Friday, November 22, 2013

Gadget sensibility

A short trip in the Singapore MRT can leave one wondering at how much the 'new gen' depends on gadgets. Most of them are used for listening to songs or watching videos or playing games. There is rarely anyone in conversation with the person sitting next to them. On one hand, it seems very dull and monotonous to me. I quickly jump to what I know best - I think of a similar situation in India and conclude that life in India is filled with much more energy and emotions than in Singapore. Of late, I have been training myself to get rid of the bias and think more objectively. In Chennai, the train atmosphere would be clamorous (mostly the engine noise and the rest from jostling, gossiping and griping) and interesting (to observe the antics of beggars and peddlars).  Hardly anything to be proud of.

Coming back to gadgets - when I prefer loneliness to company, I depend on my Ipod. We now have a stable relationship that can almost always rescue me from any 'soup' mood. Here are some albums and playlists and what they mean to me...

Ilayaraja playlist - It has been growing ever since I created it a couple of years ago. It started out with just 10 songs and now it has 155. I belong more to the ARR gen than to IR's. My appreciation of IR's genius can only stem from the musical sensibility that I've developed over years listening to the likes of ARR, Vidhyasagar and YSR. When I listen to Ilaiyaraja's oldies, I have to put up with a below-average sound-recording quality from the ages. But of course,  it's more than a fair tradeoff for the lovely Tamil lyrics ringing with such clarity in my ears in the purest of tunes - not much ado about them. This playlist is a perfect platter of simple and yet delectable songs. Just what the mind needs when the nerves are wrecked and when digital hullabaloo would be the last thing I would want to hear.

Jogging playlist - all the favourite upbeat songs that can make the legs move faster.

Mariyaan - I was hooked on to this album during my Europe trip. It sounded more divine as it linked me to home from that other world. When I listen to it now, it takes me to Barcelona and my beloved friends there.

ARR's Coke studio Magic : 'Zariyaa' and 'Naan yen pirandhen' - These were on loop when I was resting in the tent or awing at the view from 2700m on Rinjani. ARR weaving together talents from different parts of the world, making new sounds with exotic instruments. I felt on top of the world. When I listen to the 2 songs now, I can almost relive those moments.

Why am I rambling pointlessly now? Well, going back to gadgets - if this is the kind of relationship people develop with whatever gadget they are addicted to, I don't blame them. However, I can work on the most serious experiment/analysis or even reading and writing with the Ipod gently playing in my ears.  It more often pushes me to work than not. The same does not hold true for other gadgets. Addictions to games and videos suck ones time, weaken relationships and are ultimately depressing.