Silhouettes

In the silhouette of a tree, I heard its cry. Greens and browns to gray; it told me how those metal boxes that whiz past it leave their marks by the thousands, millions of tiny gray particles settling on its body each day. If it could cough it would, but a sigh is all it can muster now.

In the silhouette of a child, I saw her tears. The refugee camp had taken its toll on her, the violence changing her organs, the shock scarring her mind. They told her “God is truth” before raping her innocence but the only truth she knew was that men are monsters and that God has probably never glanced her way.

In the silhouette of a dancer, I saw the pain behind the grace, the blood behind the beauty, how the muscles as they convoluted, were stretched and forced to conform to a set pattern of what they called a beautiful demonstration of liberation; but liberty for whom?

In the silhouette of a waterfall, I heard its anger. They dump waste, carcasses, chemicals upstream, the water carrying it unwillingly downstream, to pollute the rest of its brethren.

But between the silhouettes, maybe, there will be light.

Why Post Rock is Underrated

I don’t know too many people that feel this way but I know quite a few who do; I’m speaking of the feeling of watching a movie based on a novel. The movie can never compare to the novel, at least in my opinion. When you read the novel, you set the landscape, the characters, no matter how detailed a description has been given in the book, it’s going to be you who decides what the story looks like. You decide what colour the light is, what exact shade of green the author is talking about, how the wrinkles on the older characters remind you of your grandparents. Hermione didn’t look like Emma Watson in my head, Robert Langdon never resembled Tom Hanks. When I watched the movies, I felt kind of cut off from them, as though I was seeing fleeting parts of the novels the way they look in someone else’s head. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t something I could feel for; they were a passive form of entertainment, something that I wouldn’t go back to, the way I’d devour the novels over and over again.

Post rock is the novel. Rock and roll is the well-directed movie, the one you’d like to watch when you’re curled up on the couch after a long day. EDM is the genre I’d just avoid altogether, like those over-hyped, over-advertised movies that leave you disappointed because the trailer turned out to be better than the full-length thing. I love how almost all post rock is instrumental, how they just don’t bother with the human voice, how it makes you realize the insignificance of our species. Classical has too much structure, it is beautiful but in the way you’d call a well-groomed, well-to-do woman, beautiful. Post rock is beautiful the way your girl-next-door with no makeup is when she’s fully absorbed in her craft, eyes wide and focused, hands poised, hair astray and mind working overtime with a pencil in her mouth. She’s more relatable, has more depth. You can empathize with her difficulties, her struggles and see how strong and beautiful she is through her character. Lady Classical however, leaves you admiring her from a distance, a beauty that’s practiced to perfection, out of your league, carefully manicured and maintained, few struggles in life, always in the care of some man with a sharp mind. With no craft to speak of and no dramatic story to her life, she’s someone you’d get bored of after a few hours of listening to her. The man says vivace, she runs fast, but always in dainty little steps; the man says lento, she slows down to a waltz, timed to the tick of the metronome. Classical is the mandatory reading on your high school literature class reading list, Julius Caesar’s arms conducting the symphony.

I love how post rock has weaved its own space in the music world, albeit with lesser fans. Where’s the music video? Where’s the twerking or the lead singer that’s stoned out of his mind? Where are all the supermodels and rich kid parties, clubhouses and big titties? There is something so classy about post rock that parallels the likes of Bach and Chopin. Something crazy and rebellious about it like Prokofiev, playful like Debussy and genius like Mozart. There’s something dark about it like Dream Theater; something violent about it like Avenged Sevenfold; something meaningful like Guns and Roses. It’s not about love stories and heartbreak, it’s about everything. Everything that the world encompasses and you can fill the music with your own lyrics, your own thoughts, shaping them like a forest, towering above the oceans. It’s your landscape to paint, the music gives you the mood, sets a background score. It’s a beautifully underrated genre. I wish I could say more but I do not want to bore you. Here’s a list of albums to start off with, I think YouTube shall do a better job than me at providing recommendations after you listen to these (these are in no particular order; I’d recommend the band ‘Break my Fucking Sky’ to start off with) :

