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Works and composers Hummel Freudenfest Overture. R Strauss Der Rosenkavalier Suite. This is an archived concert. Before you leave, sign up to our mailing list.
You're about to leave our site to book tickets at the venue's website. Subscribe to monthly updates about BSO and our other events. Sign up to our mailing list. I itched for my smartphone only to remember that I had no way of confirming this piece of news. Word-of-mouth was all I had. Even this memory of my understanding is hazy, and it only clears up from the moment that a well-known acho, big brother, walked in with his usual imprudent stride. He was wearing a teal-coloured polo shirt with a white line running along its collar. His trousers were faded blue-grey denim, not from a conscious choice of fashion but the harsh sun rays of Ladakh.
His sunglasses, white-framed, sat atop his slick gelled head and his fingers moved in a flurry across his smartphone.
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Are we not supposed to be happy? Were we not supposed to embrace this with warmth and open arms?
The uncertainty of not having read the news with our own eyes, a piece of news which spelt significant change for our hometown, had spread a sense of unease. A fellow volunteer stood next to me with worry in her gaze. Why, I seemed to ask, not to know but to hear a denial. Nothing, I wanted to hear. Over the years, mismanagement had driven some parts of Ladakh into ruin. The water was no longer safe. In some regions, there was no water at all. The dogs were running feral and biting humans; recently, they mauled a tourist who was so drunk she could barely feel the pain.
Residents neighbouring a four-star hotel murmured about the staff throwing the waste into the communal stream, which was often used by the public for washing and cleaning. A little on the nose, but only because no allegory could befit such disparity.
From then on, the day passed with a mocking rhythm not dissimilar to the famous Jaws score. The nature of the news depended on who was reading from their phone. Sometimes there was hope. Other times there was an apocalyptic shroud looming over our future. My network connectivity fluttered like a broken shuttlecock on a breezy day, and I could only receive half-complete affirmations of the division. According to national papers, we were finally receiving our long-awaited unity, independence and assimilation. I felt the grinds of delayed homesickness slowly rising in my stomach.
The fold of my pink cotton hat shielding my head against the sunlight under the apricot trees. Colourful crepe streamers were dancing lightly, directionless. It was the afternoon of my first birthday, and I never got to eat a piece of the cake. All this is imagination, but it was not untrue. I have photographs to corroborate, pictures which have over the years helped summon the memories regardless of my own emotions and needs. Sometimes it feels like a broken desk keeps opening inside my brain, a different folder pushed out, a different time of my life clearer than before.
One of our first patients was a young year-old girl who had been suffering from bouts of unnatural exhaustion and the inability to see at night for a year now.
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We were now visible. They could see us in the same maps which had failed to confirm how close my people were to this country. Where is Ladakh? The very mention of my hometown alone would dissolve it into absence. People saw us in the same way that this year-old patient saw darkness. She did not know of its presence until it became absent, the camouflage lent by night discernible from blindness itself.
Another absence had taken place that day. Toni Morrison had passed away, three days after I bought Song of Solomon from the local bookshop. For a second, I saw it as a sign: read Song of Solomon first. A city of mirrors would only give the illusion of eternity. It is this delusion which Buendia chooses as a way of life, one which spreads like a hereditary disease from generation to generation. The extreme consequence is even pursuing incestuous relationships. Their search for warnings and patterns represents their personal biases and desires.
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No matter the number of outsider visitors, none are influential enough to change the ways of Buendias. People fill this town to the brim with different cultural backgrounds, plants and houses are shifted around by weather changes, but the Buendias resort to their narcissistic, isolating ways. Similarly, there is no factor variable enough to change the path of the Buendia bloodline.
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In the days which followed the news of abrogation, it was becoming clear to me how easily variation could become a constant. A trip to Nubra became a sad echo of a fear I had long held. What will happen when these hills turn green? Someone messaged me on Instagram, asking if I was in Scotland.
The green looked pretty, and it sure did suit Hozier crooning Work Song from the Bluetooth stereo. But this was not natural. My eyes, always mapping my compass across Nubra valley according to the different shades, could no longer discern the green from the brown. Today, they blur. Id and Independence Day coincided this year. Again, no work of fiction would be permitted to be so on the nose.
Growing radical sentiments had vilified an entire community. There was irony in the real-life reminiscence of liberty. Countries around the world are remembering rather than celebrating independence. There is a fantastical, almost absurd quality to how straightforward, almost exaggerated reality can be. Marquez recognised this in the politics of Latin America. Time did not equal progress, certainly not in Colombia and certainly not in Macondo. Seasons pass and time is represented in that Western canon of spring turning to summer turning to autumn turning to winter and then back to spring.