Friday, 23 December 2011

Going With The Flow

"Memories don't leave like people do, they always stay with you"...this song of yesteryear's has been playing non-stop on my mind for more than a few days now. Even in the middle of the cold night when I have to get up to go to the bathroom, it gets unstuck from some place and starts grooving off mechanically in my mind - and I 'm back to the gyrating rhythmic tones of this, aah now I do remember -- Tom Jones is the legendary singer who sung this in his unmistakable style.

My fellow contemporaries may well remember other of his songs like Delilah, She's a Lady, Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow and of course Green Green Grass of Home. This Welsh Singer who immigrated to America quite ruled the roost on the music world with his wonderful performances and one-of-a-kind voice. Well almost. There was Engelbert Humperdinck who truly sounded like a twin soul. Well there actually were some songs that the both of them did together.

What had me wondering was that how come I, in the mid sixty's, in a staid little town like Nagpur - came to learn about these songs and singers. It wasn't the time of  television or 24X7 music channels as yet. My mind goes back to the wooden radio on the corner table of our drawing room. I think it was called Saba. And I recall mention of it being a German radio. I can't be sure. But this wonderful contraption had me tuning on to Radio Ceylon every morning to listen to delightful instrumental music followed by melodious olden songs in the backdrop of a constant crackle and static.

Not that the continuous noise in the background made any difference to the keenly developed ear for catching the real music. This radio - for all the crackle and static, was a real learning house that taught all of those beautiful songs rendered by dozens of mellifluous singers of my childhood. From 'Those were the days...' to "Che Sera Sera..." - a lifetime appears to have been sated by these early year's grooming of pop music of the times. And now as the years go on they seem to have the Daffodils effect on my mind. When all at once a strain of a long lost melody will take me down memory lane and I am left to wallow in the music of days gone by. And I am still loving it.                

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Morning Mantra

It's a kicky kind of thing to listen to early morning walkers, catching snippets of conversation as you stride past them. Some walk in twos and some even in groups - guffawing raucously impervious to the bird sounds and the ethereal atmosphere. I for one walk alone - I change pace ever so often. And this is truly mine own time. Just love the lonely roads at this hour as you walk past people intent on redefining their sense of self worth.

One day it could be the GPO road , another time the road down Ladies Club - yet sometimes the uppsy-down Mount Road. I do change routes ever so often. Not for me the regular same old well-trodden paths. These are the roads of my childhood - walking, cycling about the high court circuits lush with tamarind and berry bushes and other foliage, that's all disappeared.. Yet there is good enough greenery here attracting morning walkers from all parts of my town. I am comfortable doing the rounds all over the place and even now I surprise my self with random routes that have me coming upfront with all kinds of people.

The pious bearded seventy plus man in his long gray shirt has been a constant for many years and whenever we cross paths he has started to nod now, as he goes by. Another aging elderly woman is now on smiling terms whenever we happen to chance on each other. There are few who carry religious music on their mobiles that perhaps helps them on. Fat young girls look the other way as if ashamed of doing what they are doing. Then there are those who are oh-so properly attired with the right accouterments as if on a mission. Well I'm on a mission too. I am planning a trek around the Mansarovar Lake in Tibet next year. And so I tread on.

It's the twosomes that are interesting by far. A mother and daughter duo walking on silently. A husband wife team  discussing banalities early in the morning. Two balding friends engaged in what else - political gambits.. But these two teenage boys had me smiling this morning as I heard one of them say "Racket change karne se game nahin change ho jata" meaning the game does not change if you change your racket. Whatever that meant, their serious disposition coupled with this early morning mantra got me grinning.

I could almost pitch this as some kind of a philosophy. Perhaps they were badminton or tennis fans and had watched a game the previous night. Its such bits of exchanges that have me contentedly thinking all's right with the world. They think therefore they are. As I walk on past Freemason's Hall, Japanese Garden at the foot of Seminary Hills or along the wondrously smooth clean road down the Chief Minister's bunglaw -- it all comes clear. Yes the game doesn't change even if you change the racket.  

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Another Year On Its Way Out

Nothing changes - nothing ever does. Life goes on endlessly day after day - year after year. Suddenly its December and you're seeing another year on its way out. 'For men may come and men may go' -- but time goes on forever. Due apologies for picking up and changing this verse to suit my state of mind - but this year has not been any different from the past. River or no river - everything flows - time, water, energy, thoughts and what have you.

Its all talk - all words. None of it is real. Even for those working on relentlessly to make a difference -- there is the huge big interface with what is known as destiny to reckon with. The pyramid structure prevails to quell the bottom half with the loud-talking peaker's at the top. Yup unlike them - the codfish never cackles to tell you what she's done and the homely hen goes on and on...

I can not understand this disquietitude. Nor my sense of dissipation. I am moving on without a clue. But then this is not me. Essentially. What ever is happening to my natural gung-ho spirits? Just a fraction of a second in this black mood will pull me down - down - down -- unimaginably. Yes - yes - yes -- work is my salvation. It keeps me off the banalities of the mind, for ultimately that is just where these random meanderings will lead me - to more insipid words.

And its to words that I return back again. To comprehend and to simplify. A way to go on minute by minute and day by day and week by week and month by month and lo and behold - year by year. But I am back to where I started. Yes the year is going by - day by day. What kind of triviality will I be planning for the last day of this soon-to-be-forgotten year. A penny for my thoughts.