Monday, March 30, 2009

Introducing Beatboxing

I render my apologies for being away for so long without any communication. I had actually not planned that I will not write. It's just that sometimes you don’t do much in life which is worth writing. But surely this weekend I experienced something which is as much worth writing as it is worth knowing. Here I introduce beatboxing to the uninitiated.

As defined by the World Beatboxing Community, beatboxing is the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one's mouth, lips, tongue, voice, nasal passage and throat. As per me, I think it is the coolest form of music one can hear. Without using any musical instruments a beatboxer creates different musical sounds. Enthralling - isn’t it?

The concert that I saw at Queen Elizabeth Hall of Southbank Centre, London was called “Music Through Unconventional Means”. The world-renowned beatboxer Shlomo collaborated with Gauri Sharma Tripathi, an exponent in Indian classical dance form of Kathak. Having learnt Kathak as a kid, I always wondered if the way I was taught Kathak is the only way Kathak can be. But seeing this performance of Gauri Sharma changed my opinion. She concentrated on sounds more than bols (or words); she concentrated more on the rhythms in the movements than choreography. I realised one can experiment with everything as long as one is honest in the experimentation.

I quite liked the idea of merging beatboxing with Kathak. Both forms of producing music are based on rhythms.

The collaboration did not end here. Shlomo brought on-stage an acclaimed British Tamil musician Susheela Raman. Even though she sang in Tamil, of which I understood not a single word, but who needs words when the whole ambience is taken over by the might of music. The sounds were reaching the ears with emotions that meant so much; one was free to interpret it the way one wanted. Music is a language in its own right.

I experienced enchanting music full of creative imagination. Attending such concerts gives an opportunity to listen to very good music, to experience the magic created due to synergies of different music forms, to appreciate the extent of man’s creative imagination and to wonder about the capabilities of human faculties.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am a woman

Let me raise my head with pride,
For I have worked hard to reach here –
Let me walk straight and unveiled,
For I have lots to show and share.

Why should I be mocked at?
For my lips are coloured –
Why should I be taken lightly?
For my skirt is flared.

I can do all the work that you do,
But I can do much more –
Should you not be embarrassed?
For being such a reckless bore.

I am a creation of a woman I admire,
You too had to be created,
What then is the attitude for?
When you too had to be initiated!!

P.S Dedicated to a woman I know...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Emergency service exercise

I was watching BBC the other day and found out about the concept of emergency service exercise. The report talked about a simulation of a hypothetical scenario in which multiple locations in the United Kingdom face a terrorist attack. The exercise was to develop and practice ways and processes to be used to come out of such a situation. The report said that it took 2 days for the officials to simulate such a scenario and now it would take another 24 hours for the on-field officials to finish off the operation successfully.

The report left me a little bewildered and happy at the same. Bewildered to imagine that a simulated act can in anyway match the gravity of a real occurrence and happy to see that atleast we are not sitting hand in hand doing nothing in order to prepare ourselves for such a dastardly act.

Recently the terrorists attacks in Pakistan on the Sri Lankan Cricket team deserves the worst of condemnation. Having grown up watching Sri Lankan cricketers like Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas, I felt very sorry to hear the news. I fail to understand what is the message that these terrorists are trying to convey? I fail to understand how can youngsters like me (most of whom are intelligent, smart and opinionated) get disoriented and lost by people who clearly are spreading violence, panic, terror, anxiety and distrust all in the name of God?

The ongoing economic turmoil should be enough for us to understand that we have already created a lot of mess around in the world, let's now start the process of resurrection. Let's get together to remove the insecurity we have created in our lives - insecurity of whether I will have a job tomorrow, whether I will be able to pay for my house tomorrow, whether I will have my life tomorrow!