hints, allegations and things left unsaid...
flickr | feed | latest | last 10 


Proximity to your subject and ambient light conditions can lead to dramatic pictures that bear no resemblance to their original subject whatsoever; pictures that are wide open to varied interpretations. This is especially true (as I recently discovered) if you happen to be clicking lamp-shades:

The pictures above are not that of a Manhattan skyscraper but that of a fancy wooden cage encasing a light bulb.

The patterns; cast by the light emanating from the wooden shade, on the bushes flanking it on either side might lead you into believing that I clicked glowing wings of some mystic mythical creature. Pictures cannot get any more deceptively untrue than this:

Here is what our subject looked like in reality:

The picture below might remind you of a quaint old haveli

In reality it was just a fancy lampshade made of iron and glass:

posted: 27.6.04 | permalink | 5 comments

Beethoven's early Piano Trios
I find this ironic in a very pleasant sort of a way that I am writing a piece about Beethoven’s piano trios while listening to an ancient Carnatic composition on veena. Beethoven’s piano trios are some of the earliest music that he wrote. His first published work, Opus 1, was a set of 3 Piano Trios. I had purchased a recording of the last two Opus 1 trios by the Vienna Trio over a year ago. The latter of the two, the third C minor trio has an interesting anecdote behind it. After about 15 years of it being published, Beethoven published a rearrangement of the trio for a String Quintet as Opus 104, simply because he was appalled at the version of the same piece that an amateur musician had written. During the years between Opus 1 and Opus 104, he had gone totally deaf. The String Quintet rearrangement is a hard to find piece and I am glad that a recent recording of the piece was arranged specially for the CD supplement of the book An Equal Music.

Beethoven was a student of Haydn when he published his first Opus. Beethoven’s music was somewhat ahead of its time and so Haydn was concerned that his trios might not go too well with the easy going Viennese bourgeois of the 1790s. He discouraged Beethoven from publishing his Piano Trios – kind intentions that Beethoven mistook for signs of jealousy in his teacher. Fortunately, rapprochement followed soon and the issue was settled amiably with Beethoven dedicating his Opus 2 piano sonatas to Haydn.

Curiously, I never quite found a recording of first of the three Opus 1 trios (the Vienna Trio CD just had No. 2 and 3), something that used to nag me each time I would listen to Beethoven’s piano trios.

I had started my day on the 19th of June with the Opus 11 piano trio. (The 4th Piano Trio written by Beethoven, nicknamed “Gassenhauer” that means “street song”). The piece has fascinated me for two reasons. Firstly, the piece was originally intended for a slightly unusual ensemble of Clarinet, Piano and Cello. Since clarinet a was relatively new instrument in late 18th century Vienna, with relatively fewer virtuosos who could perform the piece, Beethoven re-published the composition for a “regular” piano trio ensemble of violin, piano and cello. The piece derives its nickname from its final movement which is a set of variations on a popular tune from the opera L’Amor Marinaro by Joseph Weigl. Incidentally, unlike the first three Piano Trios, this one only has 3 movements, a decision Beethoven is understood to have regretted for a long long time.

I had no idea that 19th would prove to be so propitious for my collection of Beethoven’s Piano Trios. A friend is in Bangalore for sometime and our rendezvous over brunch on Saturday, spilled over into a walk around Brigade road and we eventually landed at the Planet M. I was rummaging in the most desultory manner through the hotchpotch of western classical CDs when suddenly I came across a two CD set of Beethoven’s Trios and this time, Opus 1 No. 1 did not elude me. That the CDs were very reasonably priced at 350 Rs, was icing on the cake.

Incidentally, 19th in Bangalore was also celebrated as Fete De La Music at the Alliance Francaise – with live performance of all genres of music from Carnatic classical to Western classical, from Indian Folk to Indian Film Music, from Jazz to Rock. For me the celebrations could not have come at a better time!

