Everywhere and nowhere: The Radha ‘boson’

The words “milestone for humankind” haven’t been thrown around since Justin Bieber changed his hairstyle or, if you’re so inclined, since the theory of relativity. Almost half a century has passed with barely a peep from the scientific community.

People were just about ready to write science off as a fluke or a flash in the pan. Then, lo and behold, the announcement that a new particle has been “observed” showed that not only is science still around, but it’s actually working. It also vindicates all of the world’s pseudo-theorists, including me.

I’ve long believed the axiom that “as within, so without.”  Now, everyone interprets this differently, but I tend to use it to express the belief that all things, no matter the size, planets, galaxies, social groups, particles, generally behave the exact same way.

Agent Smith in “The Matrix” likened the human race to a malignant virus spreading across the globe and he’s dead-on.

Inner space

To explain bosons (particles smaller than an atom), scientists have made analogies to a social gathering—a cocktail party no less. (If only my high school science teachers were as creative.)

Last week, scientists announced that they had discovered the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle variously called “the God particle” and the “key to the universe.” Named after Peter Higgs, a British theoretical physicist, the Higgs boson also proves that far from being applicable only to outer space, infinity goes the other direction as well.

Because of this discovery, it’s safe to assume that there will be smaller particles than the Higgs boson, and even smaller ones than those that haven’t been discovered yet, and on and on ‘til the break of dawn.

What this ultimately means is that mankind could be chasing its own tail, as it were, in its unending quest for understanding the universe. This is a slightly depressing proposition, but when you realize that everything does come full circle, it is also highly comforting as well.

Radha’s unearthly beauty

And so it was with these mixed feelings of elation and desperation that I decided to step out into the night and treat myself to a glass of wine and some fine music courtesy of Radha.

Wendell, Pupil’s indefatigable drummer was playing for her at 19 East, probably the best-sounding venue in the whole archipelago and a stone’s throw away from my place.

I walked in and the band was already heating up, buoyed by the almost unearthly beauty that stood at the center of the stage. Oh, and she can sing too.

Radha ripped through a plethora of R&B and soul classics, the obligatory Adele cover, and even managed to make Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It” sound sexy.

Why she isn’t a superstar

Watching her among a very satisfied audience, I wondered the same thing all people do when seeing her perform: why on earth isn’t this woman a superstar? Why hasn’t she achieved critical mass when day by day we’re bombarded with mediocrity?

When she sat down to chat with me in between sets, the answer occurred to me right away. She’s not a star because she doesn’t want to be. Doesn’t need to be. That’s bad news for us fans, but the best news for her.

Radha, who was with Kulay, works as a PA for a production outfit now. It teaches her humility, gives her freedom. The best part is, she only performs when she wants to, which is more bad news. The last time she sang for people was a good two months ago.

But yeah, absence making the heart grow fonder and all that jazz. We should all be so lucky to be missed and sought out like the elusive God particle. Everywhere and nowhere. That’s the place to be.


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