Thursday, 21 July 2011

Whitney Houston: Return of the Diva (Paperback) ~ Parish James R... Cover Art

Yet another surprise from Joy! A great way to begin my autobiography/biography collection of musicians!

Where have all the friends gone?

"If you're lonely
And need a friend 
And troubles seem like 
They never end 
Just to remember to keep the faith 
And love will be there to light the way 


Anytime you need a friend I will be here 
You'll never be alone again 
So don't you fear 
Even if you're miles away 
I'm by your side 
So don't you ever be lonely
Love will make it alright..."

There was a time when some of my friends and I used to swear by these words and the emotions involved. But today, where is even that one friend who can be there when I need them to be around? 

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Something that I wrote in an interview a few years ago...


People are often asked to write essays during their interview rounds. Among many topics one of the recruiters’ favourites is “what do you think is the single most important problem the world is facing”. Even I had to write once on the same topic, and this is pretty much what I wrote. 

Problems, there are aplenty in the world we live in. Poverty, destruction, racism, pollution, population, the list is endless. If I have to talk about the single most important problem the world is facing, I would say the right for humans to live in peace. Asking for peace is such a dificult thing in today’s world. What attributes to this is debatable.

War and destruction are two words we learn at formidable years of our lives, when we read in schools about ancient kings and their stories of victory. Ironically, what we think is ancient is still so prevalent, probably in a more heinous form. People today still kill people for power, and often, in the name of religion! Terrorism has paralysed the society at large. As a kid I did not learn the word ‘terrorism’, probably because there was no need for it. But today, every kid knows what the word means and they also know a lot about terrorists! Wonder if there are solutions to eradicate the terrorists and terrorism from the face of the earth.

Talking about India, one cannot take a stroll in the park, or watch a movie at a theatre, or just go crazy on shopping without being frisked and being looked at with suspicion. There is hardly any ease of living.

To conclude, I would say that it is the responsibility of each human to ensure peace in whatever form possible, as we already have many other problems to deal with in our lives. If each of us learns to treat others equally, starts to accept and respect beliefs and opinions of others, the world will surely become a better place to live in.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Rare Concert Video of Eva Cassidy - endless joy of music from Joy!

Last night Joy mentioned that he is downloading something for me and that is going to be something special. This morning I find a rare live concert video of Eva Cassidy and a few other live recordings! No matter how hard I try I will never be able to find these videos; and Joy gets away with a lot of nonsense because of these rare little gifts that he gives me every now and then!

Eva Cassidy was one of those rare talents who died very early and the world did not get to hear enough of her. Unfortunately, her genius did not get her as much popularity as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison among others  who died around that age. The major difference in music between the 3 names mentioned above and Eva was that the 3 of them wrote their own music and performed too, while Eva sang covers mainly, but giving each song  a different flavour. Eva rearranged each song and made them sound like her own while keeping the basic structure and feel of the songs intact. According to me, she was a genius in arranging music, and she deserved  a much bigger place in peoples' hearts. 

I have recommended her music to a few of my friends and they have become huge fans. I want to share this video with the world, but it is so large that I cannot put it up on YouTube. I am on the case now, and I am sure I will find a way!

Monday, 11 July 2011

As time goes by...

Today is the day of social networking, online dating, modern thinking, progressing etc, etc. However, when I listen to this song from the 1931 broadway musical 'Everybody's Welcome' I feel that the very essence of life hasn't really changed much. Read it if you please...

You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss
A sigh is still (just) a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by

And when two lovers woo
They still say: "I love you"
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by

Moonlight and love songs - never out of date
Hearts full of passion - jealousy and hate
Woman needs man - and man must have his mate
That no one can deny

It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by 

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Remembering music of Mary Poppins!

Today was just another day when I wanted to spend some time watching music videos on YouTube. I started with some jazz standards, then moved on to some lighter music and then suddenly out of nowhere I wanted to listen to 'Chim Chim Cheree' from the musical film 'Mary Poppins'. While watching the video and getting soaked in childhood memories I noticed the side bar that displayed suggestions of other related songs. And, to my surprise I found 'Let's Go Fly A Kite' besides 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious', the latter one I remembered was part of the film. Over the years, I completely forgot that'Let's Go Fly A Kite' was also a part of the same film.

In school, and later in college too, my friends  and I have performed songs from 'The Sound Of Music' several times, and even today many parents and teachers ensure that the kids know some songs from this film. But, do people, especially in India, (can't say about the rest of the world) remember much about 'Mary Poppins' or the beautiful songs that were composed for the musical? I learnt 3 songs when I was about 7 years old (the names I have already mentioned). Well, I haven't known many people who know these songs! And, I wonder why is there a difference? The genre was the same, both films had the charming Julie Andrews, yet both have been treated so differently.

Most people these days can't relate to quality music. My statement holds good in the Indian context. Be it Indian (all forms) or any other genre, Bollywood music is the only form of music people connect with.  There is such dearth for western music education here in India. I know hundreds of people who have learnt western classical music and some of them even went on to do the diploma courses as well, but I know only a handful who have taken up music as their profession. 

I hope someday there will be enough enthusiasts who will do all that is necessary to preserve the wonderful treasure of music and films that may just get lost in time. I am doing my bit by leaving this video that I found on YouTube. Sing along with it, it'll be a great way to get transported back to childhood!