Sunday, February 9, 2014

yet another list

Life's been going past me in a rush. Its almost been four months since I came to Chennai and as much as I've experienced urban angst, constantly wondering what I'm doing in this multitude of humanity, I'm also having a lot of fun. Apart from the film festival, I have been to a few Carnatic music concerts, and though by no measure have I completely understood or experienced them, it was certainly humbling to know that people who are as knowledgeable and passionate about the art form continue to practice and encourage it. On the other hand, The Hindu Lit Fest and it's sister event, the documentary fest, were incredibly enjoyable experiences. I saw documentaries on MT Vasudevan Nair and UR Ananthamurthy and for someone who's always shown interest in Western literature and treated Indian literature with certain skepticism, it was truly an eye-opening experience. The kind of topics they deal with, their narrative styles and their relentless pursuit towards truth and perfection both humbled me and also piqued up my interest in looking back at Indian Literature, especially Telugu literature, with new eyes.

The Hindu Lit Fest also happened to be a delightful 2 days, with Gulzar saab's rendition of his poetry being the cherry on the cheesecake. I have never been a fan of writers reading out their work to an audience but having listened to him, orating with the flair of a thespian his poem Budiya Re, I will always be indebted to him for the tear-inducing experience. Furthermore, listening to William Dalrymple sweep the auditorium with his erudition and his capacity to make history come alive made me wonder how much more children would love History if teachers were as passionate. And Pablo Bartholomew's photo-essayesque talk about the Bhopal Gas Tragedy was so enchanting in its imagery and so heartfelt in its compassion, that he received a standing ovation at the end of the talk. It was a great experience being a part of an event where people cared about the work of the artists, which was abundantly clear by the questions they asked, and I felt good being a part of something where the speakers, despite their staggering achievements, treated the audience with respect.

Budhiya Re (Old Woman)

Budhiya Re, Tere saath to maine
Jeene ki har shah baanTi hai

Dana-Pani, KapaDa-latta, Neende.n aur Jagaraate saare
Aulaado.n ke janane se basane ta,k aur bichhaDanae tak
Umra ka har hissa baanTa hai

tere saath judaai baanTi, rooth, sulah, tanhaai bhi
saari kaarastaaniya.n baanTi, jhooth bhi, sach bhi

Mere dard sahe hai.n tune
Teri saari peeDe.n mere poro.n se hokar gujari hai.n

Saath jiye hai.n,
saath mare.n
ye kaise mumkin ho sakataa hai

dono.n me se ek ko ik din,
dooje ko shamshaan pe chhod ke
Tanha waapas lauTana hoga

Budhiya re!

Also, I have been having art related conversations with people like Murali Rajan and Veturi Sarma, and talks about Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks with Deepu mama. And like I mentioned, thanks to those two legendary Indian writers, I started reading the Ramanas ( Mullapudi and Sri ). I had loved Midhunam the movie a lot but never got around to reading the story until a few days ago. Brilliant. Although for me Sri Ramana's best story is by far Bangaru Murugu which I read frequently. The first time I finished reading it, my hands were trembling and my heart was filled with love and gratitude. And whenever I read it out for other people, a process I enjoy a lot, the smiles stuck to their faces tell me how lucky all of us are to be amongst such great literature. I also started reading Kinige Patrika and it's great especially for beginners like me who want to get into reading Telugu.

Talking of Midhunam, I put it fourth in the list of favourite films for The Hindu My Five.  To visit the regal The Hindu office in Chennai and to see my name printed in the newspaper I highly love and admire were surreal experiences. And by the way, the assignment I mentioned in one of my previous posts went bust. But I'm working on two new things, and since they are midway through anyway, I am pretty confident they're going to see the light of the day. I am also reading Sophie's World, which despite the irritatingly adolescent language, looks like a good guide to starting out with Western Philosophy, and Prem Panicker's Bhimsen which is recommended for those of us who can't currently afford MT Vasudevan Nair's highly acclaimed Randamoozham. I haven't seen any films worth recommending though Spike Jonze's her is an interesting, if mildly trippy, watch and I'm still chipping away on the superhuman Woody Allen repository. And as of music, listening to Saptapadhi songs in loop. Veturi and KV, meeku saashtangam.

Of late, every one of my posts is seeming like a have-done/to-do list of sorts and I'm sorry for it. The thing is I don't have a laptop with me so despite writing pretty regularly, I haven't been posting things up as regularly as I'd like to. [ The above statement is assuming people actually care about this blog being updated. ] That's all for now. And oh, hang on, my friend Vinod is now a part of That's Life. He is a brilliant street photographer, I'm a huge fan of his work and I hope someday he becomes as great as his idol Henri Cartier-Bresson who's pictures overawe me.

Till next time,
happy exploring.

1 comment:

Shyamala said...

Have the same zeal forever and enjoy every part of art, life, literature and nature...... May God bless you....