Dec 21, 2011

The winding, chilly path to Peace

Everybody has to agree that they have those one or two saying or words that they swear by. I'm not going to quote others on their 'driving words' in life because I'm trying this thing called 'writing' and not 'reporting' after a very long time. This basically involves me writing down my own thoughts and not using others' quotes to string a couple of coherent words together in the inverted pyramid format.

For me, I picked up on Carpe diem for example, after watching Dead Poets Society. It means 'Seize the day' in Latin, which is just to say that one should live in and for the moment to make their life extraordinary. It's so simple and yet so hard to actually adopt into your life. Trust me.

And then, I found two other lines that I currently swear by - two contradicting beliefs that have left me conflicted with myself of late. I used to live by #1 for a long time. And only as recently as last week, I heard about #2, which is when the whole self conflict began.

#1 - "Happiness is only real when shared." That's a quote by Christopher McCandless, the guy whose life has been portrayed in Into The Wild. It's a film everybody has to watch though it could be viewed as something silly to have done in the first place or too idealistic. That's your perception and I'll leave you to that. R.I.P Alexander Supertramp (which is what Chris calls himself in it.) Also, read the book by Jon Krakeur tracing back McCandless' life before or after you're done with the film. It's actually one of those rare films which is as good, if not better than the book. If you have time, read my other longer post on it actually - click here.

#2 - "Something is yours and yours alone till you share it with someone else." After that, it becomes somebody else's. That's a quote Parvathy Baul gave me when I was interacting with her for an article. It makes so much sense. I don't even know what context she spoke about it that evening. But the next morning when I woke up, that was the only thought on my mind.

So that's my life in short. A very very rough sketch.

But this morning, I experienced a convergence point. I visited Nandi Hills to watch the sunrise from the top. I was just moved by the amount of awe and wonder that Nature can create in a person. It truly was the perfect sunrise. A morning of frozen fingers, one rupee chai on the road, foggy winding roads, silhouettes and that perfect sunrise. And then it struck me. My little moment of epiphany: The happiness had been shared because I would suggest others to visit the place after me; but that experience would always be mine because that sunrise would never be seen and felt by any other soul in this vast universe the way I did. And I was at peace.

I purposely chose the blurry picture to leave that sunrise as just that for you, someone who wasn't there.

Dec 9, 2011

A lost voice

A singer driven by love and passion. A bhakt. A being who could give back to the world only what the creator had given her: a voice. She once lost that voice. She went to a healer in a mystic land and sought his help. He told her to sit in a hut by the sea on a mat and let the water wash her and allow her to be cured. She did so for 15 days. The sand latched itself onto her dreadlocks, the water drenched her robe, the salt scraped her skin.

But she stayed put. She stayed put in the hut and allowed nature to take its course. Someone was appointed to make sure the sea did not wash her away along with it. He gave her food and ironically, more water.

In 15 days, her voice was back and she never had to go looking for it again.

Dec 1, 2011

The full Marko Saaresto (Poets of the Fall vocalist) interview

I wrote an article for Deccan Herald on the Great Indian Octoberfest which took place in Bangalore in November this year. I also happened to get a 6 minute long interview with Marko Saaresto, the Poets of the Fall vocalist (They were headlining the 3 day music festival). =)

The published article on Octoberfest:

The published article on Marko:

Marko Saaresto
The original full-length transcribed interview with Marko: 

Me: How does it feel to be back in India?

Marko: It feels really great. I wouldn't miss this for the world. It's a really great place to come and play. The people are really enthusiastic. They love us. We love them, obviously. My mind was really blown. You have people singing the songs and you're like 'whoa!' The audiences really received.

Me: Did you enjoy Bangalore so far?

Marko: Yeah, we drove around the town today and we went shopping for a while. There's some great handicrafts. I bought some silver bracelets, which are really cool. I really liked it

Me: Did you try out the local food?

Marko: Yeah, we had great lunches and dinners at our hotel with 40 different dishes there to choose from as well as the desserts. I ate everything! I am a spice fan and if anything's spicy, I tend to like that.

Me: POTF did an online release of Alchemy Volume 1, a compilation album in January this year. What is the next album that you're working on?

Marko: There are two new songs for Alchemy and we're also working on the next album, which should be out next year sometime. I'm not going to tell you what it's called.

Me: Do you feel that the music industry is commercially viable and self-sustaining?

Marko: Oh yes, definitely. There is money if you get to that certain level. I hope we're there.

Me: In the official videos of your tracks, does the band have any creative liberty or do you just finish a song and give it to the director to interpret?

Marko: No, we've always thought that the videos are a very important part of our music. And so, everytime we pick a song for a video, we all write down our ideas, sit and discuss them, and then talk to the director about it. So it's always a colloboration with the director.

Me: What is the one thing that keeps the band together?

Marko: I think it's the love for the music. It's a need to express yourself in a way and then, we're all really good friends. The chemistry works in the studio and while we write the song. Everyone has their artistic views and there are clashes sometimes and that's the educational part. If we had clashes all the time, we wouldn't be a band.

Me: What's the inspiration to the songs?

Marko: It comes from everywhere and anywhere-from music and also from daily occurences like when we're touring or what happens to us when we're live. They have an emotional background and that's something that usually brings out the music as well.

Me: The band uses the violin sometimes and the minor key very often, which is not conventionally 'rock.' Why is that?

Marko: Because it speaks to us. We've tried the major key many many times but all those songs have ended up for someone else and not for us. We wrote them but we gave them to a different artiste. We love the minor key.

Me: In one line, what would you tell your fans in Bangalore?

Marko: Enjoy your life!