Thursday, February 12, 2015

Having My Sails Slapped... this time by the Sound of Drums




“You can’t direct the wind but you can adjust the sails.” ~ Anonymous

In a way i call myself a seeker. For i always have questions and i need simple answers not something that sails over my head. i need someone who can adjust my sails which seeks directions too.

i know Hindus believe in reincarnation and Karma but i am also a strong believer of ' NOW'. i don't care what i did in the past or how i came about in this form from a before life but as of now i am here and i live nurturing not much ill-will but yeah bearing a few grudges here and there which is but natural for the trespasses done on me but overall am clean. Harmless. Yeah that's the word.
It matters now more than ever to co-exist and be harmless.

i have read and i presume most would've like me read it too but i wonder how many want answers as to why Guru Dronacharya asked for Eklavya's thumb as Gurudakshina in the great epic Mahabharata.
Not the answer we all have but the answer that evades us.
Of course we all know it was about no one being able to surpass Dronacharya's own favorite Arjuna and also that Eklavya was a 'lowcaste' and archery ( plus all the skills of warfare) was supposedly reserved for the Kshatriyas, the Warrior Class.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekalavya

Oh i have seen a lot of movies showing a teacher and student relationship. Read stories too. Was a student once then went on to become a teacher myself. The one experience i had as a student which affected me deeply i had it etched so well in my heart that i dared not repeat it myself as a teacher and really i can't tell if i was successful in that for it's for my successful darlings all over the world to decide if i am bragging about it or telling the truth.
Which is- i never had FAVORITES.
Although i must confess however that my own teachers having their own favorites was what actually propelled me from being an average student to being the one whom the class teacher would fondly look to or face smilingly at while addressing the class. i hated school all the time when i was invisible to those i looked up to as soon as i  was seated on to my desk, my teachers. Liking it only not when i became popular because that by God's grace i did not have to make much efforts for ...was born fairly rich with looks to match.
i really started loving and enjoying school only when my name started featuring in the teachers' 'Fond Of ' list.

Around 2002 there was a Hindi movie ' Sur' with some great songs. Starring Great Comedy Actor Mehmood's son who also made it big as a fantastic singer too. Lucky Ali and co starring a new comer Gauri Karnik.  Not a hit movie though but i liked it. Mainly because it depicted a relationship. It tried to show the ' Super Ego' of a teacher also the ' 'Jealousy' that a teacher can have for it's own protege. To the extent of breaking her completely and driving her off to a nunnery where she decides to be as a recluse for the rest of her life. Dead outwardly and dumb inwardly from within her soul vowing never to sing again and thus become a nun.  A living dead as you might say of the one who could compose and sing much more brilliantly than the one who had first beseeched her from her plain, simple but happy surroundings and tried to polish her.
But of course this being a typical Bollywood movie had to have a coming together after intermission scenario. So in this story a 'melody of life' because the movie is about music and those two associated with it the teacher realizes his mistake and finally reconciles with the soon to become nun student who had while learning from the teacher was also shown to have fallen in love with the teacher. They get back together and the story proceeds with him having made her a star and taking on to another young uncertain clay in his hands to mold into one fine porcelain, one who treats him like a God and that's how the happy melodic but a melodramaticThe End happens in ' Sur'.
Want to see it then pls do with English subtitles on You Tube at http://youtu.be/h5vHACpaRUg

Why all this talk...
Guru Dronacharya...student...my teaching...movie...Sur...Melody of life...
Now another movie...
WHIPLASH'
And probably Oscar Nominated too...

Yeah this is where my blog was heading all along.

