this day, background information for its celebration, and the greatness of love.
2) Denunciation of the day as a blatant commercial affair, leading the youth “astray” on the path of “western values”, and the “true spirit” of love having been completely lost to youngsters “nowadays”, and passionate invocations like “what about love for your parents??”.
The day when you have to nod and grin when a friend shows you a mushy message from his sweetheart and says…”wow, this is deep”
The day when your heart jumps every time your phone rings, only to realize it’s your father asking for computer troubleshooting tips, your out of station brother, or a lamentatious fellow singleton.
Posted February 19, 2007on:
Recipe for Masala’ e’ Hindi Pikture
- Put the base, i.e., a plain Hollywood movie in a large based utensil over medium-high heat. Let the mixture simmer over the fire a little. Drain off core theme, serious dialogues and meaningful messages – if present.
- Pour in wise, vulnerable, sincere, on a social reformist mission, uncompromising on values, disinterested in meaningless sex, impeccable English speaker but inclined towards Hindi, dancing expert, karate 7 dan male protagonist; and voluptuous, sensuous, cutely dumb yet wise, modern yet rooted in traditional values, dancing expert female lead. Also pour in generous portions of chili romance, spicy chili college songs, diced slap stick humor and sugary happiness. Keep stirring occasionally and cook for half an hour.
- Now very slowly add 10 heaping spoonfuls of misunderstandings, gently blending it into the mixture. Add uni-dimensional antagonist with crazy eyes, pet dialogue, and strange name (for eg bhai ji, baap ji, dong, dang, bacchu yadav, bhageera) and 20 heaping spoonfuls of violence. Add revenge, honor, traditional values, patriotism, and glory/sacrifice of motherhood. Season with car chases, punch ups, gun fights, ugly baddy sidekicks, lovemaking scenes, politician bashing, western value bashing, Pakistan bashing, makeups, breakups, sexy sidekick to lead baddie, doting wife, dedicated friends, tears, and thundering glorious monologues. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- After 2 hours, finally add 30 scoops of climax/anticlimax paste. Cook over intense fire for 20 minutes.
- Serve in bowl; evenly sprinkle importunate item songs for decoration.
Warning: Not for the delicate of digestion
Loved the following lines which were recited in the background of a documentary. They perhaps express the cry of a helpless soul which has been denied justice from all quarters.
“Kidhar jayen, Kis-se kahen, sab to hain insaan kahan hain”
“Where do I go, whom do I talk to, theyre all humans, and where is humanity”
He had always lead an uneventful life. Always stood at the edge and never dived. Life’s joke was on him, because everyone dives, some immediately, some later. Not him, he just stood there at the edge considering, but never dived.
When he saw them splashing and swimming, he was consumed by fires of envy and longing. But the thought of the cold water, the thought of drowning, those fears he could never overcome.
He learnt though, he learnt from experiences of friends, he learnt from books. But where did he employ this experience so gained, since his life was uneventful anyway?
Ever since he had seen the “Lion King” poster on the video store window Bonny couldn’t get the image out of his mind. The majestic lion positioned on the edge of a jagged cliff, surveying his lands – thick green forests bathed in bright moonlight stretched out below for as far as eyes could see. Nonchalantly gazing over his kingdom with his terrible red eyes, winds blowing back his thick mane, gathering his huge frame, lifting his head heavenwards, thrusting out his muscular chest, and in a moment letting out a thunderous roar, a deep rumble which echoes for miles and miles, bringing all movement in the jungle to a momentary halt, striking terror in hearts of poor animals, causing schools of birds to flutter from their perches.
This scene played itself over and over in Bonny’s mind as he sauntered back home that afternoon. Hadn’t the lion’s spirit possessed him a little? Wasn’t there a little swagger in his step this afternoon? The call of wilderness was especially strong for Bonny today. Wasn’t he of the same ilk and blood? Wasn’t part of him just as wild and untamed? Hadn’t his ancestors roamed jungles in twilight, engaging helpless prey in nature’s cruel game of the hunter and the hunted? Hadn’t novels like “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” been dedicated to his kind? Didn’t his cousins still roam the deepest darkest jungles, the glint of their bared teeth and rumble of their menacing growl dreaded by all? Hadn’t nature bestowed Bonny with the same animal grace and instincts which emerged in situations of danger and peril? These were Bonny’s thoughts as he turned the bend leading to his house.
With the corner of his eye Bonny spied a huge sand dune, dumped the previous night outside the sprawling, new, under construction Chopra house. The temptation was irresistible and the prospect of being late for lunch was hardly a deterrent. The muscles of Bonny’s slender form strained and relaxed and he elegantly pulled himself up the steep rise of the sand dune. He could almost sense the admiring gaze of the handful of laborers who had gathered outside the site for their midday meal. He pulled himself to the top to witness the admirable view of the ruins of the old Chopra bungalow. The skeleton ruins were perhaps no less than the remains of a medieval castle, the shapeless outcroppings of rock here and there a grim reminder of its former glory and magnificence. His graceful form silhouetted against the deep red afternoon sun, the moment got better of Bonny, and nature’s spirit possessed him completely. He flung out his beautifully curved chest, inhaled deeply, positioned his body, closed his eyes, lifted his handsome face towards the sky and a soul feezing howl escaped his mouth which started as a melancholic moan and rose and rose “oooo000000OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”.
“OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” Bonny howled for the glory and of nature, the mystery of the world of old, the futility of mortal life, and the tragedy of existence. “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” Bonny howled for the predominance of primeval instincts, the undeniably of atavistic claims, perhaps evoking terror in the souls of the superstitious laborers who had started to whisper amongst themselves. “WHOOOOSH” the rock traveled through the air landing squarely on Bonny’s hips.
“WHELP WHELP WHELP” Bonny screamed, as he tore down the sand dune with tail between legs, and disappeared around the bend which lead to his house.
“HA HA HA HA” the laborers laughed as they collected their tiffins and got up to go back to work.