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Friday, October 31, 2008

Metal is all around.............

This is one of those moments i cannot stop from putting my heart down. I just finished watching "Global Metal", the much awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed "Metal : A headbangers journey". Sam Dunn, in the curtain raiser has certainly put in the effort to show the world what metal is and getting the respect that the metal community deserves. Proud, mighty, young and true are words i most relate with metal. And Global Metal just showed the multiple faces that metal carries around the world. Most of the documentary carries one through third world countries like Brazil, Indonesia, China (??) , prosperous lands like Japan, war afflicted soils of Israel and the middle east. To the Americans and the Brits, this music maybe pure entertainment. But watch this piece of film, you come to realise what it means to metal heads like me who live in vastly different societies where freedom is like a daily allowance. Some countries more than the others.

Religious conflicts, death, brutality, injustice all being the topics-of-choice for metal are what these countries are going through. And metal heads here know what it is and have found an outlet for the hidden angst and rage in metal. I........I can't seem to find words to tell you what effect it had on me. Beg of you to go and watch that documentary. i was moved to tears, when an Indonesian fan echoed what i felt all the time, "metal is for life. Religion is my relation particularly with my god. it is for no one else to judge or decide." or when an Israeli musician from the band "Orphaned Land" (which is a band i have come to like. they are awesome!) said "There is plenty of darkness around us. So its important to sing about the light that we need. Create that light inside us." You will probably realize what i am talking about when you watch these humans rend their heart out on stage knowing that their music is going to be instrumental in bringing about massive changes. Their attitude just shouts, "yeah you have your guns and missiles and tanks. well we have guitars and drums and mikes and a legion of metal heads. we will earn back out rightful freedom." Fucking yeah!

There is a very good overview of the metal scene in India with some of the leading acts like "Demonic Resurrection" and "Bhayanak Maut " being featured prominently. What metal means to Indian kids and what they want to convey through it. My absolute favourite was a sentence, a bloody fact from the mouth of Anant Dwivedi, from the band Prakalp "In the band we follow one religion, and that is music. Its just like the sky above is. Its one for everyone." If Mr motherfuckin Raj Thackeray and his ilk can take some of this spirit with them, India would be much better off. And i mean it. None of my over-the-top cracks.

The heart of an Indian metal head inside me swelled with pride, at the tad end of the movie, when Iron Maidens appearance at Bangalore, the first gig by a major metal band in India has been showcased. The 25,000 strong crowd chanted to legendary tunes like "Fear Of the dark" and "Hallowed be thy name". Who can stop tears from streaking down, feet from jumping and heads from banging? We have arrived!

So please please please watch this film. download it , rip it off you tube, do whatever the fuck you have to. If neither works, contact me, i will burn it on a CD for you. But please do see this.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Festive Lights

I was a troubled kid. Troubled, by asthma that is. So, approach Diwali time and mom would announce, “Son, no crackers. Doctor’s orders.” Now, kids are not kids unless they are spanked. In this case I did not need one. Disobedience of the above mentioned “farmaan” brought with it a lot of dust on my clothes, an ambulance and a panic stricken look to my parents face. Writhing, coughing, almost choking on the smoke.

So that called for forced austerity. NO boom-boom-bang-bang when all the kids in the locality would be at it with all the enthusiasm they could manufacture. It would be eleven years before I would touch another (kids approved) explosive. I had to paint up all the reasons I could to explain my lack of participation in the celebrations, but today I think I am better off doing that. Realizing what that austerity helped me understand and really sink in this thick head, it just could not have come in any other way.

No, I do not want to be another Mr. Al Bore. No offense meant. He is doing his part for the environment and has been amply rewarded with a lot of money and the Nobel. No, I do not want to stand on that podium. I do not have any presentation, laser pointer and anything as such. Might sound hilarious, maybe is, but just me existing here as of now is something I would like to be grateful about. I could have died on that day, had it not been for someone’s timely phone call and a helping hand. Not just me, no. Hundreds of kids have the indignity of dying due the (frankly) unnecessary smoke. Some face familiar?

