Monday, October 26, 2009

Kailash Kher evening - Hum tere Deewane!

"No need to understand man, just go with the flow man!" What Kailash was trying to say amounted to this: Nowadays, music is truly international. Even people who don't have a clue about his style of music in terms of language and understanding of the words enjoy it because they enjoy the feel of it!

Kailash Kher was at his best in the concert at Palace grounds on Saturday. (24/10/2009). Thanks in large measure to my friend Gai (He is called Karthik @ office) and to Sharad who in a sense brought us all together, I got to enjoy a rare music filled ecstatic evening. When we got to the venue, there was no sign of the concert getting underway. At around 7 clock till the arrival of the maestro, a local band entertained the audience to some rock music. The instrumentals were enjoyable.

It was just a little past 8 when Kailash Kher emerged in his characteristic enthusiastic style carrying with him a confidence and poise that only the very accomplished and talented radiate. After "Rang deeni", a famous Sufi style number, he asked the audience to unwind and unwind we did in some style!

We had a couple of first time visitors to Bangalore - a guy from Norway and a girl from Latvia - who were colleagues of my friend. In their company, this concert was even more enjoyable. Listening to how they like the singing, the nuances of culture and so many other random things, I should consider myself lucky that an idea like this crossed my friend's mind scape. Initially the girl was a little reserved, but gradually she began to get into the groove, in her own way I should say!

There was a very cute Punjabi couple dancing unmindful of the setting they were in. Totally engrossed in each other, the guy with the typical Sikh beard and the girl in "Jab we met" Geet-style pants, they made quite a couple. Seeing so much of love for each other and so much of sheer innocence so closely was touching and a little disconcerting, though I know not why I had that mixture of feeling.

Meanwhile Kailash made it a point to explain the meaning of the lyrics for one number that went like "Masjid todo, mandir todo...lekin dil mat todo...". That number touched a chord with everybody for its language was truly universal - the language of human warmth, values and affection. The crowd went a little sentimental with Saiyan - truly soulful music. The evening ended with the audience hungry for more but alas good things have to come to an end too!

Dinner at a hotel nearby - Listening to our guests speaking about the night life of Norway and the population of Latvia - brought the memorable evening to an end. This is undoubtedly one of the best evenings I have had the good fortune to experience!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The agony of goodbyes...

Goodbye - "used when you are leaving someone, or when they are leaving" says the dictionary. It is one of the most uncomplicated and straightforward meanings but the experience of uttering it can be very heart breaking and emotionally wrecking when the relationship is something more than a casual acquaintance.

Life in the fast lane - how do we define it? Or rather is this the term that we should be taking time to define? It is an axiom of modern times that we come across so many people in our lives - people who don't make an impact on us and who do make an impact - that a gigantic effort is required to understand each and every one of them with respect to "us". How they affect us, impact us, influence us, gain space in our thoughts, lay claim to our time, so on and so forth...

It is not surprising then that until the moment arrives to say goodbye, we don't realize the space they have occupied in our lives! When we leave people, (to leave town to pursue work or studies) or when they leave us (to work elsewhere for example) we are left pondering over this question. We are at a crossroads in the relationship we shared with that person, be it at work or at a personal level. The roads diverge almost in a literal sense when circumstances beyond our control come into play and the decisions are made without our say. That is when we are bereft

Even if our lives are anchored for the time being, at times, don't we all doubt the strength of the anchor. Family and relations - the anchor here is a given, and always available. But our interactions with our parents and relations, particularly living life as we are, is slowly waning. Instead it is our friends and our colleagues at the workplace who have come to slowly occupy that space - where we let go, share things and be ourselves. It is also a matter of having things to say to each other that resonate with the same tones.

