While the cold breeze cuddles me gently
And the dripping dew drops sing a lullaby,
The deep silence of night wakes up-
Listening to a distant guitar,
And 'tis the night I dream about
To enjoy moments of solitude
And being only me.
I had an opportunity to watch a movie a few days back. It is directed by Mr. Roman Polanski which was rewarded with the prestigious Academy award, the BAFTA award and many more. The movie was about German invasion of Poland during the World War II. I was really moved to see the inhuman and barbaric treatment by the German soldiers to the Jewish people living in Poland. There were prohibitions on going to pubs and parks, walking on the pavements and even sitting on the public benches by the side of the road. The basic human rights were also being eroded when the Jewish population were imposed upon the restriction of keeping only a limited amount of money with them which was not even enough to purchase food and other daily necessities for themselves.
Mr. Wladyslaw Szpilman (enacted by Adrien Brody), a Jewish pianist woking at the Warsaw Radio in Warsaw, Poland, sells his piano to get rid of the impending hunger his family was going to face. All the Jewish people were forced to desert their home and move to the infamous Warsaw Ghetto where they faced the extremes of psychological and physical adversities. It was heart-rending to see a mother begging for a drop of water for her little son dying in her arms. An old lady fights in vain with a severely hungry ragged guy for a little amount of meal. The meal got spilled on the road from the container the lady was carrying, but that guy was so desperate to have it that he did not even bother to lick it on the road. One night, the Szpilman family witnessed a brutal murder when a group of Einsatzgruppen (paramilitary death squad responsible for mass killings of Jews) entered an apartment just opposite to the one where the Szpilman family was taking shelter and threw an old sick person from the balcony of the top floor along with his wheel-chair. His only offense was that he was unable to move from his chair when the SS (Schutzffel- paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler responsible for crimes against humanity duirng World War II) squad ordered all of his family members to stand up. Those cruel monsters did not stop with that. They took the other family members into the street and shoot them while they were running for their lives. Then they drove over the bodies.
Szpilman, the pianist, was a character to be observed in the movie. He got separated from his family in an unfortunate moment and tried to survive alone. Those moments of survival were such heart-touching that I could not help but praying for his life. He used to change his hide-outs very frequently to save himself from the cruel Nazi army. Mr. Wilm Hosenfeld (enacted by Thomas Kretschmann), a German officer, noticed Szpilman in the remnants of an old building. Hosenfeld was touched by the pianist's talent and spared his life.He was a man of large heart as he also was the supplier of bread and clothes to Szpilman during the last days of Szpilman's hide-out.
I observed the violation of human rights on one hand, and different emotions of human being on the other hand. I was pleased to see that there is at least a few people on the earth who think for others, who are always helpful and kind.I learnt about life and love. I understood wthe definition of passion. Mr. Szpilman had a deep passion for his piano. He allowed his fingers to dance on the imaginary keys of a piano in the air when he had not been able to touch one in reality during the days of Nazi invasion. Adrien Brody really deserves a great applause for making the character of Szpilman lively and very human. My heart will always cry for those innocent people who lost their lives during those days of Nazi babarism.
It was a calm and refreshing evening in Jorhat town. I was enjoying a cup of tea sitting at a tea stall and inspecting the activities going around. There was a small grocery store across the road. The owner was an old-timer pale looking lady. She was chewing paan and spitting here and there. A rough looking middle aged man was trying to peel a pine-apple with a small blunt knife sitting on the porch of the tea stall. A cow was filling its belly with the last batch of green and fresh smelling grasses for the day in the grazing field beside the grocery. I was looking ideally at the vapors developing from my cup and slowly getting vanished in the air. Everything seemed to be so usual. I ceased my eyes from the cup and tried to widen my view as far as possible. Then I noticed a tiny bird with a broken leg lying helpless beside the road. It was spreading its wings and hoping with one leg, trying desperately to fly away. Its eyes were fixed on the pale-reddish sky. I started pondering whether this little creature would see the next sunrise. I soon got the answer. A bunch of crooks appeared all of a sudden on the scene and started pelting the bird with stones. Before I could respond to the situation, that poor little creature breathed its last. A wild cheer from those lunatics went across my ears and left me stunned.