If light and prosperity is what this festival is supposed to mean, then a simple “diya” would suffice. It does, in the vast majority of India where people cannot afford the products of child labour from Sivakasi and other places. But why should we? We are not stricken for money? Yes we are not. Just remember that when you curse the loud speakers blaring during Ganesh Utsav. They are not the only sources of “noise pollution that harms the environment and troubles sane and sentient human beings.”

Couple of thousand more on the clothes and food won’t be as bad I think. I mean, in my puny brain I just displaced the allocated cracker budget to some other items on the list. Old clothes can be given away. Leftover food too. Will that not bring a million buck smile to some face? It adds up to the festival, I think. Makes it brighter. Or if you are so stuffed up on the top floor, just put that money in the bank and use it for your kids future. Two blessing in one, bank (recession, you see) and child.

Diwali for me, is a time to re-unite my family and the values it lives. The physical distance between you and them just makes it sweeter. Not for fire gutted huts, ambulance sirens blaring and people trying to cope with their tears. That is the main course for the lunch we live everyday.

Well, personal opinions anyway (I heard someone saying bullshit? That’s ok. Happens.)
Sanity hath its downfall and hospital ride. While that is being bandaged and taken care of, madness can run amok. But I know for sure that the run will be quite short. Happy Diwali.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I love Rock N Roll

This below is the foreword for the the Blender magazine by their editor , Sam Lal. Needless to say, rock fans will agree with this.

"Its the easiest thing in the world to misunderstand rock music. There is something about the intensity, the passion , the volume and the attitude , which makes it almost comparable to an ancient ritual and there are quite a few souls out there who are not too keen on pagan rites. Rock music , therefore, becomes an easy prey for rumours about devil worship , bestiality and generally everything that is wrong with the moral fibre of the modern society.

Of course this is all hogwash! If there is one style of music that comes absolutely stuffed with positive messages, it is rock. Even if the genre' s brand ambassador happens to be the bat munching Ozzy Osbourne. "Rock and Roll - the music of freedom" is how one Salman Rushdie looks at it and as a Booker prize winning author, he should know.

Rock music and all its sub genre's are about talent, honesty of expression and celebration of life. It may inspire some people, it may scare others, but it is always true to itself and the vision of the people creating it! "

Nothing else matters.........\m__m/!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Maula mere.............

no, i haven't become a believer or become "enlightened" or anything like that. Just that music has some other worldly touch to it, it often moves you to tears. This track from the movie Chak De!, manages to do the same. Soulful. Especially when you watch the movie. If you are not moved when u listen to this, you are not human.

teeja tera rang tha main to
teeja tera rang tha main to…
jiya tere dhang se main to
tu hi tha maula tu hi aan
Maula mere le le meri jaan
Maula mere le le meri jaan…….teeja tera rang tha main to
teeja tera rang tha main to….
jiya tere dhang se main to
tu hi tha maula tu hi aan
maula mere le le meri jaan
maula mere le le meri jaan…..

tere sang kheli holi
tere sang ki diwali
tere angano ki chaya
tere sang saawan aaya
pher le chahe tu nazrein chahe chura le
laut ke tu aayega re shart laga le
teeja tera rang tha main to
teeja tera rang tha main to…..
jiya tere dhang se main to
tu hi tha maula tu hi aan
Maula mere le le meri jaan
Maula mere le le meri jaan…….

mitti meri thi tu hi
wahin mere ghee aur churee
wahin raanzhen mere wahin heer
wahi savaiyaan wahin kheer
tujhse hi rooth na re tuzhe hi manana
tera mera naata koi dooja na jaana
teeja tera rang tha main to
jiya tere dhang se main to
tu hi tha maula tu hi aan
Maula mere le le meri jaan…….
Maula mere le le meri jaan…….
Maula mere le le meri jaan…….

