Friday, August 31, 2012

St. Theresa Of Avila Church

This is my favourite place in Madras, it's the only place where that familiar feeling of high kicks in... the feeling that used to fuel our practice sessions every Saturday when I was in the church choir back home. The choir at St. Theresa's church is the driving force behind this heady feeling of high, they are the main reason the church is packed every Sunday evening. You see many expatriates here, I guess like me, they too are drawn in by the music and the singing. The sermons too are pretty good, there is this one priest I really like... don't know his name, but whenever he comes for the Sunday evening mass, he manages to bring tears to my eyes. It's what he says and the way he says it, he fires up the imagination... he forgets all the religious dogma, all the unnecessary rules and laws and gets down to the basics, it's what inside you that really matters. If you have faith, then everything will eventually work out alright. Everything is just so beautiful there, I spend half the time dabbing my eyes and trying not to flood my pew. Another thing I love bout this church is that they always provide holy communion in both the forms, the body and the blood of Christ.

So anyway, the choir of St. Theresa of Avila Church, are having a special performance on the 15th of September and knowing them, I think it's gonna be great show. Here's the flyer they handed out last Sunday along with the song paper... 

It reads:    
St. Theresa Of Avila Church presents a concert featuring STJC (the church choir) go live...
A Gospel Rock Show, Cross Talk.
Staurday, September 15th, 2012
6:00pm St. Theresa's Church
No. 4, Nungambakkam High Road,
Chennai - 600 034.
For further details contact : stjc_chennai@yahoo.com

So if you happen to be like me (interested in these type of events), drop in and have a nice time... 

Friday, August 24, 2012

The soft flicker of candle lights...

Everything does seem better in the glow of candle lights... 
I keep buying candles and candle holders and anything candle related.... it's an obsession, but a neat one to have, don't you think. 
Anyway, see those small white patterns on the table, those are called kolam patterns. Kolam is predominantly a south Indian tradition where rice powder is used to draw elaborate patterns in front of houses, as a sign of welcome and respect. I picked up a few kolam stencils near a temple, have stenciled them on my table here and placed a candle in each design... cute right.
Another candle holder I picked up recently... look at the patterns on the floor, how pretty. It's like happiness spilling over and creating beautiful paths... 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wash your hands and say your prayers...

So it's yet another Independence day and the feeling of nonchalance continues... isn't that worrisome. I would like to feel pride, love, hope and comfort for our nation, but how do you feel all that when you step outside the house and encounter shabby roads and pavements overflowing with garbage, jackasses micturating whenever and wherever, all the filth that clogs the road when it rains or when nauseating drainage starts seeping through man holes, the maddening vehicles and motorists that seem to operate on some high end vendetta against each other... it's as though we live in a cloud of apathy. Reminds me of District 9 (the movie, it's where an alien race come to earth and they are pathetic prawn like creatures, they end up living in slum dwellings as refugees), we are kinda pathetic like them. Why else would we allow our nation to rot... I just wish there was a place like Azkaban where we could dump all these roadside urinaters, the insane people who drive/ride like Bruce Wayne (atleast he has great looking rides), and all the betel leaf chewers who intentionally spit on walls, doors, trains, corridors, everywhere except the ground, and those who insist on littering. A clean and beautiful country will eventually manifest clean and beautiful souls... I know, seems highly improbable but don't you have to first clean the filth on the surface to dig deeper and uncover the malaise that plagues our society. So let's hope Iceland invades us (apparently that is the cleanest country in the world) and sets up a clean and self preserving system here or let's pray for someone like Dom Cobb (Leaonardo's character in Inception) who can plant the idea of cleanliness in the collective sub-conscience of our nation.

Or we could all just follow this funny saying... and by washing of hands, I mean the washing off of all the filth we do which maims our society and keeps us from achieving our true potential. Washing off all the habits that make us a bad nation, and live a meaningful life in God... after all He created us and gave us this earth. That's the least we could do. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hard to Love by Lee Brice

Lee Brice and his team have got some fine writing skills, most of his songs have amazing lyrics and Lee Brice  infuses life into them. He's one heck of a singer, he has the tendency to inhabit a song and you can feel it... he sings with unbridled passion and you end up with goosebumps. It's evident he loves what he does, and he's pretty good at it too. I'm only surprised the album hasn't reached the top of the charts yet... it's got so many wonderful tracks and I think my favourite is 'A Woman Like You' where the woman asks her man how his life would have turned out if he hadn't met her. And Lee Brice goes on to list all the things he would have done like more fishing and golfing, more jamming with his band, being a better football fan, owning a dirt bike and stocking up on cold beer... the typical bachelor life. After he's done pulling her leg, he leans in close and whispers in her ear that he isn't that good at golfing or fishing, but he loves the sound of her name, he loves watching her do yoga, he loves her fried chicken and he'd readily accept his life with her and wouldn't trade a single day of it for the carefree bachelor days of the past. How beautiful is that, my heart always skips a beat listening to him sing this. Beiber, perry, rihanna, gaga, eminem and almost everybody on the pop channel... that is how you create a song with substance, by meaningful lyrics.

