Archive for December 2007

A Wish

December 31, 2007

Wish you all a very Happy New Year 2008!!!

ಆಶಯ

ಕಾಲನರಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಬ್ಬದೌತಣ
ನೊಂದವರು, ಬೆಂದವರು
ಕರಿನೆರಳ ಮುಖದವರು
ಅಪಶ್ರುತಿಯ ಹಿಡಿದವರು
ಕಲ್ಯಾಣಿ ನುಡಿದವರು
ಹೊಸಗೀತೆ ಬರೆದವರು
ಬಲ್ಲಿದರು, ಮಾಂತ್ರಿಕರು
ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಬರುತಿಹರು!!

ಮೃತ್ಯು ಮಂಟಪದಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಂಪು ತರ್ಪಣ
ಕಣ್ಣೀರ ಕೊಡ ಹೊತ್ತು
ಬದುಕನ್ನು ಅರಿತವರು
ರುದ್ರಾಕ್ಷಿ ಹಿಡಿಯದೆಯೆ
ಋಷಿಯ ಒಳಹೊಕ್ಕವರು
ಕಲಬೆರಕೆ ಹೆಣ್ಣುಗಳ
ತೊಡೆಗಳಲಿ ಮೆರೆದವರು
ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಸೇರಿಹರು!!

ಭೂಮಿ ಬಸುರಿನ ಒಳಗೆ ಜೀವ ನರ್ತನ
ಮುಗ್ಧ ನಗುವನು ಹೊತ್ತು
ಹಾಲ್ಗನಸ ಹೆಣೆಯುವರು
ಹಸಿರು ಜೋಕಾಲಿಯಲಿ
ಹೂಗಳನು ಹರಡುವರು
ಪ್ರೇಮ ಕವಿತೆಯ ಬಿಸಿಗೆ
ಮುತ್ತಿನಲೆ ಕರಗುವರು
ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಕುಣಿಯುವರು!!

A Frog In A Well

December 26, 2007

One more death in the family. I am better off not dedicating a post for that. It’s become a norm this year. As I said earlier, I am really looking for a brighter, better New Year!!!

Now onto a completely different topic.

I can’t recall how many times I have had such discussions. I had one more yesterday, with yet another self-proclaimed Carnatic classical ‘purist’.  The difference this time is that I had 3 girls, including my wife support my stance this time. The discussion started with ‘M’ and his bride hunting stories and soon transformed into a debate on music, it’s core essentials and it’s role on mankind.

Now that I have mentioned that ‘M’ is a Carnatic classical ‘purist’, I need not specifically mention that he thinks that Indian film music is ‘crap’ (in his own words). Additionally his argument was based on a blanket statement of “If you are passionate about Carnatic music, you will not appreciate any other music”. Yeah right, talk of narrow mindedness. Unfortunately, from what I have seen (and I have seen quite some), there is no dearth for such attitudes among Carnatic classical musicians.

For the sake of argument, it was simple for me to combine film music, bhAvageethe, ghazals, vachanas, dEvaranAmas etc. under one ‘light music’ bracket. I tried explaining how people can easily listen to varied kinds of music and appreciate them both. I took my own example and said how I can enjoy both the harshness in ‘System of The Down’ and the melody of Latha Mangeshkar just fine. Then, I brought my mother’s example. Initially she used to give pure classical concerts, then she moved onto give both classical and light music concerts and finally she stuck with light music. Even today, she can enjoy both classical and light music equally well. ‘M’ knows about my mother from different perspectives (infact, ‘M’s mother once told me that she is a very big fan of my mother). And, in this case, ‘M’ came up with an argument that people like my mother are exceptions.

