Friday, June 24, 2005

M.S. Subbulakshmi - 013

M.L. Vasanthakumari on MS in 1967:
The world need not learn about M.S. Subbulakshmi from me. Today her music is relished by people all over the world. I began to sing many years after she did. I think it would be impertinent on my part to analyse the music of someone who has received praises from my senior. As a child, I often met MS with my parents. She is today just what she was then. Despite all the fame, she retains a child's heart, a smiling face and pleasant speech.
Srimathi M.S. Subbulakshmi is extremely devout. Talking to her is to be heedless of time. She talks only about music and about other meaningful subjects. She never makes disparaging remarks about anyone. She is humble, respectful towards elders. She appreciates not only music, but the other arts as well.
I believe that her devotion to God, simplicity, unquestioning deference to her husband, reverence for seniors, her conviction that there is much to learn in the world, and her own desire to learn more - all these attributes have contributed to her illustriousness.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

M.S. Subbulakshmi - 012

Smt. Kishori Amonkar paid, perhaps, the highest tribute ever possible at the time when the Bharat Ratna, the highest honour in the country, was bestowed on MS by calling her the eighth swara of Indian Music.
(Source: Bhavan's Journal, Vol. 51, No. 12)

Monday, June 20, 2005

National Knowledge Commission

What does one do if one has friends who want to spend some money and have nice time? Very Simple. Give them some money and ask them to have nice time, if possible.

On June 02, 2005, all the major Indian news agencies reported about National Knowledge Commission constituted by Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India. The seeming importance of the Commission can be understood by the first paragraph of those reports:
"In a major step to prepare the country to meet knowledge challenges in the 21st century, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today constituted a National Knowledge Commission to be headed by tech czar Sam Pitroda."
The reports went on to talk of how this Commission will advise the PM on knowledge production, knowledge use and knowledge dissemination. So far, so good. What is its agenda? We have to wait for another few months assuming it will be made public - The Commission would identify its action programme by October two this year and complete its work by October two, 2008.
Who are the other members? The eight-member commission will have P M Bhargava as the Vice-Chairperson. The other members are Nandan Nilekani, Deepak Nayyar, Ashok Ganguly, Andre Beteille, Jayanti Ghosh and Pratap Bhanu Mehta.
Ah...Who said the Lefts do not apply any pressure on Manmohan Singh? What can a Committee do if it has a person who supports religious conversion and a person who writes on how to politically combat Hindutva? I hope few visionaries present in the Committee should be able to get their ideas pass through. I have my own doubts about this Commission's efficacy but one has to wait atleast till they announce their mission and vision before making any critical comments. I hope the Commission's action programme will be made public whenever it gets ready. Unfortunately, in the popular media, there are no special articles, and editorials discussing what this Commission should look into it, what sort of knowledge dissemination they talk about, etc. Please let me know if I have overlooked any articles. Or am I giving more importance to something which no one is serious about?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Vaishnava Janato by Narasimha Mehta

Please listen to Gandhiji's favourite bhajan, rendered soulfully by Shri. Narayan Swami, in the section Click play to listen on the right column.
वैष्णव जन तो तेने कहिये जे पीड पराई जाणे रे,
पर दु:खे उपकार करे तोये मन अभिमान न आणे रे,
सकल लोकमां सहुने वंदे निंदा न करे केनी रे,
वाच काछ मन निश्चल राखे धन धन जननी तेनी रे,
समदृष्टि ने तृष्णा त्यागी, परस्त्री जेने मात रे,
जिह्वा थकी असत्य न बोले, परधन नव झाले हाथ रे,
मोह माया व्यापे नहि जेने, दृढ़ वैराग्य जेना मनमां रे,
रामनाम सुताली लागी, सकल तीरथ तेना तनमां रे,
वणलॊभी ने कपटरहित जे, काम क्रोध निवार्या रे,
भणे नरसैयॊ तेनु दरसन करतां, कुण एकोतेर तार्या रे ॥

- नरसिंह महेता

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


I am now looking at a mouse when I read that word Click. But once Click was associated with cameras. Now too, it is still associated with them. Photographs bring back memories that lie deep down making us laugh, smile, and cry. Camera captures the moment as if it is worth. Moments are worth anyway. A photo can convey everything to us only if we are sensitive. Otherwise, we can, we may if at all, appreciate only the shapes, the shades and the shadows, and not the moods and the emotive modes that are embedded.
'Clicking' has some disadvantages too. It affects the sustenance of those precious moments; sometimes by reducing their intensity, and at other times, by stopping them altogether.
Photography is an art. It is also an art to know when to click and when not to.
You remember how Bob Fisher asked - asked is indeed a mild word - FIDE officials to throw photographers out of the room when he played Spassky in 1972 World Chess Championship Title Match. That is a thrilling story in itself but that's for another occasion.
But what happened in 1949 when Shri Puri Sankaracharya met Shri Ramana Maharshi?
Excerpts from Letters from Ramanasramam - Volume.2 by Suri Nagamma, Translated by D.S. Sastri:
At the time of his [Acharya's] coming, Bhagavan [Maharshi] sat cross-legged in his usual Padmasana pose and with his characteristic silence...[Acharya] saluted him. Bhagavan nodded his head in acceptance of the salutations and with great regard requested him by signs to sit on the seat arranged for him. He did not, however, sit there but sit down nearby on a deer-skin and began looking at Bhagavan with a fixed stare. Bhagavan too looked at him with an unwavering and compassionate look. Neither spoke. The audience also kept perfect silence like the still waters of a great lake. For about half an hour, both of them remained absolutely still like that, exemplifying the relation between devotion and compassion. At that time, Bhagavan's face shone like the illumination of a crore of sun gods. Because of the brilliance, the faces of the people who came to witness this scene also blossomed like lotus flowers. A glorious voice saying, "What a splendour on Bhagavan's face!" appeared to ring in the hearts of all the people there. One amongst them spontaneously said, "It will be very good indeed if someone takes a photo now." As though the silence were disturbed by those words, the Acharya got up, respectfully asked for permission to leave...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Kshetrayya expresses...

