August 20th, 2007


iffy observation..and a note to myself

I had wanted to continue work on the Lake Manyara post (it's just begun and I have saved it as a "my-eyes-only" post for now) and upload some videos to YouTube, but my internet connection didn't permit any work at all one ever told me how longggggg it takes for just a one-minute video to upload to YouTube! Truly, when one sees all that wonderful photography and stuff on the net, it all looks so attractive, it's only when you start doing it yourself that you realize that there's a lot of hard work, and frustration at the internet connection, behind it all...

At this rate, I will forget all the details before I have a chance to write the commentary to the pictures...!


But meanwhile, KM and I went to a concert at Chowdiah Memorial Hall this evening...and I posted this to Metroblogs:

Do others have the same experiences in other venues?


And as a general observation...I do wish performers would realize when the ascending curve of their fame intersects with the descending curve of their performance quality, and quit while they are still deserving of the praise heaped on them. But no; with all the hype, the artiste does not realize the point at which the ego, swollen by the fulsome praise of the hangers-on and camp followers, begins to outstrip the talent (which often wanes with age), and if s/he would only look dispassionately, would realize the real meaning of the fact that members of the audience are walking out. But no; the divas cling on, and there is always one more performance, and each is less than the previous one, but the artiste chooses to believe the orotund laudatory praises of the organizers, when what s/he should be doing is to quit and be remembered at the height of hes powers.

Reminds me of one the Romantic poets' (either Shelley or Keats, I forget which) sarcasm about the efforts of a would-be singer:

"Swans sing before they die...'twere no bad thing
Should certain persons die before they sing!"

I would change that a little to read,

"After they've been stars and with fame had their fling,
Performers should stop, and never dance, act or sing!"


And as another general observation...note to matter how angry I am with someone, when that someone apologizes, I must accept the apology. When a person is sorry enough to say so, it is like a slap in the face to hem, if the apology is not accepted or is denigrated as just being facile words..and might very well start a fresh set of problems! I must always assume that the apology is genuine and sincere, and realize that at any time, I could be in the other person's position, too. Even if I am hurting, I should put aside my feelings and appreciate that the other person is trying to make amends.

I might tell the other person that I am still hurting, or convey that I have completely got over the incident;that depends on how I am feeling at the time...but...I *must* accept the apology whole-heartedly. And...I must remember that, not forget it in a moment of anger! Or *I* might hurt the other person's feelings,and have to wind up apologizing, too...

Of flies and rocks...

Yesterday, a group of us, including adarshraju, amoghavarsha and anushsh, went to visit the Bannerghatta forest area, where one of our fellow NTP members, Geetanjali Dhar, had invited us (the forest abuts her residential layout).

One of the images I got was of these flies mating:

flies mating

and shortly afterwards, I saw these rocks:

rocks...they look exactly like the mating flies...will they give birth to pebbles?

And I wondered if, in the course of time, the rock below would give birth to several little pebbles....

That's humour on the fly, but humour rocks!

And that reminds me, not of the fly, but the flea:

A wonderful creature is the flea;
YOU can't tell a he from a she...
But HE can, and SHE can...

Well, actually, there IS one with a fly in it, too:

A fly met a flea in a flue.
Said the fly, "Let us flee!"
Said the flea, "Let us fly!"
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

Silverbills at Bannerghatta

Here's my image of these beautiful little birds, the Silverbills, at Bannerghatta forest area yesterday:

silverbills at Bannerghatta 180807

Here's amoghavarsha's pic (with a slightly different background but taken at the same time)

Definitely brings home to the viewer the way post-processing can improve an image. I shoot in jpeg, because to me, the content of the photo is still more important, and also, post-processing is very time-consuming, and I want to post my pics immediately. Even the delay on being able to post my last lot of Lake Manyara pics to Flickr is tough for me!

So that shows why I am an *adequate* photographer while others are *good*! But I think I am happy in my comfortable mediocrity...I am no Margaret Bourke-White!

Review of a review

Yesterday, we went to a north Indian classical concert, sponsored by a city newspaper. Two artistes, an instrumentalist and a vocalist, were featured.

The program started about 20 minutes late.

The instrumentalist presented a polished, superb performance. At the audience's request, he played another piece which was just as good.

The vocalist was eagerly awaited, but the ten-minute break took 30 minutes, and then the vocalist spent another 15 minutes tuning up the surbahar, which north Indian vocalists strum while singing.

The vocalist was the one who inspired my last post about artistes who should realize when they are past their prime. Amazingly--because north Indian music rarely goes off key-- the vocalist went off key several times, the voice was trembling and lacked melody and timbre.. several members of the audience, including ourselves, walked out as the music grated on our ears.

So....this morning I opened the newspaper...and saw the review.

The vocalist was praised in such fulsome terms that it was staggering. How could the reviewer not know when the pitch had strayed? "There was not a flat note in the entire concert", the review said. Opinions can differ..but a false note is an objective thing...surely, the newspaper sponsoring the concert could not change the facts?

But still, on that issue, I felt that perhaps the reviewer and I had different opinions, which each of us were entitled to. The shocking thing was..that the instrumentalist, one of the two artistes featured in the program...was not mentioned AT ALL.

And even in that laudatory review, the name of one of the disciples of the vocalist was given wrongly.

How can a reviewer, a journalist, do such a thing?

My opinion of the newspaper, and its reporting, has gone down a (further) notch...

This is also because of the editorial today, and that's another post...and it will also be a letter to the newspaper.

A rare political statement

I almost NEVER express my views about politics. I am in general an apolitical person and also regard most politicians as rogues and scoundrels...and I like writing the small stuff, as there are others, far better than me, who write about suchlike earthshaking topics...

But I do have SOME opinions and one of them is that the "123" agreement on nuclear power that our Prime Minister wants India to sign with the US is a Good Thing, as idahoswede would put it.

So the editorial in a daily newspaper really riled me.... it was about the Left parties opposing the signing of the "123" treaty with the US, and the Prime Minister adopting a stance of "either we sign, or I go". The editorial talks about the necessity for "all the parties concerned" to shelve the project as of now, and "discuss pros and cons" until a consensus can be reached. Does not the learned editor know that delay is often death in politics? Many of us feel that the Prime Minister has really achieved a remarkable, pragmatic agreement and has worked towards it..we cannot be sitting in our nationalistic cocoons and yell that in all our dealings with the world, we might get taken advantage of...and they seem to suffer from some kind of US-phobia, even as only the worst of that country, in the form of burgers and coke, invades our culture and not the good things such as the great work ethic or the lack of casteism in general society.

Every time India wants to take a step forward, we have short-sighted, jingoistic, visionless politicians who want to keep the country mired in the morass of imagined self-sufficiency and protectionism, citing "dangers to the country" as the reason for not going ahead and taking bold, realistic steps to make progress out of the dark ages of the socialistic, licence-raj days that have cost us so many decades and put us so much in the rear of the race to be a power in the eastern arena. We are making progress in India in spite of our politicians...I wish some of them would try and experience the loincloth poverty that their blind policies relegate the common man to. And waffling in the way the editorial suggest will only add hypocrisy to the list of sins that the politicians are guilty of.

I am so glad to get back to my birds and animals and trees...politicians rate far, far lower than the nastiest slug that I could find under a stone. The slug is just being itself and causing no harm...a better comparison, actually, would be with the leeches that stick to us when we are on a wildlife trek.