Yeah Teachers and their teaching methodology...that's where my blog is moving towards and perhaps a little bit more.
i have just seen this movie and  the effect has been profound, poignant, and a lot many i can't express in just one word.
Those words that i will use might seem harangued as much has been said eloquently by many.
And my blog is not a review. i don't excel in reviews rather i excel at nothing i am just here to express and share.

i thought i was seeing a relationship being built up at first. Probably a genius who needs perfection. Then as the story proceeds my own intent gets suspicious till it becomes scathing and i give it up entirely to be nice towards my feeling for such a teacher.
i was seeing a teacher behave not as a potter one who carefully molds and later polishes to brilliance but rather like the psycho devising brutal and abusive means for his next victim as to how best to snuff the life out of a passion so lovingly nurtured. i felt tension built up as the muscles on my face tightened with a frown, then grimace, sometimes wince and even teeth clenching till the jaws hurt and what not as the word B****** with a barrage of others or whatever i could think of started pouring out. Inwardly though for the CONDUCTOR of the prestigious institution where gifted children came to learn. Tears welling more with anger than for the poor plight of the students themselves.
i kept saying why weren't they all just getting up and bashing him up. Why is the story proceeding that way. This is 2015...
Was he so invincible/ intimidating or does art of learning music from a master really make one so soft or is it that yearning/ quest for learning from a fine conductor is so intense so sincere that one is willing to undergo any amount of trauma/ torture. Even today... in the year 2015?
What kind of a teacher would do that i thought to myself...swearing filthy, sometimes slapping hard other times breaking stuff.
Shaking rudely first and then finally succeeding in his evil attempts at yanking it all off... the hard practiced labored love of life.
All in the pretext of bringing the ' BEST' out of the pupil.

What i felt while watching the movie was that i was seeing the same whiplash super ego the same jealousy i saw in 'Sur' of a teacher for a student.
Right from the beginning Fletcher (acted brilliantly by J.K Simmons for bringing that intensity into the movie) knew of Andrew's (Miles Teller) exceptional skills. 
And he was just using his position as a 'Boss' to torture. Was probably giving kicks to his already super bloated with ego depraved soul. Because according to this teacher ' Good Job' is not a great way to encourage a pupil to get the best out of him. According to this teacher in order to ''... push people beyond what is expected of them..." he has to use this instead:

You are a worthless, friendless, faggot-lipped little piece of shit whose mommy left daddy when she figured out he wasn't Eugene O'Neill and who's now weeping and slobbering all over my drum set like a fucking nine-year-old girl! So for the final FATHER FUCKING time... SAY IT LOUDER! ''

My personal Oscar best keeps shuffling as i go ahead with my have watched list. Till yesterday it was "Still Alice' and now it is Whiplash. Hahahahaha. Fickle minded am i...but hey when did i say i am on the jury...and i still have Birdman, American Sniper, Selma, Mr Turner on my have to watch list. So the shuffling will go on and on till Oscar Night although i suspect Theory Of Everything might nail it.

But wait... i am not done yet.
i will not quit without letting all know what else i found worth sharing in this movie 'Whiplash'.
i found Andrew's belief in himself quite an eye-opener. His coolness about being different from the rest and not having a social life so as to speak which the world might look down upon but which he himself did not much care about very inspiring. i got my lesson number ONE.
That particular family dinner scene where he stands up for himself, i felt that very genuine for that's what i presume happens in a typically rich family when all are into big careers and being one from such a family in chasing dreams not really bothered about anything... money or even those comforts that money provides but just hopelessly into one's real passion quite possible. The family having fun at your expense nit picking at the drop of the hat...typical...generally happens even in mediocre families.
This is what Andrew said then on being snubbed as a drummer... "I'd rather die drunk, broke at 34 and have people at a dinner table talk about me than live to be rich and sober at 90 and nobody remembered who I was."
And finally the way the movie ends...boy i was Drum Struck!!. 
Then all that saxophone and jazz. Not that i am a great jazz lover or anything but it felt good. 
Got reminded of my own student a very special one...the only one who played super Saxophone and i called him Mr Gentleman...cause he was one humble of the entire lot of the super rich 'brats' i taught . Wonder where Ajay Rau is now...how he is doing...
His mom is the the founder of the Little Theatre and the entire family is just one of the super talented family i knew as a teacher. 
http://www.thelittletheatreindia.com/

