Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Facing the music ...

It was an eventful day today, first half being at an event which was semi-organised by me and later half of the day at another event as an audience. As i began my day at 4 am, having driven from Delhi to Gurgaon while it was still dark, reaching the venue almost when the dawn was breaking, i remembered an old poem "utho lalji, bhor bhayi hai. Chidiya chunmun bol rahi hai ...". Though when the birds started chirping, i was already inside the auditorium to start the day, missing the music of the birds and facing the music inside!

I have always enjoyed organising events, can safely say it is my forte, so it was natural that it would have been somewhat eventful, each event with its own crisis and challenges, fire-fighting and then the ultimate satisfaction of things gone right.

However, it was the past four hours that truly transformed the day through pure music. Music that touches your heart, soul, body and mind. Music that makes you smile with joy and sometimes move you to tears. The first day of Delhi classical music festival - music that is true to its being. I don't know music never learnt it nor understand its techniques or tunes. However, I still love and enjoy music. It was time to switch off the mobile (not literally but figuratively) and let the music flow ...

It truly was such a day today, from Dhrupad to Santoor. From the sheer rhythm of vocals to the sounds from valley of Kashmir. From the vocal sounds that sounded like multiple musical instruments to the soulful yet playful string sounds. Music that took away the tiredness within, rejuvenated mind and brought a smile to the face. 

It has been 20 hours since I woke up to face the day and I wish the day was not yet over, I can still hear the music in my ears and in my heart. Truly the sound of music transcends all that surrounds us!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Load shedding

Every year there is a New Year resolution, to loose weight and if not that, at least to control  and not gain. A resolution that gets beyond control somewhere during the year. This year I did not make any resolution, but as soon as the year started, my body it seems had other plans. Which came to surface by February, giving me scare!  And while the doctors tried to figure out, and tried to ease my pain, I made a promise to myself. And as soon as the pain was under control and I could start walking normally, I started my evening walks. 20 minutes of walking - the world and the people can wait. It has not been easy, with my love for paranthas and anything fried, control to not eat what you see - but it has not been difficult either. And when my medicines started finally in April, it was with another set of instructions from the doctor. Less fat, less sweets, less carbs and compulsory walking. Now I had no respite, with or without my own resolution.  I have rediscovered nature as well as music, seen the winter give way to scorching summers and advent of monsoons. I have walked in 45 degrees though the temptation to stay in AC after a hard day of work was too high, and so was the temptation to go walking when the weather was great.  It was easy to control sweets, me being not too fond of it! And equally easy to remove alo and rice from the menu. What was difficult was to control my fondness for certain food items, and there were certain times when I gave into my cravings.  And after 4 months and half a dozen kilos off, I remain motivated with a target of couple more. And as my clothes start to get loose, and I get to fit in some old clothes, and while my shadow seems to be getting slimmer, I wonder what to do with my overstuffed wardrobe of Fabindia which once fitted me perfectly, and now not so :(

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Walk in the rain

The first rains of the season released the smell of the earth - mitti ki mehak, no other language can evoke the same sentiments. And the smell of neem flowers and eucalyptus leaves pervade the atmosphere. The mild thunderstorm which preludes the drizzle settles down. So, I decided to go for a walk in the park behind my house. For the last 1 week, medical reasons have forced me to push myself for daily walks, which I have been diligently doing after coming from office in the evening. By that time, the rush of the children and the accompanying ayahs and drivers almost finished, some older children still practice their basketball, older generation has also finished their mandatory few rounds of walk, and are generally settled in the benches around the park. So, it's only few serious walkers who I encounter by 7.30pm. Today was a different story, the unexpected gush of winds and a drizzle made everyone rush back home. And, the almost deserted park gave me ample opportunity to observe while I walked. The green haven, flowers in lovely hues are well maintained by the residents of the colony. The massive banyan (bargad) tree on one edge of the boundary still tries to find more space, with its roots hanging from the air clambering to reach the grounds and annexe more ground for itself. The first blossoms of bela flower of the season compete with the last flowers of verbena and red Indian lilies. Another one of my favorite flowers, frangipani flowers at various places in the garden - not as shrubs, but grown trees. And at other place on the track, the malti and chameli spreads it's smell while it's climbs it's way around the basketball court. Since it was still not dark when I went for walk today, once my mind and eyes had their fill of greens and colours, I started observing the houses around. With the huge boundary walls, one could see only a little except the higher floors, and only if the windows were open. So, naturally, the eyes wandered upwards only to see the monstrosities on the roof of the modern world. The huge black tankers and the power generating machines ruined the scenery! At least some houses sported the solar panels and made use of the summer heat! And in the meantime lost the opportunity of sitting on the rooftop and enjoying the lovely weather. I came back mentally refreshed from the walk and hoping that this lovely weather continues for some days to come while I enjoy my daily walks. Still reeling from the pleasures of an unexpected rain, Pooja April 22, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Losing the Thread

I returned to my blog exactly after a year yesterday, and it left me with mixed feelings. I started my blog with the explicit purpose of express my thoughts aloud, but lost the thread somehow. In the last year, there have been many times that I started writing, or I wanted to write about something, but couldn't put pen to paper - or in this case - typing in a word doc!! And then, I lost touch ... like I have done in my real life with so many other things.

So, I made a point of returning again today, even if it meant to say only Good Night .. and to stay in touch. Hopefully, I will be coming back for more! And, this could be a start for getting back in touch with my old self, and for other things in life, which are more important than just getting up in the morning, get ready, go to office, come back, eat, watch TV and sleep ...

So, till then, as I re-tie the lost threads,
January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Enjoying Fusion

I am a purist, a traditionalist – in lot of ways. And, especially when it comes to music. I am drawn towards Indian Classical Music though Bollywood music gets its due share.
The beginning of the New Year, I got a promotional email sent by one of the sites I subscribe to for a fusion music concert by Anoushka Shankar. Very apprehensively, I sourced the tickets. And on Sunday, asked my sister if she wanted to go. Surprisingly, she agreed to come along. And, the chilly Sunday evening saw us standing at the gates of Siri Fort Auditorium.
Having been lived a quarter of my life in Banaras, have heard a lot about Ravi Shankar, but never heard him playing. So a chance to listen to his daughter was incentive enough to take me out of the home. I was not sure about me enjoying a fusion music concert with a traditional Indian instrument and Spanish Flamenco style. Perhaps sensing that inhibition in a Delhi audience, Anoushka started on a traditional note with Raga Bhairavi, a familiar and a pleasant raga. But, she moved on fast to introduce her Flamenco inspired music fusion, and surprisingly, the instruments, the vocals and the sounds gelled. The Indian music tones with the hand clapping sounds of Spanish style, the beats of Spanish Guitar synchronizing with Indian shenai and mridangam created interesting sounds of music. And I was truly surprised by Cajon –I call it a Spanish version of tabla- lending itself to the sounds of sitar! All in all – I wasn’t disappointed, infact as the last notes of an Indian raga played in the auditorium with the accompanying sounds of Spanish Cajon, I look forward to hearing more sounds of rhythm from across the world! And next on agenda is a German Orchestra playing AR Rahman’s compositions coming Sunday …
A purist at heart, with an open mind,