Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Melodically Jarre-d

Strange coincidences happen, and when they do, they leave me perplexed and mystified.I try looking for connections and explanations for the sequence in which things happen and often it leaves me all the more bewildered and awed at the apparent uncertainty and veiled link,if at all, between events.

I’ve watched Doctor Zhivago for quite a number of times.Initially,it was vicarious viewing,with Dad watching it and me stealing a glance while trying to get away from doing my homework by walking around the house for no particular reason.Later on,I did actually watch the movie.But all the while, even during the seeing yet unseeing phases,what stood out for me was the soundtrack of the movie.I remember humming Lara’s theme,even before I actually watched the movie.It was much later that I came to know that it was from Doctor Zhivago’s soundtrack.

The soundtrack is a magnum opus.There is a natural progression in which the score builds.It starts mellow,then gathers momentum and surges to reach a crescendo,a full bloom and one finds herself overwhelmed and engulfed by such a musical experience.

I decided to download the soundtrack of Doctor Zhivago yesterday to see whether the music,when heard independently,isolated from the movie,engendered a similar reaction.What I found was not too surprising.The music in itself had a more pronounced impact on me.Lara’s theme found a different dimension,especially the subdued usage when Lara leaves Yuri and its dominant and muted “flurry” in the Main Theme and the Overture.Sventytski’s Waltz took my breath away and how I wished I could waltz.Komarovsky and Lara’s rendezvous told a story in itself!I was amazed at the musical genius of the man behind this master-piece.

Today morning, as I was going through the newspaper in a hurry , something at the corner of the page caught my attention : “Lara’s Theme creator dead”. It’s difficult to put into words what I felt at that very moment. Someone, whom I discovered in a new light just yesterday, someone whose artistry produced a newfound interest in me, for his work, just yesterday, was no more, today.Yesterday, tomorrow felt like a long time away. Today proved me wrong.

A wizard who knew the magic spell “to translate in a very short time,with very few notes, absolutely essential feelings”. However his gift, I believe was in letting nothing being lost in translation.

“One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head and that only I can hear.” This was what the genius was quoted saying once. Probably he, himself could have put into words his idea of life and its aftermath.I just wish the world could hear his final waltz too.

Maurice Jarre.I just wish my first day as your ardent admirer did not coincide with your last day in this world and I so wish that you never had a final waltz.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Light and Sound

Lights and sounds. Interesting phenomenon both , for physicists, performers and film-makers alike. Then again, to someone like me, who is neither of the either, they are fundamental attributes of a personality. A charming personality has an optimum balance between the two. These include people who are en “light”ened enough, and are eloquent to the extent of not being overtly loquacious (read: royal pain in the wrong place).They are God’s blessed creation and like all that is coveted, are in limited supply from the headquarters above! That further explains their elevated value.

But then there are those experiments that have gone wrong! Terribly wrong! Terrible disequilibria when lights and sounds act in discord. Now in this case, it has been my personal observation that all disequilibria are not bad.

If light is greater than sound in a component, the case, although a disequilibria is not an undesirable one.Yes,the component is initially difficult to understand in such cases, but ultimately the light shines through and ambiguity dissolves. I’ve seen strangely reticent characters, often stereo-typed as “dumb”, “nerdy”, “geeky”, “losers” baffling many when they have shone with the light of their intellect ,without having to advertise their credentials like vendors! Often,they’ve had hardships for so often we judge books by their covers, and to sing one’s own attribute might seem like the only claim to recognition. With that being their infirmity,it takes time before their potentials are realized.But once they are,there is unequivocal appreciation of their genius, even with the limited use of their vocal chords.

However,there is the more common and highly undesirable disequilibria when sound dominates light!Lately,I’ve seen an influx of this category! Now this cluster of people are of the idea that light and sound are perfect substitutes (which should tell you that it is a tad dim up there,for this select group.)So they try to make up for their lack of brightness, by sound effects! They blow their own trumpet ,they go on talking , maybe hoping that some sense would be spoken by chance, while babbling utter nonsense(needle in a haystack scenario);they make hollow comments and they practice sound modulation while back-bitching!(Hush! hush! Silly!) :D And in doing so, they become intolerable! Unfortunately it’s everywhere!There’s Himesh with his nasal sound,Paris Hilton with her “HOT” astuteness galore,and Varun Gandhi with his religious faux pas !Again,among the commoners,I’ve seen samples in school , and college is no different. Certain people, take it upon themselves to be the commentators of the world, offering their opinions for every darned thing and person when it is irrelevant, unwanted and exceedingly stupid , but with such immense aplomb that it reminds me of that famous quote by Bertrand Russell : “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” Such forced commentaries are somewhat palatable when backed by content,but where over-confident dimwits are concerned,it becomes excruciatingly painful to endure.Such a disequilibrium can wreck the nerve and balance of those poor souls trapped around these hazardous components and thus,they are better avoided at all cost! But in hindsight,they might serve as comic relief too!They do so,for me,at least! :D

In the end,for me , being trapped in a dark room with a whole lot of sound is far more menacing and unpleasant than being trapped in a sound-proof room flooded with light.Darkness coupled with sound can be misleading,but a clear vision of things, even if it is not “assisted” by perceptible sound waves , can make people go a long way!For me,the sound of silence is the loudest and so shall it be with me.And as for moving forward , “Lead kindly light”!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Touch of Grey

