Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sound Guy Neck Crane

Unexpected. Can you link this to a topic? It is not so hard. Think about ego, antardrashti, understanding Bapa, prasangs of Bapa and audio problems. This weeks Kishori mandal syllabus has a presentation on the humanitarian spirit - keeping purity in thought and action. The story below can highlight how many times we want to keep this thought and action, but when things go wrong we revert to an alternate behavior. The second presentation is a recap of the summer shibir focused on moksha - how do we relate that. Well Bapa is moksh nu dwar - the doorway to moksha. We attain moksha by being like him. How would he handle the microphone situation and how would we? The mahila goshti syllabus for this month touches on a similar scenario. You have worked really hard to increase Satsang, and Bapa comes to you town - what thoughts go through your mind. Similarly during that assembly if the microphones do not work, what thoughts go through your mind?

The point here is that this story is unexpected, it will get people's attention. We can use that in many ways with many topics. So even if you are presenting next week or four weeks from now, this story can come in handy (as long as your fellow presenters do not use it before you do!)

Microphones are Nastiks (Atheists). I can’t prove this scientifically, but I’m pretty sure it’s true. I think it’s because Maharaj doesn’t need them. When He speaks in the Vachnamrut, His voice is loud and carries naturally, or He uses samadhi and mukto and miracles to amplify His message. So I imagine that microphones feel slighted and decided long ago to wage a very public anti campaign against Maharaj and Swami.

How else can you explain the shenanigans that occur on Sunday afternoon in almost every sabha with the sound system? From microphones that work perfectly during sound check and then refuse to work during sabha to that loud ear-bursting feedback that blossoms during the most inappropriate times, like right before a prarthna, sound systems are always punking the Mandir. And when they do, it’s so easy to pull out a “sound guy neck crane.”

The sound guy neck crane is the first thing we all do when the sound goes bananas in the middle of sabha. It’s a simple move, but I’ll walk you through the steps:

Step 1
Sound messes up.

Step 2
You quickly try to remember where the sound guy is stationed in the sabha.

Step 3
You crane your neck to his position and stare at him with eyes that say, “Do you not hear this? That microphone is on fire! Why do you want sabha to suck? Do you hate Maharaj and Swami? That’s it, isn’t it? You hate Maharaj. You sweaty Nastik.”

Step 4
Sound is restored. You turn back around and silently thank yourself for contributing to the rectification of the problem by pointing it out with your sound guy neck crane.

I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. The only problem is that at my local Mandir about 5 different sevaks help run the sound on any given Sunday sabha and some sit in the audio room way up high and in the back but a few are on one side of the stage and yet some others are sitting in audience. So my head has to bounce around like I’m watching a tennis match (or desi volleyball) if I want to bust out a sound guy neck crane. “I see you in the audio room. You down at the side of the stage. You up on the corner of the stage, I’m seeing you too, and I’m not happy.” Bounce, bounce, bounce, crane, crane, crane.

That’s part of the reason I’m going to retire my sound guy neck crane. It’s just too much work at my Mandir. It’s also kind of a jerk thing to do. And by “kind of” I mean “really,” and by “jerk” I mean “words I can’t type without crazy *&# symbols.” From now on, when the sound messes up, I’m going to just do a sitting pag e laag the person next to me and whisper politely, “Microphones hate Maharaj.” It will be awkward the first 2, 3, or 400 times, but people usually like sitting paag e laags, and it will put the blame where it belongs: on Maharaj-hatin’ sound equipment.

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