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Friday, February 15, 2013

A glorious morning

Lavona Areghini and her husband Jim were, apart from Arthur and Bernice Lundh, my finest hosts while I was touring Arizona on a Rotary club-sponsored trip back in the summer of 1991. She kept up a correspondence via snail mail (kids of the current generation will find this incredible) for years after that. Then this year she found me on the internet, God bless her soul. She’s now 84, but still feisty enough to drive a new car home alone on a dark rainy night.

This morning I found this YouTube link from her in my email inbox. Many thanks, Lavona. I truly can’t have enough of it. I shall in return draw your attention to The Interview with God, which is there on my blog roll, as well as two posts I wrote quite some time ago: Look, for heaven’s sake look! and The Sense of Wonder.

So I guess you sent the link to the right person. And thanks to you, several hundred people are going to have a very edifying experience via this blog…

[P.S.: If readers want to search for any older post of mine by title, I recommend the search bar on the top left hand corner of this blog]


Rajdeep said...

That's wonderful and rare!

I saw the video on TED page. Really nice one. Thank you for sharing it.

Shilpi said...

This is a “glorious morning” post – with all those connections: little recollections, your hostess who’s kept in touch with you via snail mail (this deserves a standing ovation) and finds you on the net (!),old blogposts, and the weblink of the photographer’s video. I can’t help commenting on a few mixed things, which touched me (made me wonder?):

- That little bee buzzin’ and being covered with dusty pollen.
- The odd, bruised, prickly, gawky, green (with envy?) strawberry maturing and blossoming into a blushing bright red one.
- His bit on “Time and sense of wonder”: made me go and read your essay “On Time” (descriptors don’t work for this one) in your book for Pupu again. There are two snippets from that essay on your blog, which I keep recommending like some stuck recorder (‘Speed’ and ‘What is eternal?’).
- It was good revisiting three old blogposts. I didn’t remember the one titled “Look…” (always makes me feel somewhat guilty, this one). Your “Sense of wonder” one is always a pleasure to re-visit (it was interesting scanning the comments too, and Abhirup’s comment actually made me let out a pleasant exclamation on 2 counts). Your one on Arthur Lundh (they closed down the museum at Fighter Ace Ave., sadly enough – I found out last year in Summer) makes me want to ask you more questions, as usual, so I guess I’ll save them carefully for someday.
- “Beauty and seduction…nature’s survival tools: for we protect that which we fall in love” (made me wonder: is this why writers with their romantic imagination compare nature and women? Although it makes me wonder why nature can’t be compared to men and vice-versa more often. Come to think of it – they were in ancient Indian and Greek mythology. I’m sure different parts of nature can and should be…).
- The photographer’s bit on “Oh, My, God” made me smile suddenly. I do use that a fair bit but I never quite consciously thought over it until I was one day asked the question, “Why did you say, ‘Oh, my God’?”
- The old man in his little video is somewhat like you for he says what you do about living like this is our first day and last day on earth…and uses some very clear markers of civilization. I do think though that it’s well nigh impossible to be joyous about the weather when it gets to be a furnace with no relief, and at the same time I do think that people here with homes and clothes simply complain too much about the weather.
- The little girl makes me ask you whether the horde of laughing school-children here – from 22 years ago – who were fighting to get on your lap during a picture-taking session were about the same age? The little child is a little like you too…I was sure and was worrying for a second that she would say “mental” when she suddenly said “imagination”.
- The photographer really is talking of but one particular form (manifestation?) of Tat Tvam Asi…took me by surprise actually.
- His fairly decent picture on the joys of skinny dipping made me chuckle.
- Sort of shows that individuals who do something while seeing what is important and can sense the inter-connections and do what they do with directed passion and devotion and love are the ones who play the game really well and share what is priceless…
- I couldn’t help wondering whether pompous or mutated or envious sods stuck-in-a-rut (and even when they could make choices and had somebody telling them about alternatives) can ever feel this sense of wonder in 100 lifetimes…

God be thanked you got the youtube link in your inbox from your spunky friend (I feel brave just walking on a dark, rainy evening), and shared it through your post. I had to sing all the songs I know last night while sitting on the heat vent – it’s a wonder that my neighbours didn’t come knocking on my door telling me to pipe it down.

P.S: Oh. You really could have put up a picture of Lavona Areghini, her husband and you along with from the time you were here!

Debarshi Saha said...

Respected Sir,

Warm regards.Wonderful,and very lovely video,Sir.I had an epiphany of sorts viewing it:

-Just like time-lapse photography,Beauty,of the timeless sort requires infinite patience to nurture.But,an object or being of beauty is a joy forever.

-All great things are supremely simple,yet yield themselves to interpretation of confusing complexity.They emphasize the 'minimum-design' approach,yet are the finest works of art to be seen.

