Nothing: Part 9

The cold persists in its stuffy, congested form. Making it difficult for me to practice Raag Deshkar without getting out of breath. But there’s still a couple of months to go before the concert. Perhaps my rendition will be acceptable and presentable by then.

The holidays have passed. Monday is knocking. I’ll probably be the only one at work with everyone else on an extended vacation. There will be peace and quiet everywhere. So much peace, so much quiet spilling over from the peace and quiet at home. Why don’t peace and quiet go to those who crave it? I have never wanted it and have always had too much of it. My vocal chords rust and my ear drums don’t vibrate much. Or at least not with the kinds of sounds I want to absorb, the sounds of pleasant, meaningful, enlightening conversations and uplifting music.

I’ve spent the last four days in one room or another of the house and have gone out to see movies when I couldn’t take the incessant TV watching and being indoors, hearing the wind rustle and rattle my home and the rain streak my windows as the sun failed to rise.

I wish I could have used the time to write something meaningful but I am still languishing in nothingness.

Some ideas, concerns or notions do take firm hold when one doesn’t have too much else to think about, or when the things one needs to think about are rather depressing like l’argent and how all drudgery stems from the need to not just think about it but do something about it.

So the thought that grabbed a firm hold this time originated with a comment proffered so casually by a TV personality on a VH1 program which was counting down the top 100 songs of the 1990s. Somewhere, sitting comfortably, in the middle of the list was Cher’s song: Do You Believe In Life After Love.

Clinton Kelly, from the show What Not To Wear was being interviewed about the song. He liked the song and he prefaced his opinion on it with the following comment referring to Cher’s age at the time she recorded this song:

“How does a 52 year old woman make herself relevant?”

This comment was uttered so casually, in such a matter of fact manner, as if it were a given, in the perception of most people, that a fifty-two year old woman slides into irrelevance. She is not on anyone’s radar screen, isn’t expected to be in the limelight. She is unremembered, unnecessary, unseen and unheard.

There was a similar theme to this day almost from the moment I woke up. When I wake up in the morning I usually log in to my computer. The gossip that greeted me this morning was about actress Susan Sarandon who had just broken up with her partner of 23 years, Tim Robbins. The gossip columnists were speculating if Sarandon, probably in her fifties, was dating a 31 year old. I read this piece of gossip aloud to my husband and his comment was, “Wow! Isn’t that unnatural? What does a woman her age stand to gain from a relationship like this?”

My husband loves to get a rise out of me in matters such as this. So I decided not to let myself be aggravated by him. But I wondered again about the light in which women of a certain age are perceived by the world, not just by other men but other women as well.

Later in the day I was chatting with a friend who teaches. She was telling me about her disappointment at not being invited to a function where a young and dynamic Indian leader was going to address students and teachers but had requested that the only teachers who were to be present were to be less than the age of thirty five; perceived irrelevance strikes again!

The thought is depressing. I want to rail against this perception but what good would the railing do? It is unfortunate that it exists and that those of us who feel the need to rail and rage against it need to fight it with all we’ve got, until the time that such an utterance becomes unheard of.

Meanwhile, two of the brilliantly enacted and directed movies I saw were Up in the Air, starring George Clooney and the musical Nine, starring Daniel Day Lewis and nine gorgeous women.

The two movies seemed to address, in some ways, the male irrelevance. Men examining the point in life in which they find themselves. In Nine Nicole Kidman’s character – Claudia – who plays Maestro Guido Contini’s (Daniel Day Lewis portraying a film director) muse. When Guido is talking to her about the women who shape the man through every stage in his life, fueling his ambition, helping him reach the highest of heights, she reacts by saying she would rather be the man.

I thought that was brilliant! Of course, let a man be our muse for a change!

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