I always felt proud of being human-the best creature ever in the world. But a strange awkwardness surrounded me as I thought about it at that moment. I left that place with a heavy heart and a mind full of questions.
This image was taken on 27th of July, 2006 while Yannick, Nandaraj, Uttam and me were rehearsing for the last night function of the Stephenian Olympics, 2006, our hostel get-together. We were in B.Sc. 2nd year. All four of us were very much excited and enthusiastic about our show. We were gearing up like a professional band ( I wish it were a reality) !!! Uttam had never played drums before. But he had a good sense of how it works and how to catch up with the rythm. Yannick was my mentor as a guitarist. He had flair for lead and rythm guitars. Well, Nanda did his rythm guitar part very handsomly. I was very jubilant to perform with these guys.
Like this, there were lots of memories that I treasure in my heart. I remember the auditorium with royal touch. I never felt nervous while climbing up the big stage. Instead of it, I felt very proud as an Anthonian. My friends were just like the delicious spices in a good dish. The dish of life and friendship. I treasured a number of friends who will be there with me in my weal and woe-anytime, anywhere.
There are lots of things to tell about the days I spent in Shillong, the Scotland of the East. I need space and time for it. I will be very much contented to jot down those moments in my blog. But, for today I have some other business.
Music...this five letter word means so much to me. Right from the day I learned to stop and take heed of every bit of sound that seemed to be soothing to my ears, I always could not help but wondering at the genius of the person who created music first. In this context, a quotation by a famous Indian musician, the Mozart of Chennai, A.R. Rahman is worth-mentioning - " Thanks to the creator for making music the language of languages."
The first lesson of music for me, as far as I remember, was to learn how to play the Harmonium. It was not so difficult for me as I was very keen and much excited to even touch it. Then came the lessons that laid the foundation stone for my singing abilities. At an age of 10, I went to a music college at our neighbourhood where I learned the ABC of Indian Classical Music. I have taken music as my hobby since those days. Slowly it turned into my passion and a great friend at the time of weal and woe. I use to sing when I am happy. I use to sing when I am sad. This can not be simply termed as craziness. The divine feeling that music gives to my mind is unparalleled.
I remember an incident when I discovered my guitar smashed by somebody on a very gloomy day. I was deeply perturbed when I visited a music shop and found that my guitar was in an unrepairable state. Almost six months of complete emptiness surrounded me after that day as I could not help but thinking about the great loss(the guitar). I lost a good friend. I lost my happiness, my emotion everything. But, one day I managed to meet a person who came into my life in the form of a saviour and repaired my guitar with great expertise. I rediscovered my jolliness.
I know that there are so many people in the world who are mad about music. They think that music is part and parcel of life and I can proudly say that I am also one of them.
Every person comes across certain incidents and experiences in his life which make his life worth living,be it during his childhood, youth or adult phase. In fact, every phase of life add different colours to it. I cherish the school days when our mentors taught us how 1 plus 1 becomes 2 !! I remember the harsh- looking and very strict maid in our school who used to dress our fellow naughty boy classmates with girlish attires (as a form of punishment) and let everybody make fun of them. Luckily, I was never one of them, although I was not that quite kind of child. One fine morning, I started my school time with a couple of good punches and kicks right at the big belly of one of my classmates for taking my notebooks home without asking me. Now, I wonder at my reaction ( may be "over reaction" will be appropiate). One day, on my way back to home after school, a perplexed horse came running behind me when I got the biggest shock of my life. I started screaming thinking that the poor horse was going to eat me that day.-) The sound of his hooves were ringing at my ears for many days.