Saturday, July 18, 2009

Three Performances and a glad soul

We recently got to experience three heart warming misical/dance performances. The first was by a french gentleman, a colleague of the Mr, who can play the guitar and has recently discovered that he can sing. This gentleman and 2 french ladies with whom he came into contact at the alliance Francaise,got together to perform some French songs at his friend's restaurant.This gentleman had invited the Mr and family. We chose a Saturday, before the French national day.We reached early and the crowds had decided to come in late for dinner so we had the singers all to ourselves for an hour or so.It was beautiful,we were handed a sheet with the songs explained and the 2 ladies seemed to sing to us and us alone, smiling and swaying in between the tables...going up to the Mr (the only male guest, all the other males were restaurant staff) and hanging about him like those hotel singers they show in films! The Mr was deeply moved..."that is the first time a lady singer has done that around me", he said bashfully and I bet we would see him blushing if the lights had not been so dim. The French songs were, but obviously, mostly about love, but the freedom of the french spirit was clear as one of their most famous song writer has penned a song on 'street walkers' or loose women. In the song the women are complaining about their low position in society. It was fascinating! Another raunchy number was about how the mother, ex-wife and ex-mistress of a no good fellow are asking his present mistress to leave him and go off with them on a all girls holiday! The second performance was of two bulbul birds and the venue was the tree in front of our house that is getting prepared to enter our balcony. These bulbuls have been coming to this tree for sometime now but on this day they were more active and playful than ever before or since! The last performance was of dance by the 13 year old grand-daughter of our landlord.The young girl goes to a dance class which was celebrating its annual day. The Mr gave this programme a miss but the kids and I had a great time. The mite was screaming "sa re ga ma pa..." at the top of his lungs throughout the performance and the brat went off to sit in the first row and came away looking really impressed by it all! I forgot to mention this but the brat had given an impromptu song performance at the behest of one of the french ladies on the evening of the french songs. She sounded so sweet on the microphone and did a decent rendition of our favourite bengali song "aha ki anondo akashe batashe" from the film Hirok Rajar Deshe by Satyajit Ray! I am so proud of my bratty baby. Unfortunately our batteries got exhausted when she was singing so we don't have a rocording of it! But we do have a recording of her singing the same song, again impromptu in Calcutta with an aktara player in the crafts bazaar 'swabhumi', will see whether I can dig that out from the family archives!
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Ode to a free spirit!










Visited Nritya grama on Sunday and felt the presence of one of my favourite women of India- Protima Bedi! This is a woman who had guts, from baring all at Juhu beach, to excelling in dance to organizing her own husband's second marriage, to planning this beautiful Gurukul to dying among the lofty mountain peaks, hers is a fantastic life...completely liberated and honest! I just adore her...!Nrityagrama, her brainchild is a residential gurukul of dance located in Hesarghatta near Bangalore. It took us about an hour and a half to reach there in a taxi. The dance practice was over for the day but we had ample time to take in the ambience of the place, explore the various practice halls and wander in the sprawling acres which had fruit trees and vegetables growing all over!
Thereafter we went to the hesarghatta lake built by another favourite person of mine, good ol' Tipu Sultan. The lake has dried up completely and cattle were grazing in its bed. No one could say since when this has been for our travel book displayed a picture of a lake filled to the brim! A small muddy pool could be seen in the distance where buffalloes were taking their afternoon bath! No one seemed to care either. We visited the lake goddesses temple and came away with a silent prayer to her...please fill the lake up again!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

At Last All 'Religious' Leaders are United as one!

All the so-called religious heads find themselves clasped tightly in each other's embrace against the issue of legalization of gay relationships. Actually the law does not speak about gays at all, it merely prohibit 'un-natural' sexual behaviour, and certain perversity. Now, the question is whether homosexuality is 'un-natural' and therefore against God. Do we always do what is natural? is there no space for human feelings? If we left all to the laws of nature then we would be breeding like animals! Isn't there some difference in what a human feels and experiences? The institution of marriage, family relations, our love for our children from their birth till our death, are these 'natural'? They are the result of the human experience and human thoughts and feelings. If an individual feels love towards another and finds themselves eager to share their lives together then what does these old fuddy duddies have to say about it? If they were spreading hatred or destruction or harming anyone then we would have to intervene. Wait a minute, what is so natural about religion itself? Is religion natural, is it not created as a result of the human experience and feelings? Is it not born of an enquiry of the human mind desiring to fathom the mystery of their existence? Does not all religion emphasize the brotherhood of man and love for the fellow being (no pun intended). However, religion has now come to endorse the most bitter kind of hatred, the most rigid intolerance the senseless violence against the fellow human- that, I suppose, is natural representing the tsunami or earthquake!
Meanwhile, thank God no one is bothered about the grumblings of the 'grumpy goblins' and the people are celebrating in 'gay' abandon! Jai ho!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Viral Invasion and Momma Irritability

There viral fever is an unwelcome guest at our house now and I am the fittest around here and the mite the hardest hit! Today I snapped at the mite for talking continuously and following me around the house while I was sweeping the place( Rajamma is also down with severe cough and cold and missing for the last three days), the mite pulled a face and went out on to the balcony and stood there gazing at me with fever enlarged eyes. Obviously, the shrew had a change of heart and decided to bring the little fellow in. The problem with the mite is that he refuses to have alopathic medicine, not even crocin syrup, so homeopathy it is and that is taking time. The brat can swallow medicines now so she is recovering but my heart goes out to the little fellow who cannot understand why he is not going to school or for our daily walks in the morning!