Moving on to the next song that really shook me 'That's When you Know it's Over'... I was blown away by this song. There are a lot of breakup songs out there, everybody has their own way of dealing with a breakup. Luke Bryan likes to make love one last time by telling her 'Rest your head on my bed and love me like you loved me when you loved me and didn't even have to try'... yeah, that's a line from his song Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye. Lady Antebellum resort to calling each other in the dead of night and whining about how much they desperately need each other, for the record I really like these two songs. But Lee Brice's song is well past this desperate, whiny and heartbroken phase... he sings with conviction that when you don't feel hit by a train at the sound of her name, or when you're not afraid of the song that is playing on the radio, and when it doesn't take all the strength you have to keep from dialing her number... that's when you know it's over, that's when you know you've made it to the other side. And he ends beautifully with 'knowing that she is happy finally feels good'... it's a powerfully uplifting song, and I wasn't even in the breakup phase. Then imagine how much more this song will mean to people who are actually going through a terrible heartbreak. 

Okay moving on to the next powerful song 'I Drive your Truck', initially I thought this was some typical country song about pick up trucks and four wheel drive. But as I listened to the lyrics I started to tear up, it's a heartwarming song about death... this guy loses his brother (who is in the army) and he drives his brother's truck to feel closer to him. The mother asks him to visit the grave but the singer sings about the eighty nine cents that is left in the ashtray, and the half empty bottle of Gatorade that is rolling on the floorboard, dog tags are hanging on the rear view mirror,  an Army shirt is folded in the back seat, and he cranks up the volume to the last country station his brother was listening to. He sings that his brother would probably punch his arm if he (the brother) saw that tear sliding down his cheek. It's poignant and emotions run deep when you listen to this... Lee Brice sings that everybody has their way of coping (with death) and his way is by driving his brother's truck. 

Then there's this beautiful song called 'Don't believe everything you think' where the girl thinks that her guy is not the commitment type and wonders whether he will ever be able to settle down with her. To this Lee Brice croons, telling her to reel her wild imagination right back in cause he might have a ring in his pocket right now and that she shouldn't believe everything she thinks... too cute for words. Then there's an incredible song about friendship where they sit around relaying old stories about late night rides and the fights, the girls they hung out with, and all the talks they had on old dirt roads that somehow changed their lives and he ends the chorus with 'Here's to the nights we don't remember and the friends we won't forget'. How true is that...

This is one fine album, there are many other nice tracks like 'See about a girl', 'Seven days a Thousand times', 'Life off my years' and another favourite of mine 'Hard to Love'. I really love this guy, you should see his live performances... he really gets into the song, and the effect is incredible. This cuddly bear of a man smiling and strumming away on his guitar, a devastating combination.


No one's probably gonna read this far... unless they happen to be a crazy country music fan like me. I just thought you should know that Lee Brice is one of the best entertainers out there, and such really talented ones are like warm rays of sunshine... they soothe the soul. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Paperback binding...

You all probably know bout my sister's wedding that took place earlier this month, that's what the past few posts have been about. And now she, my little sister... all grown up has crossed horizons and oceans to reach the land of Luke Bryan, Chris Young, Easton Corbin, Lee Brice and Jake Owen... okay, I just wanted to write their names. So anyway, she was the one I could yap away to, incessantly at times. She could read me pretty well, she knew when I was fake laughing, she could figure out when I say something and mean something else... she is like the paperback binding to my book. She is the cover, the adventurous sort, the colourful exterior that grips your attention and I am like the pages, full of content that nobody gets except a fortunate few (not very humble, am I...) who take the time to flip through the story. She pulls people in, makes friends easily... I hang back in my world, talking to characters and other people I am really comfortable with. I guess that's how one of my best buddies Jude felt too, he is sort of an introvert like me... and when he saw my interesting  binding, he took it. So bro, take good care of my binding, she'll make your life exciting and colourful.

Apart from being my binding, she has been my 
  • coast clearer (she informs me when there are people in the area, people to avoid)
  • TV guide 
  • window shopping companion
  • Columbus partner (we explore new places together)
  • ransack partner (the way we shop, we search high and low till we find the stuff that speaks to us)
  • snickering/giggling companion
  • Relative bearing sidekick
  • Sounding board (I ask her opinion on lots of stuff)
  • Makeup artiste (she is the stylish one, she knows which lip gloss to use and I always borrow her stuff)
  • My only audience (when I'm in rockstar mood and belting away like a broken record)
  • Reluctant helper (mostly in the kitchen, she hates it when I order her around)
  • Theater dragger (I'm not much of a theater goer, but she drags me to them often)
  • My constantly varying crush/love memoriser (she remembers everybody I've ever liked right from Tom Cruise to my last week's obsession, Adam Levine. Now it's Lee Brice...)
  • Sing along companion (this I like the best, singing along to the radio)
  • Hairstylist (she braids and does my hair in pretty styles)
  • Sitcom companion (these are good times, laughing over funny one liners)
  • And the list goes on...
Here she is with her trademark curls...
The four of us...
That's us... 

One of the hairstyles she tried recently on me...

And now I've become her ingredient identifier, she just rang up from the supermarket asking what flour she should buy to make chapathi... and life goes on, as entertaining as before.