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Posts Tagged ‘music’

Musical journey

Posted by Sowmya:) on August 27, 2008

Okie guys n gals tighten your seat belts as you prepare to take my musical journey with me through the past 20-something years…..

Though I did train in classical vocal music, I always did and still believe that I am no good in it. But I do like to listen to music….various kinds….mostly anything goes but there are these certain special days / times when I either go all weepy and listen to sad emotional heart wrenching stuff or go all chirpy and listen to dance numbers. And of course, dance along!

My musical journey is characterised as much as my gadgets as the music itself.  The first property I owned, which was mine, only-mine-and-if-you-touch-it-you-will-die mine was a Philips walkman which was my 12th birthday gift from mom and dad. It was a base model with no other add-ons like radio or even recording for that matter. But I loved it with all my heart and slept with it….as in, I listened to music in bed and drifted off to sleep, dreaming of Grammy achievements. Those were the days we came one month EVERY year to Chennai for summer hols. We were probably the only ones who actually visited Chennai in summer but nevertheless. Then Mr.Gopinath had not yet arrived on the scene and you could still buy a house with flight charges for 3 to Chennai. So the 4 of us travelled by train…….mom, bro, my walky and me for all of 24 hours. I remember my special handbag for walky and cassetes abound. I won the battle of the top berth as quickly as I could against my bro so that I could retire in peace to listen to walky dearest. Mostly the music I listened to was the current Bollywood hits, Tamil music sometimes and carnatic music rarely. Remember Tu cheez badi hai mast mast, Gupt Gupt, Do dil mil rahe hain, Dil to pagal hai, Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam, Tanha tanha yahan pe jeena the most of those times. Dunno why but I never got introduced to rock, pop and their relatives at that phase of my life.

Walky stayed with me for around 10 years. What? Exchange it for a fancier model???? Husshhhhhhhh He may hear you. How rude can you get? I did not even throw out the box it came in and religiously kept it inside the box everytime with the earphones in the seperate ziplock topped with the manual after a hard day’s work. Walky usually accompanied me everywhere I went -be it the local kirana shop, college or any place which involved a more than 10 minute travel time. One of my innovative one liners of yore was ‘The only man in my life is my walkman’. Loser? Well, yeah pretty much such. But Walky, I love you, still miss you.

Then came this ‘travelling with people’ phase in my life and also Walky was old and could not move about so much. Walky retired to his Blue cardboard box in which he had stayed for over 10 years to relax, take life easy and spend time in quiet soltitude. Most of my music happened during travel. So essentially travelling with people meant not much of musicing. But then some things have to be sacrificed for a lift in an AC car to chill in the Mumbai traffic and music was on its way down in my life. We did switch on the radio but our chattering always drowned the RJ and his tunes.

Then came another gizmo-gadget in my life…..my mobile phone. Imagine, you could talk to anyone, practically anyone with a phone, while travelling. So I did. The initial excitement lasted for over a year. Then we got used to a mobile being just that. A mobile. Not some magical apparatus which can shorten miles and make people (h)ear on will. Then some time later, we even had blasphemous thoughts of it being a nuisance until FM was discovered. My mobile became my musical partner and jumped stations on hearing the RJ’s voice and stopping only when melodious tunes were at ears’ length.

I did not get my dose of one thumping latest dance number backed by a soulful Kishore Kumar / Rafi melody. FM did not think much of oldies which were never played during prime time i.e. travel to office time. So I was treated to latest hit after latest hit after which I could have hit the RJs for the pounding it caused to my head. I really dont remember much songs from this phase of life…..all were the touch and go variety.

For a very brief period I had a 520MB MP3 music player. When I think of it today, I wonder why? Whatever made me buy it? Obviously I did not know what fate had in store for me……..

