Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Is Ignorance bliss?

Yes, I was thinking so till yesterday. No, not anymore.
I have very poor general knowledge, and I was proud of it (not anymore).

I don't/didn't feel ashamed of my level of general knowledge,

You know, all these are not very obvious to others unless I tell about them myself. Also, I did not feel I was at a loss by not knowing. I somehow always managed to get my ignorance unnoticed, until yesterday!

I had been attending a 10 sessions workshop by Mr. Amit Heri on western classical music, to know the basics. To begin with, there were about 12 attendees for the first session, slowly reduced to 4 for the 9th session-yesterday. We learnt quite a lot there. We also became more familiar with the each other, naturally. We have been having lots of fun during the classes.

In one of the classes I remember one guy bringing an analogy between Cricket and Music. But I did not give much thought about it then. Yesterday the same guy(one of the 4) said he was leaving to England the next midnight, still he'd try to come to the class in the evening, since it is the last class. It was for Cricket match he was leaving. He sits next to me most of the times and even yesterday he did. So, I generally asked,

Me: You're going for Cricket Matches?
He: Yes
Me: You're a famous Cricketer? Your name comes in news-papers?
He: Not exactly ;) It doesn't. Not for Cricket, may be for Guitar, Music?
(I understood this to be a joke and laughed)
Mr.Amit: Yes Aparna, his name does come in the newspapers.
Me: Oh! Barry, I hardly read newspapers, so I wouldn't have noticed. And, well, I hate watching TV, I don't have much inclination for Cricket, so I wouldn't know.
He: Don't bother, Cricket is a boring game. Definitely not worth. :)

Class continues.....

At the end of it, I generally wanted to know more about this fellow.
So, I ask, "What is the name of your team?"
He: Karnataka
Me: So, do you play for Ranji?
He: Yeah, often I've played.
At this point, everyone laughed and Mr. Amit Said, "Aparna, Barrington Rowland is the CAPTAIN of Karnataka Cricket team and he is very well known. His name comes quite often in the newspapers. He's got many records against his name in Cricket!!!"

Apparently I was the only one who didnot know him (I knew his full name tho', I've mailed him some music links also) all these days, sitting right next to him!

I blushed at my ignorance, for about 5 seconds not knowing what to do next! Immediately I recovered and said to Barry, "Hey, it is my pleasure to know you, I won't forget you, and I'm sure you won't forget me. You might have 1000s of fans, but you know, it is hard to find someone like me who didn't know who you were!"

Barry replied, "I won't forget you for one more thing: your bike. Too much man! I can't ride a geared bike like you, I've tried many times"

Such a simple, cool, fun-loving chap he is. I may not like Cricket too much. But I have high respect for Cricketers because they belong to one category of achievers. I have reverence for anyone who aims at excellence, who tries to bring out the best in themselves and others. I get thrilled to talk to anyone who has achieved something above average. It is one of the great pleasures of life to know such people especially if they are down to earth and friendly. I felt really ashamed of my poor G.K for not being able to identify an achiever inspite of talking to him so many times. Today is the last session. He might or might not attend.

  • Barry,
  • may you get a place in Indian Cricket team soon....

    Friday, April 14, 2006


    On Shri S L Bhairappa's books

    Dedicated to my favourite Kannada author Shri SL Bhairappa (SLB in short)....

    Reading Kannada novels is a hobby I picked somewhat recently, OK not exactly. I used to read Triveni's novels in highschool, but had almost stopped reading Kannada novels because they were profusely and foolishly sentimental. Last year, one of my colleagues introduced me to this great Kannada novelist called SL Bhairappa. (Or, is it introduced Bhairappa to me? I'm always confused in the usage of this, anyways doesn't matter as long as you get me; After all English is a weird language!)

    I started with 'Daatu'. This is a novel centered around caste system and how detrimental it can be to the lives of people. People make self-destructive rules, blaming it on the society and face the consequences. 'Daatu' means 'cross a boundary or a fence'. Here the protagonist is a female and she, being born and brought up in a village tries to cross the boundaries of caste system.

