Monday, 27 June 2011

I am back to teaching music!

Till a couple of years ago I believed that my music career is finished and it'll never come back, and I wrote this. But today, things are a little different. I am back to teaching piano and keyboard again! I cannot say that I have got back everything I had, that I don't think is practically possible. It is a small start considering that I am living in Mumbai for just 3 years and I have a little daughter. The good thing is that I have been receiving calls from reputed institutions to join them. I am just waiting for my daughter to grow a little more before I say yes to one of the institutions. 

Performing does not interest me that much anymore, unless it is for a really prestigious project. What I am interested in is to teach music in a more serious form. I know western music in India is still not treated  that seriously, but I can see little changes in various quarters. I am willing to wait and do my bit, and I am hopeful that I will be among the very few who tried to make a difference! 

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Down memory lane, it's music once more!

A friend came over day before, and as usual our conversation was mainly on different aspects of music. While talking about different artists, albums etc. he asked me to get a copy of The Hitman Returns: David Foster and Friends and listen to it. He said, I will love it! My husband promptly downloaded the video yesterday and brought it for me. These are some of the nicest things Joy does for me, even before I ask!

This afternoon I got some time and played the DVD. My memories came alive! Kenny Loggins, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Donna Summer, All-4-One, Michael Bolton, Seal, and many more belting out 1 hit after another. I don’t remember when was the last time I heard 'I Can't Love You Like That’ or ‘I Swear’, but today, when I heard All-4-One singing the songs I had goose bumps and I was transported back to 1994. The year of 1994 was a very special one in my life for a variety of reasons; hundreds of memories are etched on my mind. Getting back to the band, after 17 years they sound as good if not more mature! Michael Bolton still sings ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ as passionately and beautifully as he did almost 20 years ago!

I have known David Foster’s name mainly because of Whitney Houston’s album Bodyguard.  It was only when I started watching the video that I realized what a great and accomplished musician and producer he has been, and what great artists he has been working with!

To watch a concert like this is so rare these days with the way music has changed over the years. Any concert I watch on DVDs etc. are at least 10 years old; hence, this 2011 concert is a treat for music lovers like me. I was so ecstatic watching it on a DVD, wonder how it would’ve felt live!

The backup band was amazing, the string section, the brass section - in short, a very well organised and an extremely well-rehearsed band! Usually, these musicians are studio musicians; therefore, you can‘t expect anything but the best! If I am not mistaken Nathan East was playing the bass, but Joy kept saying it had to be someone else and not him. I googled to check but I did not get an answer. I will check again at a later time. Kenny G made a surprise appearance from amongst the audience in one of songs and he played just as well.

The concert had a very large audience and most of them seemed to be above the age of 35, some may have been in their 50’s! It was wonderful to see the excitement in their eyes, and it was even more wonderful to see how the well-dressed, sophisticated ladies were on their toes dancing to their favourite songs; probably they were trying to relive their past. Chaka Khan even made the men dance when she sang one of Whitney Houston’s biggest hits ‘I’m Every Woman’! That’s the power of music I guess.

I end my little write up here as I think I cannot share my excitement and happiness anymore by means of writing. In the next few days I know I will watch this concert over and over again, and celebrate the moments I left behind!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Health Cover for Domestic Help in India

Read in the Times of India today that "Now, your bai to get Indian Rupee symbol.svg30K health cover". Apparently around 47.5 lakh domestic helps aged between 18 and 59 will benefit under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana. The article also gives details of how much premium the government would pay, the eligibility criteria etc. 

The first thing that came to my mind was which half decent hospital will accommodate patients with such a measly insurance cover? When my husband had malignant malaria last year he was admitted to our family physician's nursing home, which I would grade as a decent place, and we paid Indian Rupee symbol.svg25K for 3 days. Imagine what we would have to pay in case of surgeries etc! We paid a bomb when my daughter was born in Lilavathi, Mumbai! Well, an optimist may think that something is better than nothing. At least, the government is thinking about that strata of the society!

Another thing that really irked me was the article mentions the scheme will cost the government Indian Rupee symbol.svg30 crore now and is projected to rise to over Indian Rupee symbol.svg74 crore in the next fiscal year. Why is it so important to highlight those figures? Considering each scam we hear about is worth a hundred crore rupees to start with and goes up to a thousand, what is 30 crores for the Indian government? My point is why can't they spend some more!

Do I have an answer, no? Neither does the 'aam janta' I associate with. At this point I just want to be hopeful that the two ladies who help me in my household work get to benefit from this scheme, and I will do my bit ( if I can) to help them.

Friday, 24 June 2011

A thought...

I was randomly listening to music while doing my usual work at home when 'The World Ain't Slowing Down' by Ellis Paul started playing. I have heard this song several times in the past, but I never really paid heed to the words ever. For the first time a line hit me today. It goes like this:

"I found you sitting on a suitcase crying
Beneath my feet, I feel the rumble of a subway train
I laugh out loud
'cause it's the one thing I hadn't been trying..."

When was the last time I laughed out loud? I don't remember, except the times when I typed lol on chats. Do lol's mean anything at all! With the regular chores at home and outside I find my life going on like a machine. No matter how interesting I may want things to be I don't find myself laughing out loud, almost ever! Wondering is it just me? I don't see many people around me laughing out loud too! It isn't such a difficult thing, don't know why we don't try!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

I want a wardrobe makeover!

I don't belong to the group of women who don't wear their clothes more than once, neither am I the kind who need to change her wardrobe every 6 months... some of my clothes are as old as 10 years and they still fit me, and they don't look worn out! 

In Hyderabad I had three 2-door wardrobes for my clothes, and still some of my clothes used to be stacked on an extra chair, sometimes on the bed. I could never fit in my clothes inside the wardrobes! When Joy and I moved to Mumbai my clothes were confined to just one wardrobe as the other two were built-in ones that belonged to the previous flat owner. Besides the one wardrobe my clothes were stacked in three suitcases because there was no place for another piece of furniture in the tiny apartment we moved in. 

It's been over two years in Mumbai, and I am kind of sick of looking at the suitcases and the one over packed wardrobe. For the first time in my life I am willing to give away clothes. I know that as long as I am going to live in Mumbai the flats are going to be small, and now that I have a daughter, the second bedroom is going to be her's; so there will be no place for an extra cupboard... sad! But no, it's not all that sad any more 'cause I want a clothes makeover.

In fact, I am already in the process of sorting out clothes that I will never wear. There are several reasons why I want to give away those clothes. The most common reasons are one, I have worn them just too many times, and second, I don't fit into some! It feels sad with the second point though that I don't fit into some! Also, after looking at pics of many 35 plus yummy mummies I had a desire to be one of them. Well, I don't know whether I can fit into the shoes of those yummy mummies, but I can definitely dress to look good!

I guess I need to come to terms with the fact that I am fatter than what and how I used to be, and unless I change my diet and exercise regularly I cannot get slimmer. This may sound like an excuse, but it's okay to be a little healthy at 36, isn't it! ;) 

Here are all that I am going to do... after sorting all the clothes I am going to alter and redesign a few of them for a new look (the recycle freak that I am!), give some of my favourite ones to two of dearest cousins. The not-so favourite clothes will go to Goonj.  And finally, I am going to buy a hell lot of new clothes! Why not, there's no age bar to go for a style makeover! :)