Retrospective Muse: While returning home later this night, I heard the radio in the car play Daler Mehandi’s “Ho jayegi balle balle”. After posting a blog entry about Beethoven’s piano trios, written while listening to Carnatic classical, this was the only thing left to hear. Life sure has funny ways of getting even with you!
posted: 23.6.04 | permalink | 2 comments


Some of the most stunning pictures I’ve taken have been of flower borne by vines flowing over the wall of someone’s lawn or kitchen garden. Flowers that were neglected, gratuitous but were there waiting for something, someone endlessly.

Here are two such recent pictures:

The gatherer of Nectar

The collector of droplets of rain and fragments of sunshine

posted: 18.6.04 | permalink | 4 comments

Finger Flower?

The red tubular buds appeared as if they were little digits of a baby still learning to sprinkle salt (the analogy might sound a little far fetched; to be honest I am struggling here to find the right words to describe the curling of figures just a fraction of a second before they join at their tips while sprinkling salt. Or imagine a little child expressing twinkling of stars using is fingers. Or cup your hands together, leaving your fingers apart. If you have better words, leave me a comment!). The second cluster of the same buds, had a slender strand of a cobweb running along its circumference, reminding me again of a game we used to play as kids, where we would put a loop of thread around our palms and then pick on it with fingers to create interesting patterns (any idea what this “game” is called?)

posted: 9.6.04 | permalink | 7 comments

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Yet another spoiler

Very soon hundreds of spoilers chronicling the third Harry Potter movie will spring up throughout the blogging world (I’ll be surprised if that is not the case already), I’ll attempt to be one of them. My outing to the movie on the Friday night was a sudden (if not unexpected) one. A colleague managed the tickets just in time, though we reached the theatre a little late, thanks to the lousy service at Veritas Platter where we had our light dinner. Now on to the spoiler:

The movie is certainly well made. Thanks to the multitude of things that happen in the third book, the movie is fast-paced and will keep you at the edge of your seat. However, the movie does not entirely stick to the sequence of events in the book. Entire chapters have been done away with (no transfiguration classes, no Quidditch tournament, no flash-backs to Hogwarts days of Lupin, Sirius, Pettygrew and John; to enlist a few). Entire characters have gone missing (or their roles significantly pruned – Lavender and Parvati are visible only in background, other teachers, especially McGonagall are visible only for modicum of seconds). There are minor omissions, shuffles in the order of events that take place during climax. Harry’s Patronus does not quite behave as it is supposed to have in the book. And personally, I found Lupin miscast, the onscreen avatar lacks conviction and steely inner strength of the Lupin in the book. Should all of this keep you from the movie? Definitely not! The cinematography is breath taking, the editing snappy and special effects mind blowing (Bugbeak the Hippogriff is extremely well done). Unquestionably worth a watch even if you are not a veritable Harry Potter fan.

If you haven’t read the book; free from botherations of faithfulness to the original storyline, you’ll enjoy the movie a little more – though you might get a little befuddled by the fast turn of events during the last few minutes of the movie (don’t leave for popcorn and drinks during intermission, you cannot afford to miss a single frame!). As for my personal opinion (the very reasons why this blog exists), the book was better (which is funny coming from someone who thought that bibliophiles considered it fashionable to repudiate works of cinema derived from books, of course, I am now wiser, having experienced the phenomena first hand). I am in fact concerned about the fate of fourth book – there is so much that happens in Goblet of Fire that attempting to squeeze all of it into a two hour twenty_first_century_attention_span will be grave injustice to the fascinating parable.

posted: 6.6.04 | permalink | 6 comments

Without title

The Earth stood still,
Waiting for rains patiently -
Parched, burnt, forlorn

The Rains came beating down
Assaulted, ploughed the earth,
Heaped derision; something had gone wrong

Devoured by veneer of thick clouds,
The sun peered timidly;
Helpless, it was after all, all alone

The Rainbows or their illusions thereof, mocked earth
Humiliated, the sun bid adieu,
And soon, the rainbows too were gone

The night approached; dank, balmy, moonless
Mute spectator. The lightening danced a macabre waltz
Thunderclaps sung their garish song

posted: 3.6.04 | permalink | 1 comments

Archives Blogroll

All material posted on this blog is copyrighted and may not be used in any form without the explicit permission of the author.