Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy tidings and how the concrete breaks my fall(sometimes)

Ok People,
I guess a post is long overdue! Thank you for the poke, Nancy! :)
I have been drifting as always. But hey, this time it`s different.
This time I dont feel lost.
A few good things have happened.
First, two stories of mine got published in the 'Chicken soup for the Indian Romantic Soul'. The book`s been launched and it`s available in book stores and people are actually paying money to read what I(and a lot of others!) wrote!I was a wee bit hesitant about sharing this because after all it isnt the New Yorker! But hey guys, I`m in print! :)
Secondly, I started guitar lessons three weeks back. Yes, yet again!
This will be my third attempt( and if anyone`s interested, I can divulge the details of the first two in a subsequent post!).I`m working on 'Blowing in the wind' right now(no, not because it`s my favorite song, but because the chords are easy!). And well, it doesnt quite sound like a song yet. But I`ll get there by and by.
Third, I managed to get accepted as a member of this music club here at Minneapolis. I havent yet attended a meeting. But I`ve found people to jam with on warm saturday afternoons :) For the longest time now, this is something I have so ached for!
Fourth, I met a bunch of people I actually liked(you all probably know by now, just how judgmental and picky I am!) - a couple who are quite fun(contrary to my preconceived ideas!) and who were here at our place for dinner last night. They were wonderful! And someone I havent yet met. But I`m so looking forward to.He appears to be this real cool guy who reads Ayn Rand and a whole bunch of other stuff I havent the faintest clue of! And he makes beautiful music!
So It`s been a happy time all in all, People.

A few days back I chanced upon this quote while randomly blog hopping.
"My life is spent in a perpetual alternation between two rhythms, the rhythm of attracting people for fear I may be lonely, and the rhythm of trying to get rid of them because I know that I am bored." -- C.E.M. Joad
It set me thinking.
Sometimes I find myself recklessly plummeting towards certain people,with a blithe unconcern for the aftermath.At least I have in the past.
Do you know how that feels? To be utterly insouciant?
It`s like hurtling through a vacuum at an alarming rate, with spectators all around to watch you as you fall.
Or surfing to the horizon and back on a big blue wave, while people stand on the shores and watch. Some come after you to pull you out. But you run.
You ride the waves like you`ve never done before. And all there is to do for anybody is to sit and wait for you to crash against a surf-break.
Have you ever felt that way?
I have.
But it has not felt forbidden. Dangerous. Or sinful.
It has felt happy. Comfortable.
Like the first August rain splashing on your face to make you blink. But you still dance away.
Like the dark, deserted walkway by the lake. But you still saunter along.

So here`s my question to you guys.
Have you ever met someone, gone around or done something you really wanted to do, even though your mind constantly yanked you away? Even when you knew you were swimming blind in uncharted waters? Even when you knew it was forbidden?
It could be anything really..Like the time I was dating two guys at the same time and none of them knew about the other! Or the time I chatted up online(for the longest time really!) with this guy my 'friend' was dating and even met him over coffee once, without her knowing!
(In my defense, I`d like to add that I was doing them both a favor - they just werent right for each other - though I realized this in retrospect, in the light of their bitter divorce last year)
Or the time I threw eggs on unsuspecting pedestrians from a moving bus.
(Cant think of a rational explanation for this one, other than a momentary lapse of reason!)
You know..things like that.
Have you ever? Come, come, tell..

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

..Where music dwells..

There was a time when I would be sitting on a mountain top, strumming a wooden guitar and singing to keep myself company. Those, unarguably, were the best days of my life.
I was all of five, when Dad introduced me to music. He had a small white Casio keyboard, on which he taught me my very first songs! And then there was no turning back.
Dad played the guitar. He worshiped Clapton, Roger Waters and Jimi Hendrix. He had a band of his own initially. But later on, he went solo. He was the first one to introduce me to some mind-blowing music - Eric Clapton, Simon & Garfunkel, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Don Williams, John Denver to name a few! He was the reason I got interested in Rabindra Sangeet. He was the first one to introduce 'Mohiner Ghoraguli' and 'Suman`s music to me.
I never thought much of it, until The G came along. He was hugely surprised to see Dad`s music collection. He pointed out how rare, how precious it is - To have a Dad who not only shares the same taste in music, but who knows it all, who is actually a 'musical mentor' who introduced me to the kind of music I so love, to the music I grew up listening and still do!
To me and to all others who knew him, Music defined my Dad. Oh!How I aspire to be that person he was. To nurture his legacy. To develop the kind of gift and talent he had, and what he taught me. To center one`s life around music. To make soul stirring music and share them with one`s daughters. To enrich them and help them grow musically. To never accept imperfection but patiently wait for them to catch up,wait till they get the notes just right. To pleasantly surprise the grown up daughters with his deep understanding and knowledge of music. To make the daughters feel proud.
Until his last breath(and I mean it literally), he heard the 'Sound of Silence' by Simon & Garfunkel. It was his favorite song. The song is about a growing apathy towards one another and how interpersonal communication appears to have broken down, how no one cares to listen anymore. Dad cried every single time he heard this song. And I would often wonder why. It is only now that I understand a more personal, a more deeper meaning to the song. I guess it wasnt a single reason but a collage of images the song can conjure up in the mind - the finality of silence from a personal perspective, the loneliness, the isolation, the reaching out of hands for one last touch - I guess that is what the song really means and the reason why it affected Dad so much. It was Dad`s favorite song. I haven't heard it ever since.
But I do think about Dad and his music often. I try not to give it up. It`s the richest legacy Dad left behind. And so I hang on, hoping to make him proud someday.

A long,long time ago, Renu tagged me to do a post on my favorite slow,soulful,melodies. I wonder why soulful music is always slow and sad. Why can the mind accept jarring,blaring notes as soulful? :)
Anyway,I guess I was to compile a list of 10 songs only. But that`s an impossible task. So I`m going to mention all the ones I can think of right now. This isnt a complete list of course. There can never be..

1. Sili Hawa Choo Gayi

2. Zindagi Ke Safar Mein Guzar Jaate Hain Jo Maqam

3. Badi Suni Suni Hai

4. Tujhse Naraaz Nahi, Zindagi, Hairaan Hoon Mai

5. Koi Yeh Kaise Bataye Ki Woh Tanha Kyu Hai

6. Yeh Na Thi Hamari Kismat - Chitra Singh in Mirza Ghalib

7. Baat Niklegi to Door Talaq Jayegi - Jagjit Singh

8. Man Re Tu Kahe na Dheer Dhare - Mohammad Rafi

9. Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho - Jagjit Singh

10. Mera Kuch Samaan - Asha Bhonsle

Some Others that I have been listening to, this past week - and that all of you must listen to, atleast once!!
1. Patience - Guns N` Roses

2. Girl in the War - Josh Ritter

3. Why Worry - Dire Straits

4. Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton

5. Bridge over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel

6. Coming Back to Life - Pink Floyd

7. Suzanne - Leonard Cohen

8. Walls of Red Wing - Bob Dylan

9. Handle me With Care - Traveling Wilburys

10. Most of the Time - Bob Dylan

11. Green Green Grass of Home - Tom Jones

12. Walk the Line - Johnny Cash

13. This Land is My Land - Woody Guthrie

14. Fix You - ColdPlay

15. I Still Havent Found What I`m Looking For - U2

16. Girl from Yesterday - Eagles

And saving up the best for the last :
17. Mousumi Bhowmik - Aami shunechi she din tumi
I will try and translate this Bengali song into English and post it. It is too beautiful a song to miss.

So go on, listen up People. I hope you enjoy these songs, as much as I do :)