Thursday, February 24, 2005

brave versus cowards

The Fireman's Last Call

He heard the first alarms
And he responded to the call
Just like any other day
He was prepared to give his all

In disbelief he saw the fire
Raining from the sky
He prayed, dear Lord,
how will we fight
A fire up so high?

He rushed into the building
There were lives he hoped to save
He knew he had a job to do
The bravest of the brave

He climbed the darkened stairway
Rising further from the ground
Saying, "This way... come down this way..."
He helped guide them safely down

While most people hurried downward
He continued his accent........
And he accended into Heaven...
Knowing not why he was sent

here is what the antithesis of :
Firemen stopped by police
Saudi Arabia's religious police "mutaween" stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress.

About 800 pupils were inside the school in the holy city of Mecca when the tragedy occurred.
15 girls died in the blaze and more than 50 others were injured. According to the al-Eqtisadiah daily, firemen confronted police after they tried to keep the girls inside because they were not wearing the headscarves and abayas (black robes) required by the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam.

One witness said he saw three policemen "beating young girls to prevent them from leaving the school because they were not wearing the abaya". The Saudi Gazette quoted witnesses as saying that the police - known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice - had stopped men who tried to help the girls and warned "it is a sinful to approach them".

The father of one of the dead girls said that the school watchman even refused to open the gates to let the girls out.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

will versus heart

From the gorge of misery and despair
To the pinnale of ecstasy
Dried rivulets of tears
To the misty, mischevious smiles

Amidst all that remains enigmatic
Is steady and resolute will
That fails to succumb to south
Or refuse to soar heady north

I want to let go trapped in me
Break the shackles of conundrum
But I have no heart to overcome
The dominent will refuse to budge

Thursday, February 10, 2005

S P Balu: Simply Profilic and Simple Person

Kamal Hasan was candid in confessing that being an artiste himself, his first reaction towards any fellow creative artist is of envy. However, he was generous with this fellow contemporary artist who is hugely successful, talented and very much in his domain. This is just not true with Kamal Hasan but across music aficionado’s all over globe who adore him not just for his rich voice but also for his modesty, simplicity.

This man S P Balsubramanyam, popularly known as Balu. His fans call him Simply Profilic Balu; I would prefer to call him Simple Person Balu.

In 1992, at Lata Mangeshkar’s live concert in Muscat, he was exuberant in lavishing praise on precocious talents of A. R. Rahman while introducing song from Roza (tamil). Roza was not yet released then in Hindi and not many knew much about Rahman. Despite Balu riding on the crest of popularity of ‘Maine Pyar Kiya”, He was symbol of humility on stage. The other instance was at Dakshin restaurant at Park Sheraton in Chennai. This place has live classical vocal performance. While relishing food, he was not just encouraging the artists but made sure that he had a word with them before he departed. Today, as I was watching his recorded live concert in Hyderabad - as tribute to RD Burman – made me go back to the above two incidents.

During Doordarshan days in late 70’s, on Sunday afternoon I had watched SHANKARABHARANAM - a classic movie. Despite watching movie on subtitles, riveting devotional rendition was something that I have always associated with this movie. Only later, I learnt that these renditions were by Balu who won his first national award for his songs. His arrival on Hindi movie scene was as dramatic with securing the National Award for his first song in Ek Duje Ke Liye.

His repertoire in excess of 35,000 songs over many languages has already placed him in Guinness Book of records. His quintessential voice quality ensures even when he sing Mohd. Rafi’s, Manna Da’s and RD’s songs, they don’t lose out the essence of the originality of musical composition, so different from others who either mimic the great artists or do a remix making complete hash of the originality.