The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Connaught Place: Whither the Circle Begins? Part - I


It all happened almost a year ago.
It was an after-lunch breather for all of us. I was with my colleagues in Chennai, discussing, or rather, hopping leisurely between topics as they sprang. The subject matter soon embraced the song that had then become a global hit—even the head of a certain foreign government in his official visit to India expressed his desire to meet the singer of the tuneful number that had so thoroughly captivated the youth of his country. But, strangely enough, I didn’t know of the emergence of such a blockbuster! As for me, the only Indian story of global importance that was still current was the story of India as the hot new destination of investment. That our singers, in the meantime, had captured the imagination of world’s music lovers was news to me! For a moment I felt clearly out of place and thoroughly uninformed!
Delhi Not Far
Yes! I’m talking of Why this kolavari di, the Tamil song that had then sent a ripple of musical vibes worldwide, crossing the international linguistic barriers and smoothing the inter-genre incompatibilities. It did not wait for me to get acquainted with it before it set out its global musical journey. Already there were so many of them that had been cloned out of the original into various languages and uploaded onto the video-sharing portal of YouTube.
And feeling lost in that momentous after-lunch discussion, I had asked naively: ‘What’s that you fellows are talking about? Can a song from India make so many its ardent fans abroad?’
Obviously it was my turn to be ribbed.
‘Strange! You don’t know that. Even a baby murmurs why this kolaveri di in his dream!’ One of my colleagues raised his brows in contempt.
Another colleague of mine, the one who was the most considerate of all present there, empathized, ‘I quite understand your difficulty, man. This is all about knowing the street culture. And a fellow who is living alone [that is me] can’t know about all these developments. For that you should mix with the younger generation.’
I knew my friend was sympathizing with me—or rather condescending to me—for my less-than-desirable status shaped by my compulsion to live away from family for the sake of career. Nevertheless I understood what he would have liked to say further, ‘Well, man, you don’t know you’re fast growing old and irrelevant.’
‘Really! Is my life so cruelly passing me by?’ I had to wonder all the way.
Know as You Go
Veni vidi vici. How quickly I was able to make up for my knowledge gap has become a history now. I did my research about the song, about what it literally meant, about the singer who rendered that global tune. Did I like the song? Oh no, when struggling to keep abreast of the current, this was not a question to ask. What was then important was whether I would be able to live up to the challenge or not. And I am glad I did. Come to think of it, I even used that new-found knowledge in my blog. I was not in favour of proving my friend right, at least not by default. That I was one hundred percent a relevant entity, capable of thinking of and reacting to the demand of the current time was my objective then. It is a different matter that the popularity of song itself faded as quickly as it rode the crest of its popularity. After some years people, in retrospect, will take the success as a flash in the pan. Didn’t Sheila ki jawani also meet the same fate? Sliding from the fame of being the most entertaining song to the disrepute of being the crudest one? Even there appeared articles in the newspaper showing how vulgar it was in its content and how disrespectful it was towards the fairer sex!
The World in My Grip
All those are old events. My victory over my obsolescence should have been a forgotten story by now. The avalanche of change overwhelming me I should not keep celebrating my old victory--the forgotten battle. But then why did I remember it at this time? And so suddenly?
[To be continued…]
A N Nanda

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