Posts Tagged ‘Deja Vu’

Synchronicity with music

January 28, 2013

I check e-mail (gmail) once or twice a day. After going through my mails I often check the tab on Google Reader to see if there are any updates. I have subscribed to the content of several academic journals, magazines, blogs and comic strips. Usually, I read through only one or two of these, so there will always be a huge backlog. But the other day I happened to read a friend’s blog where he mentioned an artist (vocal) of  the Hindustani Classical genre, Pandit Venkatesh Kumar, and linked this article that appreciates him. It caught my interest. I had not heard about this artist as the article rightly pointed out about him being not famous. But now I wanted to listen to his music. I live close by a Univ. campus where music concerts are not uncommon.  So I checked their website and was pleasantly surprised. His concert was due the very next day at a time that was suitable to me! Needless to say, I attended the concert and was impressed. He has an amazing voice and range. Unfortunately, the concert was arranged only for 2 hours.  I dare say that going by traditional concert times he would have just warmed up. There was no doubt in my mind that had it been an all night concert, like a traditional concert would have been, he would have dazzled us with his full potential.

Pt. Venkatesh Kumar (center) supported on Tabla by Ravindra Yavagal and on Harmonium by R. Katoti.Apologies for the blurry picture. I could afford only this picture with my mobile.

Pt. Venkatesh Kumar (center) with R. Yavagal (to his right) for Tabla &  R. Katoti (left) for Harmonium. Apologies for the blurry picture. I could afford only this picture with mobile camera from my seat.

Those familiar with Julia Cameron’s book Artists Way know that she believes those who undertake the 3 week course experience synchronicity. At the end of every week, in the Tasks or in the Check-In’s we are asked to write down the synchronicity that we experienced. Synchronicity did happen to me on several occasions earlier (for e.g. see here) i.e. before I knew about the Artists Way. Then I use to think about it as a kind of Deja Vu. Music being closer to my heart, the urge to describe this particular synchronicity was greater

This got me thinking and I googled synchronicity to learn more. Interestingly, I came across another word that encapsulates this phenomenon. It is Pratityaya Samutpada (Sanskrit).  Pratityaya means interdependence. Samutpada means co-arising. So Pratityaya Samutpada means interdependent co-arising. It is a concept in Buddhism and in lay terms it means that things arise depending on more than one reason or condition. It makes fascinating reading. Wikipedia has more on this including excerpts from the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. But I leave you with this picture that I took at one of the monasteries in Ladakh.

Wheel Of Life or BhavaChakra. Probably, from the Thiksey Monastery.

Wheel Of Life or BhavaChakra.
Probably, from the Thiksey Monastery.

The Bhavachakra(Wheel of Life) depicts the twelve chain of causes that lead to other causes: dependent-arising.

R.D. Burman and Aung San Suu Kyi

August 25, 2012

The talent show Indian Idol in a recent episode had the top 10 (or was it top 7) candidates sing the songs composed by the great music director R.D. Burman. It was a treat. But my mind distracted to wonder which part of India did the Burman’s come from. I had the impression that he was a Bengali but then i had also heard that his father S.D. Burman, another great music director, was from Manipur. I didn’t bother to give that more thought and left it at that like we normally do for the millions of thoughts that cross our minds.

Incidentally, I picked up the book ‘Dancing in Cambodia, At Large in Burma‘ by Amitav Ghosh from the Eloor library.  It is a very interesting anthology which has a combination of history, travel and journalism. In the piece, ‘At Large in Burma’ i got to know that Burma (now known as Myanmar) consists of many ethnic groups: Burmese, Karen, Rakine, Shan, Mon, and many smaller groups. The Burmese i.e. the Burmans  are the largest of them. General Aung San, a Burman, played a major role in securing independence from the Japanese and the allied forces  and was head of the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League that emerged victorious in the elections held in 1947. He was widely believed to take over Burma’s leadership from the British in 1948. However, this did not happen because of his assassination.  The well known pro-democracy leader and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi is his daughter. She was 2 when he was assassinated.

So it is likely that R.D. Burman’s forefathers might have come from Burma.  After all Burma shares a border with India and as the author mentions elsewhere Calcutta is closer to cities in Burma: Rangoon or Mandalay, than to Delhi.

Its strange. I just thought about it yesterday!

June 6, 2012

dejavuThe other day i visited a temple and saw a swamiji (monk) distributing prasad. After distributing prasad for a while he walked to the shrine when i noticed him limp. His right leg had swollen abnormally; he had encephalitis.  Today i was reading up news and came across the news item that talked about the number of occurrences of encephalitis in Bihar.  This happens to me very often. I did not find exact word that can describe it but its something like Deja Vous. I was wondering if there is something special about it until i read this article on the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. This article demystifies it by explaining clearly the reason behind it.  Brain is a pattern recognition engine and promotes the information that is repeated because that begins a sequence. For more read the article; it is an interesting read.

Here is another article about it. Apparently, a linguistic Prof. at Stanford, Arnold Zwicky, first termed this phenomenon as ‘frequency illusion’. Baader-Meinhof  was a west-German left wing militant group and has got nothing to the phenomenon per se. It’s strange of the wrong names catch on.


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