The lions of Odesa are a reminder of the ravages of war as it looms over Ukraine.
Odesa (single ‘s’ in Ukrainian) on the Black Sea shore of South-Western Ukraine is the country’s largest port city. About 300 km away, as I write this, the capital city of Kyiv (changed from the earlier Russian Kiev) is surrounded by Russian troops. It reminded me of the lions of Odesa in the classic montage sequence of Eisenstein’s 1925 film, Battleship Potemkin, one of the greatest ever made. Based on a real-life event of 1905, the crew of the battleship had staged a mutiny against their officers. The citizenry of Odesa was welcoming the ship and its crew with cheers and supplies sent on boats. Continue reading “The Lions of Odesa”
My earliest recollection of listening to a music concert was sometime in 1966 or 1967. I was about five or six years old. The occasion was the inauguration of a temple built by FACT, which was set up in 1943 and is the oldest fertilizer company in India. My father was there on deputation for a second term, this time to set up the Ambalamedu Division of the company, near Kochi. When the land was acquired, one or two villages were displaced, which became the subject of a famous short story, Sakshi, by T. Padmanabhan, celebrated Malayalam celebrated short story writer, who wrote the story after six years of enigmatic silence. Continue reading “Forgotten musicians: Mysore B.S. Raja Iyengar”
This article was first published in Business Standard on 16 March 2013. It is a comment on the controversy around the lullaby in the film Life of Pi. It was alleged that the lullaby was plagiarised from a 200-years old lullaby in Malayalam, composed by Irayimman Thampi in 1813 on the occasion of the birth of his nephew, Swati Tirunal, already anointed the ruler of Travancore. The original lullaby continues to be very popular even today in the State of Kerala, India, where Malayalam is spoken. Continue reading “A Case of Two Lullabies”