Sunday, February 28, 2010

The ignorance of meaningful perception

Maqbool Fida Hussain aka the Picasso of India is one of the most discussed topics of today especially after he accepted the Qatar citizenship. Though conferred upon him, the decision was completely his to accept it. In the past, Indian groups have gone against his art which according to him is freedom of expression and according to few others, obscene. But for me, perception from the eyes of many is what I have understood from many debates on the issue. Some call it 'Rape of Bharatmata, few others call it Naked Bharatmata or Bharatmata in Red. What caught my attention was her nudity. Why MF painted it that way is not a matter of concern. Whether he respects Bharatmata or any other woman is not an issue cos if we get into it we'll end up punishing majority of the men in the world (For eg: Aarushi Khanna, Ruchika case). But what should be discussed is if the art will affect the morals of the society and our Gen next.

I don't know what ‘freedom of expression’ is. This term sometimes justifies littering on roads and sometimes allows the rich to get away with crime, sometimes permits to create a scene in the middle of traffic and sometimes does justice by returning land to the deserving farmer. When MF's paintings were considered to have hurt Indians' sentiments I wondered where all these sentiments went when we indulge into war claiming to be true Gandhians. Where were the sentiments when we silently gave in to bribery? They were hibernating perhaps! Obscene Blue film posters are visible in so many areas in Trivandrum, yet everyone has time to point out only at the nudity of MF's paintings. Certainly he is at fault. But I don't believe in punishing one and letting the others get ignored.

Getting to my point, there are several temples in India which proudly show off our Cultural heritage. As a child, when in India for summer holidays, I loved to visit temples and listen to my Grandma put me to sleep with interesting, authentic, mythical stories of Indian Gods. There were many guides who explained the importance of each temple during such trips. Some temples belonged to the early era where artisans carved out certain Gods with just a single rock. In fact temples were born out of a single rock, etcetera. I always pondered upon why most of the women carvings had a bare chest. Being a big fan of Hindu mythology I have never come across anything such as the women walking around bare chested like the men. So I always found it weird to see such stark nakedness in such beautiful temples that were places of historical value and most importantly, of faith and worship. Some carvings were so erotic in nature that it used to irritate me to worship idols who were surrounded by such obscene art. When such art can be preserved, applauded, declared to promote Indian culture...I do not see any point in vandalizing Mr. Hussain's paintings. For a look at what I intended to say go here :

Kalidasan had once written about Goddess Parvathy in an erotic way for which he was criticized to the core. But we still treasure his other works and pass it on to the next generations though one of his most famous drama- Abhijnanashakuntalam has it's most pivotal scene changed at his convenience (The scene where King Dushyanta apparently forgets Shakuntala after returning back due to a curse is an imaginary addition by Kalidasan so that he could portray the main hero in a good light).

Let us not generalize and point fingers at who we feel is convenient to fall prey to our selected accusations. Let the 95 year old man live his life in peace and I certainly agree with him accepting the Qatar nationality. I wouldn't tolerate anyone vandalizing my art, no one would!

Here are few tweets from tweeters I had debated with:
@VineethJose- The carvings also have sculptures of gays , lesbians and people having sex with animals. Its all there since vedic ages.

@RahulEaswar- Dear Neha. Can u imagine a situation where Sri Hussain paints "Rape of Qatar", Naked Qatar Queen, Queen's affair with someone else

@crown_jk- Carvings made in ancient society was more moral.For them there was nothing wrong in nudity. Now time has passed.We are in 2010,those carvings are now symbols of IND civilization.Now nudity is considered as a crime,can we go & destroy carvings? No. But living in this society,MF made paintings which will hurt people who believe in Hindu religion and love motherland.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Rival

