Saturday, 23 July 2011

A few completely random things about me

  • I simply adore Hindustani classical music,and I feel it is one of the most divine things.It is such a disciplined form of music,yet it can be so wildly powerful and evocative.Trying to discern which raga is playing is a fun activity I indulge in,apparently with very limited success,but when I do recognise a raga right,I can't help feeling a bit self-important. I consider myself fortunate to have taken birth in a nation which is home to such an invaluable treasure of supremely magical music and where such talented artistes perform miracles with their music.Considering Hindustani classical is fast losing its fan base among today's youth to popular music,I try to popularise it among people I know. Don't believe me? Go search 'Desh Raag (Doordarshan)' on youtube,you will enjoy the next 8 minutes of your life like anything... :)
  • I am obsessed with the color 'blue',which to me symbolises wonderful things;calmness,intensity and profound thoughts,like the tranquil and deep waters of the oceans.
  • I am quite a bit of an idealist perhaps and can get highly philosophical at times,getting carried away by things considered rather trivial by most people...but at times,I wish I was a thorough realist,taking things a little more pragmatically.
  • In future,I intend to travel a lot,eat exotic food and try out a lot of exotic coffee from all over the world,being the epicure and coffee addict that I am.Also I like to believe that some day, I would be able to write something meaningful, something that will make a difference.
  • Not very often, but at times, I tend to judge people based on what kind of music they listen to.I get very thrilled when I find someone who shares my choice of music, mainly because such people are hard to come by.My taste in music is kind of niche and 'not so appealing to the masses'.People think it's anachronistic and rather boring but I like to believe it is just different.Talk to me about a Beatles song you like,or share an anecdote about Ustad Amjad Ali Khan,and you might have won my favor and respect already. Haha !!
  • I claim to have many friends,but in reality I am quite a bit of a loner,having felt a really special connect with hardly 4 or 5 people in the past 20 years of my existence,people who are/were at some point of time very dear to me.I even think of myself as a 'misfit' at times,which explains the name of my blog...
  • At times,I secretly wish the Pink Floyd were my neighbors and people who have misunderstood me or moved away from me came back,just listening to 'Wish you were here'...
  • As a kid,I used to love playing with action figures !! I still have a huge collection of action figures and comics!! :D
  • At times I wish I was born somewhere in the 60s or the 70s in order to have witnessed the revolutionary world music scene of those decades with my own eyes.
  • If I were to have dinner with a celebrity,it would have to be with Anoushka Shankar and I would ask her to get her sitar along !! :D
  • I like to read a lot and I can spend hours together in a quaint little bookshop or a music store or a museum or maybe an art gallery.I want to visit the Louvre atleast once in my life,and simply stand there, gazing at the marvels of the Renaissance wizards.
  • If I were to go to a foreign land right now,it would be Rome,Venice and the Vatican.
  • I think Indian women are,by far,the most beautiful women in the world.
  • I simply love history,especially,the history of the ancient Romans and of the WorldWar2
  • I do NOT believe in the concept of 'love at first sight'.
  • At times,I wish there were no countries,no states,no cities,no castes,no races and no borders whatsoever.I would have liked the world to be just a big cosmopolitan global village,with nothing to fight for and no one to fight against(reminds you of John Lennon,doesn't it?) 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' indeed !! But considering how impractical it is, such a thing is very unlikely to happen.
  • I eat a lot of paneer.In fact,Mutter Paneer and Palak Paneer that my Mom makes are two of my most favorite dishes.
  • I like Friday evenings a lot, as I can unwind in peace,looking forward to not one,but two holidays. :D
  • I feel in order to be really good at an artform,be it music,writing,painting,dancing,one has to be a good human being first and have a big heart.Therefore,I believe that almost everyone who has excelled in their art is a  very good human being...virtuous,noble and humble.
  • I love my city, and I feel it has a distinct character,an interesting history and a sharp but pleasing flavor to it,perhaps because of the people,quite substantially. No other city I have visited has caught my heart like Mumbai. The much talked about 'Spirit of Mumbai' is indeed very impressive.
  • Contrary to the popularly held belief,I think 'likes attract',rather than opposites. :)
  • I can be very boring and even irritating at times.
  • Being true to my zodiac sign,I withdraw into my shell,when disappointed or upset,and can take quite some time to venture out again...

Friday, 1 July 2011

Mankind heading towards complete abomination?

        I was watching Arnab Goswami(Editor in chief of Times Now) discuss the verdict of the Neeraj Grover murder case in a segment that was being called 'India's most macabre murder' on Times Now,with four gentlemen,Emile Jerome's lawyer,Maria Susairaj's lawyer,the public prosecutor and finally Late Mr.Grover's father.Kannada actress,Maria Susairaj,one of the two perpetrators of the heinous crime,had been let off lightly,being convicted for just 'destroying evidence'.(yeah right !! Conspiring a murder,chopping the body into pieces and then setting it afire is simply 'destroying evidence'!! ).Susairaj is likely to walk free today.
Parts of the conversation that transpired revealed a side of the lawyers,so deplorable,that it could have put even the most savage animal to shame.

