Friday, March 14, 2008

Other random, and perhaps unnecessary, updates.

Git and I found ourselves with a free period today after break. So we headed to Selayur Hall, where the English Department has its classes. Rather ambitiously, we entered KG's II MA class, where a discussion on Post Colonialism was in progress. It really was most interesting.  

In other news, my physics practical exam went rather well, and I'm done with physics practicals 
forever! Hopefully, at least.

It's been rather cloudy in Madras the last few days owing to a depression in The Bay of Bengal.

Went for a play yesterday- 'Twelve Angry Men', put up by the Loyola Theatre Society. It really was very well done.

Finally, Sam and I ate lunch with Git and Isha in Martin Hall today. I thought the food was pretty good, but I suppose one would think otherwise if they were to eat it everyday.

Explanatory Comments

Now, since I have explained the 'Mary Poppins' part of my blog url, I suppose I should proceed to
elaborate on the rest of it.
Cream buns...well, if you've eaten one you'd know what I'm talking about. What is particularly worth mentioning is the delicate balance of chocolate and vanilla cream filling in the bun. It is perfect.
Music. Ah, I offer no explanations.
The same with Stars. Do not ask why.
Pugs. Funnily, that isn't a breed of dogs I particularly like. Give me a mongrel any day. They have the most beautiful eyes! But I liked the old Hutch advertisements rather a lot, and as you will recall, they all featured a pug in them.

Mary Poppins

The Mary poppins series of books by P.L.Travers is a wonderful collection of children's books.
Moreover, they're the kind of children's books that make a most interesting read even for an adult(I like to think of myself as a 'young adult' :)).
I never did get around to watching the movie, though the songs, as far as I recall, are absolutely delightful. The chimney song, in particular.

Mary Poppins' (Poppins's?) carpet bag, in particular, had, and still has, me fascinated. All kinds of unimaginable things pour out of it, including a foldable bed and cough syrup that changes flavour. This is not to say that cough syrup flavour is bad, by itself.

The names of the chapters are most interestingly, and obviously deliberately, symmetric in two of the books- 'Mary Poppins' and 'Mary Poppins Comes Back'. 'Miss Lark's Andrew' and 'Miss Andrew's Lark', 'Bad Tuesday' and 'Bad Wednesday' and so on. And there is this delightfully mystical air about 'Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane' set in the time around Midsummer's Eve.

I seem to be writing a review of sorts for the books. But they really are quite wonderful. Go read them.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Akhandam Programmes

On the 6th of March, YACM (Youth Association for Classical Music) organised a night-long programme of music at the Madhya Kailash temple in Adyar on the occasion of Shivaratri. I got to sing in the first slot of the programme from 6:25 to 6:55 pm (Well, technically it was to be 6-6:30 pm, but apart from that slight delay, the whole affair was conducted most efficiently). Forty eight young musicians (vocalists, flautists, violinists, percussionists) performed in all, in some twenty four-odd half-hour concerts.

The whole thing was rather exciting, really. For one, I stayed up all night, no mean feat for one who promptly falls asleep at eleven thirty every night. Apart from the large group of musicians present, listening to each others' concerts, there was a steady inflow of other visitors to the temple through the night. As Sam and I realised simultaneously, the most unlikely people seem to be religious and devout.

The music was, needless to say, absolutely beautiful, particularly because there were hardly any breaks, except the few minutes spent in fine-tuning the instruments. Some rare compositions were sung. The energy and enthusiasm of the audience only added to the already musically-charged atmosphere.

I must add that YACM and its activities only reflect the enthusiasm and interest of young Carnatic musicians today, quite contrary to the general opinion that only the very old enjoy Carnatic music.

Today, another 'Akhandam' programme is being conducted by the Bharatiya Sangeetha Vaibhavam Trust,
at The Music Academy Mini Hall, in honour of Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar. I dropped in for the first concert
by T M Krishna. Energetic and brimming with creativity as TMK's concerts always are. Mostly rare compositions,
unearthed by TMK and R K Sriramkumar from Subbarama Dikshitar's 'Sangeetha Sampradaya Pradarshini'. 'Sadashivamupasmahe' in Shankarabharanam was the main piece. It's an absolutely beautiful song.

I certainly hope to listen to many more concerts in the near future.