Sunday, December 9, 2007

Road Trip

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Through the "Time Tunnel"

Now we know: If we want to hear music mostly from Pat's college-days and my childhood, we need to listen to Radio Indigo's Time Tunnel program on Saturday mornings. During yesterday's ride to Mysore, we heard:

  • "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat & Tears as we pulled out of Palm Meadows; Pat spoke of seeing them, and Laura Nero, Friends of Distinction and others when they came to her campus
  • "Big Yellow Taxi" re-done by Amy Grant and both of us swore she sang, "...charged 25 lakhs [instead of bucks] just to see him...." We have been here for nearly six months.
  • Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Waters" as we sped down Outer Ring Road -- Pat recalled her landlady from the summer during college when she worked in Door County, Wisconsin, exclaiming, "That'll never be a hit."
  • "My Baby Takes the Morning Train" by Sheena Easton -- As Pat was singing along softly, I thought, How remote the lyrics are from our own experience...but then, not really; Pat's retired and typically does have dinner ready when I come home (when we're in the States, where our kitchen has an oven)...

"Have you ever asked yourself why cowboys ride horses and drive cattle, and not the other way around?" asks an older man with a sort of British accent -- Pat just peeked in and sang giddily: "Leavin' on a jet plane; don't know when I'll be back again." We started to do a little bit of packing, a sort of partial dress-rehearsal today and it's got both of us a bit wired, in a good way -- "That's right! And that's why the hottest energy drink between California and Dubai is called Power Horse and not Power Moo Cow!...Power Horse, the energy drink with the black stallion!"

This radio commercial has been the most persistent of all I've heard while in India and all these months later, I still don't grasp its logic, and still, have never seen a can or bottle of it in any store. After the commercial, the tunes kept coming:

  • "Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glenn Campbell -- how can I help you understand just how incongruous music like this is while watching street scenes of Bangalore whiz by?
  • "Never Find Another You" by the Seekers
  • The Byrds' "Turn, Turn, Turn"
  • "Midnight Special" by Harry Bellafonte, which the DJ told us featured Bob Dylan on the harmonica
  • Elvis' "Suspicious Minds"
  • "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals
  • "Jive Talking" by the BeeGees
  • Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"
  • "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye
  • "Urgent" by Foreigner
  • "Shattered Dreams" by Johnny Hates Jazz, which if remember correctly, was popular when I lived in Jerusalem in 1985.

When Pat heard the Byrds, she said, "I really like this one."

"What are some other favorites?"

Pat rattled them off, "'Mr. Tambourine Man,' too; and 'Hello, It's Me,' by Todd Rundgren; 'Hard Candy Christmas' by Dolly Parton; 'Yesterday' by The Beatles; 'Night in the City' and 'Clouds' by Joni Mitchell; 'Grapevine;' 'Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay;' and Madonna's 'Vogue.'"

Every one of Pat's favorites was from before she and I found each other 15+ years ago. I tried to imagine a Sarah-less Pat, feeling the joy, romance, sadness, wistfulness, buoyancy, playfulness, despair, sassiness of all of those songs. We have experienced so much together over this decade and a half, and still, the majority of our lives have not yet been with each other.

I'm considering all of this, too, I think, because I'm reading That Summer in Paris by Abha Dawesar. I picked up the novel, as it's by the same author as Babyji, which I really enjoyed.

This novel is about two writers, falling in love despite an age difference. The book's characters' is much greater than ours -- 15 in our case and 50 in theirs -- but it's on my mind....

The Indian Clerk, which I just finished, was about two mathematicians from different cultures -- Indian and English -- and now, I feel like I'm reading about another intercultural pair; in this case, the cultures are informed by their age difference.

And 15 years is enough distance that Pat and I also come from different cultures, it sometimes seems, for example, my campus hosted Lou Rawls (old-school by then) and Elvis Costello when I was in college. Still, it works ultimately.

Culture does matter and I guess love matters even more, as long as the couple has basic values in common.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
I couldn't stop laughing about the absurdity of the radio ad that hawks an unavailable product so relentlessly and illogically. Also can't imagine how long yor ride to Mysore was if you heard all those songs. Rhinestone Cowboy is incongruous by definition, but probably surrealistically hallucinatory on an Indian road trip. Can you please put a link to Pat's photo blog in one of your posts or email it to me. I've been meaning to go back in it. What day are you returning? Love,

David & Gerard said...

I laughed out loud at the line:
"... when we're in the States, where our kitchen has an oven..."

Sarah Siegel said...

Kathy, it's, or just click on "Mysore" in this entry and you'll get there.

See you relatively soon!

Sarah Siegel said...

Well, our kitchen here does have a microwave, but the grocery stores don't always have the provisions we'd like, and so we eat out most nights.

I didn't mean to be rude about the house we're in, as it's lovely in most ways; it's just that the kitchen is not the most popular room here for reasons already explained.