Tag Archives: music

Celebrating World Radio Day

The first thing that caught my eye in newspaper is today that is 13th February is World Radio Day. Mention of Radio brings up beautiful memories. Let me share the most recent one. Last year due to lockdowns, I was at home like everyone. Initially the rising counts created fear and I started looking for ways to keep myself busy. At that time, I started trying new things in kitchen. But the fear kept on coming so I started listening to Radio. The monologues by the RJs followed by songs allowed a nice break. Radio allowed me to move around the house doing different activities. Also it is less stressful for the eyes. There are different programs on various genres of music. I also discovered audio dramas for suspense stories. This took me to the world of Sherlock Holmes, Feluda, Byomkesh bakshi. I searched in net and found the Radio broadcast of special events like that of Apollo 11 when man stepped on moon or of India’s independence. These just reminded me Radio had been the such an important part of our lives although devices have changed from dedicated radio to radio app in cellphones.

These broadcasts not only helped me get over the pandemic stress but also helped me relive special events about which I had only read in books. Today Radio is part of my life while cooking and walking. I would take this opportunity to thank all the people associated with Radio for making our lives better in these tough times. Best wishes for World Radio Day.

Bijoya Sammilani

The festival of Dussehra holds huge significance in our lives. It is the celebration of the victory of good over evil. For Bengalis it is the time to meet and greet everyone. We wish everyone Shubho Bijoya (Auspicious Victory). This was the time we used to visit everyone’s house. I still remember my mother making all the planning for a Bijoya dinner. Then it was just food and fun for us but today I feel it was a wonderful way to familiarize us with our culture. It was because of this effort of our parents during Durga Puja, Bijoya Dashami, etc, we were able to imbibe the cultures of both our native place and our residential place. This has played an important part in helping us adapt to any place within or outside our country.

The tasty Luchis

Chicken Curry

This year a few of my Bengali colleagues decided to hold a Bijoya Sammilani (Bijoya meet), which took me back to my school days. But they did it with a twist. All the guys decided to release the females from cooking for the weekend. They had elaborate menu for lunch and dinner for both days. They even had snacks. The fun part was to see them cooking. All the resources were duly calculated and brought. During cooking there was an elaborate discussion on everything. It was surprising as well as entertaining to see software professionals arguing on ways of cutting onions and tomatoes instead of computers. I must say they all did an extraordinary job, even I got to learn a few things about cooking from them. Since the guys took the responsibility of cooking we took the responsibility of entertaining. This meant song performances, poetry recitations, dance and drama. We came to know about the artistic side of everyone. It was like meeting everyone again. At the end of it I felt, this is the essence of festival. We come togather, forget our day-to-day issues and create something to make a time memorable. As long as people with this spirit are there, the culture would stay alive no matter where we are. I thank my colleagues for this memorable time and wish everyone ‘Shubho Bijoya’.

A cluster of Museums

Its not often we come across places with historical significance. Today was a beautiful day. A nice breeze blew which urged everyone to move out of their homes. It was an opportunity to explore parks. While looking for a park, I discovered the Frick Art and Historical Center. It is a cluster of museums spread over 6 acres. One feels like travelling through time as the neighborhood around it has an old world charm. A warm smile greeted me as soon as I entered.

The paintings of Madonna and Christ in the Art gallery filled my heart and mind with positivity. There is a beautiful lane through the garden to The Car and Carriage museum.

One is immediately transported to the era of black and white movies. The carriages remind you of aristocracy. Each vintage car has unique identity making it an owner’s pride.

What really amazed me was that there were cars that were used to spread awareness about voting rights for women. It reminds us of the struggles that women went through to get the voting rights. They also showed how the evolution of Cars brought changes in women’s fashion. I next passed through the playhouse where soothing music was being played.

The greenhouse has an amazing collection of flowers and plants. There is also a Café, library and gift center. I did not have a ticket for the Mansion so that left me with a reason to visit again. A colorful garden surrounds all the buildings. Helen Clay Frick (1888—1984) was the driving force to preserve the Frick estate and allow it to open to the public after her death. One can feel her presence everywhere through the exhibits displayed around the area.

An exploration is successful when it leaves one with a purified heart and an enhanced mind. It also helped me do my daily walk as the garden was simply mesmerizing. So the next time, its a beautiful day and you feel like an explorer, make sure Frick Art and Historical Center is on your list.

