Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Veena Sessions

Last saturday, I saw something new... something I had never seen with my naked eye! I saw two Veenas... one of which was actually played, and the person who happened to play the veena happened to be my new friend, and the kritis he played were actually decided by me!

About 4 days earlier, I zeroed in on about 6 kritis for our "veena session" on saturday and handed them over to Mahadev Prasad, a gentle human filled with devotion, hiding an ent-like anger roused only when the relevant topics are brought up. Coming from a Lingayat family, his countenance bears an unusual resemblance to the Three-Eyed One Himself. Every morning in the bus, he reads some stanzas from the "Soundarya Lahari" of Adi Sankara with unbriddled enthusiasm and unwavering perseverence.

He learnt veena for more than 10 years, and he still learns new kritis whenever time permits a hiatus from the research work at the GE John F. Welch Technology Centre, Bangalore. Thanks to my nosy probing, I finally found somebody into classical in GE.

By the way, the kritis he played:

1) Varnam-- Sahana
2) Swarajathi --Kamakshi -- Bhairavi
3) Paripaalayamaam -- Reetigowla
4) Daru Varnam --Maatemalayadhwaja -- Khamas (Yup! see how much I like them??)
5) Kanakana -- VaraaLi
6) Thillana -- DhanaSri (This is the thillana by MSS that I call "bhimpalasi" becasue it feels exactly like it.. Mahadev told me its actually called DhanaSri)

We are supposed to have another session this saturday... cant wait! (though this time, sense prevails and there is only one varnam.. but with nine ragas though!)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Nalinakanthi Kriti

First of all... I dont know where to post this... so I am posting it at myblog!

Months ago, I had "composed" a kriti on Lakshmi in Nalinakanthi.
Bad attempt... neither lyrics, nor music was worth mentioning... but anyways, I lost it. I believe Vidya has it...
Got enthu again, and this time, at least the lyrics part is a bit "oker". This time, its not the adi talam... its the misra-chapu! adjusted the lyrics for the taalam...

Got the pallavi swaras figured out... working on other parts... please please please.. any advice on either improving the lyrics or any offer on providing music (esp PRC) and you are a life saver!!!

As you can see, the pic is a screen shot.. used telugu lipi editor.

movie spree

Ok... ppl!!!

I have returned to my senses!

Here are the movies I have bought on my Hyd trip last weekend:

1) Missamma (VCD)
2) Gundamma Katha (VCD)
3) Appu Chesi Pappu koodu (VCD)
4) PeLLi chesi choodu (VCD)

5) Baiju Baawra (DVD)

6) Phantom of the Opera (VCD)
7) Amadeus (VCD).

all around Rs.1200.. not a bad deal... what say??

Friday, June 24, 2005

Osmania Biscuit VII - Tiger Bal Reddy kismat

Its been a long time now. But I still recall the way the man talked to me for the first time. No formalities, no unnecessary modalities, just an honest nod and a terse comment that, if it was any other person, they could never take a guess that I was from hyderabad but not him! He is Lingam Yadav. He still visits our Kaiser-e-Hind cafe in Old Malakpet, especially when he meets Kedar, me and Laxman, our colony youth association leader.

People speak of Lingam's knowledge and humour. But few know of his expertise in predicting (rather declaring!) electoral results. That was the time when each and every street kid in our old city could tell you that Salahuddin Owaisi would sweep the Hyderabad seat once more. Lingam just kept smiling all along. He would not have got that out but for us friends; We were sitting in Light of Yadgaar that day, nalla Yadgiri had just ordered one more Dilkhush and chai and Lingam was just having his 8th Osmania Biscuit, "Charminar Baddam kodtadu ee saari, sawwaal ledu"... he said. We were staring at him in disbelief !! a minute of silence and we were still waiting for him to continue... "Patherghatti, Purani galli, Basheer mohalla, Lal Darwaza inka Langar Houz kelli pakka khabar unnadi maa poragalladi ... Baddam ki full guddinranta"
he said with almost no reaction, sipping his chai.

That was one of those rare occasions when Baddam Bal Reddy won the Hyderabad seat, against all odds. But we knew it days before the results!

