Monsoon is the best time to be in Kerala. The weather outside right now is just splendid, with a cold breeze continuously yet unobtrusively keeping one fresh. Some soothing song from the temple nearby sails down in the wind.. at times rising in volume and other times falling.. the horn of the Malabar exp or the occasional night freighter.. Soft music is most beautiful when heard from afar, carried by the breeze. Metal, on the other hand is the most orgasmic when heard in a live concert.
My mind's always in a song.. it's been so for so many years that I dont know when it started. I wake up in the morning to some nice tune, (but not always though.. many a times has 'dappankoothu' frolicked in the morning), shower humming something to myself. Tap my feet in some rhythm or the other when I walk barefoot. Heavy metal runs in my veins when traveling in the college bus.. All this is interspersed only by minutes of speech or much relished moments of silence.
It's only a matter of time before technology is misused, as those idiotic oldies (who love criticising the internet, mobile phones etc) say. Somehow, God seems to have issued a royal decree ordering loudspeakers of highest decibel levels to be installed in the nearby streets whenever there's a festival at the temple.
God: ..and get the makes by Bose. Ye'know, those tiny unassuming ones which make a LOT of noise.. I LOVE them!
%$%!@#: Yes your omnipotence.. but those are real costl-
God: Do not interrupt me, thou mortal earthling. Thou shalt be playing all these songs *takes out a list of the latest, and time honoured favourites of the festival audio managers* This one in the morning.. then this in the afternoon.. NO SHUFFLE, mind you. I want this in the exact order and crossfaded. Get me?
%$%!@#: Yes your majestic Godliness.
God: Righto, run along and do what I told you.
%$%!@#: (to manager) Well we can't afford Bose.. We'll get a couple of 'duplis' from Thakarapparambu.. and dunk the rest of the finance heheheh
manager: njeheheheh hm.. okay.
Two days later, a petti-auto arrives and depostits loud-speaker dabbas every fifty metres, and special amp-cum-reinforcement-speakers at every junction surrounding the temple. The volume knob on the amplifier is disfunctional (nevertheless at highest volume setting) and the party is on!! And what a song selection this time... Usually the songs are bearable, but for the last one week (precisely the inspiration for this post), they are goddamn driving me mad! I can only arrive at the perfectly logical conclusion that the eject of the CD player they're using has stopped working and thus the one CD they have is stuck inside for eternity, for our sons and grandsons and greatgrandsons to hear and go mad. The guy behind the controls just comes and turns it on, and switches between live and CD at times. That's pretty much the arsehole's job. He's probably deaf, or with as much sense of music as a tapeworm. The same songs keep repeating in the same order every day, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again... :(
Seems 'Alaipaayuthe' has turned into the national anthem. I hear it everyday in the morning and at night, and every goddamn sonofamother wants to sing it in a carnatic recital and every damn daughter wants to dance to it. I've developed a clenching-fist reflex to that song now. Maybe my brain imagines myself strangling someone. And if somebody is listening, CARNATIC MUSIC SOUNDS REAL HORRIBLE FROM A GODDAMN LOUDSPEAKER BOX, EVEN FOR A MINUTE. Carnatic music is meant to be enjoyed live, not blared over some black box. Ditto for Hindustani. There's this real pleasure in hearing the sympathetic strings of a sarod or sitar twang richly in resonance with the strings plucked by the player..
Then there are the repetitive devotional songs. They're basically the product of a jobless tramp turned composer who suddenly divined on a tune for two lines of a song and met up with a devotional-song writer, and the two went out to a kallushaap to discuss plans to make quick money. The question of 'what abt the music for the remaining lines' changed into 'why any music for the remaining lines' by some spark in the godforsaken brain of the 'composer'.. and the influence of the spirit acted as a catalyst for the spiritual :P Result: One tune, three songs in praise of three Gods. Three hours of pure spirituality for the masses.
God knows how people tolerate the same tune going on and on and on with just changes in lyrics, for one whole hour. Height of retardation. And the lyrics ha.. Some of them are threats to the tourism industry. Straight from what clothes to pack, what bus/train is the best suited for the journey, to where the temple is, the history behind it, and what people do there.. all in a question-answer form of a child asking her dad. (Rumours of multiple-answer type QA albums about to be released soon are about)
The torture continues.. I restrain my urge to blow those boxes up... and I don't step out of my room nowadays. My headphones are my best friend. And sometimes Megadeth sounds infinitely better than spirituality.