Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nice Article By Shubha Mudgal

Social/cultural sentiments is a funny and controversial phenomenon. You never know whose sentiments are you hurting with even a casual comment or remark. And in India, the controversies arising out of sentiment-hurting are as widespread as are the types of religions, castes, practices, languages, dialects, mores. 

When the sentiments of people and groups are ever alert for catching anything pointed at them, it is rare to hear sane voices amongst the din. But I was surprised (and glad) to see this piece in Mint newspaper, by Shubha Mudgal - noted vocalist and a good writer too. 

Read this opening -

Those Western Values

For a nation with the wealth of art forms and musical genres that India has, it has never shown too much concern for the preservation of its artistic heritage. Or for creating channels of dissemination for the traditional art and music that has survived against the greatest odds.

She writes further -

Not for a moment am I considering joining hands with the brigades of buffoons and goons who—in the name of upholding Indian culture—bash people up in parks for holding hands or indulging in a bit of necking. I am merely suggesting that it might be a good idea to emulate paschimi sabhyatanow and again, especially when it comes to the organized manner in which the West preserves musical and artistic heritage.

Here, she is referring to the work Smithsonian Institute is doing for preserving vocal traditions not only from USA but from all over the world. She was surprised to find a 1938 collection of Marathi songs - collected by a dutch fellow Beck, on the site.

Now this is what preservation of culture is.

Read the article here.


Monday, September 13, 2010

A Day (Off) Before US Open Final

You have to have read Andre Agassi's autobiography 'Open' to imagine what it means for the tennis players to get a day off before finals of a grand slam (or any tournament). This book gives you so many insights into a tennis pro's life that you start loving the game in a totally different manner.

This year, at US Open, it was Djokovic's turn to get overjoyed because of the day off before his slated final against Spanish bull - Rafael Nadal. Djocovic played the second semifinal against top favorite Federer and won it in a gruelling five setter. In the US Open, winner of second semifinal does not get a day off like the first finalist does. He has to recuperate through a single night before going for the gruelling fight of the final.

(Image - Wikipedia)

The awe-inspiring beauty called Arthur Ashe stadium does not have a cover for rain. It means that Djocovic got exactly what he needed most - rest. Read in NYTimes article that the Arthur Ashe stadium, the biggest tennis stadium in the world with a capacity of 23771 seats, will need a whoopping $ 150 million to get a retractable roof, and also some re-engineering due to its size and structure!

Now it will be fun watching the two players play for their life and a grand slam. Though Nadal is a favoured one, my heart wants to see Djocovic (the eternal No. 3 after Federer and Nadal) to win. He has the potential to win the game...