April 23, 2006

Whine, dinner and song

I’m tired today. I’m soooo tired today 🙂 And it’s all because of lack of sleep. I am one of those people who need at least eight hours of sleep a day and I didn’t get more than six hours today. So what caused this break in regular sleeping patterns? It was a party at my brother’s in-laws :p

We were invited to dinner yesterday and I figured that it was going to be a normal family dinner which would be over in a couple of hours and accepted. Only after getting there did I realize that it was not to be that kind of dinner 🙂 It was not just a family dinner but an evening of music, dinner and company. My brother’s in-laws had invited over a bunch of friends and family and had also gotten a bunch of musician to play live music!

The musician’s played old Hindi and Tamil movie songs. Songs from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s without any vocals. It was a good trip down memory lane for some of the guests since they’d actually seen the movies when they were young 🙂 I loved most of the songs myself though I had not seen the movies when they were originally shown in theaters here. Instead, I’d heard some of the songs on radio or TV and had seen the song clips but I had not seen most of the movies myself.

The thing is, these songs are so very soothing and melodious that you can listen to them for hours. Maybe it’s just nostalgia but these songs have a quality that songs today just don’t have. In fact, my brother’s father-in-law said that a doctor known to him recommended listening to old Hindi music before going to sleep or something. Sort of a transcendental meditation thing 🙂 Whatever the case, the music kept us there till late at night and I’m still sleepy due to the late night. But I sure did enjoy the music!

Tags: , ,
Posted by Fahim at 10:17 am  |  No Comments

April 13, 2006

Walk the walk

We watched "Walk the Line" yesterday and I must say I was enthralled 🙂 However, there are two facts that you need to know first – I don’t much care for Joaquin Phoenix as an actor but I do love music from the ’50s and ’60s (for that matter, I love music from the ’70s and ’80s too :p)

So what do the two facts above have anything to do with "Walk the Line"? A whole lot actually 🙂 Leaving Joaquin Phoenix aside for the moment, as I said before, I love music from the ’50s and ’60s and sometimes I think I was born in the wrong time period because of this love for music from a bygone age (sort of :p). The movie is full of the music of this time period – you get Jerry Lee Lewis, you get Elvis and you get a whole heap of Johnny Cash. So what’s not to like?

As for the main actors, as I mentioned, I haven’t particularly liked Joaquin Phoenix in any of his portrayals before. Not so much due to the actor but due to the roles he’s played. In a way, I guess it is a testament to his acting perhaps – if you don’t like his characters, maybe he played them so well that you were compelled to see the characters for who they were? This argument perhaps might be true of his Commodus in "Gladiator" but I’m not so certain that it holds true for his Merrill Hess in "Signs" :p Be that as may be, he was simply brilliant in "Walk the Line" as far as I was concerned. I loved his acting and his singing (yes, apparently he did all the Johnny Cash vocals in the movie as did Reese Witherspoon for June Carter) was just unbelievable 🙂

As for Reese, I kind of dither back and forth about her acting – I was ambivalent about her in "Pleasantville", hated her in "Election" but have liked her in almost everything else that I’ve seen her in since then. But again, like with Joaquin, it was the characters which drove me and in her case, I believe it is the acting which drove the characters to be liked or hated 🙂 And in "Walk the Line", she portrays a character that I really loved.

In fact, the only thing that I didn’t like about the movie perhaps was the fact that it was so realistic and not sentimental. The movie is supposed to be based on Johnny Cash’s autobiography and if so, Johnny must have been an unforgiving (and accurate) biographer since he seems not to make any excuses for himself. The drugs, the infidelity and the family troubles are laid bare without any excessive blame throwing. In fact, most of the characters in Johnny Cash’s life come out looking good except for he himself. It seems a sign of character but it also makes him seem less than I had come to see him through his music. But then again, the public persona and the private one does not always gel does it?

Essentially, the movie says that he was a good kid who lost his way due to fame and fortune. But he had the good fortune of having friends who helped him through that stage and the courage to get out of the mess he’d gotten himself into. Would I or you fare any better if we had all that attention, money and publicity thrust upon us? That’s what I keep wondering about …

Tags: , , ,
Posted by Fahim at 7:37 am  |  No Comments

May 7, 2003

Of songs and dreams …

They played Natalie Imbruglia’s "Torn" last night on TV and I was again reminded of how much feeling this song evokes in me. I don’t know if it’s her voice, the memories of the period when I first listened to the song a lot – 98, in Georgia when the song played a lot on the radio and I’d be driving and listening to the radio -, the words to the song or a mix of all of these things. Whatever it is, the song’s been going through my head since then and I’m listening to her "Left of the Middle" album while I’m typing this … I don’t know if she ever released a second album and if it was any good – guess I’ll have to look into it later today.

