Thursday, 13 September 2012

Don't fear the reaper!

Today evening, I was stuck in a bit of a dark place. I mean literally. At around 1900 IST my residential area lost power. Usually in such cases the UPS always kicked in. But that didn't happen this time. Once the power returned, all the phases of our house were working except for the lighting phase because of a blown fuse. The problem could be resolved only after my father arrived from work. As a result I had to spend two hours of quality time with my dear friend Darkness (Guess my mum is a bit jealous of darkness now).

The Reaper - Namita Anil Kumar
Darkness! Well it wasn't entirely dark. A few candles spread their halo in certain corners of the house. The fact that we had candles in my house was slightly surprising considering the fact that it is the 21st century. The darkness didn't seem to bother my dog. So, she spent time in her favorite spot, that is, next to a window on the top of a staircase, which overlooked the plot of land behind my house. Having absolutely nothing great to do, I spent an hour with beside her, just stroking her fur. As I sat there caressing her, I hummed a song. The song I was humming was "Don't fear the reaper" be Blue oyster cult.

Till this date, whenever I told someone that I liked Blue oyster cult, I received either one of these reactions: "Blue oyster who???" or "Weirdo!" Both of the reactions end up with the same result that is my frustration. I find it unbelievable that certain people haven't heard of them and that certain others find their music to be queer. They are my favorite American psychedelic rock band. Their songs like "Burnin' for you", "Astronomy", "Black blade" are some of their best! But, while talking about their best "The reaper" undeniably tops the list.

"The reaper" was a part of their album "Agents of fortune". It was written by their lead guitarist Buck Dharma. Well, if you have heard the song then it'll be pretty obvious as to why I was humming that song. For those who haven't heard it, its the opening riff. Its a very clean sound. The entire song is centered around that riff.

The lyrics of the song are fairly simple, but they convey a lot. It talks about the inevitability of death and how its stupid to fear it. Dharma wrote about how elements of nature keep changing without fear and how its necessary to learn from such free spirits. We will all die someday. But, we shouldn't live in the fear of that day.

The song tells us about how certain things are eternal, particularly love. Dharma made a reference to the love shared by Romeo and Juliet. Unfortunately that verse led to many misunderstanding the song to be about suicidal pacts. But that is false. Dharma was talking about undying love that is shared by two people. I do not share the exact idea. But I do believe certain things are eternal. To be able to leave behind a legacy is equivalent to a life beyond death.

The brilliant opening riff and the lyrics did make this song great. But there was another small detail which just elevated the song. It was the addition of a cowbell! I know it sounds crazy. But the sound of the cowbell just completed the song.

That accounts for an hour of the "Dark times". And I spent the second hour writing this post. As I sat there in the glow of my laptop screen, trying to slow my mind and collect my thoughts, I kept thinking of what an exquisite song the "The reaper" is. The reason why I consider this song to be one of the greatest rock songs ever sung, is because of its simplicity. It is comprised of easy and straightforward elements. That is true rock music!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Every little thing!

There is a Beatles song "Every little thing". It talks about all the little sweet things a girl does for the one she loves. It goes "Every little thing she does, she does for me". Cheesy...right? But it gets you thinking. Every little thing that happens in our day to day life has some significance.

A week ago I had one of those bad days. I travel from college to home via bus. That evening, I missed 3 buses. Well it might not makes sense to you. But in my world a missed bus is equivalent to a delay of 20 minutes. 20 minutes of waiting at the bus stop, which is no where near comfortable. I was angry. And finally when I did get a bus, it was a immensely crowded. That just made me even more furious. After the painstaking journey, I got down at my bus stop and walked towards home. As I walked home, I was still frustrated and my fury hadn't shrunk. But something captured my attention! They were two sparrows. I must explain that sparrows are an endangered species in Bangalore. So, to come across sparrows is a very rare, yet pleasant event. At sight of those perfect little birds, my rage dissipated. Poof! Such a simple event had a huge impact on me!

My experience that day, made me realise how the smallest things can effect, if you allow it to. This things could be good. For instance a gentle smile from a friend, a sincere compliment, or even a clear blue sky can make you feel pretty darn good. I always find a chuckle made by a friend at my joke, pretty comforting, even if the chuckle was just out of pity.

Bad stuff happens. Sometimes things so minor like a smirk, an item out of place of in my case a missed bus, can irritate you. The cause of your annoyance could be even someone rather than a thing. Don't try denying it. Everyone has at least one person they come across who just know the exact word to utter in order to tick you off. These are horrific stuff, but they are unavoidable. They make you feel like 'ignorance is a bliss'.

In a day you come across so many events. They could be absolutely terrible of just the opposite. Unfortunately the mind remembers the horrible events far more better than the good ones. But, you should realise that it is YOUR mind. Don't ponder over the bad stuff. Move on! Focus on the good things! Acknowledge every tiny thing that pleases you. It could be anything from the sight of luscious green grass to the smell of an old book or the taste of a really good coffee. Look at such stuff! By doing so, you might just feel "The world isn't bad after all". 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Good ways to spend your holidays!

Well if you are a student like moi, then you are not new to spending boring afternoons during your vacation with absolutely nothing to do. Well say good bye to lazy days, because I know how to make the best of your holidays!

I am an engineering student. So I enjoy a generous three months of vacation provided by my college between academic years. How did I enjoy those months? Most of my friends spent their holidays eating and sleeping. But there is a huge problem with this "colorful" plan of their's, that is, the regret that follows the vacations. Having noticed that defect in that plan at the start, I tried making most of all my days.

My father is an Engineer. So, I did a sort of internship at his office for a month. I learnt a lot over that month. I would say it was a month spent more than well. If you are a student, I suggest you take up a learning course. It could be anything. A new language, calligraphy, writing, drawing. Or you could take up a dance or music class. Anything that pleases your mind. I have friends who joined aerobics classes, swimming classes and gyms to trim up. And boy, did it work(for most of them)!

I started this blog during my holidays. It has helped me. I spent a lot of my free time thinking of what to write, of what inspires me. This blog has helped me organise my thoughts more efficiently. If you are interested in writing, a blog is a great way to pass time. Even if you are just a person who has a lot to say but not many to say it to, a blog is the right way to go. Writing is a great way of utilizing time. If you enjoy stories, then write one!

During my vacation I started looking into digital art. My previous post is a good example of digital art. Its very tedious work. But the end result makes you feel it was worth it. Art is time consuming. Heck any type of work is time consuming. But if you dig it (like The Beatles say), then you won't notice the clock tick by.

Indulge your creative side. I redid my mum's garden during my vacation. Now looking at the garden, I feel good about the work I did. I've written about my landscaping project on this blog:
You too can take up any activity like that. Off the top of my head, I always wanted to create a short movie of my own. Get a video camera, or rent it if you don't own one! Capture things that inspire you!

If you aren't interested in any of the above, take a vacation from vacation. Go out! It could be with friends or family. I spent a week in Mysore and another in pune during those 3 months. You can't complain when you are on a vacation away from home.

There are so many other ways you can spend your vacation. You can take up volunteer work. I have a friend who started teaching at a government school to junior highschool students. But whatever you do, you have to keep up with it. Trust me, you'll want to give up in the middle. But don't! Like I said, Perseverance is a feisty thing! And once classes start again, believe me, you'll feel really good when you notice that you used your holidays well. Happy vacations!