Sunday, August 21, 2011

Clearing the cobwebs..

Ever get a feeling that all day you are sitting at your office working, or spent a Sunday just doing random things, and near the end of the day, you feel like you have umpteen things to think about.. Not just about the impending work in the coming week, or some errands you have to run, or some things you planned and forgot.. Its not like you have a list ready in your head of all such things, but you know that there are a bunch of them like these somewhere inside your head.. like some cobwebs hanging in some corner ?

Well, for some, that’s a classic Sunday evening feeling.. You procrastinate through the weekend, not really thinking about those things to do, until you absolutely have to. Well, at these times, something that often helps clear those cobwebs from one’s mind is to take a walk..

Thankfully for me, the hilly landscapes around provide ample opportunities of just walking aimlessly in those scenic places, as I did today. With the twilight sun shining once in a while through the clouds, painting the quaint little buildings in the campus yellow, I walk right down the slopes. As I reach one of the waterfalls from the gorge, it welcomes me with a deafening roar. The shade of the water ranges from a milky white at the noisiest places to a calm and transparent brown (showing the land beneath) as it passes the rocks forming a nice little stream. Sun continues to play hide-and-seek as the water gleams golden at places..

Walking further down, I reach the lakeside to a view of a beautiful cloudy evening. Clouds are like the magical curtains of this play, with the sun behind these clouds mustering all the colors that it could: shades of red, purple and yellow. The clouds are reflected on a virtually motionless water surface, only to be disturbed a little at times, by the ripples created by ducks somewhere far down. A white streak of an airplane trail also adds its beauty to the sky. A light breeze keeping the evening alive..

Things like these, although quite engrossing in themselves, help clear that thinking process in your head. List out all those unfinished tasks in your mind, cleaning those cobwebs one by one, slowly but surely. Giving time for some introspection.. some planning..

Suddenly the breeze turns into a gusting wind, and the clouds have taken it upon themselves to make sure that I don’t go back home ‘high and dry’.. Sudden refreshing showers don’t last long.. They are quickly replaced within minutes by a clearer sky and an ever more stronger and fresher breeze..

As I return home after the walk, its not just the skies that are clear, but my mind too.. The cobwebs are no more...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Musings on music

These days, music has taken an important role in our daily routines. May it be on our desktops, laptops, phones or iPods. While working, relaxing, working out, traveling, driving and what not… But how often have you felt like you have been transferred by music to a land where all around you is nothing but raw and unadulterated beauty of nature? Many times I bet!

A green ravine studded with trees and marked by gorges and waterfalls. Scenes like those of Rivendell. Calm and peaceful. It may not be quiet in the strictest sense of the word. There might even be a roar of the wind around, or that of falling water. But when it comes to clearing your mind of cluttered thoughts, the atmosphere is as quiet as it should be.

A clearing in a rainforest: A small window to the sky and the world outside the forest. Leaves from the trees all around dripping with water from incessant rains… Slow continuous sound of water streams flowing through rocks and pebbles.

An edge of a cliff, with thousand stars and their twinkling glow in your eyes… deep white snow shimmering around you, each and every white speckle of it making you contemplate: about your past, present and future. The usual emptiness of the night is nowhere to be seen. Instead, all you have is a feeling very deep and poetic.

For me, it has been quite often! A single piece is enough to take you into a trance of nothingness. It changes your mood, changes your outlook, and changes your state of mind. I have had music pieces give me goosebumps, ecstasy, excitement, anguish, euphoria, despondence and what not!

But the connection is far from over just with this. Do you remember those tags they attach these days to articles, blogs and images across internet? These tags help you and search engines search a relevant article based on a keyword one searches. It is similar with music and memories. What does our mind usually tag our memories by? Probably the setup, the people around, the place, the time of the year, the weather... But along with it, if present, a particular piece of music that you might have heard also gets added to the ‘tags’ we have for our feelings, emotions and memories.

Try to recall any distinct childhood memory: your mornings to school, or your birthday, or your trip with family or just hang-out with friends. I’m sure you’ll find many of them with these musical ‘tags’ attached to them, perhaps a song that you were hearing that time, or a song that you use to hear all the time during those days. And like in case of tags for the blogs, if you come across these keywords independently, there’s a good chance that you’ll immediately remember the memories that were tagged by those musical pieces. I’ve seen it happen to me ALL the time.

In a way, music becomes integral part of those memories, our daily experience and thus our lives, not just through our gadgets and actions, but deep in the fathoms of our minds…