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03 October 2017

Las Vegas shooting

WHAT HAPPENED in Las Vegas is totally heartbreaking. Those concertgoers experiencing the simple joy of live music didn't deserve such an abruptly horrific ending. My prayerful thoughts are with them and their families.

28 September 2017

FOCAL POINT : Jose Garcia Villa, "Lyric 17"

IN WHAT is probably one the most metaphorical poems ever, Philippine National Artist Jose Garcia Villa (1908-1997) provides a beautiful sonnet to romance . . . and to the art of poetry.

First, a poem must be magical,
Then musical as a sea-gull.
It must be a brightness moving
And hold secret a bird's flowering.
It must be slender as a bell,
And it must hold fire as well.
It must have the wisdom of bows
And it must kneel like a rose.
It must be able to hear
The luminance of dove and deer.
It must be able to hide
What it seeks, like a bride.
And over all I would like to hover
God, smiling from the poem's cover.

Happy National Poetry Day, everyone!

25 September 2017

Pluto in the house!

PLUTO IS a new resident in my house, and he has something important to say.

Welcome home, you furry Pekingese you!

18 September 2017

Ladder for the soul

AT THE office, I was playing seventies film music from composer Henry Mancini (1924-1994) when a younger colleague entered my cabin. She lingered and expressed how good she felt listening to the sound. Most of the music she has hearing was recorded way before she--and probably even her parents--were born, so I could imagine the positive effect this "new sound" would have been putting on her.

Once more, music has proven itself to being "a ladder for the soul".

19 August 2017

EPITAPH : Nandini Sethuraman (1966-2017)

TEN YEARS ago this week, a saree-clad lady with the most beautiful eyelashes and most sonorous high heels clip-clopped into my Spencer's Retail office and introduced herself as Nandini Sethuraman. Thus began countless days and few nights of gleeful conversations over private labels, expatriate life in Kolkata, and why 42 was the new 30. Those discussions were often spiked by reverberating laughter that always threatened global peace down the office hallways.

It is this resonance of personality that kept me from processing the shocking news of Nandini's death today. Mercifully, as time turns on its heels (with the same sound as Nandini's stilettos), it is the same ebullience that will keep her in beautiful memory for a very long time. So long for now, Nandini. You still owe me that Canadian pork recipe.

18 August 2017

EPITAPH : Neha Suchak-Gaba (1982-2017)

TEN YEARS ago, as Neha Suchak was about to become Mrs. Neha Gaba, I pulled her aside and quietly sang her the gentle ballad "For All We Know" by the Carpenters. The propriety of a boss serenading his teammate was farthest from my mind on that day. Singing to Neha on the most special moment of her life was my way of showing how much I valued her as a melodic-minded artist. She passed away late last night, and I take comfort in knowing how much radiance she shone on those around her during her young, gifted life. Farewell for now, Neha.

10 July 2017

FOCAL POINT : Barbra Streisand, "The Actress Who Sings"

SHE FAMOUSLY said that she's "an actress who sings" . . . and this is possibly one of the most underwhelming statements from any iconic artist, ever. Like Frank Sinatra before her, Barbra Streisand is, first and foremost, a musician. Her vocal gifts and musicianship have shaped and perfected her many outputs in recording and live performances, and on stage, television, and film. My attempt with this video is to show exactly how this has happened in her long, fruitful career as an actress who, by the way, sings.

Where where you when these songs, shows, and films touched you?

18 June 2017

Father's Day

FIFTEEN YEARS after Papa passed away, his discipline, love of music, and superlative culinary skills live on in his sons. They're men I admire as allies, confidantes, and amazing uncles to my nephews and nieces. Happy father's day to my five brothers . . . and to all brothers in the world!

13 May 2017

Mother's Day

NINETEEN YEARS after Mama passed away, her love, beauty, and laughter endure in her five daughters. They're my sisters by root and champions by heart. Happy mother's day to my sisters . . . and to all sisters in the world!