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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Many Many Many, Don’t be Funny!

Just how many is too many? Well, a thought only.

About ten years back, more relevantly for India, it was very difficult to get a credit card. The banks did not come to you then, you had to go to them—beg beg and convince. Getting one finally was considered an achievement.

Now one is not enough. With banks calling you, emailing you, messaging you all the time and with most cards coming as lifetime free ones you just go merrily multiplying irrespective of your needs. Specially designed wallets are coming your way to accommodate your cardy crowd. It’s altogether a different matter how many of you are hooked into a never ending debt trap and how many are showing off without having the means to even come close to that kind of lifestyle.

Just five years back, again more relevantly for India, many of us didn’t even know what a blog was. Forget how to create it.

Now having one blog is not enough. You can go on creating just at the click of the mouse irrespective of whether you need it or not and whether you have the content for that or not. Like credit cards many blogs have to be owned because like credit cards they come free too. It’s altogether a different matter how many of you get trapped in it and how many get into a position of perfect inactivity. Amitabh Bachchan, the superstar of the millennium, got trapped by commenting on the film Slumdog Millionnaire directed by Danny Boyle. Mr Bachchan restarted the archaic debate of ‘selling Indian poverty or ugly reality’ to the West. You cannot hide the ‘reality’ of a blog.

Someone has to design a special e-wallet for accommodating your blogy crowd.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Questions the Time Theory in Indian Classical Music

‘Our ragas are based on time periods like the morning, afternoon, evening and late night hours. But the time slot now-a-days for concerts is 6pm to 10pm due to security reasons or whatever. If we exceed police will come and arrest the artists and the organizers. This means performances can be done only on a few limited ragas again and again. Morning and afternoon concerts are rare and late night concerts whether indoor or outdoor are impossible.’ Said santoor legend Pandit Shivkumar Sharma on 10th January, 2009 at a two-day seminar on ‘Reconsidering Fundamental Issues in Indian Art Music’ organized by ITC Sangeet Research Academy at NCPA, Mumbai. Panditji was speaking at the session on ‘Time Theory’.

While making it clear that he was speaking neither for or against the time theory Pandit Shivkumar Sharma elaborated further, ‘In old days we were closer to nature and most concerts were organized outdoor with nature manifested in full glory. Now in air conditioned auditoriums time becomes timeless. Of course, the biological clocks still works, but what happens when we go to US or Europe. At 9.30pm somewhere in Europe when the sun still blazes what ragas we are supposed to select?’

The eager discussion took up some other points too like while light classical songs based on particular ragas can be presented any time why time theory should apply only to pure classical form; and the double standards of the audiences—they listen to recordings of khayals in different ragas at home at any point of time without considering the time theory while they object to artistes at concerts singing a raga at the ‘wrong’ time. It was also pointed out that sometimes when lyrics become the dominant factor and ragas secondary in some compositions, such compositions should be freed from time theory.

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma summed up the healthy debate saying while no solutions could yet be found discussions could carry on.

Friday, January 9, 2009

What A Common Man Is Supposed To Do?

Today at the news room one newsreader was very angry at the state of things. On the top of continuing Indo-Pak tension following terror attacks we have petrol scarcity due to three day old strike of officers of Oil Public Sector Units who want a pay hike, prices of vegetables shooting up due to five day old strike by public transporters, frauds in Satyam (the word ‘satyam’ means ‘truth’) and all that. Fortunately the news reader was creative enough to do something constructive. She wrote out a poem on the dilemma of a common man and with our permission she visualized it in the form of a capsule story. We ran it in our evening bulletins.

The poem narrates how a common man should react to everyday problems like bomb blasts, strikes, war worries, nature turnarounds and the like—all of which finally bog down upon the common man only. What we common folks should do? Fight on? Call for strikes? But against whom? We common folks; we common folks. Have mercy!

Some common folks reacted very emotionally to the story.

Any thoughts?

Let's Save Our Mother Earth...

The Colours of Peace are Beautiful...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Feedback From a Professional Psychologist on the 'Drag' Episode

Well, since I have got a third person report about it, a lot must have been missed in the observation process that a psycho-analyst needs for one's elementary analysis. The protagonist's age,gait, body-language and other non-verbal communication serve as vital inputs in the process of social/person perception.

Anyways, but I still managed to analyse the following which ofcourse is not the last word over it:

It seems that the elderly man is not health conscious and may be a compulsive chain smoker at a point of time in his life. He currently hails from a poor or lower socio-economic class. But it may not have been the case few years ago when he could afford to buy a cigarette on his own. MAY BE.

Other possibility is that even if he can afford the drag of his own money today, he may be asking from strangers for seeking brief attention from non-judgmental people. Need for affiliation too is reflected to some extent. He and his wife may be looking after each other and his children may have abandoned them and may be helpless about their fate.

Usually, a person with self-dignity will not ask for anything from complete strangers. It was a different thing if that man new your friend closely as such things like 'asking for a drag from a single cigarette' are understood in close friendship relations.

If not anything then one more possibility is that the elderly man may be showing 'senile' tendencies. I am posting a link below for your reference. Focus on the words from the link '............ Other causes of senility include depression, poor nutrition, thyroid dysfunction, drug addiction, and alcoholism'

Last, but not the least, the entire thing could be of a 'paranormal' nature. Unexplained, eerie and kind of weird. We Easterners, especially the one's believing in Eastern philosophies, usually do not rule out the existence of spirits!

Since you have witnessed the entire episode, what does your insticts tell you Chinmay'ji?

Looking forward for more such psycho-teasers and other constructive discussion of any topic.

Best wishes,

Shraddha. Sankulkar
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