Feb 25, 2012

The Music Scene psychoanalytical test

This is a psychoanalytical test I want to do using this video with anyone willing to give it a try. Play the Blockhead video. Understand it under the influence of _ (shhh) and look to the right of screen or maybe, down. In an ideal situation, whatever the brain understands will be tapped by a machine connected to the brain that writes out what you think. I wish some brilliant person invents such a machine someday that understands the syntax of the human mind with relation to English and gradually, other languages as well. This experiment would be the basis of a psychological method of understanding how each person's brain perception of different parts of a whole. This video looks to have a different storyline if you see it from each corner separately. Hence, if you could tap in on how the brain reacts to it by seeing it from the 4 directions, there would be matter in hand in the form of text as to what our mind is thinking at every corner.

Since there's no such machine for me to carry on this experiment. Do the activity & comment on this blog post and let me try and come to some conclusions of this test using that information.

Feb 19, 2012

A traveler's tales to tell

You know how people sometimes say Let the music do the talking? That is what I experienced at Shantiniketan, the beautiful village 3 hours away from Calcutta where Rabindranath Tagore wrote many of the songs sitting under the tall trees. There is a two-sided communication being made when you listen to a tradition Baul singer of Bengal perform in front of you. But what you do not realize is that he is not performing for you. You are an insignificant addition to the environment around him when he is in the trance-like state when the music has captured him and his soul. All I could do was sit in front of him with my mouth wide open, amazed by the beauty of the melody that I thought I understood, while the depth of his lyrics were lost to the overpowering oblivion.
The answer is Baul-ing in the wind
There was another stranger I met on one of my travels. Well, it wasn't really a meeting but more of an exchange of looks that said enough. Or perhaps that was just my heart messing around with my mind. I have no recollection of how the holiday got planned out but somehow, I was in Venice on a motor boat that went under the Rialto Bridge that I had read about in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice while growing up. I was standing alone at the back of the boat because I'd fought with my family members. I was grumpy but still in awe of the architecture of the entire city and its waterways. It was just such a beautiful place! Right then, my eyes met that of a young, good looking male Venetian. He waved at me. I looked behind me to see if there was someone else he might have waved that but I was on a river and I had to scratch that option out. So I just smiled and waved back. I made sure that the movement was not too emphatic or my family members up front might have noticed. But it was some warm, funny feeling in my stomach knowing that I had just spoken to a gorgeous boy without having said a word. I still wonder what his voice might sound like.

The whack job I met at 12,000 feet
Number 3 is the girl in the picture above: Raj, as I like to call her. A mad nutcase I met on a flight I was taking to Bangalore. It was quite an interesting situation, actually. I had the aisle seat, she had the window seat and a boy our age was in the middle. I was trying to study from a big, fat economic text book while she had taken out her laptop and started watching A Walk to Remember, the chick flick every girl loved at that age. I couldn't help myself from saying the dialogues under my breath though her earphones made her the chosen one to actually hear them. When she realized I was blatantly stalking, she smiled at me, removed the earphones and introduced herself. Even the creepy boy in the middle joined in the conversation. though he gave up trying to keep up with our girl talk. We were two strangers getting to know each other more openly than we could fathom why and somehow, we giggled the flight away. She even trusted me with her luggage once we landed while she went to the loo. We haven't met since that flight though we keep making plans to. I'm just grateful to something called the Internet for letting us continue the surprisingly close friendship that started at 12,000 ft above sea level.

(This post is my entry for the Around The World with Expedia IndiBlogger contest.)

The Reality of Reality

For many humans in the world today, being a cynic seems like a respectable enough occupation. It is all but a farce that never seems to get real. I can't even look at myself in the mirror today and say that I'm not at all a cynic because I honestly have my doubts. The only thing that saves me is remembering that I have gone through days when it all seemed too real to let go of.

I studied in Calcutta till I was 13. Towards the end of class 8, I decided I want to go to a boarding school for some odd reason. The two options were Woodstock School (Mussoorie) which my father had attended or Rishi Valley School (Andhra Pradesh) because a lot of my cousins had gone there and only spoke wonderful things about the place. I ended up seeing the latter during a winter holiday to Bangalore. The moment I stepped into the 300 acre premise, I knew I was home.

It was just a matter of time before the faces of strangers in my class became the familiar faces I was walking to the dining hall for meals with, before the compulsory long runs during morning P.T became a reason to wake up every morning, before the sunsets inspired me to pick up a pen and jot down whatever words came to my mind at those moments that you knew changed you though you weren't sure how. It was the beginning of the rebirth of the person I was, buried down by societal norms that I had to comply with because I was in a place that was not Rishi Valley. The school did have its own set of rules I had to oblige by but I did so gladly.

It was a world away from the real world because the nearest city was Bangalore, which was more than 3 hours away. And yet, it was as real as my perception of reality could be.

My economics teacher, whom we all fondly called Rajan (that was his last name), was one of the best teachers I have ever had in my entire education. He just knew how to make you listen to him going on about the intricacies of world economics and the South East Asian financial crisis of the 90s and the philosophies of John Maynard Keynes...Plus, he had quite a good sense of humor, which made the classes thoroughly enjoyable.

It was the time before Sports Day when everyone was practicing for the events of the big day. I was doing my rounds around the field in preparation for the 5 km run I intended to participate in. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my head and I turned around to see a panting Rajan join me. He too, at the age of 50-something, decided to take part in the run. And thus began our wonderful friendship. Even on the main day, I cheered him on and motivated him to complete the run since he'd already started it. Yes, we both managed to complete the run in decent time though frankly, the only thing I remember after that is chugging glasses after glasses of nimbu paani to regain composure. That day, it struck me that he was not an aging man accomplishing something. Nor was he just my teacher or a fellow sportsman. He was a human being, as is everyone else around us.

We build walls around ourselves and don't communicate in an open manner with people because they're not of the same age or gender or race as us. Society has made us narrow-minded and judge ourselves for wanting to listen to the stories of people it deems unfit for us to know. Instead, if we just take each new day as a day we want to explore something new and grab the chance to go on an adventure, life would just make so much sense. As I write this, the reality of the situation so many of us have been designed to run away from is beginning to sink in. Such a pity.

This is my entry for the Kissan 100% Real Blogger IndiBlogger contest