Then brother dear finished his education and got a job…..how does this feature in my musical journey? Well, this event singularly altered the course of my musical journey in ways it never could have been. We have an ancient custom at home….started by me actually. I celebrated the ‘first’ everything. First training program, first job, first day on the job, first day of vacation, first day of study leave, the works! So it was bro’s first salary and gifting was in order. He got me this ultimate gizmo of my life……..till then. My very own 30GB video enabled iPod. Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Music grew and grew and continues to grow till today. In a brif interim phase I stored like 20 songs on my then very funky phone and had to delete one favorite to accomodate the other. But 30GB…..ha! you mere mortals with 1 and 2 GB capacity…dont come near the Queen of iPods. As on date I have exactly 1513 songs on my iPod which, hold your breath, occupies a mere 3 GB. A tiny speck……just 10% ha! This lack of space constrain led me to explore other kinds of music……currently I am listenin to Pop & Alternate Rock. I must say, interesting!  

So why I am doing this musical post now? Well, iPod dearest has been in hibernation for about 6 months now…….roughly translated as my time in Chennai. Obviously he had more adjustment issues and needed some alone time. But now, iP is back! Yesterday I clothed him and he was all charged up when I took him around the Chennai I have been exploring minus him. Now we are back together…..like always…….inseperables. Welcome back iP. Luv you too 🙂

Posted in NOW THAT'S ME, ZILLION YEARS AGO | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

La di di

Posted by Sowmya:) on August 22, 2008

heya world..am happy happy today…why? Cos I had a wonderful yesterday…. I met up with this friend after ages…….what fun 🙂

Ok, first lemme introduce u to S, my friend through and since college…..S and me were in the same class during junior college after which we went on to become buddies…..He is my Kishore Kumar, Mohamad Rafi and whoever else u can think of..all rolled into one. There was a point in time when the only angrezi songs I knew were the ones by S and we all thought he was much better than the original. Most of my college memories revolve around S singing and playing the guitar and all having an awesome time. Those days……….

Well, now he is a hot-shot globe trotting i-banker who always goes out of his way to convince the rest of us that he is on a hand to mouth existence… Gahhhhhh We still believe u S. Thankfully one of his innumerable clients operate from Chennai and he makes this occassional trip down here. Its so much fun to meet friends, especially in a new place. I always thought this whole i-am-so-happy-seeing-an-Indian-in USA act which lot of my relatives and acquaintances regularly put up was just that. An act! But now I realise they probably meant it……I am so Mumbai sick, to be read home sick, that anyone with a connection to Mumbai falls in the descended-from-heaven-just-for-me category. And if it is a good friend of over a decade (Gosh! is it that long? Am I so old?), then what more can I ask for 😀

S called me on Tues pretending to be some guy from a placement agency with this American twang. I answered all his questions with this half suspicious half serious tone…….I was so right. It was S, damn him. We fixed up dinner plans on Wed. Yipeee!!  Went to the Taj Coramandel. You know this crazy thing which always happens to me. My office is just behind this Taj but by some crazy twist of fate I always land up at vague meetings and client locations exactly on those days when my post-work meet happens in the Nungambakkam area. Just like this other time when Sri and me were scheduled to check out this play on Harrington Road. The whole week i was twiddling thumbs at my N office and teasing Sri about the enormous distance he would have to travel and how I would be there in exactly a hop-skip-jump routine. But come Friday, that very sultry Friday, i just had to go to this client place at godforsaken Guindy. Picked up smirking Sri on my way to the play. Wierd!

Anyway, I bargained my auto-way to Taj, as usual. Seems like I have become an expert bargainer of sorts. Heard some guy giving 30% more than me for the same location. Was so heartened that I was being screwed far lesser by the divine beings (read auto guys) as compared to my fellow city-mates. Reaching there I found S had yet to arrive. Thats something never changed about him, always late. But all of us are so used to it that I am sure we would fall off our chairs in case he chose to turn up on time. But this time, it was barely 10 mins, so forgave him heartily….the fact that he was taking me out to dinner also helped 😉

During my brief waiting period, I checked out this really cool autograph collection of a Mr.Lakshman (I think ?!) who was the grandson of Raja Annamalai Chettiar (You would know if u hv any kind of Chennai connection. else Google-it or keep watching this space, I’ll let you know the minute I do. Oh wait! I can call the ever-reliable encyclopediac Sri…gimme a minute. Grrrr he is busy!) Anyway, he was this big shot of the yester-years. The autograph collection had the who’s who of that time like Gandhiji, Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel (imagine!!!!), Lord Mountbatten and all the crickets of that time you can think of, like, Vijay Hazare, Duleepsingji, everyone…..awesome collection. Each had given their signatures accompanied by a personal motto or a one-liner. Damn good ones.

