Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I click therefore I am

I click therefore I am

My values are but a mouse-click away

All desired skills have boiled down to a component ID

The LMS – a record keeper

Sole proof of my values existence

Back and Next – two entities of my life

So close, yet so many pages between them

Loading at 40%, then 60%

…my knowledge never reaches 100%

I drag and I drop unhesitatingly

Hoping that these activities get me recognition

I wait for my development plan to fade away

And to evolve into a certified valued professional

I cross all hurdles and reach the assessment

Never has a 90% meant such joy and relief

And as I return gleefully to my seat with my name printed in b/w

My thirst for knowledge

And my will for development is all but extinguished

There in my inbox sits another mail

… it is IT Security week next and the darned online trainings are back!!!

I click therefore I am

- Written in blood after putting in 16 hours trying to finish certain ‘mandatory’ online trainings at my workplace

Post Script (PS) – I would like to thank all the non-creative and completely humane IDs who created the assessments of those trainings where an ‘All of the above’ and a ‘True or False’ saved some of my breath. Thank you, friends.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Musical Regions

I’m very fond of watching the various music-based reality shows that are being shown on all the TV channels these days. I’m referring to the more serious ones – shows like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Voice of India, and the latest to join the bandwagon – Junoon. (I will not name Indian Idol in the same breath simply because I think it is blasphemy to do so.) I think all these shows are brilliant in the way that they look for such amazing talent across the country and across the continents, in many cases as well.

I think Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is the one that began this trend of music-based shows and we have quite a few voices in the music and film industry now, voices that have found their audience and limelight, through this show. It used to star Sonu Nigam as the host, who did a splendid job of it too. The voices were all so fresh and so beautiful. Some became popular and some not-so popular. But, each one did find the confidence and I’m sure this was one of the shows that proved to all the young ‘hidden’ talents that an avenue, even if difficult and unapproachable, had opened. The same show has moved on from its modest middle-class beginning to a more nouveau riche look with the sets changing to include more sparkles, the participants beginning to look like fashion models with honeyed voices, and the gurus have definitely changed paces as well. Not to speak of the hosts – Sonu Nigam to Shaan to Aditya Narayan – all of who have added their own personality to the show. I must admit I was a die-hard fan of this show till last year. My heart soared each time Bappi Da would give an 8 to a favorite participant or a young singer from across the border would be put in the danger zone because of the lack of the adequate number of points.

This year, 2008, Junoon (being aired on NDTV Imagine) seems to have captured my heart in the very same way. The participants that remain or those that have left all are trained voices. This shows in the range that they can bring about and also the music that they can create. I also particularly like the concept of dividing up the teams into Film songs, Folk songs, and Sufi songs. This has not only brought the highlight on folk songs which are definitely shadowed in by film music in real life. It is a noteworthy attempt on the part of the organizers to come up with the concept. (Excuse my ignorance on the other show – Voice of India…I have not been an avid follower of the same.)

But now, here is what I think these shows can do but are not doing…all these shows ask for the people who watch TV to vote for them using the all too mundane and annoying task of sending SMSs. That very act has become quite a nuisance because after some weeks of feeling for the participant, I realize that I’m paying too much to see someone stay on till the next airing of the show. And that pinches! And though I enjoy the music, I do not vote for any of them. The second more annoying bit about the voting procedure is when all the participants are encouraged to evoke a sense of regionalism in the viewers. All of them choose to ask for their votes in their regional language, irrespective of the fact that they themselves probably don’t use that language at home. Each one cries out to a state to vote for them. Nation, nationality, Indianness – all seem to be shed off in this matter. Music which is universal is cruelly segregated into regions. The thought of asking India to vote for them is an afterthought and that makes it even more distasteful.

What then is the difference between these people, who bring music, the very language of gods, into our lives and the ones who incite regionalism for forming governments? Why can’t we all just ‘vote’ for good and brilliant music? Why does it have to boil down to such narrow boundaries of language and region? A lot of people may think that I need not rant and rave about such a trivial issue but it is that very idea that I want to confront. It is the idea of regionalism that pollutes the purity of a universal emotion – music. And as slowly as it invades music, so it finds a way into our minds and our soul. Let me explain…have you noticed how all of us modern, educated, walk and talk with our peers and our colleagues affecting a degree of equality. I use the word ‘affecting’ because it is but a façade that we present to our own self, believing that we see us in the other. We do not. As quickly as we assimilate everybody in our peer group, with that very swift movement, we categorize them into ‘punjabis’, ‘mallus’, ‘bengalis’, and ‘south indians’ and attribute traits to the communities. We break the ‘universal’ into ‘regions’ and that is why it becomes easier for any foreign (and no, I don’t mean the <>) element to seep within into the fine cracks and send out tremors. Regionalism has already taken various shapes leading to unrest…why do we then let it enter the realm of music?

All people responsible or part of these beautiful music shows please leave regionalism out of music. Let the people in the parliament and those who aspire to be in that august institution think about regionalism and its uses! Let music be spared!

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

- Aldous Huxley

Without music, life would be an error.”

- Friedrich Nitetzsche

And I rest my case...