We already know, "Lingam Yadav doesnt lie when he is eating Osmania Biscuit"
and we should also know, "Whatever Lingam Yadav says when having chai, will happen"


Thursday, June 16, 2005

The end of Arwen Undómiel

This part of the story is present in an appendix of LOTR (meanings of some of the lesser known terms and persons are given below):

The Third Age ended thus in victory and hope; and yet grievous among the sorrows of that Age was the parting of Elrond and Arwen, for they were sundered by the Sea and by a doom beyond the end of the world. When the Great Ring was unmade and the Three were shorn of their power, then Elrond grew weary at last and forsook Middle-earth, never to return. But Arwen became as a mortal woman, and yet it was not her lot to die until all that she had gained was lost.
As Queen of Elves and Men she dwelt with Aragorn for six-score years in great glory and bliss; yet at last he felt the approach of old age and knew that the span of his life-days was drawing to an end, long though it had been. Then Aragorn said to Arwen:
"At last, Lady Evenstar, fairest in this world, and most beloved, my world is fading. Lo! we have gathered, and we have spent, and now the time of payment draws near."
Arwen knew what he intended, and long had forseen it, nonetheless she was overborne by her grief. "Would you then, lord, before your time leave your people that live by your word?" she said.
"Not before my time," he answered. "For if I will not go now, then I must soon go perforce. And Eldarion our son is a man full-ripe for kingship."
Then going to the House of the Kings in the Silent Street, Aragorn laid him down on the long bed that had been prepared for him. There he said farewell to Eldarion*, and gave into his hands the winged crown of Gondor and the sceptre of Arnor; and then all left him save Arwen, and she stood alone by his bed. And for all her wisdom and lineage she could not forbear to plead with him to stay yet for a while. She was not yet weary of her days, and thus she tasted the bitterness of the mortality that she had taken upon her.
"Lady Undómiel*," said Aragorn, "the hour is indeed hard, yet it was made even in that day when we met under the white birches in the garden of Elrond where none now walk. And on the hill of Cerin Amroth* when we forsook both the Shadow and the Twilight this doom we accepted. Take counsel with yourself, beloved, and ask whether you would indeed have me wait until I wither and fall from my high seat unmanned and witless. Nay, lady, I am the last of the Númenoreans and the latest King of the Elder Days; and to me has been given not only a span thrice that of Men of Middle-earth, but also the grace to go at my will, and give back the gift. Now, therefore, I will sleep.
"I speak no comfort to you, for there is no comfort for such pain within the circles of the world. The uttermost choice is before you, to repent and go to the Havens and bear away into the West the memory of our days together that shall there be evergreen but never more than memory; or else to abide the Doom of Men."
"Nay, dear lord," she said, "that choice is long over. There is now no ship that would bear me hence, and I must indeed abide the Doom of Men, whether I will or I nill: the loss and the silence. But I say to you, King of the Númenoreans, not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar* say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive."
"So it seems," he said. "But let us not be overthrown in the final test, who of old renounced the Shadow and the Ring. In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! We are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory, Farewell!"
"Estel*, Estel!" she cried, and with that even as he took her hand and kissed it, he fell into sleep. Then a great beauty was revealed in him, so that all who after came there looked on him in wonder; for they saw that the grace of his youth, and the valour of his manhood, and the wisdom and majesty of his age were blended together. And long there he lay, an image of the splendour of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world.
But Arwen went forth from the House, and the light in her eyes was quenched, and it seemed to her people that she had become cold and grey as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Then she said farewell to Eldarion, and to her daughters, and to all whom she had loved; and she went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lórien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until the winter came. Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent.
There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.

Eldarion=son of Aragorn and Arwen
Undomiel=elvish for evening star, epithet of Arwen
Cerin Amroth=a beautiful hill (or mound) in Lothlorien
Estel=childhood name given to Aragorn by Elrond to hide his identity, means "hope"

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A thought

Something to think about--
As I walk to the bus stop everyday, a caucasian lady stands in the front of the gate of a posh hotel on the way and feeds three dogs from her hand. One fine day, it dawned on me that I actually knew those dogs-- one of them looked exactly like one of my friends returning from US and working in an MNC, another one looked like my undergrad friend from computer science presently in a software company, and the last one (which was doing its best to impress the white woman by rolling over its belly and licking her feet) looked exactly like that beef-eating guy on my trans-atlantic flight who was so proud of his achiement of getting a job in US of A that he didnt mind letting me know of it.

Cant wait to join them to get my share of morsels!!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Osmania biscuit VI-- Lingam's train ride

This is a letter I got from Lingam yesterday. He says that he has good English, but that he loves to use local words and phrases amidst only to show that he is proud of his culture...
is that a fact?

Dear Dost,
Lingam here. I have safely reached Bangalore and found a place to live. Train was very fursat se, you know! They told me that because it was a special train, it stopped in small stations for a long time. If you ask me, special trains should go faster and dabbuna complete the journey, but this is not our Saleem Nagar--that train ride was antha lolli lolli anuko raadu!

As you know, it has been many years since I travelled by train. So it was a little new for me. When I got into the train and went to my berth, a little girl was already sleeping there. I looked around for her parents, but no one was interested. I didnt feel like waking up that little girl. I thought her parents would come after the train starts and sat beside her. The train started, and I wanted to rest a little, but the girl didnt wake up and no one came to take her. I started asking other people there-- "Is this your girl?" No one said yes. You know-- It was a total tamaasha!

