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“Let’s visit Vivaldi first, and then I’ll take you to Mozart, Haydn, Bach, Chopin, Schubert and the others.” If you’re wondering whether this is a dialogue from a musical sci-fi movie dealing with time-travel, I wouldn’t blame you. It could very well have been. Only, this was what Jerry Silvester Vincent, a student at the Khwaja Moinuddin (KM) Conservatory – founded by A.R Rahman – told me as he began taking me on a fulfilling three-hour-long reconnaissance of the institution.

 As it turned out, Jerry was referring to the different classrooms in the conservatory that have been named after renowned music composers! So apart from the ones above, there’s Beethoven, Stravinsky, Debussy, Bartok, Verdi, Mahler and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (the room for Hindustani music classes).

Jerry playing Bach in Mozart!

Jerry playing Bach in Mozart!

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A time-consuming hobby

The wall on the landing of the third floor, proudly displays a century-old Soth & Homa clock and the corridor leading to the bedroom and the adjoining workshop, is lined with antique wall clocks. Some are working, others not quite, and every piece shows a different time, unlike the regular clock shops where each one smiles down at you. The staggered ticking of the numerous clocks, almost make it seem that time moves in each one in strange and inconsistent ways. Adagio here, Lento in some, allegro in others, and halte in that one. A walk in the corridor seems like a time travel of sorts in a time-warped zone. The quarterly, half-hourly, and hourly chimes of the various clocks indicating noon, half past ten or quarter past two, in a span of a few minutes, is perhaps what is meant by bending space and time!

Corridor of Uncertainty

Corridor of Uncertainty

On entering the workshop adjoining the bedroom you find 65-year-old Promesse Jauhar working intently at his desk. A soldering iron in hand he repairs a wrist watch, looking through a monocular magnifying eye-piece. Promesse is a teacher by profession, but antique clocks fascinate him. He has been buying, repairing and selling them for over 35 years now. Continue Reading »

 

The five ageing leaves of Indian cricket: Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman and Kumble. Five leaves in autumn, braving the winds of change that are blowing.  Look! Two of them are falling. Oh how graciously they fall. In this journey, so short, from the branch to the ground, how they wear a final beauty. And despite the terror of mixing with the earth, want that this last fall has all the grace of a flight! five-leaves

Kumble’s 18-year-old journey came to an end at the Feroze Shah Kotla and Ganguly is bidding adieu at Nagpur as he follows suit, floating down gently, savouring every memory of a long life on a branch of Indian cricket. They have weathered storms of all kinds and have emerged scathed, tired, tested but ultimately, I’d like to believe, satisfied. It will take long to fill the gaps they have left and the branches look that much emptier and poorer by their absence. Continue Reading »

Comfortably Numb

 

It was the day of the recent blasts in Assam. Our batch of eleven students here at the Asian College of Journalism was divided into pairs. Our assignment was to track, select and edit the day’s stories as they broke, and design a news page as if it were coming out the next day.

We set to work at ten in the morning, and tracked the stories on the internet, browsing and refreshing the sites of the following: NDTV, CNN-IBN, Reuters India, Press Trust of India (PTI), Indo Asian News Service (IANS), UNI, The Hindu, The Indian Express…

The flow of news was sluggish in the morning, and we only had some follow up stories of the previous day’s news. We were grumbling and cribbing about the lack of any newsworthy items and were eagerly waiting for something to happen. The trickle of news bored us and it wasn’t long before we were tracking gmail, gtalk, facebook, yahoo, solitaire and minesweeper with single-pointed concentration!

That is until the news channels flashed the breaking news of the serial blasts in Assam. We finally had some hard news and, in a strange way that I feel ashamed of now, (I felt it even then) we were almost glad that we had a story to track, edit and lay out on the page. It was undoubtedly the lead story, and would definitely feature in all newspapers the following morning. Continue Reading »

 

Amit Kilam, Rahul Ram, Sushmit Sen and Asheem Chakravarty

From left to right: Amit Kilam, Rahul Ram, Sushmit Sen and Asheem Chakravarty

If you are familiar with surfing, you have definitely experienced catching a wave on top and riding it smoothly to the shore and occasionally, starting just a little bit off and having the wave crash on you. In the first case, it’s a thrilling, familiar ride to the shore. In the second, you are thrown into a spin and tumble that sends the brine into your mouth and lungs. You emerge from the deeps shocked, gasping and spluttering.

Listening to the rock band Indian Ocean live, for the first time, was a series of such experiences as I rode the surf of their sound waves that flooded Chennai on 19th October.

