I Did It My Way

As a part of his vast repertoire of music, Frank Sinatra sang the song My Way. It was written by Paul Anka. I love this song of his. Though I love the song, I never really paid attention to the lyrics until the other day. Earlier I always felt the song was about a person celebrating his successful life and the journey. As I listened to it, I recognised something about it. The person is not only celebrating his success, but he is also taking full responsibility for all his decisions and actions. That part struck a chord with me. How many of us can truly take responsibility for our choices?

It is a common complaint we hear among youth that they have no control over their life. They say that all decisions are made for them, either by others or by situations. I agree that in many of the cases, it is true. We are often under obligation to choose a path, or we are forced by societal norms to be a certain way or coerced by family emotionally to adhere to rules. It would seem that we hardly had a say in the decision.

An old saying comes to mind when I think of such situations, ‘We can take a horse to the water, but we cannot make it drink the water’. Same way as we can be forced to choose a particular path, but no one can make us walk it unless we want to. So, when we walk down a road in life, we have to remember that at some point, we consciously choose this path too. We have decided on this course of action, either due to lack of a better choice or lack of will to resist. We realised the benefits of this decision. We may disagree with the decision, but we have accepted the decision.

I would like to add a disclaimer here that I am not blaming anyone here. I do not intend to put the guilt on your shoulder and absolve everyone else. My intension is to remind us that we decided to follow the path based on logic and reasoning. We have chosen to sacrifice something to gain something else. There was a rationale behind our choice. We made that choice because this option outweighed the others. As long as we remember this rationale and reasoning, we should not doubt our decisions. We should take responsibility for it.

Whether our decisions lead to failure or success or took us on an uncharted path, we can only find peace and happiness when we remember our reasoning and rationale behind that decision. As long as we blame others for influencing us and forcing their decisions on us, we can never see the beauty and adventure in our journey of life. More importantly, as long as we remember the reason for a decision, we can be proud of what we stood up for and what we sacrificed to get to this position in life.

First Review Of Aladdin

Hello everybody. Yesterday, I went to watch Aladdin on the opening night, here in Jamaica. Wow! It was wonderful, I loved it and so I am here to write about it and share my feeling with all of you.

Aladdin

It’s a story that I read countless times since childhood and watched even the television cartoon series also during the 1990s. I went to the movie expecting the same old stuff but wanted to see how Will Smith played the Genie. I liked it so much that I want to watch it another time.

The 2019 film Aladdin was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and directed by John August. Will Smith played the eccentric and comical Genie with easy and he nailed it. Mena Massoud as Aladdin looked very handsome and perfect for the role, Naomi Scott as Jasmine looked beautiful and Marwan Kenzari played the evil wazir, Jafar. Alan Tudyk gave his voice for Jafar’s pet bird Iago. Abu, the kleptomaniac monkey pet of Aladdin, was cute. The comical, musical, fantasy did not miss a single beat. I enjoyed all the songs and was waiting for the old favourite “A whole new world…”. The costumes were dazzling, and the sets were superb, it was a splash of colours on the screen.

This movie is a total entertainer. Some dialogues of Will Smith had deep meaning. For example, he says something like… “the funny thing about wishes is that the more you have the more you want”. Overall I loved the movie and I can watch it again. A big thumbs-up from me.

And, I will rate it 4 stars out of 5.

Music that inspires and motivates us

Music has long been a tool to entertain and relax. It can also be a way of expressing emotions and encouraging change. When good music is complemented with apt lyrics, it becomes a very powerful medium for inspiration and motivation. Many a time, a song can open your eyes to repressed emotions, unidentified issues that need to be addressed. It all seems farfetched to many, but ask any Pink Floyd fan and you can get a multitude of examples of how music changed them.

Staying with the example of Pink Floyd’s music, the song ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ opened up a can of worms of how the English education system oppressed free thinking and independent thought. It hit a raw nerve for me as a proponent of the old convent school system. At the same time ‘Learning to Fly’ uncovered my struggle to become my own person.

There was a time when composers like Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel, and Beethoven etc. composed complex concertos that told stories, evoked love and praised God. Music was a study of notes and instruments and all the fine arts and high society. There was nothing ugly about music in those days. Slowly the social differences were blurred and apart from classical music, jazz, folk, pop music came into prominence. Singers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis, and Elvis Presley became the crowd favourites.
Popular music from The Beatles, Abba, The Carpenters, and Boney M etc. wowed the masses. Simple tunes, simpler words and easily expressed emotions were the hallmark of this genre of music. It nonetheless invoked very strong craze and hysteria among music lovers.
There are also those dark songs that help to give words to all the angst, turmoil and disquiet in the mind. Songs like ‘Fade to Black’, ‘Unforgiven’, ‘Enter Sandman’ etc. from Metallica are some examples. One can also quote songs from Iron Maiden, Nirvana, or the more recent bands like Linkin Park, Imagine Dragons etc.

I may be an aficionado of rock music, but mainstream music and pop music has many gems too. However, today’s music scene is quite different. Hip hop music, dance and EDM music are more in flavour. That still does not take away the fundamental quality to inspire.

I watched a recent Netflix show on Rap and Hip Hop music and how it is being used as a way to mobilize youth toward change. It is used to fight against oppressive regimes and cultures. Be it in Spain, Russia, Thailand even China. Gone are the days when music concert were basically composers like Bach or Beethoven or Mozart playing to entertain gentlefolk. It’s not even the Woodstock era where music spread the message of peace and free spirit. Nowadays music has taken the role of revolutionaries and militias.

Through these entire roles and titles, one thing is constant with music. It evokes feelings, inspires greatness and motivates change. It can be anything we need at any point in our life.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. They are sourced from Google and Pinterest.