Be Reminded

Came across this poem, penned by none other than Adolf Hitler himself!
Read to your own chagrin!

Be Reminded...................

When your mother has grown older,
When her dear, faithful eyes
No longer see life as they once did,
When her feet, grown tired,
No longer want to carry her as she walks,
Then lend her your arm in support, escort her with happy pleasure—
the hour will come when, weeping, you must accompany her on her final walk.

And if she asks you something, then give her an answer.
And if she asks again, then speak!
And if she asks yet again, respond to her, not impatiently, but with gentle calm.

And if she cannot understand you properly, explain all to her happily.
The hour will come, the bitter hour, when her mouth asks for nothing more.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Changing Perceptions..............

An incident from the not so distant past. Makes me laugh every time I remember it. Without fail.

It had just been a month or so after I was safely employed. Nothing to do with my job though. But with something called heavy metal music. Especially in Pune. Got to know about a gig through a friend. I had to go . How can I not. Especially when Brute Force were performing? So that hammers out any creases on the surface. Just the timing of the gig might present a bit of a problem. But determination hath its say. Nothing doing. Rocking means rocking. Lolz.

Actually my office bus reaches back at 5:45. the gig was scheduled at 6:30. so I would not have the time to dress up (!!) for the gig. Yeah yeah. Those were the days when I still had something in my wardrobe that wasn’t black in colour. Now it’s a different story. Or the same colour. Well, so I had to change (!!!) and then catch a ride to the venue. But if punctuality was to be observed (eggheads, that is very important to me, even if it doesn’t even feature in the top ten list for the organizers) then there would be no chance of me changing my attire.

You know, at times I wish I had never known of something called Murphy’s Law. That way I could have cursed luck or fate or something else. But things not changing things started going wrong on gig day. We had an audit , and so, I had to wear formals (holy sacrilege……….i know). Now not only am I completely uncomfortable in formals but also look like a complete dork. But then Mr. Murphy makes sure that you commit suicide once in a while. Without shedding a drop of blood. Painful.

So there was the dork. Spent a normal day in office. The audit came and went by. I wasn’t close to it by miles. Yeah. Stop chuckling to yourself. I WENT TO THE GIG IN FORMALS!!!!!! A HEAVY METAL GIG!!!!

Let me tell you how embarrassing it can be. Have you ever been through that experience where you try a karate kick on your mate and your trousers rip open to reveal the not so pleasant parts of your body. Take that feeling, multiply it by 100 and then square it. You are getting close. There wasn’t a single eye which went by without staring at me. Not a single lady who did not snigger at me. Not a single dude who did not call me names, albeit silently. Cause whatever might be the case, I still weight quite a few pounds and that does matter. Even mates who got passes for me, kept a safe distance. “we are not with him.” Yeah . Right.

Well, nevertheless, after making a joke of my appearance and my punctuality, the gig did start. Bands playing their hearts out. This one particular band had a female lead vocalist. And she was damn good , looking and sounding. But she did not find any fans. Any except one. Me. Imagine screaming for someone in support and in return have the whole place stare at you. Even the technicians and the judges. But she was good. And I did not stop screaming. Do what you feel is right. Yeah. Right.

More salt to the wound, everyone had drinks in their hand and smokes up their asses. Cause one of the organizers was a brewery and was giving a couple of drinks free with every entry pass. And yeah. As you probably guessed. I did not have a glass in my hand. I do not like whiskey. Better keep that reason to myself I thought. Or get thrown out.

Last of all bands, and my favourite, was Brute Force. This is one band I have enormous respect for and I love to mosh and head band when they tear the place apart. So when they came on, I knew the evening would be worth it. Cause all this time I was just standing there, alone in the crowd , not making any movements. Alienating myself from everyone else. Sober against drunk. Neatly parted hair against head banging induced dishevel ness.