Now, the whole point of this post is that soon enough, it would be time for me to say goodbye to a friend. It is abrupt, the nature of this goodbye as is most often the case, these things leave us unprepared however well in advance they spring up. So, let me just say that despite the presence of the social networking phenomena, when priorities divulge in life and important decisions are made, it is never the same again. Nothing can ever substitute seeing a friend and talking face to face. They can try to compete for inferior alternatives at best.

Often enough, when the goodbye moment is upon us, we think of the potential that the relationship could have had, the quality that the interactions could have taken. It is but natural to think so. We take each other for granted day in and day out; subconsciously we are not programmed to visualize the goodbye moment and that is why it affects us.

People move in and out of our lives. How best we can deal this with flow remains open for us to define. We can cherish their effect on our lives however brief it is and make promises to keep in touch, leaving it to the tide of life to ultimately fashion the destiny of the relationship. We shall keep in touch through mails, phone calls and social networking sites, watch with curiosity and interest, the paths we fashion for ourselves. If we are lucky, we would get to meet each other soon in the flesh so that we would be delighted to see the smiles of recognition and warmth in each other's faces. Until then, goodbye! Sayonara!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The cornerstone of Happiness

This post is the outcome of a long walk that I enjoyed this week. I was at the silk board junction and I decided to walk the whole way home...a good 40 minute walk listening to music from my mobile. It was refreshing though physically exerting. It made me ponder over a few things happening lately in my life. Happiness - Is it ephemeral? Is it fleeting? Yes because most of the time, we don't make an effort towards holding on to it. Either our ambitions or our fears surface too strongly (with an emotional overtone attached) to wash away the happiness. We are then left yearning again. This is a cycle that repeats itself ceaselessly. We can best avoid this cycle if

  • We find a few people around us who genuinely care for us and have the best of intentions for us. We should hold on to them like a man dying of thirst and never leave them. These few people might vary in different periods of our lives but happiness will remain elusive without them.
  • We don't harbor hate towards anybody for long. Hate is an emotion that slowly kills and works like a parasite. The sooner we realize that we are harboring hatred towards somebody (however bad he/she might behave towards us), the better we can take care of our own health.
  • We assess and count the blessings we have around instead of always running behind rainbows lurking in the distance. It is good to have lofty goals but to trod on obsessed over them without action is one road that will definitely not lead to happiness.
  • We possess a child like enthusiasm for the world outside our living room. I am fortunate in this regard to be living with such a roommate. His raw enthusiasm and complete involvement in any activity that he takes up/gets involved in is a rarity in any human being.
  • We cultivate an eye to admire beauty in little things. It might be the smile of a child or the manner in which a girl's hair catches the light. These are the things that keep us fresh and youthful - beauty is an elixir when understood properly. A fertile and uncluttered imagination can certainly help here.
  • We clearly define the set of people whose opinions and views about us matter to us. If we don't define this clearly, we may end up trying to please or care for people who would be indifferent to it or on the other hand try to define our own interests too narrowly and end up being insensitive.
  • We have multiple interests in life. These serve as cushions to fall back on - when one is not going right for us, it doesn't eat away our happiness, we always have the others to take solace in. It might be a hobby, a passion or a unique skill to which we have an outlet.
  • We take good care of our memory. Carefully pruning what we remember and making sure we forget things that should not be piled up, we can build a reservoir that will support us in the worst of times.
  • We see the past and the future in perspective so that the present is not lost. Every moment we have is to be cherished and made the best use of. If the past and the future stake too much claim on us, it is time for some conscious effort to correct the imbalance right away!
  • We try to make others happy everyday. Nice gestures, kind words, intent listening - these can work wonders. A smile in the face of a friend or even a stranger because of us - we might ourselves not realize the impact it can have on us.
This list is purely an attempt at making sure that there is something handy whenever that word - happiness - is spoken of. It is the result of personal experiences and learning that ought not to be forgotten!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wake Up Sid - Youthful exuberance!