The memory of you is as fresh as ever...
My careless doodles transform into a portrait of you...
My search for a name to call out to anyone makes my tongue catch your name...
The intensity of my emotion is indeed immeasurable...
Kshetrayya in
etuvanti mOhamU gAni (Kaamboji Raga)
Note: I have not listened to this song. I don't think I have. If anyone provides a lead regarding where I could listen online, or better still from where I could download, it would be great.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

New Bach vocal piece discovered

From BBC......
Tuesday, 7 June, 2005, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
New Bach vocal piece discovered
By Ray Furlong
BBC correspondent in Berlin

A previously unknown composition by Johann Sebastian Bach has been discovered by researchers in Germany.
The vocal piece was found among papers removed from the historic Anna Amalia Library in Weimar during a devastating fire there last September.

The piece is a musical accompaniment to a 12-verse poem composed for the Duke of Saxony in 1713.
Plans are being made for the first performance, under the English conductor Sir John Elliot Gardiner.
A researcher interested in a rare type of 18th Century paper stumbled across the musical treasure.

Announcing the find, the head of the Bach Foundation, Christoph Wolff, said it was not a major work, but "an occasional piece of exceptional quality".
He added that the story of its survival was almost a miracle.
The Anna Amelia Library, housed in a 16th Century rococo palace, burned down in the fire.
A human chain formed by passers-by saved hundreds of volumes, including a 16th Century Martin Luther bible, but thousands of historical works were lost.
"This composition would also have fallen prey to the flames," said Mr Wolff, "and we would never have known about it."
The authenticity of the piece was proved by comparing the handwriting to other Bach manuscripts.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Tareh meets Tareh...(Oh! I made a mistake here!)

A beautiful lady with a very pleasing personality enters Dr.Tareh's room. She does not lose her patience unlike others though she has been waiting for so long. The clinic is quite packed with everyone guessing the other's affliction. But her thoughts are about the future of her children. Finally, Her turn has just come and she enters the room with the grace of a woman.
Doctor: "Yes, Ma'am."
She (with a sigh): " children are trying to kill me..."
Doctor: "What?"
She: "True, Doctor. They are going to kill me soon."
Doctor: "Ma'am, Excuse me. I think you should have gone to a nearby police station."
She: "I went there. They suggested you."
Doctor: "What?"
She: "Doctor, It's really true. They told me that you are the only person who can cure anything and make people healthy."
Doctor: "Ma'am. If you don't mind, shall I say something?"
She: "Oh! Please, Doctor. I have come here exactly for that only."
Doctor: "Why don't you see a psychiatrist?"
She: "But don't you think my children are the ones who have to see a psychiatrist? They are the ones who are trying to kill me. I am as vulnerable as ever. Have I done any mistakes other than feeding them? Why is this happening to me? Don't they ever realize?"
Doctor: "But..."
She: "People are thronging your clinic just to get back you."
Doctor: "Ma'am.."
She: "They don't realize they are the reasons for all their diseases. They themselves prevent you from helping them when you want to. They then come all the way to your clinic for treatment. How sad it is!"
Doctor: "Excuse me. Please listen to me.."
She: "Yes, Doctor. I am listening to you. But when will these children start listening to you?"
Doctor: "Please. I have to attend others too. See, How many are waiting outside! "
She is now silently watching the doctor. Dr.Tareh gives her a glass of water. By this time, the doctor has felt that this graceful lady needs some help. He thought he would just say some encouraging words and give her some vitamin tablets. He also decided to put a word to his inspector friend about her children. He starts writing the prescription.
Doctor: "Your name and age?"
The doctor is shocked to hear her name. Never ever expected to see her asking help.
Doctor: "I am very sorry. How insensitive I am! How I could miss your grace! I didn't recognize you. What a fool I am!"
She: "I am glad to hear that, Doctor."
Doctor: "Do call me Tareh."
She: "I also heard that you write the same prescription for everyone."
Tareh: "Yes, Her Divine Highness. They all need the same solution."
She: "What is that?"
Tareh: "I always write - Please don't forget me. I am always there waiting to help you."
She: "How kind of you! Please tell that to my children too."
Tareh: "Oh! Sure. If only they had listened to me long time back..."
She: "The sooner the better."
Tareh: "I will try my best."
She: "Thank you so much. My heartfelt gratitude."
Tareh: "Oh! My heart too felt gratitude for your blessings. It still feels and will feel always."
She: "Mmm..when will these people realize? Has anyone realized so far?"
Tareh: "Many. Not so many. These are the ones who come for the second time and say, "Thank you, Dr.Heart"."
She: "Nice to hear that. Okay! I will leave now. People do wait looking for your help. Don't forget to teach my children."
Heart: "With your blessings, I will change your children's mindset. will try my best. Hope they will also learn."
She leaves the room as majestically as she enters. One girl outside the room asks,"Ma'am, your name? Just for the record."

She answers with a smile,"Same as your doctor's. Earth."
Today is World Environment Day.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

M.S. Subbulakshmi - 011

From Sify News:
Statue for MS Subbulakshmi in Tirupati
Saturday, 21 May , 2005, 15:47
Tirupati: The statue of melody queen and eminent carnatic musician late M S Subbulakshmi will be unveiled in Tirupati in July. Arrangements for the installation of the nine and a half foot statue depicting MS in seated posture are being made at the Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) junction, TUDA Chairman S Karunakar Reddy said on Saturday.