  1. Take Care, Take Care, Take Care – Explosions in the Sky
  2. Eviscerate Soul – Break My Fucking Sky
  3. All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone – Explosions in the Sky
  4. The Bones of a Dying World – If These Trees Could Talk
  5. All Is Violent, All Is Bright – God is an Astronaut
  6. The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place – Explosions in the Sky
  7. Not All Who Wander Are Lost – Paint The Sky Red
  8. In Silence We Yearn – Oh Hiroshima
  9. Circles – Degree of Arc

(I have a soft spot for ‘Paint The Sky Red’; they’re from Singapore)

 

 

Even If

(A self poet-rait)

Even if my butt is a little droopy
and my thighs are a little wobbly

Even if my hair is too frizzy
and my eyes look tiny

Even if one tooth is missing
and one ear is sticking out

Even if one eyebrow is arched
and the other not so much

Even if I squint when I smile
and snort when I laugh

Even if I’m shorter than 5’6″
and prefer comics to picnics

Even if I’m not your image of
what it means to be ‘Woman’

I like me. Very much.

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Photography: @meformeraki (follow her on meformeraki.wordpress.com)

11.

11 October. International day of the girl child. My birthday. And Shraddha’s. Mumbai.

Dadar.  Crowds. Grandmama’s Cafe. Mac & Cheese. Spaghetti Bolognaise. Cafe Mocha. Apple Tart. Cute things. Vintage bubble. Shiny blue couch. Ketchup in a cycle. Couchsurfer. SMIT. Too cool for us. Mount Mary Steps. Smit’s tattoos and Marlboros. His side business. Mehendi and makeup brushes. Pretty lights, white curtains and pink walls. Salsa music. Our Toblerone. Their big copper mugs and Old Monk. His macbook and the drinks cabinet. Walking down Linking Road. Skipping the Bar Stock Exchange (bad idea). There’s always a next time. Scary bouncer at Bonobo + underage Shreds. Monkey Bar. Copper monkey (100 Pipers). Ginger Rogers and a lemon. Tipsy me. Guy smiling. Muppet with a flower pot on her head. Cheesy fries. Stumbling out. 11.45 pm. The Boston Cupcakery. Cafe Americano. Red Velvet and something chocolatey. Candles on cupcakes. Smit’s toothbrush. No cigs. MAO. Gnarrrrr. Dimonds are forever. God Save the Queen. Ahem. Jack. Baa baa black sheep with your left hand and Spade. Chain kulegi mein kulegi chain 7. While. Rohan drunk and stupid. No sleep. Morning light. XVII. Without Louis. Blueberry teacake. Dutch pancakes and sprinkled almonds. Mango lemongrass iced tea. My sotally tober face. Slightly hungover. Tofu omelette. Left Smit. Sidewalks of the world. Kreafunk speakers. Joey’s pizza. Sanghvi. Hard Rock Cafe. Watson. His wink. Signature Hurricane. Me fairly tipsy again. Watson likes my music taste. Talking about piano. Cafe tour. Hands too tiny for Yoko Ono’s bracelet. John Lennon’s robe. Gene Simmon’s Axe guitar. Tina Turner’s sparkly dress from Ike. Creed. Clint Eastwood. System of a Down. Jimi. KISS. Led Zep. Skid Rock. Billy’s vest. No Doubt’s trumpet. The napkin dispenser. AC/DC. Metallica. Megadeath. Thinking of Alan. The shots and the little birthday plate. Me speaking gibberish. Coffee again. Peeing at McD. Me sober again. Flying Ranee.

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Walmart and Temples.

It’s got all the works of a temple, replete with the overzealous decoration: statues and sculptures that stand as odes to corporate propaganda, marketing poison to the masses, wrapped up nicely and promoted with the latest in marketing jargon. Just as temples amass millions from donations, just as the faithful and the devout hope their money will bring God closer to them, the overfed consumer hopes for happiness at the bottom of a Reese’s cup, filling his cart with products which in another life, he couldn’t have afforded: the cost of mining the raw materials, by kids in eastern Sudan, wide-eyed, pot-bellied, their ribs peeping through their skin as they work for less than a fraction of the minimum wage he complains of; the pennies paid to the sweatshop workers in Guangzhou; the truck drivers’ salaries and the cost of the petrol; the years, days, hours, minutes and seconds and the miles and change of currencies it took for those items to land conveniently in his little suburb in downtown Minnesota. Thinking before you buy is after all, ‘so overrated’.