And did BF have something up their sleeves. First track, Brute Force. From the moment the first riff hit the amps, The gears which link my neck to the rest of the body, went into over drive. I was amidst a head banging high. “……..brute Force……..yeahhhhhhhh”. for a better part of half an hour, my posture could be roughly described as “everything shaking and moving except for the mano cornutas raised above my head.” I was loving it.

The real surprise came when the band was about to hit the last song “”Opportunity denied.” A guitar string broke and there was a brief silence. And I just happened to open my eyes and put on my specs (pocketed them while head banging). People around me……..their jaws were about to drop and their eyes were about to come out of their sockets and dance on the floor. To them I was a man who was never capable of anything else other than shouting and the occasional devil horns. How did he get into the head banging frenzy? How did he jump into the mosh pit? All I could do was smile. And wink at the girls who had sniggered at me earlier. I could see them returning the favour. Boy, do I love shocking people!

Completely drenched in sweat and smoke after the gig, I was spent. Couldn’t even stand straight. But I was happy. Brute Force won. and I had people coming upto me and apologizing, offering me rides back home and have a drink with them. They had mistaken me for someone who would not be metal, just because I was wearing formals. Appearances can be deceiving. \m__m/

Even today, when I meet dudes from that gig (of course I made a lot of friends in this process) , we have a good laugh about it. They did learn something from me. But since then, I have never been to office in formals.:D.


Lamentations! National mourning!

The greatest disaster to strike food aficionados!

Nobody saw it coming. That one last hope. That too is gone now.

A black day in the history of world cuisine.

Was back home for festivities. And I do not have to say that I am a foodie. If you are not blind enough to see that. Two reasons why I am: Kolhapuri food and my mom’s penchant for making even ordinary dishes taste exotic. My weight is a living (rather ever so slightly dying …….:P…….) testimony to this fact.

And then Pune. This place has all types of cuisines this world has to offer. Chinese, Mongolian, Italian, and whatever other –ians you can think of. You name them and you will find them. But none of them and let me be very clear about the NONE,……. none of them are very good at what they make. Go to any restaurant, the most you will hear as praise is “Man, it was worth the money!!!”. And that too is a bit too optimistic cause you do not want to make a complete fool of yourself in a seemingly elite company. Blithering sods! Even the local food is good, for diabetics that is. Haven’t these people heard of spices? Even the Egyptian pharaohs ate Indian spices! Probably the only reason that they did not have that bandage tied to their mouth. To devour more food. With that exotic Indian touch. Even after death.

But let’s not climb on ancient geeks and ghosts. What I meant to point out was that the sense of taste in Pune’s dishes harks back to the Jurassic ages. Cause it just identifies the basic ingredients. Looks like this place is not turning out to be so good for a gobbler (a quality one at that) like me. And trust me it isn’t. Even though I am trying to lose weight, I will not change my opinion.

The disaster then. You know, it’s a sin (at least for me) to order something like veg. Kolhapuri in Pune. Cause its utter horse-shit. Horrendous. Committed this sin once at a hotel called Nirmal on Satara Road. And the only ingredients I could make out were red chilli powder (truck loads of it………. to make it “tikhat”…….bollocks!) and some cauliflower crumbs. Streams, rivers, tidal currents of curses followed. Last time I checked, the hotel had closed down. So I do have a kaali-jubaan. As far as food matters go.

So I was back home. Having a good time. Relaxed. School chums, 5 of us, decided to meet. For lunch. Lips smacking. Mouth watering. Ummmm………….. reached the hotel right on time. And since we are in Kolhapur , order some…yeah you guessed it……….. veg. kolhapuri. Rest of the dishes are inconsequential.

What that asshole brought in the Holy name of Kolhapuri was…………how do I say it……….shit…………just different from the type you get in Pune. Pig shit maybe. Yeah. Cause if nothing else, the stuff that I ate in Pune, at least was spicy . Very spicy. Thanks to the chilli powder. It had tears streaking down my cheeks and that at least put some smiles on my face. This , the one that I ordered back home was………. sweet!

Yeah! you read that right! SWEET! Mother of fucking God!

