Monday, January 29, 2007

The days are just packed

Nice things this weekend. One excellent documentary on elephants, the Federer-Gonzalez final, a sitar recital and the icing, a temple dance.

So rare these days to see living arts. We see dance performed of course, but it was satisfying to see it as part of ritual, as integral to prayer, to living. Temple dance sank earlier this century along with the morass of the Devadasi system surrounding it, and what we attended yesterday may or may not have been the authentic thing, but it was fascinating anyway.

It was a Iyengar temple for Lord Ranganatha, and the occasion an annual 8-day Brahmotsava. The dancers circled the temple premises, the priests placed offerings, recited shlokas and invoked 11 deities, with invitations to come grace the festivities. There was Brahma, Garuda, Indra, the elements Agni, Varuna, Vayu, the yaksha Kubera.... Among the directions was Ishan, whom the dancers interpreted mainly as Shiva. There was another whom I hadn't heard of at all: Neruti or Nairutya. Apparently the god of the south-west, a rakshasa-god in charge of controlling the egos of the gods. And his vehicle? Man, or rather, higher man. Not a very high profile chap, wonder why that is. Reminds me strongly of Pratchett on gods and fashions, but too lazy to go look up and quote now.

Friday, January 26, 2007

mice and men

Sat down a little while ago to check proofs, with ambitions of getting through a good many pages in one sitting. Only, I'd organised atmosphere too well: I had on Ulhas Bapat playing Bhoopali, and there I was staring at the grey blocks and not one sentence sank in.
I can never remember if I'm dominated by my left or right brain (one test put me bang in the middle), but listen to music while I concentrate, I cannot. So while it plays out, this post.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Suddenly, chatty

The day starts with unexpected energy this morning. I had to deliver proofs to the ICRISAT bus stop, where people kindly take my packages and deliver them into the hands of folk at the communication office. Having dawdled over my coffee I had to make up for it with a filmi sprint to outrace the bus, as Bhavani garu and the gent from accounts looked on (presumably) encouragingly.

This by no means is the most interesting thing to happen to me these past few days, or the most profound, but it’s recorded on this blog for posterity (?), because I felt like it. Hah the power!

Which brings me to ponder over what actually makes it to these pages. If it means too much, it’s out; if it’s too inconsequential, I hesitate. If it makes me angry, then I wait till it blows over, if it makes me unhappy or muddled, then I’m too incoherent. So it happens that the window narrows to strictly middle-of-the-road stuff that is neither too intense nor too irrelevant. This, moreover, should time and inclination coincide. All of which is just too chicken, but there it is.