The alchemy of sound, the language of the world

(The sound of the Australian aboriginal ‘Didgeridoo’ – from Youtube) 

Goofing off after lunch, I reached Youtube and got into a music-y mood. Wandered through a live version of Sultans of Swing by Knopfler & Clapton, peeked at a Garfunkel number and ended up at an old live concert video of Kishore Kumar.

What is it about Music? Music changes everything. It energises, it touches, it saddens. It makes you reflect, it helps you remember an old flame, it makes you want to jump into a pool, it puts you to sleep. What is this thing called Sound and what is this amazing stuff called Music?

You cannot touch it, you cannot see it, but you sure can feel it. This most primordial of life’s manifestations, the ‘aum’ that triggered life, this astonishing thing called sound. And, set in a particular sequence, it has the power to elevate you, transport you, destroy you. That is music.

There is a kind of hush, all over the world…, sang Karen Carpenter many years ago. But for me, more than ‘a hush’, there is music all over the world. Which is one of the best reasons to wander around. Tuaregs string their sounds in one way, the aborigines in Australia another way, the Khmers yet another way  and the Latvians a completely different way. But whichever way they sequence it, the result is always arresting. That is music and it is clearly the language of the world.

If you want to take a music vacation, Click here>>


Bottoms Up

Recently saw a photo of how earth looks from space. The most interesting aspect of it was that it looked upside down to me. For all of us who have been brought up to believe that the north is ‘on top’, the idea that in reality, there is no ‘top’ for the little ball we call home, does not hold water.

But hold it. Far from being hogwash, it is true. All this ‘north is the top’ nonsense started with the world view of ancient European seafarers who used the North Star and the magnetic compass as critical aids in navigating the oceans.

Now with the south rising and the world rumoured to be getting flatter, cartography clearly needs a serious re-look. But, more importantly from my perspective, any serious traveller should carefully look at a map upside down before travelling. Starting from ‘crazy’ perspectives is a great way to get more from your travels. Here is a map to help you do that.


(map from :

And since Australia goes from ‘Down under’ to ‘Up above’, here are all my posts on Australia & NZ vacations. And just in case you are interested, here are posts on my ‘Dream Vacations’.