Saturday, December 23, 2006


Today is my Birthday.
Yes i know you've heard this before - but i feel 'special' today :)
As if, for 24 hours, i'm inside this bright pink bubble that's bobbing around all over the place with me in it and everyone else is outside. I can see them, they're all pink, they're smiling at me -wide, bright smiles, and saying - 'Happy Birthday!, Happy Birthday!' , almost as if they're happy it's my birthday. Funny, yes..
I realised today that more than anything, ANYTHING, i love it when people remember. It's one hell of a high for me. When i leave out the 'date of birth' column blank on orkut, and people still call at 00:00 hrs, it makes me want to jump and do cartwheels.
Fatty Macbeth and Tambram turned up at 00:12 am, and surprised the hell out of me with a cake and all that ..
Yes of course i should have seen it coming, but Fatty Macbeth is not exactly your 'suprises' kinda guy. So i obviously thought it was Tambram's idea, but i was wrong about that too! I know Fatty feels really bad about last year, when he completely forgot it. I've long since forgotten but he hasn't :)
We ate cake, sang to me, and then decided to head out for some coffee.
Birthdays are fun.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sawai Gandharva Music Festival - Pune '06

Yesterday, i listened to Pandit Shivkumar Sharma on his Santoor at the Sawai Gandharva Festival. While i am passionate about music, you wouldn't exactly call me an Indian Classical Music afficianado. Not however because of any feelings of dislike, rather because i've never really been exposed to it in the right way. A while ago, I decided to change that.

I think the Sawai is the ideal opportunity for anyone interested in Indian Classical Music to take advantage of - whether that interest elevates itself to fanaticism or remains mere curiosity. These four december days offer a once-in-a-year treat of vocal, instrumental and dance performances by some of the biggest guys in the field of Indian Classical Music - Jasraj, Bhimsen Joshi, Amjad Ali Khan, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Birju Maharaj and others. And with tickets priced at 350 rupees for all the four days, it's probably also the cheapest. Years ago (the festival has been running to packed audiences for 54 years now) , when there weren't any restrictions on loudspeakers playing late into the night, performances would go on right through and beyond midnight hours, winding up finally in the early hours of the morning. It must have been beautiful listening to jugalbandi of the tabla and santoor while the sun rose.

There i sat on the ground ( referred to as 'Bharatiya Baithak' - Indian-style seating) among thousands of others with blankets, sweaters and sleeping children and listened under a star-studded sky to the sounds of magic and mountains. A cold, smooth draught of wind blew as Pt. Sharma started playing ragaa Rasikpriya.
I drew my shawl in tighter around me and smiled - i felt like he had just looked straight at me and called me beautiful.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Acid blazed through my insides, screaming through my veins, burning skin, melting tissue, leaving in its wake, thick patterns of mourning purple smoke that threatened to never fade away.
Trapped, I listen as you tell me about the dreams, magic, madness, anger. About hot, salt-filled tears that rushed out in fury. About Fire. Loss. Pain. Longing. About Her.

That night, I lay awake, listening to the restlessness in my veins, and hating, every time I closed my eyes, because that’s when I thought of all those promises that aren’t made, but taken for granted. I decided to keep my eyes open.

With you, I am already judged. Always. You’ve made up your mind and there can be no more discoveries about me – I’m all ‘figured out’, you see. Case shut, eyes shut, mind shut. All figured out.

Forever Misunderstood. Tongue tied and paralyzed by the shock, fury. That familiar feeling of an approaching let-down. Because from you, I expected clear skies, open spaces, curiosity. Oh, so much curiosity. You. You disappoint me.

Ah my friend, let me tell you this while I pretend that you’re listening, lying stretched out in front of me, flat on your stomach, face propped up on both palms, eyes wide, mind eager and open, listening intently – if you tasted my tears, they too would burn your lips and scorch your guts like hers did. If you weren’t so fucking blind.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Another Cut Cord

His words kept resounding in my ears. And something inside me just ‘shut’. Closed down and locked up with a permanence that was unmistakable.

In that one moment, I knew that I would chose to swallow my anger. I wasn't going to watch my pearls trampled under the feet of swine.

And so I did nothing. I also decided to leave for good.

Too much pride – she said to me, shaking her grey head. I must be humble, if I wanted to learn.

I disagreed. There are things that humility cannot teach. She shook her head, disapprovingly. I wasn’t convincing anyone, she said.

Perhaps. But I had no wish to. I was convinced.

Mediocrity isn’t borne just out of the absence of talent. It also arises out of insecurity, and the lack of any will to experiment. I was one of his fastest learners, a beginner who’d rapidly progressed to being a leader. Wasn’t it him who’d told me that? I suppose I’d expected time to rid him of his aversion for variety. I waited in vain.
It was that familiar case of the last straw yet again.

Singing has always been a passion – It lifts me up and I feel the skies rush down to meet me. Every single time. I soar and there is space for no one and nothing in those moments. Music is my first love.

Talent requires no affirmation except your own. It just isn’t talent, if it is tied down by a need so whimsical.

“No, Nayan, don’t take the A flat. It’s too high, you might go off – Wanson will do that”

And I blinked in disbelief. Why, hadn’t he just heard me hit the A flat flawlessly?

But it just took a moment.

I nodded and knew then, that my wait had ended. It’s time to move on.