23 September, 2006

Top five songs

I recently read this on a blog, when you can't think of anything, make a list.

Also, since I have lost a lot of my music a few times and have not been listening to much music for long having recently heard rumours that my Ipod also has been stolen (it was a gift, those were the days :( ), there might be old favourites which are missed out, or recent upstarts which get included in this esteemed list, but please forgive such oversights.

In no particular order, here goes:

Kashmir by Led Zeppelin

This post has taken me the longest time to write because of the decision involved:
- which song of Led Zep to take?
- Do I mention songs like Rabbi below on the same page and list as songs like Kashmir. Will such songs stay with me for as long as Led Zep has?
- Which Led Zep song to take?

In some ways, Led Zep could make up quite a few top 5 lists of mine and figure in a few more. Sometimes they dont make sense, sometimes there are just plain mad, but overall, I do not think too many people came close to the sound and the impact which they managed to generate.

Time by Pink Floyd
and then one day you find,
ten years have gotten behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run, you run to catch up with the sun,
but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Again, Floyd with its lyrics and the sound and the willingness to invest in long lingering melodies, which are more like a story makes me wonder about why I like music which is so different from each other...
Well for one, I like the meaning of the song much more than how it sounds. Actually, that is wrong. for me, All of is has to fall in place.
(Like the way Joe Cocker sings the Beatle cover - "With a little help from my friends". Now that is the way the song had to be sung. So what is the Beatles sang it before him). This way, I can explain the long musical jump I am going to take...

Kishore Kumar Songs
- Pal Pal Dil ke Paas
- Aana wala Pal
- Tere bina Zindagi se koi
- Honton se choolon tum

and so many more. Each song is a unique mix of hope, joy, sadness, longing - I wish I could write like this, or sing like this, or atleast knew about all such songs, some of the songs I am referring to and even some of the songs in this short list above might not even have been sung by him... even so, I am referring to this genre of Hindi film music - not too many instruments, a quick buildup, a song which said something and meant something and made you feel a bit (So soppy I sound, apologies)

Tere bin by Rabbi Shergill
I heard this song thanks to another song by him named "Bulla ki Jaana". BKJ in itself is a really nice song. It told me that some of the things I feel about myself are more common than I thought. That someone in the 16th century was also feeling a bit lost! Anyway, songs, like most other things in life, have a time and a place. BKJ did, and now it is Tere bin. The special thing about this song is the acceptance of love lost and the regret. At a deeper level, it also shows how in retrospect, regret can have all the detail and richness of the present. The words are quite simple (once you get your hands on the punjabi to hindi/english translation).

Mann ki Lagan (Paap)
Lingering melodies day it seems to be today. However, again, one's likes and dislikes are like a mirror to ones' heart I guess. Well, I have not watched the movie or seen the video - but the song just makes me stop whatever I am doing. I think the singer is Nusrat, actually I know the singer is Nusrat and his voice lends the right amount of longing to the words. It is again, quite a clear and simple song, made special by the words, the singer and the music.

Phew!!! well making this list definitely was tougher than I had anticipated...
Which songs to pick, which not to. Such decisions.. let me just go back to spending money for my employer!

08 September, 2006

To do or not to do....

I asked a friend of mine if she was as crazy and funny as she used to be, or if things were a bit more normal now. This is what she replied with -

"If I could have my way I wd be stuck for ever at the age of 24-25...with infinite possibilities and finite responsibilities..."

and now that I am trying to continue on this article, I have completely forgotten what I planned to do with it.

I found another Saurabh Kumar today. Looks to me like me, but I can not seem to remember him or when I did this.

uhmm... interesting...

Happy birthday Mrs. Shah! Hope you have a good one.

03 September, 2006

Munnabhai part deux

Short review - without the plot spoiler - Nice movie, which tugged a bit at the heart and more on the brain than usual (more on that below) - This time our hero, who is beginning to look old, falls in love with a twenty-something radio host and as usual, lies to get into her good books. After a lot of help from Circuit, his sidekick, and an apparition of his brain, is able to get the girl, sort out a few issues and also leave the audience wanting more as well as showing the way of living our lives in a better way. No, no - I am not being cynical here, the movie seemed exactly that to me.

The set of questions which came to my mind (and now there are more details about the plot, so dont tell me I did not warn you if you have not seen the movie yet) were somewhat like this.

In the movie, Munnabhai reads up about Gandhiji and starts having visions of him. (It is explained in the movie itself that Gandhiji who is talking to Munnahai is not real and a figment of his imagination - phew!).

First level, there was this discomfort of seeing Gandhiji on screen. He is someone whose picture is always there on walls behind ministers and police officers, but that is that. I was very worried about what the producer wanted to do with this character. Second, I was uncomfortable at some of the patronising which went on.

Gradually, I felt uncomfortable because of the questions which I then asked myself - Do I love my country? Do I acknowlege and respect the sacrifices which happened for a 100 years by an entire country to give me the free air I used to breathe (Irony of ironies - I live in England now)?

It is true that there is a sense of pride for being an Indian - for a feeling of belonging to and being a product of a great culture and history and sharing a heritage with some of these poeple. But then, what have I done to deserve it?

I know that I feel bad when something happens at the borders and when innocents die in Kashmir or Assam or Bombay. I know that I will give money for such a cause - be it army widows or war bonds. In some small way, when there is a crisis, I will try to help. But what about business as usual? I know that I have bribed ticket collectors and government clerks - speed money. I know that I turn a blind eye towards friends and family when they use their connections to get things done - small things and big things - be it a phone connection or a gas connection or a fake birth certificate.

What does one do, when one is not sure if one is of the system, by the system and for the system?

It is very easy for me to say that I am just one person and this is just too big for me to try and change anything.
Would I not thank God that Gandhiji, for one, did not think that?