Coming back to Drums from Ajay and his Saxophone never knew that Drums were human and could speak so personal. That apart from it having a great sound a beat that matched our own heart it can really say everything that you would want it to say and also do for you. To a maniac of a teacher who just won't give up in being relentless. And if you are in love with your drums just like Andrew was you don't have to swear or use filthy words even. Your drums will do it for you as the mouth keeps repeating on being warned by a fearful intimidating conductor. " I'll cue you..." Boom- Tick Boom- Tick Dhak - Tak- Dhik -Tak .
Oh gosh!!! i am goose pimply once again just by the thought of that last scene how the movie ends...
Actually it starts too with the practice of the drums...
Tempo one word i know now from the movie...don't know the words what that is called how it starts...but it starts with some beat of the drums...feels like soldiers are getting ready...



That's why not only for THE TEACHER and the TEACHER- STUDENT relationship but for more do brace yourself for this ' WHIPLASH' and hope all imbibe lots from it just like i did and not just some movie to talk about at dinner table.




Do you know the secret of the true scholar? In every man there is something wherein I may learn of him; and in that I am his pupil.  Ralph Waldo Emerson.



                                                                     Image courtesy
                                    http://www.travelzoo.com/local-deals/Chicago/Other/140427

13 comments:

  1. I liked the title of your blog very much.you are right the passion for music was sso deep that the teacher remained alive.I was touched by the last scene when the protaganist feels he cannot get it right and walks out from the show to cry on his fathers shoulder.It was the embrace of faith by his dad that puts him back to perform'whiplash' to perfection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah sis well done for what I missed out on you've supplemented rather completed it. Yeah that part too. Lesson No Two. Maybe I don't mind my blog getting still longer...prolly update it later with this very important no two for all. This time grateful indeed for bringing that up. Thank you and a big big Hug always and not only on this single Hug Day. <3

      Delete
  2. Being a teacher myself, I can relate to your post, Shivani. Many times I have myself pondered over all these things. Believe it or not, one cannot refrain from having favourite students but just for smiles and nods and not to the point of favouring them evidently that other students feel the pain. Never will I resort to that kind of behaviour where another fellow student feels left out. It is unethical. Your instances from films seem a bit scary and exaggerated. Students are all of different types and kinds. Once has to have balance and sensitivity towards every single one.

    Pleasure to stop by after a long time, Shivani.

    Hope you are well and happy.

    Joy always,
    Susan Deborah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Susannah finally...so Gud to see u here. Thank you for words and for stopping by with what elicits a healthy conversation.
      Yeah maybe u and I might not resort to such but trust me my dear friend what u or I see in films as exaggerations and scary is nothing compared to reality because reality is scarier than fiction...stranger yeah but scarier too.
      I have for instance in my life often seen one tuition teacher trash other's abilities...so with music masters. Also all those who teach English literature...I have no qualms in expressing how superior they feel as if they were all Shakespeare...or perhaps the direct descendants. So many and more of super bloated egos have I felt. Now don't pls take it personal. This is not about you or me it's about the teaching profession. And what I actually would like to convey is that a true master is one who is humble and kind. For I personally don't subscribe to teachers who rejoice in their sadistic approach. Remember that film too...3 idiots...the teacher or the princi wants to set the toughest paper to make sure the 3 idiots don't pass. Films sure r exaggerated versions but they have some facts from real life too Susan.
      And I have just expressed my feelings on seeing...what I was not able to express earlier on feeling. Hope u get my drift.
      Thank you for stopping by. Am feeling really nice today . Btw whatts app tells me it's Hug Day...but hugzzz to you blogdost...always. :)

      Delete
    2. :) I saw the film Whiplash and saw how passion can sabotage. But that film was a classic - esp the taklu guy was fabulous.

      Glad to continue this conversation.

      Lots of love and big hugs back, dear Shivani.

      Delete
  3. I read this post yesterday.. did not comment because i was thinking. Today I have come again and RE-Read the post.

