Thursday, March 22, 2007

What happened to Balaji Shankar?

A couple of years back, I stumbled across a CD of Carnatic musician Balaji Shankar. I haven't ever heard such a perfect voice in the carnatic world! I was absolutely bowled over by his renditions and searched for more. Alas, there only seem to be a couple of albums of his! :(

Each time I hear his clear voice intone "Chera Ravathey.." in Reethi Gowlai, I wish this talented singer would be heard again. What happened to him? Why did he stop singing? Does anyone know?
Well, if he ever does return to singing again, he can count on me as a devoted fan! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Honey, I am so nasty!

There are some personalities that I know, in the blog world and outside of it, that own up unabashedly to their personal faults. "Faults" is quite a subjective term and one man's poison is always another man's food. I think it shows character to own up to one's shortcomings and it is good. To a certain extent. But when "owning" up to it often turns into a grand flaunt of "Oh, I am so bad and I am going to shout from rooftops that I am an insufferable *****!" it does, err..become a bit annoying. Is there something as an overdose of character?!

What sharply bought it into focus was watching Kajol in "Coffee with Karan". Yes, yes, I am referring to that famous episode with Shahrukh, Kajol and Rani. The show was an eye-opener to the chauvinist in me in terms of how brainy some movie stars actually are. All three seemed quite witty and down-to-earth. And we had Kajol mentioning in every other line, "Oh, I don't like 99 of the 100 people I meet. I am hard to get along with. I am quite a wild person. blah blah blah.." The first time she said it, I thought it was cute. The second time, I appreciated her honesty. But the nth time she chirped that line parrot-like, it soured on me. Come on, Kajol, you're not such a big humbug after all and have you considered the possibility that none might give a darn about whether you're hard to get along with or not? And perhaps, that's not such a glorious attribute that you proclaim it on national TV?!

And 10-year-old kids gush, "Oh, Kajol is sooooo coooooooool na?!" And like kids picked up smoking in the 80s emulating then-heroes, today's kids are going to emulate being "nasty" or "rude".

Err..I think tomorrow, we are going to hear "cool" things like these from our kids:

"Oh, you know, I have a temper and I usually just bonk the first person I see with an iron poker."
"I am a chain-smoker and I smoke umpteen cigarettes a day. I don't care that my son sees me everyday and that he may follow my example. But I am uber-cool, na?"
"Oh, I am such a nasty person that I throw hot water on anyone else's face if they disagree with me."

See what I mean?:)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Wistfully me..

I caught up with a friend over phone after a really long time. It seemed to me like it was just now that we were in college. But it had indeed been a while! So we yapped around, condensing happenings of the past few months into a 40 minute conversation.

It made me wistful to think that I'd missed so many happenings in his life. It used to be that we once shared the most mundane, trivial things of our daily life. And yet, time constraints and other pressures make it impossible for me to do that now. After a day at work , gym, cooking, cleaning seems a gargantuan task to pick up the phone and talk to people on a daily basis.

Am I missing being a part of so many people's lives - friends and family? Does anyone (at least occassionally) notice my absence during important events? Does anyone want me in their lives? I wonder if some of my friends or relatives stop to think of me once in a while. I know I do. Or perhaps I am just another pebble in the riverbed and the river of life never stops flowing for anyone. It makes no difference to the river if one pebble is present or not. If all human bonds are so effervescent, why do we even try to be social? Perhaps its an evolutionary safeguard to maintain pack unity.

There are people who leave an indelible mark on society for at least the next few years or centuries. And then there are the commoners like me who'd not be missed or mourned. I don't aspire to be a celebrity. But I'd like to strive to be remembered amongst people I know.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Real life Jaws?

I have suddenly stumbled upon the world of podcasts. Although I knew about podcasts a long time back and listened to a couple, I never really explored it. iTunes has an amazing collection of free podcasts. While searching for some carnatic music links, I accidentally stumbled onto National Geographic's podcast collection in the iTunes store.

Search for "National Geographic" in the podcasts section of iTunes and look for a video titled "Octopus Vs. Shark". Man, is that an awesome footage or what! A Pacific Octopus, defending itself against a Shark, eliminates the Shark and drags the carcass along with it! I never thought Octopi could be this powerful. And all this happens in an aquarium! I am not sure how to post a link to an iTunes podcast. So please do use good old, manual searching in iTunes! :)

Terrific video and I had to gush about it. Err..I should get back to work now.

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