Posted in Artists

Goosebumps and the Legacy of Bohemian Rhapsody | Crowd Singing Along at a Green Day Concert

The melody of this song exploded from within and without

It exploded from the speakers and was absorbed by each heart

It also exploded from each of those hearts and spread across the air

Together they created a new super structure with their inter-being

A new person A new body A new living entity pulsing to Queen’s melody

Going through each of the twist and turn of the song the person wasn’t bored

Lasting its dance to the melody for the whole 6 minutes

And they who once said that the song was too much and too long

Dissolved in the ecstatic noise of this person, this super structure

 

Posted in Artists, Originals, Poetry, Reflections

It’s My Life(BonJovi) and I am taking it back | A Poem

I wriggled I gurgled I ached in pain

Pain of seeing such beauty around me

And realizing why did I not see it earlier

Or why did it hid itself from me for so long

It was a painful celebration, of the delay

The delay in the arrival, arrival of wisdom

Arrival of love, of beauty.

And I danced. I shrieked in pleasure

From the bottom of my guts

Where for a very long time,

Lay only an aching dragon, wilted

There was now a gushing stream of fresh water.

Impure with all the mirth of my body

Opaque with the mud it was cleansing out

Yes, my art was dirty and imperfect

And that was all you could see, all you saw

It never occurred to you that the stream of water

Was my monumental achievement, my bare soul

You called it ordinary, You called it mediocre

I don’t know what you meant when you said it

What emotions flowed between your lines

But I enslaved myself to your words

I stopped making art. I stopped committing the crime

Of being ordinary. Of being mediocre.

No longer want to be a criminal

No longer can stnad being one. So I gave up.

Quietly. Disgruntlingly. Insidiously. Invisibly.

*

As underteen girls, me and my sisters,

used to climb the garden swing.

And with all the force of our young bodies,

And coordination of our young minds

Pushed it up to the maximum heights

The swing could reach with us aboard.

And then, we would shriek at the top of our voices

‘It’s my life

And it’s now or never

I ain’t gonna live forever

I just wanna live while I am alive

Coz It’s my life

My heart is like an open highway

Like Frankie said I did it my way

I just wanna live while I am alive

Coz It’s. My. Life.’

*

Jon Bon Jovi was the original

But we were the artists in that moment

We were the channels of the spirit that flowed

Through that inspired piece of poetry.

We were the loud speakers that delivered

Those words of wisdom for the world to listen

Even if that world consisted of

The rainy end of summer clouds

The dried tree across the boundary wall

A black crow perched on top of its highest branch

And the endless ether suspended between us

And the whole universe.

We were Gods in those moments.

We were wild and free streams

We were art. We were creating art.

We were living art. We were being art.

*

I now know it is a crime to think

Those girls were not artists in that moment

I know it is a crime to strangle their impulses

To imagine, to imbibe and to regurgitate their beloved art

In the name of practicality and sensibility

And you know what I think is the real crime?

To fear creation, to fear flowing along side my muses

Out of fear of offending you, of living a life below your standards?

It’s My Life and this is me taking my Life back.

 

~MondayMornings~

Posted in Artists, Originals, Poetry, Reflections

i want to celebrate this mourning | back to black | amy winehouse

I want to celebrate this mourning.

I want to do something for the fallen ruins that my life has become.

I want to dance around in its broken halls.

Feel the stone reverberating with the rhythm of my beat.

I want to bleed on its dusty floors.

Remember all the mistakes I made during my stay here.

One last time.

I want to celebrate this mourning.

I want to stand on the hill top staring down the dying Sun.

I want to go blind in the fierce flames as it reaches its end.

Feel the heat in the air seep into my lungs.

Then empty my lungs in a beautiful whirlwind against the twilight.

One last time.

I want to celebrate this mourning.

I want take a last cycle ride around the broken walls.

I want to exhaust my dying heart and test theri capacity to the full.

Allowing it to collapse in style and a motherfuckitude.

I want to sweat my wrinkled skin to the point it chokes in the saltwater

Remembering the old lesson that life is death and death is life.

One last time.

~

New stories – Monday Thursday

I promise to keep up this time

Posted in Artists, Originals, Reflections

my impossible dreams | heera a poetry for your soul | highway a story for your soul

I want to find my dream boat.

And start sailing the oceans immediately.

I want to find what I want to do with my life.

And then start living the rest of my life.

It is getting difficult each passing day to not live that life anymore.

Having glimpsed it. Having tasted it. Having imagined it. And imagining that it was possible.

 Is all making it too difficult for me to just stand.

Just stand and watch my whole life pass by me.

