25 April 2012

Getting a high

The company that I work for has a Writer’s Club of which I am a member, albeit not a very active one.  Recently they introduced PROJECT 46 under which for the 46 Tuesdays starting Valentines' day, writer members who have not written for the Writers' club will write about their passions, hobbies or anything that they want to write about.. no specific subject. The whole idea is to have the different writing styles, the different flavours of ALL the writers captured on our site.

Reproduced below my post for which I have taken tidbits from an earlier post on this blog

I am a hyper kind of a person.
Someone once said of herself - “My mind is always in constant chatter with itself in which I think about a million things” and I was like – that is so me!!!!
Only Music, especially the flute has a calming effect on me.
It touches my soul like nothing else. From as far back as I can remember the Flute was always my favorite. It inspires me, stirs such emotions and even though this may sound like an oxymoron – it energizes while bringing about a greater peacefulness.

Long back I read somewhere that the Latin word for Breath is ‘spiritus’. And breath is a prerequisite of music. Is that a coincidence, an accident? I doubt it, for music invokes the spiritual in us.

I love music….maybe a result of all the Spic Macay programs I was made to attend in school.
But the answer to the oft asked question – ‘what kind of music do u like to listen to’, I don’t have a clear answer. Anything that sounds nice to me. It could be Indian or Western Classical, Folk from different parts of the world, Instrumental including movie songs, Old romantic Bollywood songs and even some new ones!!!

Forget being an expert, I’m not even an amateur at music. I’m simply a music lover...

I don’t really understand classical music the way the concert goers are expected to…but I still go. One friend asks – But would you really like to go to a Carnatic music concert?  I fail to explain to her –‘music has no language for me’.
In fact Music is the only language in which different cultures can have a conversation. Have you heard the Indian Instrument Tabla and Western instrument Harp talk to each other – mind blowing chemistry!  Flautist Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Harpist Gwyneth Wentink left the audience totally mesmerized with their performance one evening in Bangalore.

Remember, one learns to listen to music as one learns to listen to oneself, not just with one's ears but with one's awareness.

According to Discovery news, listening to music releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical associated with addiction and good food.
And to quote Bob Marley “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
So get a hit, experience a high, and get some music into your life.

19 April 2012

South America – preparations etc!!!

South America called…finally. I think I day dreamed of walking in the Amazon forests as Ms Bhati talked of rainforests in the geography class ages ago. As long back as 2006 I had started talking to travel agencies for quotes and realized I needed to have a separate ‘SA Fund!’ It was ****** expensive…but then that’s me…I always seem to like the most expensive product on the shelf.

The dinner  in Devonport, New Zealand comes back. On the 1st day of our trip as we discussed travelling to South America the following year we nearly got ourselves a companion – the waiter wanted to accompany us after listing to our excited chatter!

Getting the required visas – South Africa, Brazil, Peru, and Argentina was a marathon by itself. A teaser to what was in store for us. Many visas – much confusion! Change of the application city for Bangalore wanderers, form needing refilling in black ink as I had filled it in blue! Some surprises too – one day I get an email that my (MY!!!!) Peru visa was rejected because they wanted original bank statements! Later I realized it was not rejected, but they just declined to accept the form. I thought printouts with signature and bank seal were treated as originals everywhere. What the heck? I was just wondering how to get 4 more copies from ICICI (what a nightmare that was gonna be), when I was informed that the WOW office had resent my passport with another bunch and it worked!!!Talk about weirdness!

Then South African airways decided to change the schedule and wanted us to leave one day earlier. In hindsight this worked better for us – not only did we get a break after an 8 hrs flight instead of traveling continuously for over 20 hrs but were also able to check out Jo’burg with the cost of one night hotel in Jo'burg, airport transfers, breakfast, and visa charges being borne by the airline!!!

The final straw was when on 5th afternoon I got call – the South African consulate didn’t quite like my photograph (JERKS!). Some white shirt on white background nonsense. They needed spectacles – it was a white PRINTED shirt! Courier new photographs was what I was instructed. 7th and 8th were holidays at the mumbai consulate on account of Holi, 9th night we were travelling – this was NOT going to work. Luckily it struck me that I had a soft copy of another snap, which I sent and requested them to take prints of in Mumbai itself and resubmit the forms. What a restless night that!!! I even contemplated staying in the airport for that one day and night Smile

What a relief when we finally had our passports with all the visas stamped. And off we were to South America via Jo’burg.

18 April 2012

Blowin' in the Wind

A friend and her daughter are making pen stands from old music cassettes – they call it REWIND...RETRO...RECYCLE... It brings back memories of Gurgaon, listening to the cassette over and over again.

My favorite then and still, I guess …Bob Dylan’s Blowin' in the Wind

How many roads must a man walk down

Before you call him a man?

Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail

Before she sleeps in the sand?

Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly

Before they're forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many times must a man look up

Before he can see the sky?

Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have

Before he can hear people cry?

Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows

That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,

The answer is blowin' in the wind.

How many years can a mountain exist

Before it's washed to the sea?

Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist

Before they're allowed to be free?

Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,

Pretending he just doesn't see?

The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,

The answer is blowin' in the wind.