Mr.Goswami to Jerome's lawyer : Could you tell me what the role of Maria Susairaj was in the murder?

Mr.Jerome's lawyer(first beats around the bush trying to prove his client innocent) : I cannot say what Maria's role was.

Mr.Grover : Maria shouldn't have been let off so lightly,she was the sole conspirator.Jerome didn't even know my son,why will he kill someone he doesn't know unless at the behest of Susairaj.

Miss Susairaj's lawyer : The media has wrongly sensationalised the case...Mr.Neeraj Grover's body was cut into just 3 or 4 pieces and not 300 pieces as the media claims...

Mr.Goswami(almost breaking down like any other man would have, if he had even of iota of humanity left in him,interrupts) : 3 pieces or 300 pieces,does it make a difference you have any idea what societal impact this is going to have?

Mr.Jerome's lawyer: Of course it makes a difference,had the body been cut into 300 pieces,the case would been much more sensational and brutal than it is now,the media is to be blamed for spreading false rumours like 300 pieces and the like.Actually,there never was a conspiracy...

That was it...I was extremely shocked and appalled at the depravity of the defence lawyers and couldn't take it any further...And to think these gentlemen who claim to be the defenders of law and order,infront of an old father whose son had been so badly and unforgivably denied justice,were trying to justify how many pieces his son's body was chopped into,were trying to root for their clients desperately alleging "No,no the body was not cut into 300 pieces,it was cut into 'just' 3-4 pieces"...Had they no heart at all? Criminal lawyers have to be such wicked,heartless wretches,I thought...they must sell out their conscience to the devil,perhaps...else how would they show the unflinching support for their criminal clients,despite knowing evreything about their clients' unspeakable crimes.

The question stands... 'Is mankind heading towards utter abomination?'

PS: Sorry for this morbid post,guys...I had to vent my anger out somewhere...

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sounds I like to hear (Part 1)

        It wouldn't be wrong to say that my thoughts and my moods can be substantially controlled by regulating the sounds around me.Call it a weakness if you like,but I am excessively influenced by sounds, a song like 'Allah ke bande hasde' can plunge me into a whirlpool of profound thoughts much the same way  a 'Munni Badnaam hui'(just how can someone even think of such a deplorable tune,let alone the nonsense lyrics !!) can give me a splitting headache. Therefore,it is quite normal that I should like to consciously tweak my surroundings so as to occlude the irritants and ensure a healthy 'sound' environment :D
        Heres a list of sounds I like(not listed according to order of preference,just in the order in which they popped up in my head)

I love it:
  1. when a guitarist changes a chord.The buzzing sound made when those skilled fingers sail past,brushing the strings to make a smooth transition from a chord to another...enigmatic...
  2. when Anoushka Shankar announces the name and details of the raga before she starts her performance,and ofcourse her sitar playing too...pure magic
  3. when Pt. ShivKumar Sharma plays Raag Bahar on his santoor.
  4. when the Recorded Female Voice heralds the end of my hour long local train journey "Pudhil station...Dombivli...Agla Station...Dombivli...Next Station...Dombivli" :D
  5. when Kavita Krishnamurthy sings "Pyaar hua chupke se" (or for that matter any song she sings)
  6. when Jim Morrison sings "Carry me caravan,take me away..."(Spanish Caravan) or "C'mon baby,light my fire" as Ray Manzarek scales rythmic heights on his keyboard with those unique chord progressions of his...
  7. when Ustad Amjad Ali Khan plays his hallowed Sarod...pure magic again...
  8. when my playlist has a dozen Pink Floyd songs lined up...
  9. when AR Rahman croons "Ek sooraj nikla tha,kuch paara pighla tha" or "Vande Mataram" in his uniquely pleasant voice...
  10. when I listen to Michael Jackson sing "I'm starting with the man in the mirror.I'm asking him to make a change..." evoking a poignant sense of humility and an urge to be a better human-being... Also when I listen to 'This is it'(from MJ's final album) which makes me realise that life is indeed short...try and grab the moments of joy and enjoyment that life throws at you.
  11. when I listen to the 'Swat Kats' or 'Pokemon' or 'GI Joe' theme songs...that heady nostalgic feeling...
  12. when my guitar teacher tries his hands on the latest film song and pulls it off with unbelievable panache in the very first go...
  13. when Shreya Ghoshal sings any song in that oh-so-sweet voice...
  14. when 'Miley Sur mera tumhara' or 'Baje sargam har taraf se,goonje bankar desh raag' is aired on Doordarshan...
  15. when three Eric Clapton songs "Wonderful tonight" and "Layla" and "Change the world" feature one after the other on VH1. 
  16. The crunching sound that my friendly neighborhood Chatwala makes when he breaks the 'puri's to be filled and then dunked into the 'pani'...
  17. when the default tone plays as Windows starts on my computer...
  18. when a typical crackling sound is audible as I walk past a transformer with my ears open.
  19. when the sound of my 'Scoped Mosin Nagant' Sniper Rifle rents the air of the 'Call of Duty' virtual world as I fire(or atleast try to fire ;) ) a headshot.
  20. when my cellphone rings out loud with the 'Summer of 69' ringtone.
  21. when Amy Lee(Evanescence) sings 'Hello'...
This list is definitely incomplete...I shall be adding more items... :)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Of gratuitous ablutions...