-Why were we given vision,Sir?To live,yes;and also to herald the surreal creations of our Maker.

-Love and care are all we need;not materialism of the grossest sort.This principle is also followed by Nature wherein too much of any ingredient of growth can stunt progress altogether.

-After all this time,I think I now begin to appreciate the significance of Robert Frost's verses."My job in living is to unite..My vocation and my avocation." True,so true-yet so difficult to do at times.But,only then is truly great work produced.You,Sir,have been saying these words to me ever since I started corresponding with you-and the very great urgency and truth of the words came home to me once again.

-Your lines are perfectly in unison with the message here-"Imagine a young Newton trying to work out one of those famous equations of motion or Wordsworth thinking up Daffodils or Bach composing one of his gems while answering the cellphone while zooming down the highway on a motorbike...." Emphasizes solitude and its need,and patience to lovingly work at one's craft.

Thank you so much,Sir.I thank your friend Mrs. Areghini too for sharing this warmth-filled video with you,and us-Could anything be better use of the Internet?

With best wishes,

Vaishnavi said...

Dear Sir,

Many thanks to your friend Mrs. Areghini and to you for bringing this video to our attention. Perhaps we are lucky to have the visual medium show us what we forget or entirely ignorant about in this age of fast living. To live each day as if it is a gift! We all look at the sky or at flowers or at any natural phenomenon without ever being thankful for the opportunity to see them! To live like the video advises would be no mean feat but how rewarding it would be!


Shilpi said...

I'm wondering now how come not more comments came tumbling in for this one.

Vaishnavi, it's so strange that you'd mention starry skies, flowers and other 'natural phenomena' so close to when I was listening to one song by Tagore over and over (about starry skies,flowers, and priceless love among other things).

...here's one song link by The New Seekers. I thought for long which song link to send with this post - and I'll just stick to the following (you've heard it before Suvro da). I couldn't find my favourite and longer version from the musical.


And one for fun (the vol needs to be a little low for this one)...from one of my still favourite bands (some people simply don't grow up).



Vaishnavi said...

Dear Shilpidi,

I have always wanted to listen to Tagore's songs, now I shall definitely seek them out. Any suggestions? And many thanks for the two links that you have provided; I love U2's Beautiful Day but hasn't heard the other song until now.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

I did expect, given so many visits since this post was put up, that a lot of people would not only feel that delightful glow after watching the video that makes a person truly grateful for just being alive, but write to tell me about it, if only with a line of thanks. If humankind isn't funny, I don't know what is.

Shilpi said...

Hi Vaishnavi, He has a massive range and well, I am almost turning the shade of that strawberry. For one thing, who'd ever have known that somebody might be asking me one day for suggestions for Tagore songs (so thanks)...and secondly, the old man is such a die-hard romantic that for the longest time I couldn't bear hearing his songs till I was 26 and alone.

Here are some links...

"Amar noyono bhulaano ele"

"Ami kebolo shopono"

"Tumi kamon kore gaan koro" (This one actually comes with a translation)

"Fuely fuley dhole dhole"

"Amar Shonaar horeen"

"Mayabono biharini horini" (This one actually comes from one of Suvro da's old posts)

"Shokhi bhabona kaharey boley"

"Darao amar ankhiro aage"

"Ami poth bhola ek pathik eshechhi"

I think you might be able to find translations on-line. A couple of them have been modernized with pop/rock melodies.


...I wonder how you'll find them.

Unknown said...

Dear Sir,

This is a wonderful film indeed: heartwarming narration and stunning visuals. I remember how you would ask of us to 'look' around us and not just see things; for one could see a rainbow in an oil slick.

Much later, I came across 'Ways of Seeing' by John Berger. Humbled, I read it with a sense of wonder, thinking how much I had missed, even as a student of literature.

On another note, you must feel blessed to be able to connect so well with Lavona, Jim, Arthur, and Bernice, as well as with much younger students!

Three cheers to the blog, for bringing so many together!

With regards,


Subhadip Dutta said...

I apologize for commenting on this post so late, Sir. But trust me, I had been thinking of what to write for this one. I do not have a vocabulary that is good enough to describe the video.

For the man who created the video, I just wonder in amazement at his sheer love and the patience that this love for Nature has grown in him. I am not qualified enough to admire him, I can just wonder!

And for Mother Nature herself, I believe, no one is qualified enough to admire her - she only deserves wonder, nothing else, the reason primarily being we understand too little of her!

I was just amazed Sir after watching this video, and seriously did not find words good enough to describe it. Sorry for this delayed comment.

-- Subhadip.

Abhik Chatterjee said...

Dear Sir,
I haven't watched anything like this ever before. Learnt a new way to welcome each day of my life.
With regards,
Abhik Chatterjee.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thanks for commenting, all. I am sure that a very large number of people felt the same way, only they were too lazy to write a line saying 'thank you'.