I woke up today from a dream about someone I love very much but the dream kind of left me feeling the same way that "Torn" does – with a sense of loss, a poignancy which is almost like tiny almost felt pinpricks across your heart. So what was the dream? It was a kind of romantic drama :p I was in India and had just got off a train where I’d spent some time with this person I loved. I don’t know if we met on the train (train rides in India sometimes take days …) but all I knew at that point was that we’d spent a lot of time together and that she was still on the train headed somewhere with the man she is to marry. I stand there on the platform thinking about the times we’d shared, the talks we’d had, the moments when we’d just sat in silence enjoying each other’s company. It was a bitter-sweet moment since I could think about how much I loved her and how much we’d enjoyed each other’s company but at the same time I knew I’d probably never see her again since she was going off to be married.

I laid in bed for about an hour going over the dream, going over all I remembered and all I felt. Sometimes I wonder if I give too much importance to such events since I do think that there are signs all around us – the trick is to figure out what is a sign and what the sign actually means. Maybe such introspection is bad since we can end up jinxing things ourselves by reading too much into something. But in another way, such thoughts about different scenarios and possibilities are good since that might prepare you for anything that might lie ahead. In the end I guess all you can do though is to live life a day at a time. Each of us are such complex creatures – our decisions are made based on so many little things and then there are of course those events that are beyond our control. So it really does not pay to ponder too deeply on things and it is best to take it a day at a time. But, there is this tiny voice within me which says "easy enough for you to say …" :p

Tags: ,
Posted by Fahim at 5:49 am  |  No Comments

January 11, 2003

The world she is a changing …

I watched Cliff Richard’s millennium count-down concert (yeah, I know about two years late :p) last night on TV and he did these songs which counted up the decades from the fifties. Incidentally, he had Hank Marvin on guitar and the guitar-work was beautiful but that’s beside the point. While listening to the songs, I was struck by the fact that they did a lot of songs about peace and harmony and helping other people those days – is it just me or has that become rare today? Maybe I just don’t listen to music enough these days but I just don’t think there are enough artists talking about world peace or better understanding among people. Maybe it’s because of the fact that most of the successful artists today are either very young or subject to the one-hit-wonder phenomenon? They just want to enjoy their fame and fortune while they can and don’t feel like working on world peace? Or am I just not up-to-date? But where is this decade’s Bob Geldof with Live Aid or Quincy Jones, Lionel Ritchie and Michael Jackson with USA for Africa or even Willie Nelson with Farm Aid? Are people just too blase about such efforts now or is it just that it’s not big news anymore and I don’t hear about it though it still goes on?

Tags: , ,
Posted by Fahim at 9:20 am  |  1 Comment

December 1, 2002

With a little help from my friends …

My announcements of departure (never to be seen again :p) might have been a little premature – while I was indeed hurt and was determined to leave all things Net related behind, I heard from so many friends online (both via comments and through personal e-mails) that I could actually feel the love and I feel I would be an ingrate indeed if I were to turn my back on such a lot of people who wish me well 🙂 Plus, the situation which led to my declarations of departure and doom and gloom has also kind of resolved itself and I can look back on it with a bit more equanimity and a lot less sorrow, anger and pain. So I guess what I mean to say is that you will have to put up with my blathering and verbose style of writing for the foreseeable future and I’ll probably get back to the software development in a few days too – too many things piled up to get to it right now.

Incidentally, does anybody remember Wet, Wet, Wet? I know that The Beatles originally did "With a little help fro my friends" but it’s the cover version by Wet, Wet, Wet that I remember better. But even that has been ages since I’ve heard their version – guess I should go to Kaza and see if I can find it …

Tags: , ,
Posted by Fahim at 9:32 am  |  2 Comments

November 24, 2002

What is love part deux :p

Hmm … looks as if the timing of yesterday’s post was kind of unfortunate – though I had planned to write that since the day before and it was basically meant to be about what *I* thought about love and what *I* thought it had to be. There are no rules of conduct in this world – each one of us does as our conscience (or whimsy) dictates. As somebody pointed out to me in the GrooupHug mailing list when I said something to the effect "that I always have tried to do what I thought was right", that I would do what *I* think is *right*. Of course, that is basically what I said but I think the other person meant that what I think is right might not be thought of as right by others. I see his point in certain instances but I also know that there are specific things which are thought to be right by everybody in general. Anyway, I digress – as usual :p
Something I had had in mind to mention when I started the whole "What is love" entry was Haddaway and the significance/memories that the song has for me.

Unfortunately, I got caught up in the entry itself and it got a bit emotional for me to actually think about the lighter side of the entry : So here goes the rest of it today … I know that it wasn’t that memorable a movie and that some people said at the time it was released that it should have remained an SNL skit and never made into a movie at all but I still remember that particular scene and the song though I don’t remember much else about the movie at all :p Of course, there are other songs like that that I associate with a movies – for instance there is Gloria Gaynor’s "I will survive" which will always remind me of Keanu and his team of "scabs" mincing around on the football field :p There are other songs like that that I associate with either a movie or a certain situation or moment in my life but I can’t recall all of them or write about all of them here – I’m too busy listening to "What is love?" :p

To me Haddaway’s song will always bring up visions of Will Ferrell and Chris Katan doing there manic dance in front of the bar in "Night at the Roxbury" :p