Tag Archives: music

Family time

I don’t know about all of you, but when the members of my family try to get ready to step out of the house together, usually one of these things is likely to happen.

  1. Three members are out the door, while one is still not quite ready.
  2. And on the rare occasion that we are all miraculously out at the same time, one of us has to rush back inside to pick up a life-saving item like a book or a bit of paper or a cookie.
  3. One of the children always decides to wear his or her footwear only after we are inside the lift, doing a one-legged hip-hop dance (hopefully there is nobody else other than our family in the lift).
  4. A sibling war breaks out just before we leave the house, so the siblings are glowering at each other in the lift.

There are many more such things, but let’s stick to these four items to keep it simple.

So, four individuals, sometimes irritable, sometimes glowering, sometimes indifferent – manage to reach the car park.  Based on the mood before we leave home, there is a mad scramble for the seats at the rear, with each of my children marking his or her own territory; getting quite predator-like in their behaviour.

Image result for family time car drive clipart

My husband and I get in, busy with our own thoughts.  As the car leaves the condo, the gentle swish of the air-conditioner sweeps the car, and teases our faces.  We watch the world outside flit past, trees, joggers, cyclists, mothers with prams, and many more.

My son takes the phone, and plays some lovely music.  There’s Billy Joel, Cold Play, One Direction, A.R.Rahman and many more.  The melodious music wraps all of us together.  We smile, and enjoy the drive, our petty irritations and squabbles completely forgotten.

 

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Earphones 101 for Moms of Teens

Every day as a mom is a learning journey. We learn new things abour our children. We learn that they see the world differently. We sometimes see ourselves in them and discover new facets to their personality; and then one day we suddenly become the moms of teenagers!

And by this time, most moms have had to probably take courses such as Patience 101, Understanding Teen Silences 101 and many more. But there is a must do course that will probably be fully booked all through the year – titled Earphones 101. These accessories take on a new dimension and meaning when you have teenagers at home.

They look harmless enough, when they nestle amongst the hundred other cables that are vying for space in your cupboard. They look nice, when they are in your handbag, and you feel good that there is always the option to listen to music, if and when you have the time (time…sigh!!!). Earphones were fun many decades ago, when you shared one ear-piece with your spouse, to listen to your favourite songs.

But, have you seen today’s teens? All of them seem to have sprouted ear-phones from their ears. With the theory of evolution being what it is, maybe humans will sprout earphones as a natural part of evolution. Imagine walking around with two small wires hanging from one’s ears!!!

So, as a mom, you expect answers when you ask your kids something. Immediate answers. But teenagers vanish into their rooms, and you shout through the door.

“Lunch is ready.”

Silence.

“Lunch is ready….can you hear me?”

Silence.

L.U.N.C.H  I.S.  R.E.A.D.Y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is an answering bark from the neighbour’s dog. Comforting.


Image courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

I enter my daughter’s room. She is oblivious to everything except her school work. And there is the enemy –  the earphones –  ‘they are the reason’  she has no clue that her mom may have permanently damaged her vocal cords. I tap her, and she looks up and smiles. She is gently swaying to the music.

I smile. I play dumb charades and show her that lunch is ready. She nods vigorously and takes off THE EARPHONES and gives me a hug. She is back in the real world again.

I sigh and decide that I need a hot cup of coffee to soothe my throat.

Data vision

I am stretched out on the recliner and want to listen to some music. I connect my phone through the bluetooth to my sound bar.  Soon, melodious music surrounds me.

I can feel it, every fine nuance. I start thinking about the quality of speakers we have these days, and wireless technology. 

A strange thought strikes me. What if I could actually see the data travelling in space to the speaker. What would it look like.

I laugh aloud, because if we had ‘data vision’, we would probably be shocked by the zillions of zeros and ones, bits and bytes swamping us.

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    Courtesy – http://www.dailygenius.com

Since all messages and texts and music get to where they should, maybe the scene would look organized rather than  chaotic.

What if we could see this data, and just stood and shook all these bits and bytes. What would happen to them?

Music or photos, jokes or videos – they are but millions of tiny fellows marching towards a particular destination, with a clear focus and purpose.

These data bits have to be wonderful team players, since they have to reach their destination together, sometimes in a nice sequence.

I switch back to reality. The music envelopes me again. Hidden bits and bytes working their own special magic.

Lunch

Wherever I go, I love observing people – especially in airports, railway stations, hotel lobbies, and in-flight. Each of these places is a different ecosystem by itself, where people from different walks of life converge for a certain period of time.

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This afternoon, my husband and I went out for lunch. We went to a popular restaurant in the vicinity.

We placed our order, and waited. My husband was busy on his phone, and I observed the people in the restaurant.

There was this family of three – husband, wife and a one-year old baby. The mom was trying to feed spoonfuls of baby food from a box, while the dad kept the child engaged. The Dad became an elephant, with a trunk and tried to snatch the baby’s food away, then he transformed into a lion and a horse. The baby gurgled and giggled, and finished her food. Each parent took turns to eat, while the other entertained the child. Been there, done it.

There was a man, who reviewed the menu for a good twenty minutes before he placed his order. I was curious to know what he ordered.

Then again, there was this man with his headphones connected and feet tapping, as he relished his lunch.

There was a group of college students, loud and cheerful, enjoying their lunch and friends’ company. Many delicious platters went past us to their table – a few sizzlers and many aromatic ones!

My tongue watered in anticipation. Our order seemed to take forever.  A tray filled with huge glasses of bright green slush went past. I wanted one of those. I wanted one of the sizzling platters too…but we’d already ordered, so I waited patiently.

