Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bulbuls again

More on the bulbuls. They've taken to bathing every day and are increasingly at home. Of course, this means that the robin who liked to come and sip has been shunted out, and one beautiful ashy prinia lurks furtively. Anyway, these chaps are comfortable. I haven't got pictures of the bath itself because the activity is usually so charming, I stand rooted! Next time, if you can bear another post on this.

The stronger bulbul
The siblings huddle sometimes

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ek thi bulbul

Some non-human drama outside our window yesterday. There are two new bulbul fledgelings learning their way around the world, starting with our jasmine creeper. One is bigger, stronger and has a crest poking out already but the other one is very unsure and only makes small tentative hops along the branch. Parent bulbul is utterly utterly sweet and marvelously competent. Many mysterious pellets and worms are brought - she pays a tad more attention to the weaker fellow but then also darts off in search of the other one to make sure he gets fed as well.

Mom bulbul
The weak fledgeling (Sorry for the bad photo but he'd assumed that position by the time I dug out the camera.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

At the core

The season is long past, and I'm taking down Connie Donleycott's comment on autumn:

falling leaves
my friend and I
discuss clutter
In its place, because it has been tickling me all this week, poet Yu Chang's assertion:  

in a nut shell
there is never
enough room

Now this is a strange thing for a haiku poet to say! For here is a man used to writing in three short lines, attempting to communicate the essence of things. He knows of old wells and frogs going plop, he knows the ways of sparrows. After all, he knows well that there is as much room in a nutshell as there is anywhere else in the cosmos. There is enough room in a nutshell for a tree... and who knows what else? And yet, this plea for elbow room.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Mixed Feelings

For the first time since I started this blog, a whole month has gone by without my posting a single time. So April 2011 has no entries under it - strange, because it was a highly significant time. But रहिमन बात अघम की, कहन सुनन की नाही... it doesn't matter.

Exciting times for lovers of music. Coke Studio is coming to India and I'm all a' tremble with anticipation and anxiety. I blogged about Coke Studio when I first discovered it, here and here. I said then that I couldn't think of an Indian musician/producer who could produce the series or a channel that would be willing to do that. When I racked my brains about it, I came up with AR Rahman, who of all musicians, has the musical maturity to straddle all of India's versatility. But what of people management, and the ability to compose, work in constrained studio circumstances?

But here they are after all - in no small part due to the raging success Coke Studio Pakistan has been. Leslie Lewis is the man they've appointed to do what the wonderful Rohail Hyatt did for CS-P, and MTV is the channel that's seeking to break this new ground (and resurrect itself, while it is at it). A unofficial list of artists is out and it looks very interesting.

I am nervous about the task in front of them. CS-P began in relative anonymity and they had nothing to guide them but their own immense enthusiasm and inherent high standards. They also had the luxury of a sense of play. Coke Studio is now a huge brand - even the makers, I imagine, are struggling with how serious and earnest it has become.

How will they deal with that here? This is not Pakistan where tasawwuf and a certain kind of spiritual purity still holds sway; this is India - television in India - where the gods of success are placed higher than the ideals of integrity or good work. Where the audience becomes VERY important, more important than it should. I am afraid that Coke Studio at MTV wants to succeed more than it wants to create good music.

Evidently, I am not alone in my fears. The programme's facebook page is full of entreaties not to dilute the essence of the original show. They're promising not to but do they realise the essence isn't in the details, but in the approach?

I will be ecstatic if these concerns prove foolish. Just think of the potential in India - classical ragas, Carnatic voices, Vedic chants, the possibilities of folk, the revival of 'samuha gaan', choirs perhaps, desert voices, hill voices... good luck, Leslie Lewis. 


Edited to add:
While on CS, read this by Rashmi Vasudeva, who is also addicted.