Monday, 30 January 2012

Have we forgotten the Mahatma?

Today happened to be the 64th death anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as Mahatma Gandhi ( a name bestowed upon him by Rabindranath Tagore); yet to my surprise, of all my 850 plus friends on facebook, most of whom are Indians, none, except one, chose to mention him in any way.

Rather alarming and shocking. Quite a few of them are even supporters, and quite vocally so, of  Mr. Hazare and not so long ago equated him (erroneously so, in my opinion) to the Mahatma.

Yet they remained silent about the actual one.

You must understand, I speak as one, who himself has issues with the Mahatma. As I suppose most children born to dispossessed families or second generation exiles (refugees, to use the more brazen and politically incorrect term) would be entitled to.
The partition of our state did not and will not go down amicably in the history of our people. Only recently a prominent politician remarked “There will not be another partition...” reinstating that we have still not come to terms with it. Nor with the riots that followed.

But that is a debate for another day. Not today...

Today I pay respect to the man who changed this nation and the world. Because, regardless of everything, he deserves it.
This is a man who touched all; not only his countrymen. His influence can be traced from Martin Luther King to John Lennon.

Yet the multitude is silent, a silence that sends down cold shivers.
What has become of our hero? Has he been forgotten?
The state may employ all kinds of machinery to make sure he is remembered, from dry days to dry states to currency notes. Yet can these means really convey to the public psyche the essence of what he was. Will they ever go beyond the man, and maybe have a fleeting glimpse at what the man was about?

Today’s deafening silence makes me worry. Are we just creating an entertainment hungry populace who refuse to acknowledge anything beyond sports, movies or the current in-fashion political stance ?

Somewhere, if my Dad, who is not so net-savvy, would have read this, he would perhaps smile and say to me “That’s your MTV generation…”

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Ageing up to Tchaikovsky

So, I have quit my job last month, or rather last year.

These days, I'm mostly at home figuring out what next, where next.
I had gone for a short trip as well, which was much required. After spending an amazing new year's eve with my Tibetan friends at a private musical get together (more on that soon, since it deserves a stand alone post), I came back recharged and relaxed.

Only to fall prey to the obsession of checking mails every hour for replies and such.

But I've managed to elude that obsession as well, well mostly.
Most of my time ( I refuse to use free time, as all of it is free now) is now spent doing sketches, water colours, sampling new music or movies...and planning the next trip when the current situation is tamed.

Over the past few days, while sampling music, I remembered this old 4 casette collection we used to have at home called 'The Classical Experience' by HMV. I remembered how I loved to listen to Orff or Greig, and relished Puccini's Barber of Seville and Delibes' Flower Duet. So I went on a classical diet !

While listening to the same compilation a decade later, I have now found a new piece that seems to be stuck in my playlist ( and my head)..perhaps Tchaikovsky is better appreciated with age..

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A Chance encounter

We met that cold night
as estranged friends.
Chance encounter,
a winter between us,
solace in cigarettes,
courtesy smiles,
hollow banter.

Perhaps we should believe
in Santa Claus
to gift us back
our stolen words.
The cold steel city
gets to us all;
children of the warm metropolis.