The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Tag: music (page 1 of 3)

Rockstar (contd.)

Tango for Taj has stolen my heart. A joyful melody with an Eastern European influence, it brings to mind dancing, whirling skirts, hands clapping in unison, shiny faces, much fun and laughter. And then a typically Indian sounding tune pops up but it all sounds so good, so cohesive and together. Love it.

Then there is Tum Ko, pensive and sad. I am not a big fan of Kavita Krishnamurthy's voice but she brings a lot of soul into her singing. A similar track is Tum Ho, sung by a male. Romantic, terribly romantic in a way that I am reminded of a younger me, starry-eyed and waiting. For the right moment, the right person, the right place. Except that age and wisdom (!) teaches you that the right place and moment is now and here. Eyes looking out into the distance… waiting for what? I think young folks are in love with the idea of love and they look for it everywhere… Like a fish seeking to find its way to the ocean when it cannot be separated from the ocean in any way. I think I still carry traces of that "romantic search" within but now it shows up in my writing!

The Dichotomy of Fame is another favorite. The track opens with sounds of shehnai (or a similar wind instrument). I wish they were actual shehnais and not electronic ones. The sounds seem to be announcing a festive occasion except that there is a certain pain embedded in the melody. Making their presence felt through the resonant shehnais are guitars, keyboards and a bunch of other instruments. Such a beautiful composition, it is a little heartbreaking.

I think the biggest inspirations for my writing are Guruji and music. Both blow me away and in an absolutely mind-blowingly fabulous way.

Melodies of an Acquired Taste

A R Rahman's music seems to have gained in complexity over the years. Gone are the days when his melodies used to be simple and hummable. Now some of his compositions are so layered and "textured" (if music can be described thus) that it is difficult to discern a coherent melody, let alone hum along. Another way to describe his music is "atmospheric." Another pseudo-intellectual term? Perhaps. Atmospheric because it melds into the atmosphere of the film, so hearing the music by itself makes you wonder what the heck is going on.

A thought came to me this morning. If one could make a cross-sectional cut across a moment of Rahman's music, what would one see? Layer upon layer of melody and rhythm, seemingly random sounds popping out of nowhere, unintelligible voices talking in foreign languages and a host of other musical elements… How the guy manages to picture all these varied components coming together in a single moment to create one unified sound… beats me. What an imagination.

Been listening to the soundtrack of "Rockstar." Like a lot of Rahman's recent compilations, I began with mixed feelings but I think I'll end up loving most of the tracks. "Katiya Karun" is the song that got me to buy this CD. Playful, mysterious and rambunctious in parts, this song gets me dancing every single time. "Kun Faya Kun" brought me to tears. "Tu ne gale sa lagaaya, tu hi mera hain khudaaya." Yes, that about describes me too.

Amaram, A Father’s Love

Amaram is a poignant tale of a widowed fisherman who raises his daughter with much love and devotion. She is a bright kid, and he dreams that she would be a doctor one day, saving the lives of women like her own late mother who died giving birth. Sadly for him, life has other plans in store for the family. The girl falls in love with the son of another fisherman, causing much distress to her father. He sees a bright future in store for her, but she only sees her lover. Nature takes a turn for the worse as a storm hits the seas, causing the lover to be lost at sea. The girl is distraught, she blames her father for everything. Finally, all loose ends are tied up although the ending is no typical happy one.

The film does not make for happy viewing but it has its beautiful moments. One of my favorite songs ever is ‘Azhake Nin Mizhineer Maniyil,‘ sung by Yesudas and Chithra in their golden voices, laden with meaning and emotion.

To me, this song is simply about the love of a father for his daughter. It is unconditional; it cannot but be otherwise. Yet, expectations weigh it down, causing the love to distort and lose its freedom and capacity for joy. A child can show us what it means to be totally and truly free, completely dispassionate and live in the moment. In a way, a child is an adult’s gateway to seeing enlightenment in action. Yet the parent’s love for his child can serve to bring him down, dejected and lost. That’s where knowledge comes in use. Yes, they are our children, but didn’t Gibran say that they are ultimately the children of God? By setting them free, we can experience freedom ourselves.

Easier said than done and no, I am not a parent. But I know parents who have walked this tightrope of love and freedom gracefully. Like my own.