तुम में और दो कप चाय, यह भी तो पार्टी है ना? says Aisha Banerjee ( Konkona Sen Sharma) when Sid (Ranbir Kapoor) suggests something more conventional to celebrate the former's birthday. He then proceeds to improvise by making a 2-minute birthday cake out of bread and jam to make Aisha happy. Such is the pleasures of life that many of us envy and yearn for! Life's joys lie in such moments when friends and well-wishers make us happy by simple acts of love, warmth and affection.

Wake Up Sid celebrates the exuberance of youth - the confidence and the "we can do it" attitude that this generation has come to idealize and live by. Pampered by his parents, Sid grows up to find himself suddenly confronting life's decisive moment - what to do for a living after college? As in a fairytale, he meets Aisha in a party and the very first encounter ends with a walk in the middle of the night.

In a flash of wounded ego, Sid walks out after a tussle with his father and moves in with Aisha. This is a scene that is beautifully played out - so complete is his trust in Aisha and so assured is he of her acceptance that I was truly moved. Then begins a journey of exploration - Aisha and Sid slowly get to know each other well as destiny shows its rosy side.


Konkona Sen stands out yet again essaying a role that is quite challenging, confident in a new city and yet vulnerable to emotions, looking for acceptance at work and initially showing a sisterly side when the boy needs it most. Anupam Kher (Sid's father) sounds a little loud and Supriya Pathak (Sid's mother), a little dramatic. I loved the part played by Sid's college friends, especially the obese girl whose smile was something so natural that it didn't look like she was acting in the first place.

Music, songs and dialogues:

The music by Shankar Ehsan and Loy is among their best fare. Not a single song sounds average on the ear. Javed Akhtar - he is a legend! I would be stating the obvious if I say, the lyrics are in tune with the youth. How he does this again and again is something that is amazing! Niranjan Iyengar seems to deliver some memorable lines with Karan Johar as this says. Watch out for the lines towards the end - something you are bound to carry home.

The package:

This movie as a package will work well with today's multiplex audience. The camera captures the interiors of the single bedroom flat very well. Lonely existence in a big city can get to the nerves and friends do a lot to make it enjoyable. I can vouch for that. This movie with its sweet romance and clean entertainment is a glimpse into the lives of two people who but for each other, would have had very different futures. I loved it!

Thank you, Mr. Ayan Mukherjee!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Compilation of Practical Antonyms - Our Choices in Life

Is love just the opposite of hate? Is slavery the opposite of freedom? Certainly no! But in a world where everyday is a gift to be cherished or a struggle to be overcome, depending on perspective, here is a compilation of some antonyms that are practical and are not therefore stamped with approvals from sticklers of language.

Everyday, we are faced with choices. It is up to us to choose and if we do choose correctly, we can stay happy and healthy while the wrong choices can be truly devastating in every sense of the word. As a good friend at work remarked, it is in our reactions that we have the luxury of displaying maturity. It is not always necessary to turn the other cheek when the same impact can be achieved a lot more easily!

  • Positive X Negative
  • Polite X Rude
  • Calm X Rude
  • Composed X angry
  • Self-Assured X Brash
  • Polite X Brusque
  • Mature X Immature
  • Maturity X envy
  • Measured - Impulsive
  • Reason X Emotion
  • Warm X Cold
  • Radiant X Frowning
  • Smart X Guileless
  • Tactful X Abrupt
  • Thoughtful X Impulsive
  • Diplomatic X Self-defeating
  • Empathetic X Cold
  • Supportive X Unfriendly
  • Optimistic X Pessimistic
  • Cheerful X Gloomy
  • Presentable X Shabby
  • Embracing X Cynical
  • Praise X humiliate
  • Love X hate
A simple look at this small list is sufficient to know that the ones on the left have the potential to transform our lives positively. Everyday and every hour, we face these choices - between the ones on the left and the ones on the right. Consciously, we should strive to choose the left for a better and rewarding life!

Sometimes, simplification is necessary to confront problems that life poses to us and this exercise is nothing but an exercise in simplification.