After ending the call with my best friend of years, I was very happy. I felt strong because of her strength. I felt protected by her ferociousness. I felt beautiful because she had begun to accept herself and her own beauty.

But it did not last long. I was soon contemplating.

And I realised I was actually happy for her. I was happy for her life. Which is a wonderful thing, I am sure. I am selflessly, truly and from the bottom of my heart, happy for her.

But then I think about myself. And I think if I feel those things for my own life? Do I?

I do not.

At this phase in my life, I feel bound and suffocated. I have an urge to work hard. But I am not sure what to work hard for. I have some strengths and also some weaknesses. But the boxes, people around me are choosing to fit me into, seem too demeaning to me.

The limited choice of careers for the package I was born with, is very depressing and disheartening. It almost makes me want to give in. Either to their plans for me. Or give up the whole of them. 

It makes me want to run away. Leave their secure world, that they began preparing for me even before I was born. To just leave it all. And tell them those three magical words, I am going. 

And then just leave. On my own trail. On my own journey. Trying out my hand at my impossible dreams.

This is the song I always remember when I have this pang to just leave. To take the leap out. The necessary leap when fear is taking over me and my mind.

It borrows lines from an old poet from my lands. Kabir, who was famous for his wise couplets, revealing so much in such few words. Just like a diamond puts on display so many colours in its limited proportions. Revealing to us the beauty of all of light.

Heera soi sarahiye

Sahe ghanan ki chot

Kapat korangi manwa

Parkhat nikla khot

Let there be praise for only the diamond that has bore the pain of being cut and shaped

A belying deceitful heart more often than not reveals its truth on closer examination

Heera tahan na kholiye

Jahan kunjudaon ki haat

Sahaj gaanthi bandhi ke

Lage apni baat

Don’t put the diamond on display in the savages’ market

Have it safely tied up in your heart and wait for the right time to reveal it

Heera para bazaar

Raha char laptaye

Kethi murakh pache mohe

Liya paarakhi koye uthaye

LIke a diamond dropped amidst a fish market I lay wrapped in dust of the world

So many fools (with easily deceived eye) walked past me while the one with the wise eye carried me home

I fear becoming like that fallen diamond after I leave.

Extremely valuable but lying in dust. Was kept protected for long. Safe and secure from the world and its ways. When the time came for the knots to open and the diamond to come out on display, it was opened in the wrong market. It was opened in a market that only sold vegetables and fishes.

Where everything sold was instantly consumed. Bought. Cut. Cooked. Chewed. Flushed. Repeat. Tends to infinity.

What is a diamond to a man dying of hunger? He cannot eat a diamond. At best he can sell it away. And buy food with that money.

But that is not what a diamond is carved for! That is not the best a diamond can be treated like? Is there any worth, any value of that diamond lying in the dusty market road? Is there any hope of being cleared up to be seen for what it is worth?

Only the One with the wisest eye can. Only the One with an intuitive sight for beauty, can. Is the One really, truly, undoubtedly impossible to find?

 

Posted in Artists, Reflections

A TED Talk For Your Soul | Music, Identity and Poetry | Jorge Drexler

This is so so so so beautiful!

Thank you thank you thank you in the name of everything beautiful there ever was.

Thank you thank you thank you in the name of everything beautiful that ever died.

Thank you thank you thank you in the name of everything that was worth having this life.

Thank you thank you thank you in the name of everything worthy that was let gone.

Love is a very small word for what I feel right now. This piece of art and this artist, in contemplation of where he comes from, the real root, is unnervingly grounding and sublimely beautiful.

I don’t know you brother or your language, but I know every word you have said because those words have been experienced by me too. I have felt what you felt when you put those words down into poems.

I have felt and forgotten and you have reminded me of them.

Thank you thank you thank you in the name of reminding the beautiful that was forgotten.

Posted in Artists

On Courage, Dreams and Being an Artist | Arundhati Roy

To love. To be loved.
To never forget your own insignifance. 
To never get used to the unspeakable violence
and the vulgar disparity of life around you. 
To seek joy in the saddest of places. 
To pursue beauty in its lair.
To never simplify what is complicated 
or complicate what is simple. 
To respect strength, never power.
Above all, to try and understand.
To never look away.
And never, never to forget…
another world is not only possible,
she is on her way.
On a quiet day, 
I can hear her breathing. 

~Arundhati Roy~

Ever since I recognise being able to write words, I have had a diary. Not like a daily journal, but a special diary where I would note down important words. Words that inspired me, made me smile, or laugh or even cry. Words that came to me through stories or songs or someone’s lectures or moral lessons at school. I always made a note of them in a shabbily decorated diary. Shabbily because although my intentions to decorate would be grand, my skills would not match up. Nevertheless, I sufficed my dissatisfaction with keeping the words pure and beautiful. Only those that moved me with their love, of any form, could make it into the diary.