The band – Sushmit Sen (acoustic guitar), Asheem Chakravarty (tabla, percussion & vocals), Amit Kilam (drums, percussion & vocals), and Rahul Ram (bass guitar & vocals) – performed in aid of the “Elixir of Life” initiative of the Rotary Club which aims to provide safe drinking water to underprivileged children. Continue Reading »

Drona Review

 

Take a large helping of Harry Potter, add two tablespoons of National Treasure, a teaspoon of King Arthur and Tarzan, a spot of Phantom and garnish with sprinklings of The Prestige, Mr. India and Om Shanti Om. Stir well for two years and voila, you have the perfect Behl, oops – Bhel mix called Drona. Directed by Goldie Behl and starring Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Jaya Bachchan and Kay Kay Menon, the film does not fit into any particular genre. It is at the same time a fantasy, a mythological and a super-hero flick, Bhelled into one.

The film opens with the explanation that Drona is a warrior clan that has been protecting the secret of the elixir of life – the Amrit that emerged aeons ago when the Devas and the Asuras churned the ocean – from the clutches of the evil Demons.

Now cut to present day Prague where little Hari Puttar – sorry Aditya (Abhishek Bachchan), lives with his uncle and aunt in a dark attic with a single window. He is ill-treated by his cousin and his aunt and is unaware of his true identity and powers. Nobody remembers his birthday save his co-workers, who are in fact bodyguards protecting him incognito, much like Harry Potter was when in the Muggle world.

Now on his birthday when he is down in the dumps, a magical, blue rose petal leads him to a cupboard where he finds and wears a jewel-encrusted golden bracelet worn by Dronas. He then proceeds to watch Riz Raizada’s (Kay Kay Menon’s) magic show. Riz is actually the modern-day Asura searching for the Amrit. Aditya and Riz happen to shake hands after the magic show and there is a strange connection that both experience – did somebody whisper Voldemort and Harry Potter? On seeing the bracelet, Riz recognises the Drona and sends his hooded faceless (De)men(tors) after him. Aditya is however rescued by his bodyguard-in-chief, Sonia (Priyanka Chopra). She reveals to him his true identity and briefs him about Riz and the Amrit. She also takes him to his true mother (Jaya Bachchan) in Pratapgarh, Rajasthan. Continue Reading »

This blog has been hibernating in the eternal sunshine of my thoughtful mind for several months now, and all my efforts to coax it out onto the blogosphere proved futile. Some weeks back, I finally decided to push myself to start my blogging career and signed up on Blogger in all enthusiasm. But that was as far as I got. As I discovered, enthusiasm is an element that unfortunately has a very short half-life. Four days in my case.

Satisfied that I had broken the inertia, I presumed Newton would take care of the rest. And so, I postponed posting the first post to some post‘er’ date. Two days later, I get a mail from the Blogger Team telling me that they suspect the blog I created to be a spam blog! (I didn’t even know such a thing existed.) Hence, they were locking it down. If I wanted them to consider a review, I was to click on the link provided.

Oh, when I mentioned earlier that four days is the half life of my enthusiasm, it is so under standard test conditions. In case I’m tested further by external, unfavourable stimuli, it comes down to two days. Anyway, that was how far my journey on Blogger went. Just the one step to the simple three-step signing up! And luckily for that. Otherwise, I might have never come on to WordPress or might have come here much later.

Well for those who don’t know, (I don’t either, it is just the general opinion that I now conveniently subscribe to) the difference between WordPress and Blogger is like the difference between a Mac and a PC. (Have you noticed how those Mac guys move around in a supercilious manner, looking down condescendingly on the PC guys?) 

Well I don’t know if WordPress is really as great, but I know that Blogger sucks. They called me a spammer! Not that it matters, it feels good to be on this side and see that the grass is not quite as green on the other. It is the right perspective!  

So anyway, here’s The Write Perspective.  A blog I hope to maintain regularly without being religious in my regularity. Views, News, Reviews, Articles, Features, Interviews, Profiles (journalism school does that to you!) will hopefully all figure on the Write Perspective. And for the cynics, I’m on the brink of discovering a new isotope of enthusiasm which has a much, much longer half life, so don’t be misled by what I wrote earlier.

Instead, read on…

If you agree, and find the perspective right, keep visiting and clicking. If you don’t, and find the perspective wrong and are annoyed or provoked, keep coming nonetheless and you can hit me again and again. In that respect, I am quite objective. I value both your clicks and your hits equally. In fact, to prove my disinterested outlook, I’ll count them without distinguishing between the two.

You know how they say it is very important to take the hits in life? I agree. Only then can you truly rise to blogospheric  heights!

That’s it for now, before some smart fellow comments that “The Birth of A Salesman” would have been the more apt title for this post!