Finally, our food arrived, and then my stomach and mouth took over, enjoying every mouthful. Different flavours and spices played different notes on my tongue. The food was amazing.

The table with the college students broke out into a birthday song for one of their friends, as candles were lit and wishes exchanged.

Looking out the window, I realized that the skies had opened up. We finished our lunch and settled down for a nice, hot cup of coffee.

A few people left, many arrived. More food, yummy smells. Melodious instrumental music played in the background.

I smiled. Another world, another ecosystem.

My Dad’s Transistor-Radio

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Picture courtesy  
             http://www.radiomuseum.org

One of my Dad’s most prized possessions was his transistor radio. It was grey in colour and was encased in a black, vinyl cover.

Till we were teenagers, there was no television at home, and a lot of entertainment happened only through this radio.

From 6 am in the morning, till we left for school at 8.15 am, the music and voices from the radio accompanied our morning routine. We could hear a lot of static sometimes.

As my mom braided my sisters’ and my hair, we sang along with the advertising jingles – some that I hum to this very day. Certain announcements served as cues for us to get ready. If we heard certain announcements, it sometimes meant that we were running late (these were the ones we only heard on the weekend).

At night, after homework and dinner, as we wound down, we would listen to some lovely songs on the radio.

The radio was also our greatest companion during Indian cricket matches, where all of us listened to ball by ball updates of the match. 

The radio stimulated our visualization skills, as we were free to picture what we wanted.

There were even more exciting moments with the radio, when the famous Halley’s Comet could be seen from Earth (somewhere in the eighties if I am not wrong).  My Dad woke all of us up in the wee hours of the morning. It was quite cold. And with the radio commentary for company, we walked in our garden, looking up at a clear sky, glittering with a million stars.

We did not see the comet, but had a lot of fun trying to look for it. A wonderful early morning adventure, after which my mom treated us to hot mugs of  chocolate.

My Dad was a good singer, and on most Sundays, we woke up to his deep voice humming along with the radio.

The morning and late evening news capsules were an integral part of our day. During these two capsules, we were expected to maintain silence. After the news, my Dad usually gave us an overview of key happenings.

I still have very fond memories of our good old Radio Transistor.

Music & Lemon Bee hoon

Yesterday, I happened to hear a song from a new Bollywood film, and was hooked!  I played it repeatedly, and needless to say, the song stayed with me through the day and into the night.

This morning, as my husband sat down to have his breakfast of Lemon Bee hoon, the song lodged itself in my brain again.  I told my husband about the song, and played it for him.

Morning craziness being what it is, I soon got busy with my chores and went looking for the ten-odd things that go missing every morning – read socks, notebooks and paper ….sigh!

When I got back to the table, I asked my husband (about the Lemon bee hoon), “Did you like it?’

And he replied, “It’s okay. Nothing great about it.” (about the song).

“Is it really that bad, does it lack salt or should I add more lemon?” I asked, feeling quite deflated.

My husband’s eyes widened in surprise, when he realized that we had been talking about different things.

“Oh…did you ask about the Bee hoon? It’s very good!” he said.

I smiled.

The same song has come roaring back into my head again.  This one will play itself out in my head till the next song gets in.  And till then, this song will always remind me of Lemon Bee hoon.

Her Idol – A short story

Twenty years ago

Madhavi stood in line, patiently awaiting the arrival of her idol, the music sensation Arun Swamy. To say that she was crazy about his voice was an understatement. She followed his life by the minute, and had nearly five big books with newspaper clips and photographs of him. Her room was plastered with his photos, she had every single audio track he had ever sung. Her family members rolled their eyes and tried to shake her out of this adulation, but she was a true and loyal fan. She had seen him from a distance a couple of times, when she had badgered her parents to be taken to Arun’s live concerts.

Now

Life had taken its own course, she had finished her post graduation in Mathematics and  listened to her inner voice to take up teaching. Marriage and children had happened. Arun was still there in her life, but now as a soft background track, that surfaced now and then, kindling all those sweet memories.

She had moved away from mainstream teaching to private tutoring. She was a fantastic teacher and soon came into the radar of the rich and famous, as the private tutor of choice for their children. She was picked up in the best cars, and travelled to the homes of the movers and shakers of society, coaching their children to take on the business empire of their parents.

Her fame spread, and one day she received a call from Arun Swamy’s office, saying that his wife wanted to talk to her.

Madhavi’s heart thudded with a teenage-like excitement. His wife told Madhavi that their son was getting consistently bad grades in Math and that he was taking his A Levels soon, and that they had heard about Madhavi…and could she help?

Madhavi was happy to oblige. Schedules and dates were agreed upon. Classes started at the Arun Swamy residence, but sadly for Madhavi there was no sign of her idol. He was never there at the times she visited. She smiled to herself at the irony of the situation.

Life went on in the same vein. The A Level exams got over. The private classes with Arun’s son were done. Madhavi got busy with other new classes.

Late in August that year, when Madhavi had just sat down to have her 4 pm coffee, the door bell chimed. When she opened the door, her idol stood before her, with his wife and son.

She was rendered speechless. She barely managed to splutter a welcome.

They had come with a bouquet and a gift. Then, for the first time she heard his melodious voice address her thus.

“Thank you for what you have done for our son. My wife tells me that but for you, our son may have failed his A Levels. A child’s Guru is the most important person in one’s life. We are deeply grateful”, he said.

They stayed back to have coffee, and left her with a heart bursting with happiness.