I do not want to relate any more of this incidence apart from the fact that we abused the hotel owner so much that his entire family lineage must be having at 1,525 diseases, all raped, tortured and had their limbs mutilated. End of round 1.

Went out for a stroll in the evening. That has to culminate into me having a snack. Has to. There is no other way to end an evening walk. And since I was in Kolhapur (I had to keep reminding myself I was after what had happened in the afternoon) what better than wada pav. Mind you, the wada pav you get in Pune is just some mashed potatoes stuffed inside a shell of besan. That’s not the case back home. All I would have said was “taste it to discover it.” But I will not say that anymore. Can not. How can that wada pav be so horrific? Taste-less! No ginger, no chilli, no coriander………..nothing!!!!! “Tikhat lagla ka?”, the stall owner seemed to ask me cause I was suddenly silent and staring at the stuff he had served. Tikhat?!?!?!?! I was so angry that along with a real serving of Kolhapuri profanities, I felt like stuffing that wada up his nostrils! Aggravations galore! Getting hit in your balls with a demolition crane is less painful I think, than calling that wada pav tikhat. No, I am sure it is.

How ? why? Where did it all go wrong?

I think there should be a Parliamentary committee to investigate this. I think all restaurateurs who commit such crimes must have their balls cut off and then hung and then shot. Heinous is a very small word for such a crime. But it has been done. Real good food is no more. And it will have entire generations weeping, lamenting. What is wrong with this world? Why take everything that’s good about it and throw it down the gutter?

Your guess is as good as mine. For now, 2 minutes of silence. Please.

P.S. : Last piece of news on this i heard is the same is that the great Chorage Misal is no more. Holy Lord of Good food!! What tragedy has befallen us!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Am back...........

What wonders can Wikipedia hold for someone!
Threw this search by mistake, but the result is very likable!

Yeah, that true. but what is not likable is that Def Leppard is not coming to India!
They were supposed to play the Palace Grounds in Bangalore on the 17th of Oct. and MMRDA grounds in Mumbai on the 19th. And i was supposed to be there! Holy Time, i feel like breaking stuff up.....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Reasons cited :None. Rumours : Attacks on Christians, bomb blasts in major cities.

Just catch hold of some of those motherfuckers and shoot them!
Terrorists, fundamentalists, whoever.

This is the second time they have canceled this tour and i am having apprehensions as to whether these shows will ever happen. The other dates on their tour calendar remain intact. Damn it!

But calming some of these frantic nerves down is this piece of news from the Jethro Tull website.
Coming to India and doing 5 dates in Nov/Dec. These chappies have done the India routine quite a few times and are not scared of terrorists and communal violence. Yay!

And what i think is the best news in quite a while is , someone called Bon Jovi is scheduled to perform at the Live Earth 2008 show in Mumbai. Please do not keep any appointments for 7th of December!

Beat that ...................motherfuckers!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Break Free................Fly away!

A song, by Alter Bridge, that i am hooked on to right now. For a gazillion reasons. Dedicating it to people who want to be at peace, including myself.
This is Blackbird.

The willow it weeps today
A breeze from a distance
Is calling your name
Unfurl your black wings and wait
Across the horizons coming to sweep you away
Its coming to sweep you away

Let the wind carry you home
Blackbird fly away
May you never be broken again

The fragile can not endure
The wrecked and the and jaded a place so impure
The static of this cruel world
Cause some birds to fly long before they've seen their day
long before they've seen their day

Let the wind carry you home
Blackbird fly away
May you never be broken again
Beyond the suffering you’ve known
I hope you find your way
May you never be broken again

Ascend may you find no resistance
Know that you've made such a difference
All you leave behind will live to the end
The cycle of suffering goes on
But the memories of you stay strong
Someday I too will fly and find you again

Let the wind carry you home
Blackbird fly away
May you never be broken again
Beyond the suffering you’ve known
I hope you find your way
May you never be broken again.