A colorful compound

A morning in monsoon

A morning in monsoon

We love to be in our comfort zones but deep withing always imagine an absolutely different life. My father was into shipping. Needless to say Baba always told us maritime stories. While growing up I always wondered how life would be on a ship with no firm ground within one’s feet. He always used to look forward to his work after the leaves. He was unable to pursue any other hobby because of his work. Hence when he retired, the first thing that stuck him was to find a hobby.

My colourful backyard

My colourful backyard

At that time, the backyard of our house was quite bare. It was summers when Baba took up the responsibility of making it green. When he told me, I looked at mom but mom had complete confidence on him. His new hobby started taking up most of his time. He has always been a very ‘jugadi’ person. Soon he was visiting all the nurseries, consulting them for different plants and manure. By the time the winters came, our compound was already green with plants that need less water. A garden in a bengali house is not complete unless there are flowers. He started looking for different flowers. By the end of next monsoon our compound was full of jaba(shoeflower) of different colours and shiuli(jasmine) flowers . Infact the backyard is always pleasant with their fragrance.

The green compound

The green compound

As usual he again became a role model for us. There is no age to take up a hobby and pursue it. After spending 40 years in sea he not only took up gardening but also changed his compound from bare to colourfull. As usual we often wonder, if we are too old to create a new interest and pursue it. Often we spend more time in creating excuses for not pursuing it then looking for information to take it up. Baba just showed there is no age to learning. So the next time you feel like taking up a hobby be it anything from mountaineering to learning a musical instrument, just go ahead and start working on it. Because a hobby gives a change to the otherwise mundane life. Once you excel it, you create a colorful compound full of fragrant flowers.

Tribute to Music

courtesy:Pullman photography

Today is World Music day. The word “Music” immediately connects me to my grandfather who passed away when I was 6 years old. He was fond of listening to music. I realized this when I saw his collection of gramophone records during the renovation of our house. It was strange to find many of his favorite songs are actually there in my ipod. I immediately felt connected to him.

It moves the spirit and connects the world. The biggest example are the football World Cup songs. Whether its the “Waka Waka” or “Un dros tres”, the world moves to it. The moment we hear these songs we think of amazing jerseys, soccer and stadiums full of enthusiastic fans. We may not understand the meaning of these words but the feeling generated by these songs is same for everyone.

Music definitely calms the nerves and releases stress. Sometimes it even takes us to a different world away from our daily hustle and bustle. It is strange the modes of listening to music moved from heavy gramophones to light smartphones, location of devices from tables to pockets but the music remained the same. I am grateful to all the music composers, singers and instrumentalists for creating music to release the stress of our lives.

Happy world music day to everyone.

Music is Eternal

My grandfather moved from our home state to a state in another zone of the country. At that time my mother was a child. He was very fond of music. He carried our bengali culture through music in his gramaphone disks. These consisted of traditional songs to folk music to movie songs. The gramaphone was very precious to him. He used to ensure it gets cleaned up and played daily. As a result I used to hear those songs daily. He passed away when I was seven. The gramaphone was still played by my grandmother on alternate days to keep it running. This time we used to decide the disk to be played. There was a disk containing some old movie songs. One of the songs was my favourite “Ek poloke ektu dekha”. It was from the movie “Lookochuri” based on “Comedy of errors” theme. Below is the song:

In the video, the central character (played by Kishore kumar who is also the singer of the song) is alone at home and is happily describing his interactions with his love interest. The video is no less than the song and clearly reflects the mood of the song. One can’t help smiling at the thought of this song. I vaguely remember my grandfather listening to his gramaphone with a tranquil expression on his face. As I grew up, taperecorders and CD players entered and the gramaphone was packed and kept in the attic. Years later I heard that song on radio, I felt so happy. It brought back the memories of my childhood when there was no hurry, no tension, no responsibility but pure happiness. Today the song is there in my phone. Everytime I am upset or stressed, I hear that song. It relaxes me. When I got access to youtube the first thing I searched was this song as it always manages to move me.

When I sat to write this blog, it just reminded me, the listeners changed from grandfather to me, the devices changed from gramaphone to smartphone, yet the music and its effect remained the same. Music is above life and technology. It is eternal.