Music

October 17, 2020 § Leave a comment

A friend played his guitar and sang Brain Damage by Pink Floyd just now.

#music

After the rain has stopped

August 19, 2020 § Leave a comment

There is this song that I want to whistle next. It starts as ‘Male ninthu hoda mele’ (After the rain has stopped). It’s from a movie called ‘Milana’ (union), in my native tongue of Kannada. The film was released to critical acclaim and commercial success back in 2007. The song has a haunting melody and poignant lyrics. The lyricist is Jayanth Kaikini, a well-known Kannada poet and writer.

It is the vehicle for the message that the heroine, played by Parvathy Thiruvothu, has had a change of heart and has fallen in love with the hero, played by Puneeth Rajkumar. But of course there must be drama, and the song comes at a time when the two are playing newlyweds with the wife seeking a divorce. That she is unable to express her new feelings to him is what the song conveys, and makes way for the denouement of the movie.

However, true to the movie’s title, the film ends in a happy (re)union after more emotional drama that the audience in 2007-08 must have enjoyed, given that the cinema ran for over a year in some theatres.

In real life, such change of heart, is probably rare. At least that’s my limited experience. In real life, people often tend to hold on to their pride and prejudice, leading to all-round misery. Much of this even, sometimes, comes down to just that mundane thing that we call habit. We habitually react in set ways that can irritate or even hurt a loved one.

It’s very hard for people to see the intent behind a gesture or a decision. Often, in cases like me — with my anxiety and depression, and before that, three decades of repressed feelings of all sorts — those gestures and decisions can also send things awry. And they did, in my life. The road to where I am today is potholed with the repurcussions of bad decisions and impulsive ones that hurt the ones I loved the most — my family.

Today, I’m much more aware of who I am and what I want, but at the price of having been a poor husband and inadequate parent for a long time. In real life, we don’t often get the chance to right the wrongs we’ve made. We’re forced to watch in mute frustration and humiliation, the consequences of our bad decisions playing out. That’s probably why Oscar Wilde called experience simply the name we give our mistakes.

#anxiety #anxietyanddepression #depression #cinema #movies #films #music

Anxiety hack 2 — Pick a hobby

August 17, 2020 § Leave a comment

Today, I made a small list of songs to whistle. I’m fairly good at whistling. Over the last two months, I’ve been posting videos of me whistling various songs, on Facebook and Instagram. Typically 90 seconds to two-minute videos. It has become an engaging hobby, to identify a song, practice it through the week and post the video by the end of the week, usually, although I’ve posted a couple of them during the week also.

This process of picking a song and putting in a little bit of practice every day of the week before it’s ready to be posted, and then shooting the video itself — nothing fancy, just the phone camera turned on selfie mode — has all become something that distracts me from my anxiety and helps bring it down.

Thus far I’ve whistled some 10 songs, mostly old Hindi hits, but I’ve begun to add Kannada, my mother tongue, and plan to whistle songs in other languages too. For example, I was trying out Stevie Wonder’s Part Time Lover this morning. It was playing on the radio. I also want to attempt Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. And of course songs like The Sound of Silence, Annie’s Song and Scarborough Fair. Then are a whole bunch of Grammy winning favourites I might try.

Of course I’m guilty of constantly checking Instagram and Facebook to see if my friends or others have seen the video or if anyone has liked or commented on it, but that all helps distract away from my anxiety. Then, having posted the videos, there are opportunities like updating one’s ‘stories’ on Insta and FB, and since these vanish after 24 hours each, it’s something I also look forward to — the chance to recycle older videos via the ‘stories’ section. Again, the anticipation of doing this, typically in the late evening, after my walk or after dinner like now, helps distract away from the anxiety.

So maybe this is another anxiety hack I’ve discovered for myself. Of course I’ve read that having a hobby is a good way of tackling anxiety, but before I started posting these videos of me whistling, I didn’t really know it first hand. So if you’re like me, fighting irrational fears and ruminating on bad scenarios everyday, pick a hobby that you can easily pursue with minimum fuss — something that you can do almost anywhere at anytime.

#anxiety #depression #anxietyanddepression #hobby #anxietyhack #music #whistling

Zen in the time of Covid

July 30, 2020 § Leave a comment

I wrote a decent opinion piece online today at work. Even the editor who put it up said it was a nice piece. Clearly, reclaiming my own workspace, by shaping a small part of our bedroom into one, is helping.

We ate Schezwan rice and Thai curry for lunch and dinner today. Neither of us felt like cooking so decided on the takeout from nearby Beijing Bytes. Bought enough at lunch time to last through dinner as well.

My brother-in-law sent me a link to a piece of music by this young lady called Arya Dhayal. She’s quite talented and has raked in millions of views on Instagram TV, combining her knowledge of Carnatic music with snatches of western Pop music, using what might be an Ukulele, I’m guessing, for accompanyment. Plays it left-handed so that caught the attention of the southpaw me.

Thinking about her now brought to my mind Abraham Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of our needs — and my knowledge of this is very basic Wikepedia level — and how lucky I am to have my basic-to-mid levels of this pyramid already taken care of. How fortunate I am to be able to sit here and blog about my life or make music when I can — whistling and playing the flute are my talents — and share it with others.

And yet, we all hanker after those millions of views. For true self-actualisation, not even a single view is needed, but the disappointment one feels is very real each time one opens up an app like FB or Instagram and doesn’t find that little notification that a new approbation has arrived in the form at least a ‘like’. A ‘comment’ would be great, right?

Does one really need to be on a mountain top on a crisp morning to sing, for instance, knowing that only the birds and other creatures can hear the song and no one else, to find real happiness. Perhaps, on that mountain top, even just a deep breath will do. Locked up in our homes, terrorised by an invisible virus, is it possible to find the same state of zen? Maybe Ms. Dhayal knows the secret to that.

#Zen #music #Aryadhayal #Maslow’shierarchy

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