Thursday, June 12, 2008

Waltzing with Tchaikovsky on a rainy afternoon

Well I don’t really have any theoretical knowledge about music. But I think I can feel and appreciate the right king of music. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of those maestros I admire. But even I don’t know why suddenly am I liking his music so much and why am I associating him with rain!

I started the morning with his Arabian Dance followed by Swan Lake. Both of them in my opinion have a plaintive quality that can be associated with solitary beings like me. The sudden burst of energy in Flight of the Bumble Bee and the heart warming romanticism in Waltz of Flowers also are suiting my mood at the moment. As the sky is overcast since the morning and the light drizzle have already started with gentle breeze, I am feeling that gay (not in “that” sense) abandon which I always feel before the first showers of the season. I am uploading this youtube video that plays Waltz of Flowers.

I also took a photograph from the balcony which captures the freshened up Neem tree with a backdrop of the cloudy sky. That is the one I have pasted above. This place is not known for a long rainy season. So let’s relish it till it lasts!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Spotting the aliens: some meandering thoughts

Many years back, I happened to read a book called Chariot of Gods by Erich Von Daniken. Controversies apart, it was enough to set the imaginations of a schoolboy ablaze. So much so that I even tried my hands on sci-fi loaded with aliens and spaceships for my poor school magazine. The very thought of aliens and their possible intervention with the human race has been seducing us for a long time. While it has probably been unable to break into the stronghold of mainstream esoteric arts and literature, it has occupied a very strong position in popular fiction, comics and films.

But why such abrupt infatuation has erupted for the aliens? Well, I happened to watch the fourth Indiana Jones movie yesterday. No I am not writing a review of it as usual. The thing is, it also has something to do with those “outsiders” and hence it came as some kind of a reminiscence of my childhood fantasies. The basic idea driving all such films and literature is that the aliens, who are light years ahead of us in technology, might be watching us and they might have helped our venerable ancestors to build seemingly impossible structures like the pyramids! That is why they were probably worshipped as gods. The ancient Egyptians and Mesoamericans are the usual suspects for this school of thought.

The best example that comes to my mind is Tintin’s “Flight 716”. All the Tintin fans would know how Herge so skillfully plotted the aliens amidst Indonesian rainforests. With a brilliant storyline, immaculate attention to details and impeccable humor, it was probably one of the most accomplished works by the Belgian maestro. I think no one needs to be reminded of Spielberg’s exploits with the third kind. But if you want a different kind of treatment you can go for John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. It was a really creepy drama set in the eerie atmosphere of Antarctica.

But the point is how to do we actually know what happened and how to know if there is some extra terrestrial amongst us? In short how to spot them? A few questions that arose in my mind are,

  • If they came to the world where was the landing site? Some craters or geographical formations have been suspected but we don’t really see any evidences or remains of any highly sophisticated spacecraft and machinery.
  • They were worshipped as gods? But I don’t think any strange or otherworldly shapes have been noticed in the ancient artifacts. The “gods” are normally portmanteaus of humans and animals.
  • Is it really possible for any living entity to travel such astronomic distances?
  • If they were so kind to teach architecture to the primitive people why don’t they contact modern people who can at least understand who they are and where they come from?

Whatever it is, in fact I sincerely hope to meet some alien some day and have some intergalactic orgy. It is really difficult to believe that we are alone in this universe!How would it be to have an extra terrestrial girlfriend (well if they have different sexes!)? No luck with the planet mates so far!