I have never been one of those who ask for explanations for a deed done. I don’t like offering them myself. They result in desultory conversations. What’s done, is done. I may agree or disagree to it but I seldom moralize about it. I try not to, at least. It may not be my path. I will not tread it. It may not suit my taste. I will not try it. It may not be my mode of action. I will not react to it. I may not endorse it. I will simply alienate myself from the source. Expectations lead to disappointment! I understand now. I desist from it. More often than not, they lead to cul-de-sacs. Moreover one cannot have the same expectations, even for a seemingly homogeneous group of related people. Time brings out heterogeneities, unfamiliar and even unwanted. It is then that one has to make a choice between conflicting ideals, sensitivities and even people. It is not a choice between right or wrong, black or white; no polarization here. It is a choice of adhering to one’s beliefs or formulating a new set altogether. A choice between old bonds that can never dissolve, and new ties, that might bind. A choice, between being my idea of myself, as opposed to, theirs. Yes, ‘everybody hurts’, but one cannot have the best of both worlds. Reluctantly, I make a choice and with that choice I grapple to find some colour in an otherwise grey,prosaic world. My world . My perspective. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Potpourri II

Whirlwind days! Intensive cramming and extensive regurgitation and voila two mammoths are handled! Time stood still for a week or so. No, not in the “Time Stops At Shamli” sort of way (Sigh!), but a rather stagnant predicament really! Lots happening around me, within me, without me and I could only be a silent spectator, like standing at the periphery and watching the world go by!(No, I’m not experiencing a Dependency Theory hangover, thank you).My mind is in a mess, so full of things that are waiting to be released! Amen!

Adiga’s Tiger : It may be white, but it is rather bland too! I was extremely disappointed with the book! For one, it was rather clichéd; especially the outcome with its rise of the proletariat intonations. Then there is a difference between reporting a story and the art of story-telling and while Adiga zealously does the former,the latter is forgotten. Telling a story without fuss or frills doesn’t mean one needs to be crass and lose all sense of aestheticism. Catcher In the Rye was realistic right!?! The White Tiger just seemed like a very long magazine article to me with rather confused and un-crystallized ideas and no direction.Its only impact: I am more scared of my driver now than I already was!

The Oscars : Now that was no awards show! It was just a theme party, the theme being India! I was expecting elephants instead of limousines and had Jackman done a "Main hoon Don" instead of "I'm Wolverine",I wouldn't have been shocked!No,REALLY!I wouldn't have been shocked if Anil Kapoor had been awarded a lifetime achievement award for a lifetime of OTT acting finally paying off!I wouldn't have been shocked if Ms. Frieda Pinto had won a statuette! So what if she wasn't nominated? They could have just come up with a new category, silly! This is supposed to be some sort of Big Push to the "Indian" Film Industry! No Satyajit Ray couldn't do it(supposedly)!But apparently this film,which barely made me feel and didn't make me think at all, did !Ah well! Macroeconomics rules !Godspeed "white trash"!
However, I was surprised that Kate Winslet won! She truly deserved it! Now isn't that odd?!? :D

Tull-ed : My Jethro Tull CDs had been lying forgotten for quite some time now. Thanks to a certain person's fixation with "Aqualung" [:P], Tull was retrieved from Oblivion and as always, has made me sufficiently high!So very high with Tull! Sheer genius! I like each song more, every time I hear it. I am humming the War Child Waltz as I type! Freaky! The London Symphony Orchestra playing the music of Jethro Tull with Ian Anderson is one divine album! It is magical and with the orchestra, their music feels, well...infinite! Makes me feel like I’m on "Glory Row" , “ skating away on the thin ice of a new day"...!Come what may..!(Except a hard-disk crash ,god forbid).

Instant Noodles : I sincerely believe that this is one of the greatest inventions of mankind .Its greatness seems all the more pronounced in those post-selections-pre-exams period when there is a lot to do, and no inclination to do anything whatsoever. Instant noodles serves for instant breaks as and when required. The time utility is paramount. The taste: heavenly. The satisfaction: instant. Also it opens up a lot of avenue for culinary creativity. One can season it according to the seasons. There are no fixed rules of preparation. Yes, some might complain that such a gastronomic delight does add to the luxury of one’s waistline, but do I look like I care? There are so many options too! Maggi, Top Ramen, Wai Wai(my current favourite) and even those Chinese ones with unintelligible names! Well, Mr.Momofuku Ando, I am sure the Gods are turning water into instant noodles in heaven, thanks to you!

The Long Goodbye : Bidding farewell to our seniors was difficult.I never thought it would be .The Farewell made me heavy with the gaiety of parting!
Now that I know there won’t be those familiar faces in the canteen(some, "permanent" faces),those tête-à-tête on the corridors, occasional bullying, frequent leg-pulling, those unforgettable Board meetings, handing out of “pearls of wisdom” by them, letting go becomes harder than I imagined. I think it is the whole point of being seniors now , that makes me apprehensive. I don’t know why. Or maybe I do. The reasons are now locked in the cloisters of my memories,some of my best memories.:-)

It’s raining outside. The first rain, of the season. The smell of the wet soil: intoxicating. The trees are going wild with the tempestous wind. A hint of a storm. The road seems like a carpet of fallen leaves. Lightning strikes. A stray dog barks helplessly.There is a mystic uncertainty in the sound of the night. I feel perplexingly tranquil. :-)