Adding to that, I suddenly had to go to the bathroom-- that too "number 2"... I went for the toilet, but it said "Please avoid using toilets when the train is stationary." Dhath teri.... Trains are so developed these days-- they sell even books and pencils these days. I thought they will sell scales also and wanted to ask for one for you because you need them right? (Lingam always remembers only the word "scale" of Very Large Scale Inegration). I did not feel like going to toilet where they sell such posh things useful for big study (Lingam's word for higher studies) . What to do, I controlled and sat.

Then I remembered your lecture that day on enjoying train rides. Jarra relaxed little. I too started enjoying all passing things-- trees, houses, bridges, names of small stations, and I started reading the boards in English , you know-- It was "MAHABOOBNAGAR" station-- arey! I know some people from Mahaboobnagar. Actually very famous there. Every rickshaw man knows them. I was actually feeling nice, then the train started moving and I saw another board-- "CANTEEN", then "CLOAK ROOM", then "TOILET"-- Deenamma! I suddenly remembered I had to go to toilet.

And then, when I was very much in trouble, someone new came to me and asked "Is this your girl?" I didnt know what to say... All other people in compartment--I still remember how they laughed! How my damaak rotated you know! And adding to that, ijjat kachra anuko!

Unknowingly, my hand went into my pocket and I received my third and biggest shock-- I forgot to bring my osmania biscuit packet from home. Actually, that is why I am writing this letter. Though Bangalore is a new city, I searched for 2 days, but I couldnt find a shop that sells osmania biscuits. Can you please post them to me? But be careful-- they should not break! I know you are smart enough (he means rich enough!) to find a way to post them unspoiled.

your friend,
Lingam Yadav
Xth Passed (Private)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

An Ode to Bhairavaar

There is a very famous temple complex in Houston, TX called the Meenakshi Temple. It is mostly managed by Tamilians and so the names of the Gods there are "Sambarified." A small temple housed in the complex hallowed to Bhairava has the board "Bhairavaar." In an instant, the Ghost of Vikatakavi got into me and this precipitated:

Goes to war
In his red car,
Slays demons
But fears womans
As he wears only lemons.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Sick man's food

It is actually called sick man's food, but it is actually much more than that! It is analogous to pongal/pongali of the South but not equal--Other than the facts that it is dry, and black- pepper seeds are not used, it is not generally used for auspicious occasions. It is for one of those cozy evenings when it is a bit cold and drizzling outside, everyone is home early quite coincidentally and has an air tranquility and contentment around him/her. Believe me when I say there is no antidote to the pleasure got from having "garam garam" Khichdi along with saar (charu in telugu).

There is a curious "fact" (if you will) surrounding Khichdi... no matter how cleverly you estimate the amout of rice and daal and cook it, it is always insufficient for the lot. Someone is always unsatisfied looking eagerly down the empty vessel. The de ja vu happened happened for the nth time the other day when my friend's wife made Khichdi. The interesting thing was, I told them the funda about Khichdi before we started to eat and still it happened.

Monday, June 06, 2005

A small revelation

I was going to post another of those pesudo-humourous adventures of Lingam yadav when I had a sort of epiphany today.

Everything--emotions, aspirations, relationships, status in society, quality of life, the life itself, and finally, the God we worship--- is just a state of mind defined by a particular set of parameters. Everything we take in as an input, worthy of remembrance, from our senses finally ends up only as a defined state in the mind--"how we reacted to it". To every organism on this intriguing planet, "what exists" has so little meaning over "what it does/means to me" that "what it does/means to me" becomes more "real" than "what it actually is". Only Hallucinations...Illusions...

Perhaps that is what Gita, Bach, and Morpheus were trying to tell us...

Saturday, June 04, 2005

For my partners in crime

Ok... Last night was really stormy... Aakarsh's and Flute's poems made me do all this... dont blame me!

Poem-I: An Ode To The Poet

Shall I sing of the pen that watered thy thought?
Shall I sing of the paper that sustained thy thought?
Shall I sing of the time that nurtured thy thought?
Shall I sing of the Almighty that gave soul to thy thought ?

I shall sing only of myself, blessed enough to relish thy thought!

Poem-II: Of Beauty Priceless

A thousand verses put together
Cannot rival a single syllable
Spilt from the urn of the heart,
A blossom of fragance incomparable.

No Frost or keats do I know
At this very moment of time,
For all I know, I wasnt there
When they created their rhyme.

Yes, I write poems too!
Not bad ones to be true--
But now, I prefer to be
As a friend of the poet free.

