Thursday, November 24, 2005

Bliss, extended?

Have you heard music that stirs your soul, plucks at your heart-strings, and before you can grasp what it is, it fleets away. The way
it comes in the background in some movies, beautiful and fleeting, and leaves you yearning for more. The music that flows in 'Sarfarosh'
whenever they show Naseeruddin Shah doing 'rihaaz' in his 'pushthaini' mahal or the one that flows in 'Devdas' as Madhuri prepares to dance
or the pieces scattered around 'Utsav' or the brief piece of tamil song that plays in 'Kaadhal kavidhai' when Prashanth enters a music shop
in England. All these have a magical quality...
I am just back from a Shubha Mudgal concert (part of 'The Hindu' NovemberFest music festival). I first knew that she existed when i saw the
video of 'Ab ke saawan'...and i bought the cassette.When i heard the album, i fell in love with her voice (and more with her song
'Bhai re, rishthon ki dagar hai mushkil'). Today's was a concert of 'Khayal', 'Thumri' and 'Dadra' (semi-classical styles, google helped me
know this). I dont know the next thing about Hindustani music, just went cos i like her voice. When the concert started, the music sounded
like those magical fleeting sounds i had mentioned earlier. Except that they dint go away. To start with, it felt surreal and i could've levitated
if i wanted to. This was what i had always wanted. When those movies used to replace heavenly music with human chatter to take the story
forward, i used to curse the director and wished the music played for ever.But here, as the music persisted, it changed from this magical
soul-stirring music to just good music and an impeccable rendition from a perfecionist. I enjoyed the concert all the same.
I guess the impact that those pieces of music i talked about earlier have,  have as much to with their beauty as they have,
with their brevity. Bliss cannot be extended, and if you try to, it ceases to remain bliss, it would be just lazy happiness or
sometimes, boredom. Extremely beautiful music is brief, and so is orgasm and so are flight take-offs, and Tequila shots are small.
It is probably the pattern of the world, and it feels right too.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Sunshine in my life

Right now, that would be Table tennis (ping-pong). I had learnt this game formally as a school kid and used to play in the competitive circuit till college happened (strangely, i started playing at the insistence of my sister cos her friend played it and he was kindof a school hero; she never accepts it though). Stopped playing somewhere along the way...

I had gone to watch the Tamilnadu state championships last year...met some old friends that i had played alongside as a junior...they were playing in the Men's category and were working for the government (Postals/LIC/Agriculture dept and the like)...they had all taken up TT as their profession...i was thrilled to see all those people after such a long time...and was happy to see some high quality games...he proceedings excited me enough to think about getting back in the circuit...Chennai is a very-high-competition zone for TT (Bengal and TN can stake claims for being the TT capital of India, other states are way behind)...i could at-best hope for a 2nd or 3rd round entry (an opening
round exit is more like it:)...but things are different now...i would not be crying after losing a round like i did as a junior...i would not be too tensed during a match...and the entry fee would not matter much...

I went to this club called YMIA-Mylapore and told them that i wanted to practice there of the guys in the club politely told me that they would not be able to accomodate me. To be taken in there u shud either be under 5 yrs of age or should be a currently ranked player in some state.(i had played a senior nationals for pondicherry some 8 yrs before...but then that was a long time ago and i knew i wud be rusty). But that guy was decent enough to refer me to a club close to where i live. I am glad he did that...thats where i play these days, with a bunch of
school is housed in a school called V.V.V in beasant nagar...and it boasts of a number of ranked players in the junior categories (the top one being the TN Junior girls' No:1 called Niveditha...she is a 11th standard kid, and she beats me hands down..)...It is a lot of play with a bunch of kids for whom TT is the most important thing in life, is nice...i can totally relate to that feeling...i've been there...beyond a point i never knew vacations...summer vacations meant Intensive TT coaching camps...I dint achieve much though...i was in Trichy, and to be something
in TT in TamilNadu, u got to be in Chennai (thats my excuse:)...but travelled a lot and made decent money (for a school sudent, any money is good money:)...

Anyways thats prevents me from playing the ranking tournaments regularly...i still manage to play some matches once in a while and surprise myself(and a lot of others:) by winning is such a nice feeling to win competitive games...i had nearly forgotten is still extremely rare for me(i won only 2 good matches in the past year), but it is atleast not non-existant, and i give myself a chance to pull it off once in a while...