I discovered creativity the first time I ever realized the meaning of what music is. I still do not know how to define what music is or creativity is. I have always been bad at giving scientific explanation about terms and conditions that define our life. But what is more important is to experience it. Whenever I sit in front of my Guruji, unaware of my thoughts, he seems to react exactly the way I want him to. It was very hard for me initially to find out mistakes in me because I never came from a traditional musical family. No one can sing at home. But they have great sense of music. But it was still hard for me to imbibe certain aspects when I was on a competitive platform. I still am. But now it's different. Back then I was always trained to give more importance to the element of performance. Or in simple terms, to have the guts to get on stage and sing your heart out. I was a little girl of 9 when I first participated in a singing competition held at the Indian Social Club, Muscat. Unaware of the stiff competition I sang just the way my Guruji taught me. If he was happy, I was happy. When I started winning prizes year after year I realized how good I am at singing and though my parents kept emphasizing on the importance of performance I knew deep inside that I wanted to win. Not to justify my singing with the acceptance of a trophy with my name carved on it but to be able to wear a new dress and to shine with glory that I am a star among the other winners.

The element of fame has never ever been attractive to me. Because as I grew up, understood that getting a prize makes me happy but to work harder the next year to maintain my level made me feel responsible. Responsible to not only my parents or the judges or to a couple of well wishers but to my Guruji and to myself. I woke up and turned a new page of my chapter to learn that I need to give the same kind of quality whenever I perform.

I have been denied a prize several times. I have also been denied the eligibility of getting a prize several times. Has it made me angry? Yes, but only at that point of time. Later on I understood that how I can't imagine writing with my toes , certain people don't think I am good enough to be their fingers. Since then I learnt the art of forgiveness. It's so beautiful to forgive and very hard to forget. I can't get it out of my head. I then agreed that keeping such bad events in my mind will always make me a little more cautious the next time I take a step ahead.

Many people have inspired me to practice, to keep striving harder, to never lose hope and to never speak ill of anyone. At some point life made me realize the value of the talent I have been blessed with. It's a happy responsibility I have to live with for the rest of my life. To achieve certain things , practice is not all that is required , we need to also have the courage to face struggles. But then I felt at times that I am wasting all my energy in facing these struggles, then where is the time to practice? or to live life? The answer is in knowing who is blocking you. We ourselves decide who we want to block our paths. I know it's pretty appalling to read this but when we want to give in ourselves to struggle , struggle will always be after us. I don't want to get in depth about such a subject where I myself am experiencing it right now. But the key to get rid of all the pain, struggles, negativeness around you is to compete with yourself. You are your biggest competitor. You are the only one who can beat yourself to secure the King's throne. Don't leave things to lady luck or the almighty everytime cos each time you do that you are only going to become a couch potato. Look into yourself to realize your powers and make them work. It's all within us. When we compete with ourself, we never lose. Remember that and you'll realize how lucky you are to be breathing on this beautiful earth. When you realize about the biggest competitor within you , you will be able to face the opportunities in your life instead of calling it a struggle.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Few lessons learnt

Having a positive attitude helps a lot in overcoming stress, unwanted rumours/gossips about one self, tension ,etc. Over time I have met loads of people in my life where some have been extremely generous to me and some shrewd. But I have always felt that God does it on purpose so that we understand the value of relationships be it for the worse or otherwise. Anyhow, I wanted to write few quotes which came across my mind when I had to face such people/situations. Most of them have taught me a lesson in a good way and I would like to dedicate this post to them for opening my eyes!

I have decided to blog at least once a month on such quotes that enlightened my sense at such unexpected situations. Here we go ...

The reason why people talk behind your back is because you are ahead of them.

If you live to please others, no one will love you. What you get is only appreciation.

Make your anger so expensive that no one can afford it.

Feel free to share your favourite quotes too.. till then Ciao!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rosebowl on Youtube :)

It's absolutely amazing to work with Rosebowl. And now the good news is that the channel has it's music videos uploaded on YouTube :) Amazing isn't it?? Something you have to watch out for is Avial; Job, Charan and Yakzon; The Piano sessions with Stephen Devassi ... go ahead ..enjoy some awesomatic music !!!

The link