    I started my career as a Teacher back in india for 3 years i did that before coming over to uk. and by the grace of god I have made some life long friendships with the kids , its been years and many of them have become big hob nobs BUT i still get a phonecall or a message on my birthday and new years from a lot of them ... and Each time it makes me Happy..

    I am sorry I am not trying to showoff here ...

    Teaching is a beautiful profession, I loved it .. and I am what I am today myself because of all the hard work put by my teachers all those hours spent on me .. its thanks to them that I am where I am ..

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Bikram i appreciate ur respect and adoration for ur teachers. So do i. Was a teacher myself. But just close ur eyes and think about it...if u have a teacher like Fletcher...what would you do.
      Yeah teaching sure is a noble profession nobody is contradicting that. i am just flustered as to why teachers have such huge egos. i am talking about the quintessence here...humility that makes a true scholar. And also Bikram no need to get touchy here...i have no undercurrents in my blog. Have expressed what i felt...as a child...then as a teacher...also as an audience deeply involved in a story...correlating it with some of my own personal experiences here. i haven't said teachers are bad or anything have i ????

      Delete
    2. Oh come on.. I did not wish to give this message from my comment I am sorry if i gavce that ..

      no way was i trying to say there are undercurrents or anything I am just saying about my experience Solely mine.. and was not reflecting to be touchy ..

      I am really sorry if i gave that impression, I shall try to rectify myself and make sure i read my comments twice before I publish.

      Sorry for that .

      Delete
    3. Bikram hey thank God..hahahaha...and I bullied my poor husband who never reads my blogs to read word by word of what I said just to make sure if my blog did unwittingly have one...u know...hahaha undercurrent...so it's kindo even now. I was anxious too if I have messed up on this one...I don't want to you know...but communication is tricky...and I am working on it Bikram so hey let's just chill. Thank you for making me feel valuable...meaning if I say something u respond...that means I do matter...Thank you :) :) :)

      Delete
  4. Nice that you never had favorites.
    Wish all teachers exhibited this. It's terrible & heart-breaking for some kids when the teacher makes it obvious & gives special treatment to their favorites.
    If the favorite is worthy of that attention, well and good. Then, other students can compete & try to emulate the high standards to deserve similar attention! But, sadly, many times teachers' favoritism is because of the social standing or skin colour of the select few students!
    Loved the songs of Sur movie. Haven't watched it. Was aware of the story.
    Must watch Whiplash & Still Alice! You love them so much & I'm sure I'll!

    BTW, I loved Birdman. I shared 5 lessons from the film in my blog too.
    However, I have given away the story in my post. Not advisable for those who wanna watch! :)
    But, some readers wrote that they wanna watch the movie now that they have read my post!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anita saw Birdman too. And now it is the Oscar Winner . But if I had to choose I would be stuck between Still Alice and Whiplash. Maybe I have not seen Birdman with the same intensity...or I was still a bit pissed off. Now I'd better hurry to ur post and see what u have to say. Maybe then watch Birdman again. But hey...that particular dialogue where Sam yells at her father...about him not having fb account or Twitter...it kindo scared me. U think those who don't r not important ...they are invisible...don't exist. Oh Gawd I don't have a Twitter account nor do I intend to...
      Fb I have but I am poor visitor there too...
      Okay i guess I must read ur blog and see how ur and my lessons...if or not they match. Prolly I might find something I might've missed...
      Thank you dear...for bringing me back from somewhere to here. :)

      Delete
    2. And Anita I was still hearing only Drums when I saw Birdman...

      Delete
    3. My pleasure! You don't have to thank me, Shivani :D
      Yes, Sam asks her father to have a Social Media (SM) presence! It's so important in this world! It shows 'power'! I have an FB account, but haven't used it for 3 years now!
      I have a Twitter account and a Blog & 3 email accounts- out of which I use 1 email account! That's for my SM presence! I'm doing fine & so are you! So chill :)

      Delete