More relevant than ever

We were born at a (now seemingly mythical) time when the Hydra of Caste based reservation hadn’t gone to ridiculous limits as it has now. The situation is so bad now that India is truly not a country for the meritorious. The system has been distorted by selfish myopic politicians and the judicial system (which can be at best charitably described as being out of sync with reality) that children from open merit category have to compete for less than 30% of the seats available, in gross violation of a basic human right (faithfully enshrined in our constitution) of equality of opportunity. Our colleges had 33% caste based reservation at entry into MBBS and Zero at PG level, a position that the (then) Bombay and Nagpur Municipal Corporations had defended in courts of law up to the supreme court and prevailed. So all we needed beyond Ist MBBS was to score heavily and be assured of a PG seat.

I was staying in the Resident Medical Officer Quarters when I heard this amazing song. The band had already achieved stratospheric popularity with their debut single, Sultans of Swing (from the self-titled debut album) which reached the top of the charts everywhere. The notes of the guitar followed by the pleading notes of Mark Knopfler. The intro itself is so easily identifiable, I start humming the song in the first few seconds. Here it is

The album Brothers in Arms is Dire Strait’s fifth studio album which hit #1 on both UK and the US charts and spent weeks there. An amazing album that has so many amazing songs.

The lyrics were written by Mark Knopfler, who also is the magician guitarist and lead vocalist for the song.

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Someday you’ll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you’ll no longer burn to be
Brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I’ve witnessed your suffering
As the battle raged high
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun’s gone to hell and
The moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line in your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

The song was remastered and extended a bit more recently and sounds great.

A song made ever more relevant in times of strife. If only men in high offices had the brains to realize that the kids dying on the frontlines are more than living pawns, the world would be a better place. Mark Knopfler was the outstanding member of the band and despite the passage of decades and the loss of his corn coloured copious locks of hair, his voice and unparalleled guitar skills retain the same level of divinity. This is from a live performance in Berlin some 22 years after the album first released.

Little wonder Mark had a notable solo career even after the band broke up. Amazing lyrics, enchanting guitar and amazingly seductive voice.

Stay away from harm, folks, and take care in the summer. Enjoy your weekend.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

6 replies on “More relevant than ever”

Rightly said sir…..The system is not for the meritorious and bright students….. who know’s better than us…. Everybody cannot get 99.99 percent marks to get seat in open categary….and it’s a madness to insist and expect for such marks from every student of open category…..
Not everyone opts to go abroad for studies….away from his / her parents ….

Indeed ….a great song!!!

Liked by 1 person

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