    Next, went on to "Thanthu"(meaning a small strand). This is the story of a journalist, his family and his professional and personal friends circle. This is one big novel of about 700 pages which touches upon several social and political problems which were prevailing in the country in 1970's. Especially the depiction of emergency period towards the end of the book is very poignant. In the first 200 pages comes the description of a school designed in "Gurukula" style which is very appealing to people like me who do not have any liking towards the current education system.

    I had somehow controlled my strong yearning to read his Meru Krithi(->Meaning big one) "Parva" till this point. But when my friend(same colleague mentioned earlier) gifted me the book, I just couldn't keep it idle. I was supposed to read it last since it was his best book. But I jumped to read it sooner. The story is that of Mahabharatha, but written in an amazingly different way! You'll feel as if Bheema is your next door neighbor as you read it; you can in fact relate Dhuryondhana, Krishna and every character in that book to people around you. Especially, the description of the thought process and emotions of every character is truly touching. For example, think about how difficult it would've been for Draupadi to manage 5 husbands; her lonely feelings despite having 5 husbands (none of them really being a friend to her). Situations are analyzed in this book from several angles and several characters' points of view. Truly interesting read. It is translated to many indian languages and English. Tho' for Kannadigas' I don't suggest reading in any other language, for others: please try at least the english or your respective mother tongue version of this book

    The next in the queue was "Dharmashree". This says what a person who has got converted to a different religion goes through. May be because I read it just after I completed his best book, I did not find this very impressive. But it does highlight some of the problems faced by the contemporary society.

    Next I think I read "Mandra" ("Mandra" refers to the notes one octave lower than the normal octave in music). I better not talk about it. This is one of my less liked books, but I guess it is due to the disturbing truth highlighted in the novel; my dislike has nothing to do with SLB's writing as such. Like the rest, this is also very well written. It is a story of a musician called Mohanlal. The best thing about this novel (for me) is the way it has described the process of learning music.

    "Anchu" (meaning corner, boundary) is one other book. It is the story of a woman who have had lots of hardships as a kid, due to which develops a kind of emotional disorder. As you read it, you will wonder whether a person can get suicidal thoughts so many times and still survive. Unless you deeply think about it, I don't think this novel will make much sense. But if you are interested in human psychology, this is a good read, though you'll get upset quite often, if you get immersed in the novel. You will get to know what exactly goes on the minds of people who are emotionally weaker than average. She can not be called as insane, because she lives a normal life like everyone else.

    How can I forget "Jalapatha"? I was about to miss it here. A brief 200 pages novel, nevertheless touching. Bhairappa's appreciation for art is very evident in this novel. There is a painter who lives in Mumbai with his wife-a dabbler in music. It is about their struggle for survival and the emotional entaglements they get into due to different kinds of situations they are subjected to. There is another interesting character, a scientist with revolutionary thoughts ultimately leading to tragedy.

    There are lot more to be read, "Vamshavriksha", "Grihabhanga", "Bhitti", "Bheemakaaya", "Thabbaliyu neenade magane", "Saartha".. and so on. He has written more than 25 novels and some more essays, many of them have been translated to other languages. Every one of them is unique and talks about different aspects of life. Usually what I have found is that you read one book by an author, you'll feel thrilled, second book also you can enjoy. But as you read more and more it becomes kind of predictable and seldom you get new ideas from next books. You tend to read tho' because you enjoy the author's style. But with SLB's book, this is not the case. You read them also for their new content. It is no exaggeration to say that they are capable of guiding the reader towards complete emotional and spiritual growth.

    Beauty of Bhairappa's novels in general lies in the fact that they do not give any conclusions; he just analyzes certain situations and peoples' actions and thereafter he is noncommital, unlike most of the Kannada authors (like for example, Shivarama Kaarantha and Kuvempu are very strong opinioned authors). He just shows the direction and leaves the reader alone to arrive at conclusions. I mean, when you read the last page, you feel it is not the end, but beginning of another story that you can concoct on your own. You can build your thoughts over and above what you have read in his book.

    Dear reader, go and get hold of one of his books, I bet you'll like it.

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    Subscribe to Posts [Atom]