Thursday, July 08, 2010

Hosanna

* Tamil Song

* A R Rahman

* Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (Gautham Vasudev Menon)

Yet another foot tapping crowd pleaser. There’s the characteristic rapping. And latest favourite Vijay Prakash. Fine you said. Nice to hear. Finis. Next song please.

***

Three months later…

Is it early morning yet?

One of those three am wakings that everybody has. You don’t know why but you are all anxious. Maybe a dream about dying woke you up? You stretch to pick up the iPod and you nervously scroll songs. Perhaps it was the title. You stop at Hosanna and press to play.

Nice.

Four minutes twenty six seconds later, you press again.

Repeat.

This time you notice the layered sounds: a tinkle here, a gong there.

Repeat.

Everything is rising, the notes, the darkness, the despair.

Repeat.

The beat of the heart stays throughout the song you think. Towards the end, before the pinnacle, you notice a slight dip that lasts a few seconds. The hero, carried along in the rush of his first love, is now thinking can this be real? can this be true? Must watch the movie to find out the context of the song.

Repeat.

This song does not carry any emotional baggage! Not a single note signifies pain. There is only a beautiful building towards exaltation. In the slowly lifting darkness, in the blue pink of dawn, you smile. You take a deep breath. You smile again.

Repeat.

You wonder how you will describe this song in a word. Airy. Yes airy. You are almost weightless and worriless by now and still pressing play.

Repeat.

Instrumentation is the life of this song. The voices, lovely, lovely, wonderful variations all three, are interludes. Wordless, this song would still hold its meaning in its notes. Can Zindagi from Yuvvraaj do away with Srinivas’s voice you wonder. The depths of that song are tied to the richness of the voice, your partiality for bagpipers notwithstanding.

Repeat.

 

Repeat.

Cream morning light. The walls glow. There is an ethereal touch to early morning if you are in the mood for it. Hosanna.

 

Monday, July 05, 2010

Mother L

When the letters of Penelope Fitzgerald, So I Have Thought of You, were published a couple of years ago, one of the reviews remarked on her creation of the character ‘Daddy’ in her letters to her daughters. ‘Daddy’ referred to her husband whose employment problems, disinterest, perhaps alcoholism, all feature in her letters with a sense of humourous detachment, an impossible state of mind to imagine given that she bore the brunt of these difficulties.

When writing to friends or talking to them on the phone, in the past year or so, I have become aware of a character that I unconsciously create, that of Mother L. She is this harried woman, forever at the mercy of a demanding child, rushing to complete chores, always behind or entirely forgetful of deadlines, unable to focus, perhaps even unable to breathe at liberty. She seems so enticing that I cannot help but mention how she is when people ask me how I am. Truth is I could be her. But I am not. At least not always. In vast stretches of hours, maybe I turn into her for a few minutes. But I see myself as her when people ask me how I am. The interesting thing is that I do not see myself as her when I am meeting people in person. Then how are you extracts a more realistic answer. The character of Mother L, so easy to conjure in words, is not that easy to enact. She remains a source of amusement, a means to objectify an extreme, a creation.

In a sense, I play both Penelope Fitzgerald and her husband Desmond. And like her, in my own unconscious way, I create a character to gain a perspective of my daily life.