Munnar

Munnar

It’s gorgeous over here, its spread across the top of these ranges of mountains and the weathers a lot like Maine weather. On the 8 hour bus ride over here around the winding valleys, I did absolutely nothing but sit by the window and stare. There’s something about being on eye level with clouds, surrounded by nothing but miles and miles of tea plantations and untainted wilderness; with the drops of sunlight filtering through the canopy of trees overhead that makes you forget about every single trouble – almost hypnotizing you, making thought of any kind impossible. The dew hangs like drops of quicksilver from the overhead trees and there is a profusion of wildflowers around each corner. Kerela is called ‘God’s own Country’ and it literally radiates some divine force with its flawless landscapes and breathtaking beauty. The mountains lie in slumber, defining magnificence with not only their mass but how they manage to blend in so perfectly in the background, managing to look so powerful without undermining the scenery around it. Waterfalls crash in deep pools- arising and disappearing from absolute oblivion. The symphony of the whistling trees and the weightless clouds overhead leave little to be desired. Inhaling the brisk air- the mixed smell of tea and wet earth, it feels as though this air alone can cure any sickness. You can almost feel yourself passively absorbing the beauty of this place and holding your breath, afraid to shatter the ungodly perfection that surrounds this place. Each aspect of this place, fits in together like a puzzle- crystal clear and listless. Who says paradise isn’t right here on Earth? The glistening of the drops of sun and the waves softly kissing the shore, murmuring in song makes technology feel oddly out of place in my hand, makes music sound like uncomprehensionable noise and makes it almost impossible to think that the houses we left behind back home is the ‘better’ place. At dusk, standing underneath the blazing sky and staring into the endless mountain ranges makes you feel so small but yet at the same time- a part of something so much bigger. As the last song of the birds overhead slowly dies into the spreading blanket of darkness- it seems to take with it any lingering thoughts and leaves you in a state of absolute bliss; as though saying- until tomorrow.

Beauty as a Force

I recently read on a blog an article called Beauty will save the world.

It was an article about how beauty though maybe not directly, but in the long run is the thing responsible for in fact ‘saving the world’. This article was so beautifully written and executed that it got me thinking of the role beauty plays in our lives.

Beauty can be found in everything. It is present everywhere, concealed in the everyday occurring of our lives. It is present in each glorious sunset and sunrise, in the magnificent thunderstorms, the glistening of water, the tantalizing breeze. It’s in the cell phones in our hands, the key board at my fingertips, the newspapers in our laps- for in these creations I see the beauty in the minds of their inventors who were able to dream, visualize the nonexistent and create from scratch. There is beauty in the world at large, in the ability of people of different cultures, ideologies and mindsets to communicate, to alter each other’s circumstances and lives subconsciously, to coexist every single day, every single time we step outside the house,

Beauty itself does not contribute to our daily survival. Law, medicine, business, engineering are all commendable professions needed to sustain life. But that’s just it. They merely sustain. The ensure existence, mere survival. Beauty however on the other hand, ensures progress and evolution. Creativity is the sole force that propels our world forward. And people create when they are inspired. As writers, we know all too well that one does not simply wake up inspired. Inspiration must be found, sought out either inside or outside; it must be found in beauty.

For me, it is not the brush strokes or the contrast of colors or anything of that nature that inspires me when I look at the works of art by artists like Picasso and Michelangelo. Rather, it is the painting as a whole, the passion, the vibrance, the story, the beauty that serves to inspire me. Artists, be it of any kind, are the makers of society. They take on the role of creationists, they picture that which does not exist, except in the individual’s mind’s eye. They transcend the pit falls of ordinary thought in whose snares the average man falls victim and instead immerse themselves in a world of their own, a device of their own creation. They dare to take on the role of God and create anew. And these creations of theirs are what we call art.

It is by looking at the art, or the ‘creations’ of the Greats that we ordinary people get inspired, inspired by their beauty. When we witness something so magnificently beautiful a lust is awakened within us and we too feel the urge to create something just as beautiful. Beauty inspires beauty, it ignites the dying embers of innovation,  it instills creativity and dares us to think beyond what we know. And it is by daring to think outside the box that new things are created- new methods in medicine, new programs in technology, new theories and amendments in laws. If it weren’t for beauty, there would be no evolution. Generation after generation would be blinding repeating and mimicking their ancestors and the world as we know it would continue in this monotonous pattern.

So here’s to us artists, the creators of the unseen, the flame-bearers of our generation, the illuminati, the driving force the propels this world forward. For in the end, it is indeed beauty that will save this world.

Songs of Ages Past.

The Songs of Ages Past.

So I just spent the last 2 hours with my mom and older sister listening to songs from ages past. Is it just me or are Dean Martin and Engelbert Humperdinck just the sultriest men alive? The grace, the suave, the attitude, the strut is all part of the package. They are the definition of the very word dapper. Their voices however seal the deal. Men like these are conclusive proof that a good voice and a microphone is all you need to make good music. No lights, no effects, no smoke machines- just good-old pure, raw talent. It’s at times like this when I wish I was there to experience the 50’s all the way to the 80’s in its full varsity sweaters, high skirts and milkshake glory. Yes, it was also the time of segregation and yes, there was a nuclear arms race ranging through the world back then but though today’s generation may have have surpassed them in the political sphere, with musical legends like that dominating the scenes back then, they put today’s music industry to shame. Our generation has heard once too often of those Saturday Night radios shows, when entire towns and cities would shut down for hours while everyone glued themselves to their radio and stereo sets.Ranging from The Bee-Jees and The Beatles, to legends like Tom Jones and Simon and Garfunkel, each artists seemed to outdo the other. Their lyrics, among other things are probably one of the key differences between the music of the ‘Golden Ages’ and that of today. Their lyrics are almost pure poetry set to tune, transcending beyond the average talk of heartbreak and relationships that the music industry of today so wholly exploits, and shedding light on the fears and hopes on man, the very essence of humanity. Maybe not all songs of that time do this, but this definitely stands true for the majority of them.

Take the song The Sound of Silence sung by Simon and Garfunkel for instance- this song with its intricate descriptions in the lyrics set to a soft, almost eerily ethereal music that compliments it just so, can literally paint a picture, complete with a setting to the very last detail while also capturing and emitting an emotion, one that this writer is unable to put in worlds, all through a 3 minute song.

I must stay true to my generation and in their defense say that many a songs today also speak of such worldly truths but with all due respect to the music industry of today, I would have to say that songs of today fall drastically short in both material and melody and the heart of this 16 year old girl from India today shall forever lie in in the sublime era of the 50s.

“And the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls..”
– The Sound of Silence
by Simon and Garfunkel.