I would like to extend that diary to my online journal here. A Blog, whatelse is it but a web based log of anything and everything. To keep a log of things, of daily activities, of daily thoughts and to be able to share them on the web – that is a blog, right?

So I have decided to write weekly twice here and I hope to condense the confusing clouds of thoughts of the week into words worth reading and worth keeping a log of. This week’s are borrowed from a widely acknowledged and yet controversial author of my country, Arundhati Roy. I read her work of fiction The God of Small Things only a few months back and fell head over heels in love with the work of art. I even chose to write my Critical Writing sample for the MFA applications on this book and its craft of writing.

The book seemed to me to be having multiple layers, at the first reading. And in the second reading I was absolutely sure I was not to find all the layers of this piece of art for a long time to come. Religious, spiritual, interpretive, literary, feminist, post-modern, post-colonialism, casteism, capitalism, nationalism, die hard romance, mythical, individual vs society, marriage-family drama, are just a few to be named. It is an experience of life in itself, so complex when it has to be complex, and so very simple when it is simple. A beautiful work of fiction that I aspire and revere by all means.

There is a thing called religious reading of popular literature, one of the best examples of which is the project titled Harry Potter Sacred Text. As part of such reading, the readers are exposed to the various methods of reading a religious wherein we mainly look to preach lessons out of the stories we read in the texts. We all have done such a reading of a text we love, stories or songs or essays even. We read and re-read them without realising what is it that attracts us so much about them. Then one fine day, the moment of epiphany occurs when we are able to reflect our lives in our beloved stories. We become characters we love and before we know it we are already drawing parallels between their lives and our own. We are rejoicing in their victories and despairing quietly at night at their losses. We are slowly becoming one with the story and simultaneously with the creator of the story.

And this is when the writer is tested for their capability to share a Way of Seeing. Once we are so deeply involved into the act of reflecting our own lives into the story, we are now looking for finding a solution to the problems of our own lives. We are going to sub-consciously act according to the heroes of these stories, in our real life. There is no guarantee, but there is a most definite possibility which is what makes the starving, that the writer bears in order to write a story, worth every trouble taken. Psychology calls this the work of Mirror Neurons in our brains that reflect and mirror things before it, whether in the form of a story, a dance, a music piece or any other art work. They give us capabilities to immerse ourselves into the world of the creator and enjoy it for the while we are entranced. And hopefully to come out with a pearl of wisdom. Simply put, we walk around in the shoes of the creator as the art piece was conceived by them. And the purer the art, the more beautiful the experience of conceiving it, difficult but beautiful.

Despite having an auto-biographical feel to it, the book The God of Small Things is but a work of fiction. This week I discovered these words from Arundhati Roy, and I felt like I was close to realising what it was to walk in the shoes of this great artist, this storyteller, this Wild Woman. Despite the incredible pessimism in her works about the current state of the society and its hypocrisy, these words brought me to the incessant hope that sits at the center of her heart. She may criticise the world and its ways for all of its unspeakable violence and disparity, but she never forgets to dream of another world, where everything is better and beautiful.

It is what probably gives her hope and strength every night to have the courage to see dreams for the future and every morning to get up and have the courage to work hard for those dreams. The God of Small Things was her dream once and it has changed my life. Her courage to fulfil her dream of writing a story about love and loss, gave my Mirror Neurons one of the most important exercises to do. Across time and space, her words made my life a little bit better.

She inspires me to fulfil my own dreams so I can be to someone what she has been to me. Even if I can be that to one person, I would be so grateful. She touched millions of hearts, the book sold about 6 million copies. But then the God of her story, The God of Small Things, resides in things small as well as big. And I will certainly be grateful to create art and suffer for it, if only I can be what she has been to me, to even a single soul.

~

Join me on my journey through life, learning to live with lessons learnt along the way, in stories, in art and in labours of love. I post in new stories every Monday and Thursday.

(Cover art by the stoned storyteller, on the dorm room wall. :P)

Posted in Artists, Movies

Nina Simone and the Wild Woman Archetype

Dangerous Minds uploaded a video of Nina Simone performing a rather melancholic number. She kept improving along the performance saying how it was a tragedy that such a song had to exist. The pain of having to create a music piece, a melody, a baby, that had so much blood and tears in it was shining in her big eyes. This was my first introduction to Nina Simone.