S arrived when I was in this signature-sea and we decided to have dinner after dumping his new DVD collection in his room. (Yup! For S, Mr.Bachchan rulz. Even today!) Being a 6 ft something himself, S did have his moments thinking of himself as Big B…..in those Kabhi Kabhi / Silsila kinda moods….not your Amar Akbar Anthony thingy. I still remember S going through the entire Mai aur meri tanhai stuff on our way back from a Jagjit Singh concert when he was incidently wearing typical AB type clothes with pockets high up on your coat / jacket (or whatever its called). And even that one time when, at this Natural ice-cream parlour, we could only hear the dialogues of AB movies and S and me were guessing which line belonged to which movie without seeing the visuals. He was bang-on everytime! That day was crazier since we had our dinner upside down starting with 3 scoops of ice-cream, ginger-lemon, then curd rice and finally a soup/starter. What were we thinking???

Anyways, back to the present now………I declared I could not stand another South Indian dinner. yeah, yeah, I am a southie and love my roots, pulses, rice everything. But there is only so much idli and dosa a Mumbaite can have without diving for an occassional chaat or pav bhaji or some such high calorie stuff. And I was already full to my neck with the S Bhavan, AA Bhavan, V Bhavan routine of Chennai. Since, unfortunately Taj did not serve either chaat or pav bhaji we settled for an Italian dinner. Pizza, Hurrah! ‘Sorry Sir, we do not serve pizza. Its a fine dining Italian restuarant’, said the manager guy. Oh well, unpronouncable food, here we come. We successfully figured our way through the menu and maybe learned some Italian in the bargian. I would’nt really know. Do you know someone Italian? Maybe I can try it then. So S and me ordered a starter and the main course both of which, we were 80% sure, were vegetarian. They, thankfully, were.

Alongwith the dishes came another mother-of-god inventions -the salt and pepper shaker. Whats the big deal you would ask. Hey, just drop by that place today and let me know if you figure, in less than half hour without a manual that is, how to get the salt out. Eventually we discovered it was a hold-your-breath, battery operated shaker. Of all things!!!!!!!! It had some kind of button, which when pressed, would give some light at the end of the tunnel (it was torch shaped) and a whrrrrrr grinding sound as the salt/ pepper flowed freely. It was so much fun that S and I almost ended up oversalting our dishes for the pure purpose of using the salt shaker. hehe! what fun 😀

Thus dinner was 3 types of mozarella cheese (yum yum), incomprehensible dish 1, incomprehensible dish 2 then my favorite part -incomprehensible dessert…..also some Irish coffee to boot (S recomends! Like that ‘Sriram recommends’ stuff at Crossword) The sugar was not in its usually cube cube avtar but had chosen to mount a toothpickand ready to be stirred. The 2 of us were just marvelling at the people who actually rack their brains and come up with such stuff.

Anyways, silly me to be going on and on about the food when I had a such a wonderful time with S. We caught up on each other’s lives….not that we r not in touch or anything but it was ages since we just sat and talked. Felt so light at the end of that heavy dinner cos I rattled on and on about anything and everything and nothing in particular. We updated ourselves on other close friends’ lives, marriages, visas, kids, the like…….Awesome fun. Just like old times. Never told you this yesterday but S, thank you for an extraordinary evening. Do come home next time for a full fledged south indian fare with Sri and me. (Now I have to get him to read this blog. Hmph!!!)

Is anyone else from Mumbai listening??? Visit me visit me

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Dasavatharam

Posted by Sowmya:) on May 16, 2008

check out the music of Kamal Hasan’s magnum opus -‘Dasavatharam’.
liked this one particular song from it. especially the first 2 lines –
“kalladi mattum kandal kadavul theriyadhu
kadavul mattum kandal kalladi theriyadhu”
Translated as –
if u only see the stone u cant see God
if u see God u cant see the stone.

So guys its all in what u want to see …..

Hv a fab day 🙂

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