I tried explaining to him that there are tons of such people all over the place. A.V.Krishnammachar was such a passionate carnatic classical violinist, and at the same time he gave music to thousands of Kannada bhAvageethe’s under the name ‘Padmacharan’. He undoubtedly laid the foundation for the growth of Kannada bhAvageethe. My wife gave example of Vasanth Kanakapur, who is an excellent Hindustani classical harmonium player and at the same time a brilliant bhAvageethe composer. There are tons more. Balamurali Krishna and Bhimsen Joshi have sung light music. Shivkumar Sharma and Hariprasad Chaurasia have given music to commercial films. ‘M’ came up with a “they are an exception” for each and every one of them. Personally, I know several listeners including me, who appreciate multiple forms of music.

That was not the end of argument. Our dude tried giving rubbish analogies. Apparently, film music is like Toyota and Carnatic classical music is like a Ferrari. Not many people drive Ferrari because most people are not rich and similarly not many people are interested in listening to Carnatic classical music because theya re ‘intellectually challenged’. Do you see how pathetic the analogy is?

‘M’s problem with film music was that in some songs they use niShedha swaras without any regard to the ‘rules’. Sure, but then whose rules are we talking about? Music as a genre? The only rules in a film song is that it shouldn’t violate the basic music rules of pitch and rhythm and the music and lyrics should touch the heart and mind of the listener. It’s not that complicated, is it? ‘M’ argued that without rules you can never improve upon an existing infrastructure. I immediately saw why ‘M’ couldn’t appreciate film music. It’s because he was completely missing the point. He goes behind theory. He doesn’t understand that listening to film songs is not same as listening to Carnatic classical music. He certainly cannot appreciate film music. The reason was quite obvious to me by that time.

But, the claim that Carnatic classical musicians are ‘intellectually superior’ bugged me and the girls big time. Finally, I went tangentially and came up with the what is more important to humankind? Why we invented music? arguments. The fact that Latha Mangeshkar’s voice has touched millions more people than any individual Carnatic classical musician, she probably is so much more ‘greater’ and her life is so much more ‘complete’. ‘M’ didn’t have an answer to it and reluctantly agreed. Finally, I did mention to him that my argument was as stupid as his ‘intellectually superior Carnatic classical musicians’ argument and told him that I took this line just to counter him. I certainly won’t ever say that Latha Mangeshkar is ‘greater’ than Balamurali Krishna. It is so foolish to argue on those lines.

From what I have seen, ‘M’ is not an exception. It saddens me to see that several hardcore Carnatic classical musicians have a similar attitude.  Bask in the glory of your art form. At the same time, respect other human beings and other art forms. Only then is there any meaning to your loyalty. If not, your allegiance is the biggest farce the World has seen!!!

P-In ‘Drop’ Silence

December 20, 2007

This post is ‘inspired’ by rads’ ramblings on female P-etiquette here. It seems to me that the female species has a lot of misconception on what happens behind the men’s door. We all do it and we will keep doing it forever, so why not dedicate a post for that. I think it’s best described with examples. Here are some:

1. You finish your business, wash your hands and walk towards the door. This older man is standing near the door as if he is waiting for you to open the door for him. You don’t wonder why he is standing there. You just hold the door knob to open the door and get out. Immediately the old man starts laughing and says “Ha Ha, why did you have to wash the hands if you were touching this door? I wait for someone else to always open the door because there are many men who don’t wash their hands and they touch this door. If you open the door yourself, why do you want to wash your hands?” and walks away right behind you, making sure no part of his body touches the door. You sigh! Maybe he is right, maybe you can conserve water by not washing the hand. Oh well, you are uncomfortable not washing your hands. So, you still wash your hands and you still touch the door knob. Yuck!

2. You get inside, curse yourself for wearing Levis 501’s, and before you realize you start hearing all kinds of grunts, sighs and happy moans from the stall nearby. Since this didn’t require any reaction from your part, you finish the job, wash your hands (yes) and are about to leave, when the person from the stall walks out. It’s your boss. You don’t know what to say, so you just walk out and start drinking water in the nearby water fountain. After a while boss walks behind you and starts making conversation. he tells you ALL the details about the big re-org which is happening and also discusses your appraisal and says that you are one of his best employees!!!

