Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Angry Ranting

The article above is a rant as to Shanti Pillai's work. While I may not agree with everything she says in her dissertation, I don't believe it is so poorly done that so many of bits and pieces of the article can be taken as the author above does. Anyway I wanted to post now so I would come back to it later and really parse it, but I think one of my professors said it best:

When you are young, everything seems ridiculous to you and you are galled by the state of things. You become an angry scholar, intent upon spreading as much of your "knowledge" as possible and "rectifying" everyone's way of acknowledging things as wrong. However, as you get older, you begin to understand pluralism much, much better - and that all arguments are correct - just that some arguments are better than others.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lyrical Help

This site looks incredibly informative and helpful for if you need to look up lyrics to a particular song or request help --


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Feeling Cheated

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and she put into words perfectly how artists feel.

"Cheated. We all feel cheated and undervalued."

The more I thought about this word, the more I felt she had it spot on. That is exactly how every person feels. The honest to god truth is, if we were all living comfortable - making as much money as our lawyer and engineer and finance friends instead of struggling day in and day out to make ends meet doing something we supposedly love, I doubt any of these "wars" would happen. The musician feels cheated because they are not getting enough from a performance where they see endless amounts of people coming through for a performance. The dancer feels cheated because they are spending hundreds of hours creating and choreographing and rehearsing a performance and then the musician is making more money than them for maybe 1/16 of the time they have put in, if that. The producer feels cheated because artists see "big money" and are continuously asking for more - again, making more money than the producers themselves.

Money does make the world go around and art has certainly become more of a money oriented business than ever before, to the point where I think the art world itself - at least the one we have created for South Asian ones here in NYC - is hurting itself. The suspicion, the politics, the egos - it's become really unbearable and almost sad to witness.

Bring back the selfless patrons who would just pay for an artist to sit around and be creative! Then we'd all happily help each other out, work for one another, and perhaps smile again instead of making our working lives so miserable!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The language of puns

One of the interesting things about Sanskrit that leads to its poetic complexity is the double, triple, or even quadruple meaning of certain words.

Sanskrit is all about complex puns. Sanskrit will take a phrase like "That person has baggage" and mean both that they have literal baggage as well as problems from their past that screw with their present.

In fact, the number one itself has, as I've seen, close to 30 words for it. Words like sun and moon, of which there are only one in the world. It can lead to some fascinating metaphors.

For instance, there is a poem we read once that I loved - I have been searching for it but cannot remember its name or find it anywhere anymore, but it's entire meaning was of two. Read literally, it was about a tree's growth, and it's different stages. But the other meaning within was that the words could be taken to mean the different (I believe in Sanskrit there are 7) stages of love. Not just a metaphor, but actual literal meaning. (Eg one line could mean that the tree was becoming red with blooms but also could read that the man was bleeding from the heart).

There's another kind of interesting interpretation one can do with Sanskrit that is particular to its strange sandhi rules, where all the syllables are mashed together and you're not quite sure where words begin and ends. In fact, there was a verse where someone was addressing a god - and depending on where you broke it up - you could either be praising the God or being completely blasphemous. It all stood in perspective.

Perspective does seem to be everything, doesn't it?