Tuesday, March 24, 2009

radio ga ga

I am a self-confessed radio junkie. Between full-time work and a boisterous eight-year old, my music listening happens while driving to and from work and often during late nights on weekends. I guess I have to thank the Galvin brothers for that. I am lazy enough not to organize my CDs and MP3s to make the songs easily accessible and I like to be surprised, so radio works for me. I am a sucker for the retro shows. Mostly because I don’t have to wonder about the words! Ok, now about the two songs this morning…

Black Velvet by Alannah Myles. This has been an old favourite (1989 is positively retro). There is something about her raspy voice that oozes languid insolence. It is so refreshing to hear the opening score of the song. I had spent hours imagining myself in those leather boots and felt hat singing and strumming in front of Elvis-crazed fans. Sigh. That was the only time I wanted crinkly hair.

You Found Me by The Fray. D├ębuting last November, this one is comparatively super-fresh modern. This song has all the Nirvanasque angst and melancholy minus the guitar riffs. Despite the depressive lyrics that talk about the hopelessness and disappointment that life offers, it is a strangely uplifitng song.

Listen in…

Monday, March 23, 2009

coming back to life..

They played 'our' song today on the radio. It took me by surprise. They never play anything like that so early in the day. The RJ said, 'Roll up your windows and let the music fill your car..' Good for him. What does he know. Silly, really. To be holding on to a song when you have to let go of the person. Then maybe that's how it is meant to be. That is why the song a classic.

Friday, March 20, 2009

wake me up inside...

For the last few weeks the highpoint has been the radio show on Thursday afternoon called ThinkTank where the callers quiz the RJ on music trivia to win sponsored goodies. Usually some rare trivia gets shared which makes the show interesting. Regularly, I leave office at 6 just to be able to tune in while driving back. Speaks a lot about my life doesn’t it.

Anyway, the recent psychometric test found my score to be highest on spatial-visual intelligence followed by musical, intrapersonal and linguistic. I scored lowest on logical-mathematical which comes as no surprise. I remember only two telephone numbers and both of them I have had for the last several years. Once, in school, I had drawn bicycle wheels on the entire math notebook to find out the number of revolutions required to cover an asked distance. Precisely then, I guess, my parents gave up their dreams. More on that later. Only now, I have learnt the multiplication table along with my eight year old. In university, all my applied statistics used to take shape schematically on paper napkins while my partner crunched the numbers. My kith and kin are well aware of my severely challenged ability to comprehend anything numeric. I do not remember the silly SMS numbers that flash on TV to vote for the even sillier shows. I even skip the numbers in an advertisement and read them as ‘blah blah blah’.

Then again, I am the most illogical person around with impossible wishes and irrational reactions. Therefore, unlike DA, I cannot erase people as easily as their telephone numbers. For me, a person, thing or moment is tagged with a multi-sensory memory and filed in the deep crevice of my conscious from where they are impossible to dislodge. Then for years afterwards, I will relive those memories, often painfully, when triggered by a familiar phrase, a well-remembered tilt of the head, a similar posture, snatches of a tune, whiff of a perfume, a certain warmth of voice, a shared joke.

It would have been so much easier if I could put people in numeric context. His bank balance. Her shoe size. His height. Her age. His address. Her phone number. So much easier to erase when required. But that wouldn’t work for me. Unlike the old couple in the paint advertisement on TV, I will recall the colour, texture, smell, taste of all 'our' memory. So, for those I have lost through fate or frivolity, what remains are the myriad hued memories and of course the songs. ‘Our’ songs that will always remain even after the ‘our’ is rendered redundant.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


scared of being left alone

with the unspoken words

that hung between them

she fills her day with unending chores

the faintly bitter hairball of emotions

rising in her throat reminds her of

the emptiness he leaves behind every night

he walks away in her sleep

will she ever be ready to let him go?


This year is proving to be very expensive. It has taken more than I bargained to lose. It has taken away my grandmother. The only person I have known who refused to feed the left over banana skin to the milkman’s goat believing goats should be treated fairly and given the banana and not the discarded skin. Also, the one person who NEVER forgot my birthday. A devoted follower of Krishna she believed He would take care of her and her loved ones unconditionally. Through all the many tribulations that Life offered, her unwavering faith in her Lord, remained firm. She decided to live the last 6 years in an ashram renouncing all that was worldly. At 76, she was the healthiest person we knew, with none of the complaints that the generation younger to her suffered. Her eye sight hadn’t dimmed nor had her conviction that forgiveness is the only power we possess. For a young widow with limited formal education and confined to a conservative household for most of her life, her worth was expressed in the tears of people whose lives she had touched. It was at her demise that we knew of the number of people who benefited from her meager pension. Of the many deprived children whose education she took care of. Of the wretched girl during whose wedding, she gave her gold bangle. Of the sightless-abandoned-old-widow whom she had adopted as her mother. It must be the Lord’s way, when death came swiftly as she slipped into a cerebral thrombosis induced coma while saying her morning prayers. It has left my mother with the guilt of not given a chance to do anything and a reaffirmed belief that for the truly faithful a peaceful death is the Lord's gift. For the faithless like me, she has stirred a desire to seek goodness in this godless world.