3. You are about to walk out and suddenly the stall door opens. It’s your project lead and he gives biggest sheepish grin. you just nod your head and walk out. You remember that he is suffering from diarrhea for the past few days. You try to forget that you remembered it. After a while, the project lead walks by your cube and keeps asking dumb technical questions. You answer all of them. he thanks you and goes away. Now, there’s a closure.

4. You just started and your manager comes and stands next to you and starts his business. Just a shy smile from both, no talk, no words. You are done, he is done. Both of you wash your hands (yes) and walk away.

5. You go in and start doing what you do. Suddenly tens of guys walk in and before you know all the spots are occupied. Since you were the first one, you occupied the first available spot. You finish your thing, and turn back and see a guy standing right behind you, waiting for you to finish and walk out, so that he can take the spot You thank God that you didn’t see him stare at you while you were doing.

6. You walk in and you meet your colleague who wears really really tight shirts. He puts his hands above his head and yawns. he makes sure that everyone around knows whether he is wearing boxers or briefs that day. You realize that he does the same thing in meetings and lunches as well. You don’t utter a word. You wait for him to leave. He leaves, and then you take your spot.

7. You get up from your cube and go towards the door with the triangular sign to finish the business. You see a yellow board in front of the door. You expect a board which says “Restroom Closed”. But after reading it, you realize that the janitor doesn’t know English and thus used the wrong board. You can’t control laughing. You just walk away. The board reads “Men Working”!!! 

Yet Another Political Sammelana

December 19, 2007

I should probably stop writing about such topics, but I can’t. Recently concluded Udupi Kannada Sahitya Sammelana was a mockery. It had more politics than literature.

To beginwith, there was a parallel ‘Souharda Sammelana’. The official Sammelana and the ‘Souharda Sammelana’ were apparently compared to tiLisAru and mInusAru. Ahhh, I thought we were past this Brahmin/Non-Brahmin divide. I forgot, we need to start reservation based on caste, for publishing books as well. Only then will this divide cease to exist. Yeah right!!!

I thought this Sammelana will be so much nicer with the state under President’s rule. For a change there wouldn’t be Chief minister and his cabinet taking the limelight in a ‘literary conference’. How wrong was I!!! It was hogged by the would-be, could-be and must-be chief ministers. Icing on the cake was certainly the fight between Congress and Karnataka Rakshana Vedike members.

Prof. L.S.Sheshagiri Rao richly deserved to be the President of the Sammelana. Salut sir!!! Literally, that’s the only good thing which came out of this conference.

There were 14 resolutions passed, and I bet none of them would be ever implemented. None in the past have, as far as I remember. I hate to sound cynical, but politicians are indeed a rare breed. Getting the classical status to Kannada, getting back Kasargod into Karnataka by the implementation of Mahajan commission recommendations etc. One resolution which caught my eye was the opposition to the establishment of a Hindi Academy in Karnataka by the state government. Amen!!!

Cloud 9

December 17, 2007

It’s almost holidays and apparently this is the time that we should remember all the good things!!! Sooooooooo, here are the three BEST compliments I have ever received in my life. What are yours?

1. P Sr. (who was my senior in college) to her roomie P Jr. (who was my classmate) : “It is very rare to find truly nice human beings in this World. DS is one of them.”

2. S (my mother’s student) to R (another student) : “One thing which I pray to God always is for me to have a son like DS.”

3. M (an excellent critic) to J (an amazing poet) : “This boy will win the Jnanpeeth Award one day.”

Alright alright, the first comment is nice. Come on, I AM a nice person!!! As for the second one, I guess my parents are lucky 🙂 Well, the third one…what was ‘M’ thinking??? ‘J’ visits this blog, so I know she will be laughing when she sees that I made this a post 🙂 Apparently, ‘M’ made that comment after reading one of my ‘philosophical’ poems which I had written when I was a teenager. Trust me, I am a sucker for praises, so it did make my day. But, I do know my limitations!!! So, even though these three make the best compliments I have ever received, I think only the first two are really true.