I had instantaneously taken to liking that brutal honesty in her demeanour. She looked like a fighter to me, who was fighting all the pain you could see in her eyes, to be able to create art and put it out there to be shared. I had immense respect and love for this woman, whom I had seen only 3 minutes ago.

Pure hearted love was what she commanded out of my heart in the first few minutes of knowing her. Today when I read the stories of the wild women who let their wild natures run with the winds, goddesses of Life/Death/Life cycles, La Que Sabe – the one who knows; I imagine someone like her. I imagine that face with a struggle strewn across it, fighting against whatever she had to fight, in order to let her baby, her creative labour, exist in this world.

Vasalisa the Wise

I read stories of the wise woman Vasalisa, who went into the wild jungles risking her life, to find the fire of life so she can cook and feed herself. I see how the young woman is initiated into the rites of becoming a woman, of discovering her inner creative fires – the lessons of Life/Death/Life cycles where she lets live what must live and lets die what must die – so she can feed herself with the fire. So she can have her creative endeavours feed her stomach and her children’s stomachs. So she can accomplish the rites of becoming a wild woman of the wild natures.

vasilisa
Source – Wikipedia

And then I watch the tribute to this wonderful woman who wished to be the first Black Classical Pianist in the world. She had dreams beyond the limits of her skin and her race and the society she was born in. But she was not to be contained. She accomplishes her grandest dreams that she saw as a young woman, but not until 3 days before the end of her long, fulfilling life of a seventy years. I watch the documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? and somehow the stories of Vasalisa, the Wise Woman, coincide with those of Miss Simone.

As a 4 year old child, Nina was gifted with a piano and a chance to take lessons in Classical music – a chance which was rare in the Black community. She was instantly estranged by her own, much before discovering how her own were estranged too, in the society outside. She travels into the jungles of show business with this gift of music and survives its worst nightmares. Much like Vasalisa, who is left estranged when her mother dies an early death leaving behind a gift for her, a magical doll.

Dichotomies of fame, choice between selfish art and selfless civil rights activism, the decision to build one’s career or devote oneself to those in need, being treated as a race horse, even by those closest to her, an abusive marriage and finally, her own clinical manic depression and bipolar disorder.

These are nothing less than surviving the dangerous House of the Hag from Vasalisa’s legend, where impossible tasks are laid down before the woman is to be initiated into the ways of the creatively awakened woman, the wild woman.

She returns from the jungle with what she set out to seek, the fire of creative spirit awakened, alive and burning. In the story, Vasalisa returns from the jungles with a skull on fire with the eternal fire. There is a moment of being fear by what is seen of the bright light of the creative fire. There is an urge to let it all be thrown aside, for the darkness that has been brought to light, the darkness of the society around. But she carries on nevertheless, both of them carry on nevertheless, both Nina and Vasalisa. This fire burns down the destructive demons of her own being as well. Vasalisa has her evil step mother and step sisters burnt to cinders by the eternal fire of the skull. Nina fights her manic depression, the demons of her own mind and body, picked up over the years of racial discrimination, isolation, abusive marriage and pressures of a career in show business. She fights the illness with love from her estranged daughter and the modern medicine that can recognise this illness as illness and not madness. She is cured.

And finally, as Vasalisa returns home with her fires to keep her alive and healthy, Nina makes a full circle to the point where she started. As a 19 year oild, young black pianist, she was denied an entry into the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music even after graduating from a prestigious institution in itself, Juilliard. Three days before her death, she receives a degree in music from the same institute.

~

Nina Simone (1933~2003) is a legend of both the music industry and the social activism. Her music was her way of participating in the Civil Rights revolution of the 1960s America. Her music was ahead of its time in acknowledging the importance of keeping it real and true to the soul. She let herself be criticised for being unprofessional when she dedicated herself wholeheartedly to the Civil Rights movement instead of focusing on her musical career and a politically correct image. And yet she is a legendary musician with her music encompassing a variety of genres like classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. She is known as someone who brought the discipline of the Classical music to the spontaneity of Jazz. She is known to have a mystical, almost religious relationship to her music, so much so that even the mind numbing medication of Manic Depression could not stop the flowing waters of her music.

She quit the American dream after Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead. ‘The king of love was dead.’ she declared in her journals and also one of her songs. She made France her home in the later years of her life. But not before spending a brief time into the wild, and away from the show business, by staying in Africa. By returning to France, she claimed her music, her daughter and her self back.

The story of Nina Simone is an inspirational one, it is painful, depressing at times, aweinspiring and motivating all at once.

Stay with me here. I bring in stories that touch my heart and soul every Mondays and Thursdays.

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