Posts tagged ‘music’

in which i am point-y

1.  Calcutta is dirty, smelly, humid and utterly charming. Like one of those large licky, copiously shedding dogs that sort of knock you over and then stand over you with their mouths open and tongues dripping, simultaneously stinking at you and licking you with great affection. I wouldn’t want to live with one, but meeting one  for a few days is one of life’s major joys. Mine anyway. I dunno if it was the company (sadly I cannot link you to the two other people I really wanted to put here because they both think blogs are peculiar and meant for other people),  or the big ancient buildings, or the metro, or the food, but I loved Calcutta. I wish I’d had more time for book-shopping and jazz-listening. And LP hunting. Calcutta struck me as just the kind of wonderfully junky place where there’d still be piles of LPs.

2. It’s official: Bangalore is what causes my permanent cold. All of last week I was an easy-breathing, hankyless person. Not one sneeze. I felt like someone else.

3. So you know how awesome it is that wordpress lets you know intimate details of your visitors’ private lives like where they got their link to you from, and what precise combination of words fed into a search engine led them here? Today (ok, not today today. This post has been languishing in my drafts folder for a while, waiting for me to draw it a suitable animal) I logged in to find that not one but two (two! two!) people got here by using for their search that delicate, evocative phrase “donkey sex lion”.  I hooted hysterically for 10 minutes. I now want to cry, as I imagine all my fond literary aspirations being trampled on by a reputation for bestiality.

4. You know how some people talk about the book that changed their life? Then there are the people who’ve read more than one book.

Books, I have always found, are sociable people, and like company. The important thing is to read and to be reading – a continuous thing, implying that one has read in the past, is doing so nowish, and will continue to do so in the future.

Compare swimming. One doesn’t swim one breadth and declare: I have swum. It changed my life. One swims many breadths, many lengths, perhaps a lake, and says ‘I swim’ – or if you are desperately enthusiastic, ‘I like swimming.’

5. I love listening to Nick Drake on rainy days.

6. When we were small,  my sister and I went to a million music classes. We kept making excuses to stop taking them, on account of how they seemed (at the time) a terrible waste of our evenings. Plus I hated having a high, weedy voice. When I talk, it’s sort of inaudible and nondescript, but when I sing I attract bats. I wanted (still do) a deep bass full of fire and brimstone, something awe-inspiring and magnificent. As ever, my desire for grandiosity was matched only by my complete lack of skill. My singing voice was, I felt, more suited to a rabbit. I’m not sure what my sister’s hang-up was, since her voice was distinctly deeper than mine (but then the squirrel on the tree outside my window has been known to have a deeper singing voice than mine) but clearly she too had some vast singing shame, and we sulked in wondrous togetherness. It was the one thing we always agreed upon. Our lack of enthusiasm must’ve been contagious, because sometimes the teachers also made similar excuses and never came back.

And sometimes, our (oh so cruel!) parents would line us up and ask us to sing at random relatives.  We’d valiantly not look at each other, and start off ok – both of us have a respectable sense of tune. A line later (before the song could go high and my falsetto could sneak out) — and in my memories our embarrassment threshold was so neatly aligned that we never did need to look at each other for confirmation — we would just stop. And one of us would say very firmly, ignoring my parents’ fond promptings: paadiyaach. (“I’ve sung”. Past perfect, indicating that there would be no more singing in the future. We hoped.)

Apparently adulthood has made me no better at ending things.

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August 25, 2010 at 4:22 pm Leave a comment


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