I give a lot of compliments too. As for the best I have given out, maybe to my wife. She asked me what I liked in her the most. “Her innocence”, of course. And yes, Happy Birthday to her!!!

Birthday Average

December 13, 2007

I am not sure if I am the only one who thinks on these lines. In any case, I am confused whether I would be branded ‘intelligent’ or ‘foolish’ after you read this. Anyway, here’s the deal:

Five of us close friends are December born. We all live close by. So, someone came up with an idea to get together and have a big party (Well, more than ‘celebration’, it was just to get-together, we keep coming up with reasons to meet even though all of us meet every other day).

Simple enough? No, wait. My brain started working. I wanted to find out what would be the right day to get together. I thought the simplest way was to get the average of our birth days. So, I added 1, 2, 12, 17 and 31 and divided it by 5 to get 12.6.

And, that’s when the problem started. I wasn’t sure if our average birthday was 12th or 13th. You see, the average value will never be less than 1 and it can never be greater than 31, for the month of December. So, if I assume 12.6 should be celebrated on December 12th, then going by that logic 1.6 should be celebrated on December 1st and 30.6 on December 30th. That means, we can never have a ‘birthday average’ which can be celebrated on December 31st. Similarly, if I assume that 12.6 should be celebrated on December 13th, then we will never have a ‘birthday average’ which can be celebrated on December 1st.

I didn’t like this solution. More so, because we have one person born on December 1st and one on December 31st. So, it wouldn’t be fair to one of them if I chose one of the above algorithms. Thus, I made the algorithm just a ‘little’ more complicated. As in any Math theorem, I assumed that all of us are born at noon. The fact that I was indeed born at noon, did not in anyway prejudice me to come up with this assumption.

So, with the ‘noon assumption’, I can get a more precise birthday average. Now, I can get it in hours and minutes than just days. The hole still remains that the ‘birthday average’ cannot still fall before noon on December 1st or after noon on December 31st. But, I was convinced that it was fine.

So, with my new calculation, our ‘birthday average’ is December 13th at 2:24AM.

Seriously, do you all think like this? Or am I the only weird one?

A Tribute To The Dead Flower

December 11, 2007

smita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgsmita_patil.jpgSmita PatilFrom the past few days, she has been bugging me. It started without any reason. I didn’t realize why. Wait, I do realize why. It’s almost 21 years since her untimely death.

Be it “Bhumika”, “Manthan”, “Chakra”, “Mandi”, “Arth”, or “Ardh Satya”, she ruled the screen. I liked her in “Shakti” as much as I liked her in “Mirch Masala”. I was, let us say, surprised by the grit and dazzle in “Dance Dance”. I liked her in the Kannada movie “Anveshane” as well.

Smita Patil is certainly one of the best things that happened to Indian cinema. The dusky beauty had captured millions of hearts, and minds, within a short period of time. A little less glamarous than Rekha, but a much better actress, she defined parallel cinema and took it to new heights.

Ask my wife, she will tell you that Smita’s biggest rival during her times, Shabana Azmi, is no match to her. I won’t go to that extent. I think Shabana is equally talented. But yes, Smita Patil had that uncanny attraction.

As for her personal life, I won’t comment much. I feel bad for Raj Babbar’s first wife, just like I felt bad for Boney Kapoor’s first wife. So, I probably would have hated Smita Patil if she was my friend or relative. But, she was not. So, I choose to look at her as an actress.

She died tragically during childbirth on December 13th, 1986. I remember watching Doordarshan news. They covered the story very well, for several days. I hope her son Prateek realizes how great an actress his mother was.

Smita Patil was a genuinely talented actress. She came in a decade which saw the rise of “art” movies. Her immature death is certainly one of Indian cinema’s greatest tragedies. Smita, we miss you. We will always cherish you!!!