Friday, March 19, 2010

My Fixation with Old Tamil Songs – 2

A few days ago, I received a small note on this old Tamil movie called aval appadithan (That's How She Is). It’s the story of a single woman, who, thanks to her life situations, chooses a different path. Well, by today’s standards, it’s not a very different one, but in the 1980s it must have hit a nerve and caused something of a storm!

I am yet to see the movie though, but from what I read about it in the wikipedia, I am totally impressed, and, well, floored too. The woman goes from one botched up relationship to another, becomes a man-hater, talks of women’s liberation, falls in love, loses the lover, baits a woman hater, teaches him a lesson, and looks at life in the face all over again. I plan to watch this movie very soon and perhaps write about it.

But today’s post is about a song in this movie, which talks of relationships, feelings, life, happiness and its pursuit, and a hope for better tomorrow. The song talks of how life is just a beautiful tapestry of relationships and how relationships are stories that never end. And, how feelings are short stories. How in the end of one story there might be the beginning of another one. Such hope…:)

Here are the lyrics (rather my poor translation of the original); if I am right, the song is sung by the guy in their good times together. It sure brought tears to my eyes…hope you guys also enjoy this lovely piece of hope served to us by great lyricists and composers (who are not made anymore!) of yesteryears.

Relationships are eternal stories; feelings are short stories
One story might end anytime;
A new one might start in the end
It’s just happiness from then on

The burden in your heart
Am here to take it away and bear your burden
The tears in the corners of your eyes
I know not why
Am here to change them
The misery may be gone
The mist may lift
I may join the white clouds in the new beauty

Relationships are eternal stories; feelings are short stories
One story might end anytime;
A new one might start in the end
It’s just joy from then on

Life is a song, the pitch grows higher
Each day in joy
All that you saw was misery
Now, it’s only happiness in the future
The comforting tune is just beginning
A new gush in the river
Empties itself into the ocean
Our relationship was just enjoined today
With the birth of happiness

Relationships are eternal stories; feelings are short stories
One story might end anytime;
A new one might start in the end
It’s just joy from then on

Here's the song, set to tune by the inmitable, musical genius, Illayaraja.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Of Stillness Beyond Words

Green forest trails open out
As far as the eye travels
In words unformed and untold
Deep into the woods
Draw me the eastern wind
Mixed with the salt of the ocean
With tears of unfounded emotion

Deep deep breaths draw in
As much as the heart can hold
Sketches that await the canvass
Paints that await the drawing
As the eyes see beneath the lashes
Closed shut, fearing the sight
Of love mixed in the blood of the lover

Snaking and sweeping through sheaves of grass
Tearing and slithering the skin
Through the venom of vipers
In search of a moment of stillness
Mingled in mirage is the promise
Of hope of a tomorrow
Of stillness beyond vacuous words

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Of Godmen and Media

A couple of days ago, around prime time, the majority of TV sets in Tamil Nadu were all tuned to one particular channel. The channel had just won hands down the race to the top in no time. If you are wondering what they got right; simple logic, guys! The unbeatable formula: sex + religion + voyeurism! And all this couched in the delectable concoction called social responsibility and scientific enquiry! My foot!

Basically, a very famous godman was caught with his pants down and the entire episode was aired to the general public on prime time! And, in no time, his ashram has been ravaged, people have taken to the streets, and what not. It almost seems like the people in TN have woken up from a deep slumber and now are crying for justice and burning with the flame of propriety! A desire to correct the wrong. A desire to uphold the moral ‘Tamil values.’ A desire to bring to book all erring godmen! And leading this fight for reinstating of justice and morality is the TV channel that makes its living out of airing serials that uphold women oppression, caste structure, and, in general, help in tying the middle class to dreams of house loans and car loans at the cost of the sweat and blood of the working class.

Firstly, let’s deal with the godmen. Is this a new phenomenon or the idea of a guru per household always existed? Anyway, after the age of 20, the very idea of listening to another human being only sounds repugnant, leave alone listening to an enlightened guy! And, you have 40, 50, 60 year olds queuing up to some so-called enlightened souls! What’s with this enlightenment business anyway? Let me narrate here a small incident.

Once, I had visited a friend’s place for lunch. After a sumptuous lunch, I rested (read slept heavily) and woke up around 5ish, craving for my cup of tea. And, trying to be a well-brought-up-homely girl, I offered to even make tea for the entire household, but only to be quietened down with saccharin smiles. So, I waited thinking they were playing the good hosts, but nobody even moved for another 5 minutes (which is like really looong when my tea pangs start!). This time nobody could stop me; I started walking towards the kitchen, when they finally let the cat out of the bag: their guru’s advised them against ‘consumption’ of anything during twilight! My jaws just dropped, and of course, there was no looking back; I swore never to be around that house during twilight! Jokes aside, more than religion, the godmen seem have tightened their noose around unsuspecting and stupid people (which seems to be the majority).

So, back to this enlightenment business. I mean from where on earth do these fellows get the time to sit somewhere and mediate and attain the so-called bliss? The hippies of the 60s tell us that there are far easier ways of attaining ‘bliss.’ And, even if one did attain this bliss, what do you do? Everyone becomes blissful, smoke ganga, and dance? Who’s gonna plough the field? Who’s gonna sow the seeds? Who’s gonna harvest the grain? People, get real…you wanna see real people, real humanity, real pain, and everything that is even remotely real, simply shed off your ‘comforts’ and take a walk in the sun. Just that will teach you the pain that the vast number of mass humanity goes through each day! And my friends, enlightenment is not yet here! It’s yet to come, and believe me, it can happen only when all of us are together (as one humanity) in it. And, in our march towards that enlightenment, the first thing to be shot down should be religion; of the kind that makes you accept things the way they are and makes you blind to the existence of an enormous mass of humanity that is relentlessly struggling or is made to struggle for the rest. How on earth can there be bliss, if at all, in such a state of chaos? And, the godmen add their bit!

Secondly, the media. The less said the better? With this episode, this particular ‘progressive’ channel prides itself for exposing the ‘atrocities’ committed in the name of religion! But, the same channel shies away from exposing the brahminical practices that rule the roost in most of the temples in TN and has no compunctions about airing devotional serials! So, it all boils down to just a quick buck, eh? And bucks flow only when you encourage voyeurism! This entire episode just shows how we as a society have failed utterly! How even ‘protests’ can happen only when you voyeuristically see two people having sex! Our low-lying values just dropped further below any humanly detectable standards!

Destination Sikkim - Till we meet again

On the third day, we went to the Sikkim Himalayan Zoo. It was day of little rain and much mist. The walk into the zoo was surreal because o...