Such are the cruel ways of our times,
Only on a rare day is such beauty wrought;
Still my soul is in great climes,
For even this is cheaply bought!

Poem III : An Ode To The Divine Verse

My heart reels under pleasure
Everytime I glance at Thee;
It aches with elation,
burdened under the glee.

It is good Thou are not mine,
O creation so Godly and fine!
Had Thou were born in me,
Surely, my soul would have succumbed to Thee.


Friday, June 03, 2005

Misfortune Denied

This is the longest poem (may be not by content, but by style) I have come up with. I wanted to make this into a kind of "singable" poem; didnt succeed completely though... written around the same time as the Bathos. Again, this one has the classical language.

Misfortune Denied

I sit to weave a solemn raiment
To contain the sea of my lament
Of sorrows long forgotten
Yet, still stung this moment.

Perches a creature
Upon my nape
Morbid in appearance
Hideous in shape.

He Begins to gnaw at hope
And begins to bruise my pride.
The onset left me numb
And flung me aside.

Pointed ears, long nose
Beady eyes, raised brows
Bat-like wings, ugly claws
As I look, a sly smile grows

Who art thou and why dost thou come unto me--
I enquired.

He replied:
Abhorrent and cunning mate
Yet, bowed in awe and held great
Ever so early, never late
I am the wretched ill-fate.

A menace beyond time
And a shadow forever dark,
A ravenous hunter ever,
I seldom miss my mark.

Subtle are my makings
Though never a praise,
Whole Kingdoms vanish
With just a wily gaze.

Weapon of Gods and Demons
No loyalty doth I know
Ever in the hearts of men
Despair doth I sow.

I am the glory,
I am the twist,
I am the satire,
The lucid I mist.

Harken to me, O Mortal!
For I am upon thee now,
And soon, I shall enslave thee
To Me then, thy will shall avow.

Unmoved, I said:
Nay lord!
I'd bow at Thy power
And be as Thou would see,
But for the one I am,
Wretched than Thee.

In me, Thou shall find
Only pride entangled;
Base will fit for none,
And conscience mangled

O Nefarious One!
I shall sing songs of glory
Hallowed to Thee alone,
Neither God nor Devil
I answer to Thee alone.

Wilt Thou take me Lord
As Thy thrall, as Thy slave?
And take me, as Thy vassal,
Beyond the mortal grave?

At that, His pride shook,
And His might stirred.

And He roared:
Enough! Thou lowly mortal!
Thy doom shant haggle with thee.
Yet in truth thou spake,
Thou art, indeed, wretched than Me!

No vassals do I take,
To thy sorrow I leave thee hither.
He then spat upon me
And flew away elsewither.

As I resume to gather
Shreds of my gloom,
Neither well nor ill
No fortune graces my doom.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

A Bathos in Romance

Ok! Some disclaimers:
This is not me, and any resemblence between the narrator of the poem and myself (alive or dead)is purely coincidental! Unfortunately, I am not the romantic type. I always wanted to write a love poem, so I did (about two and a half years ago).

A Bathos in Romance

I look out into the window
Into the bare remains of snow
And bare remains of green that vanished ago.

Once stood spring here,
Brought she hope here,
That I'd find the one I was looking for dear.

A fair maiden used to dance
In my heart and used to glance
At me, her knight in shining armour and lance.

Stung by love, I searched for her;
Lost myself but looked for her;
Mad I was, fool I was, and hapless I was for her.

Many a lass passed my way,
And the heart stopped at each's say;
But soon realised, wasnt the one to make my day

And thus passed the spring--
Hope, but only hope did she bring
And left me to lament, when I wanted to sing.

Sorrow in eyes, gloom in heart
Are the treasures left to my part
But cling to me these, and faithfully do their part.

All the hope I had left my in tyranny,
Emptiness quells the short-lived mutiny,
Reigns supreme in my heart, and drives me to my destiny.

If its better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, it is too much to ask for a chance to lose in love then to die without it?


P.S. : I experimented with a completely new style and rhyming for the first time through this poem.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A Requiem to Pride

A Requiem to Pride

Once upon a time, a rampart broken stood
As one eroded by time, and ruined by fate would.
The ones it guarded stranded it alone,
The poetic mending wall was left to moan.

Defending it was, for all its glory,
In all its time, it never felt sorry
For all it did to separate hearts
And all the unity it did to parts.

But now it rues with all the remorse
That was never there when those
Blinded by it and given in to the tide*
Sorely failed to see the other side.

Too late now, it laments, even to perish;
For fate, in it, did not cherish
Alas! The end could have left it unforsaken,
But for the roads that were never taken.


*tide of anger.

This is the first of the "valid" ones that I came up with. I believe it was in the 4th yr of my undergrad...