                  The sky was ominously overcast, foreboding very heavy rains. The clock struck 4 and i left home for my guitar class looking forward to an hour of musical ecstasy...I had taken my umbrella of course and had pulled my jeans up a good 5 inches(How i hate mud on them!!),but when you live in a Mumbai suburb, all such attempts to forestall the onslaught of rainwater, mud and grime miserably fail. Yesterday was no different. The streets, it seemed had turned into a marathon hurdles race with pedestrians struggling to jump past the mammoth potholes filled to the brim with rain water. The Municipal authorities had managed to dupe gullible citizens yet another year...And then it came...lashing rains, as if it wasn't going to stop ever, flailing even the most towering coconut tree viciously as if it was dying to show who the real boss was("Boss kaun tha maloom hai kya?Boss kaun hai maaloom hai kya?(Jhankar beats :D )).Caught between speeding cars on one side and numerous baby pools on the other, I almost slipped as I made an arduous effort to avoid being run down. I saw scores of people standing jobless below derelict roofs turned into makeshift shelters and in the refuge of nearby shops, how inane of them to not carry an umbrella in such difficult times I thought. Also could be seen, those who chose not to cower below the already crowded shelters, even though they didn't have an umbrella to cover their heads. They obviously had some pressing matter at hand, not bothering about the rains. Also without umbrellas were those who couldn't afford to stay in a proper house...Rain is a leveller, I thought, beleaguering the prince and the pauper with equal ruthlessness. Rain also creates 'divide', much like Marx and Engels had insightfully observed..."The haves(umbrella)" and "The haves-not(umbrella)"... :-| A speed demon going past suddenly halted my train of thought, sloshing murky water over me, as I made a clumsy effort to avoid getting drenched. A fleeting sadistic idea made me want to pull the driver out and make him stand where I had been standing while I drove past him 'Need For Speed' style, soaking him in muddy water !!
                How I hate such macerated situations , I thought despite being a true blue Cancerian, a water element.(well not a true blue Cancerian, but quite substantially so).Aren't Water elements supposed to enjoy rains??(But then, generalising is not always the right thing to do).Even on an 'Age of Empires' 'Death match', I prefer a land map to say something like 'Oceans' or 'Archipelago'(some Age of Empires fans while commiserate with me as training hundreds of elite galleons and fast fire ships can be quite a pain, more so if you are taking heavy fire on land(provided they don't consider AOE2 to be too antiquated for their tastes :D))(Pardon me for this digressing comment, but I just love playing AOE2).What surprises me to no end is how most of my friends can't stop raving about the 'superbly pleasant' weather. I largely agree with them when I get to sit with a cup of coffee in the refuge of my home staring at the serenity from my window and listening to the dulcet pitter-patter as the earthy fragrance of wet soil titillates my olfactory senses.
                Monsoon has been glorified in Indian art and culture, more importantly, in Indian classical music, and is deeply rooted in the Indian psyche and ethos. It has been a veritable source of inspiration for all arts. Raga Miyan ki Malhar can enrapture even the most despondent soul.Remember "Bole re papihara" from the vintage movie "Guddi"?...(such timeless songs will endure for eternity,such absolute works of genius).Or perhaps "Badal ghumad badh aaye"(Kavita Krishnamurthy) from the more recent "Saaz" ?...Both these gems have risen from "Miyan ki malhar" ...It is believed that Indian classical music is so potent that Miyan ki Malhar when sung by a learned master could actually summon rainclouds (much like 'Storm',I surmise :D How petty of me compare Classical music with X-men !! :( ...pardon me again)well, it appears I have digressed again...Indian classical music is so all-pervading and overwhelming...I intend to pen down my ideas about Indian music in another post...To sum it up, I love the rains when I am seated comfortably on my couch listening to music, also when I go out and it drizzles lightly, but when I have to go out up against lashing rains, I don't exactly love the rains...