Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I am reading a book that is so me, albeit with technological inputs that I, who seek the organic, actually find enthralling. The book is 'iPod, Therefore I Am' by Dylan Jones. It charts the history of the iPod as well the author's 'personal journey through music'.
I can't seem to find the exact sentences he has beautifully composed, but it's something along the lines of if a song can be a little house you live in, the iPod allows you to build pleasure palaces to lose yourself in. He also talks about how he additionally loved soul and jazz in an era when punk was the norm. And with the invention of the iPod, he unabashedly listens to The Clash followed by Miles Davis and to The Beatles after Kanye West's 'Graduation' album.
That is so me! A friend of mine pronounced that I was not liking The Doors (or was it Led Zepellin?) the way it should be liked if I also like (cough) the unashamed adolescence of Enrique Iglesias. I am sorry but I cannot give up Enrique! He takes me back to this special desk in my 9th standard classroom where I sketched storyboards for my own movie scripts while the Physics teacher droned about how we would not be able to breathe during tenth. (So not true for all you ninth standard students out there)
Sorry for the digression.
Anyway, the point is, in this era of globalisation (I can't believe I actually used this word in Estarra. Globalisation is the current by word for anything. Blame everything on globalisation.), and networking, we can afford to intermingle. No one needs be punk or goth or gangsta rap anymore. Take a little of everything and create something all new and different. Fashion allows it. (Chanel with Sabyasachi, Dior with Ritu Kumar) So should anything creative!
My Mattafix swings, Moby glides, Kailash Kher stirs soul, MJ whispers (or screams), Hindi movie music clangs and jangles and of course, U2 continues to be my mind-altering drug.
And I'm afraid, no Backstreet Boys. But there's Enrique. No Slipknot. But quite some Rammstein. Peaceful coexistence. Imperfect definition. Who needs definition anyway?
I rest my iPod.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The geek strikes back

Just when I thought I was out to take on the world and be a grown up, life laughed me right in the face and made its own decision for me. And well, I'm not complaining.
It's back to college and back to academics in a long-forgotten way (my three years of UG in an art field was academic all right, only rather sporadically. Being a nerd was a bad thing. Something you had to play down.). And ooh, it's a girls college. That took a while to get used to after being an ostensibly boys college. The madness was missed for a few weeks (I'd never seen so many girls in one place in my entire life) but now I'm realising that girl madness is equally enjoyable.
And aha, the library is delightful. I'm foreseeing a lot of adventures to be had. (I can see K somewhere, rolling his eyes and groaning at my inability to be anything remotely fun. According to modern teenage adolescent standards he means)
My recent addiction (beside sticking my nose in musty shelves of books) is writing with an ink pen. Unfortunately, I have not yet been presented with the opportunity to pen dynamic love letters by candlelight or eloquent and much sought after opinions to heads of state. So far, I write history notes with it, when they are dictated slowly and still, my mother refuses to embrace my gorgeous (once even pronounced 'sexy') scrawl. She thinks handwriting should be curly and big like an 80's hairdo. I prefer a chignon. Of course, everyone can see the 80's hairdo clearer and she thinks that's the point.
Anyway, back to fountain pens. Ah the fragrance! The fragrance of ink is intoxicating. The ink pen's results have to be earned. A ballpoint pen is easy, sometimes a floozy but an ink pen is a lady. Whether she's Oliver or Cartier (or whatever those fancy pens are that are not found in my corner stationery shop).
So, I'm back to square one. More like fifth standard (considering the use of aforementioned writing instrument). Education isn't all that bad after all. Especially when you nearly give it up. That's when it actually becomes attractive. The real process of education begins and 'getting an education' ends.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The way he made us feel

There are some things in life that you take for granted: oxygen, the Pyramids of Egypt and Michael Jackson.

Symbols of culture are meant to last forever, irrespective of the fact whether they are made of marble, stone or flesh and blood. They are compasses around which we function. A comfort to us through jokes and references. It's enough to know that they are there. It’s taken for granted that they’ll live forever, larger than life.
I remember the 4 year old me watching my older friends handling a precious copy of the 'Dangerous' album. I stared back at those famous eyes on the cover, wanting to be let into this seemingly prohibited adult world of pop music, wanting to be released from nursery rhymes. And soon enough, I was.

For 8 year old me, Michael Jackson was MTV and MTV was Michael Jackson. Sure, there was Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Puff Daddy (way before he changed into P.Diddy) etc. But there was no one BIGGER than the soft-spoken, twirling dervish with the fascinating music videos. He was not only the best dancer I had ever seen, or the singer of the relentlessly catchy songs but he was also THE definition of the music video.

It was not just the combination of phenomenal talent and charming personality. He was an assurance of the fact that something extraordinary existed beyond the uncomplicated beauty of movie stars or the pure and simple talent of other musicians. Michael Jackson pushed the boundaries of our senses, leaving us awestruck. That was true entertainment-where our questions were silenced and our senses surrendered.

We borrowed our icons from generations past. Elvis was far too gone for us to call him our own. Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Freddie Mercury far too ghost-like to be missed. Our idols were young and full of life, Michael Jackson being the embodiment of energy.

Our generation is one that took things for granted. We were convinced of our immortality-the generation of living in the moment, of Eminem's offensive lyrics and Paris Hilton's frivolity.

Now, we come face to face with our fragile humanness. The person who seemed to live forever, who seemed to live it all, has moved beyond his physical state.

His extraordinary life and aura make his existence seem almost mythical. The controversies and stories that surrounded him earned him reactions from ridicule and disgust to sympathy for the child-man who was most probably just misunderstood.

As the music channels flood us with images of the energetic young Michael dancing like there was no tomorrow or urging us to make a change, as fans across the globe shed tears and make shrines for the King of Pop, as music legends grieve and as music lovers vow to not mourn him but celebrate the existence of such an icon amongst us, one wishes that MJ would see the love that we have for him and know how much he meant to us, the generation whom he shaped.

Was he a child prodigy teaching us 'ABC', a teen dance icon who warned us against 'Billie Jean' or the King of Pop who was one of the few who successfully used music to 'Heal the world'? Whatever hat he donned, all we now have is the burning memory of a mythical legend who rocked our world in more ways than he ever imagined.