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Monday, March 30, 2009


Words overheard, mistakes seen.......something that human senses pick up during a normal day in life.

A teenage girl living away from her parents. Conversing with her mom on phone, at around 10 in the night, with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes and a wonderful smile on her face..."Mamma....mujhe aapko kuch batana hai. Maine aaj kuch kiya. Dantna mat, kaam achcha hi kiya hai. Nahi, mujhe kuch nahi hua, main bilkul thik hun.................... "

A friend to another, "I have lived sarcasm for 10 years. Thats just something you gotta remember. And bear........."

Some professor to his students, "All of your jokes start and end on filthy sexual innuendo. Just listen to that Russell Peters guy......"

An IT professional to another over a glass of mastani, "Dude. Introducing some bugs in the code is no big deal. Helps you stay credible, cause you can claim the credit.........."

A young man to his lady love, "Don't worry dear. And don't ever doubt our relation. Am here to be with you. Even if you leave me, i am going with you............."

A Tyre shop owner and some random acquaintance of his.
The Acquaintance : Arey bhadya, majhe 70 rupaye kadhi denar bey?
The Owner : M*******d, yedya bh*******........adhi majhe 30 rupaye parat kar.

A lady shop owner to her seemingly arrogant son (in Marwadi......have to specify that cause i cant understand some of it and can write none of it...) "9 months in the womb, 20 years of providing and taking care. And all you care to shower your mother with is curses.............."

One senior citizen to another, "Elections again. I will be missing my son, daughter-in-law during that time you know. They give you 400 bucks per head to vote. Just count the number of candidates in your ward................"

A cursory smile, a fleeting frown, a nod of the head.... and you are on your way.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ich kenne ein bisschen Deutsch..........

Entschuldigen Sie.........I am sorry, it does not mean i am swearing at you (which by some measure is my default behaviour). Its just that the effect of learning German has not sparred any of the senses. Its exhilarating to say or to feel. You get to be a kid and to some extent you have to be a small kid to learn a new language.

The repetition, colour pencils, songs, home work........its just amazing fun. But well it isn't exactly doing great things for my Englisch.....oops English.....was what i meant.

Attempting the GRE means having the 50 word lists down pat. At least thats what is expected when you book your seat. And all are not exactly easy. Some words are really alien and no matter how many tips and tricks you employ, your mental faculties just stubbornly refuse to register.

And here is where it gets interesting. German isn't exactly a close cousin of English. Much more cognitive with Sanskrit. Which makes things worse. In other words, the only thing in common between these two languages is the script (and a few words) and...............nothing else.

Nevertheless, as i have already said, its huge fun. Its like your imagination has earned wings the size of Madagascar! Every new word learned, be it German or English, is something new earned. For life. Which is why, i won't like to have it any other way.

Two languages, two different directions. More accurately represents how life goes most of the times. A choice every few steps. Where the paths meet, is for you to decide. For me as of now, German is a hobby and English is a lifeline.

P.S.: I realise that this babble is going to far. Some important and useful details then. There IS a Max Mueler Bhavan in Pune, contrary to what a lot of people feel. Their courses are recognised by all German Universities and hence highly sought for. Cost more than twice of what is being offered outside, but thats not exactly a stumbling block. The quality of tutors and the method of teaching is more than worth the price. As i have said twice, its huge fun.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thanks for existing.........

Yeah, this post is exactly what it says. You will understand what is going on.

A great mano cornuta for my favourite band Metallica......for this song......if I would not have heard and seen this song.......i would be a very different person today!

A mosh pit owed to Rage Against The Machine......for their fire and zeal....to use metal for something more than entertainment!

A huge bear hug to Opeth for restoring my faith in people's song writing capabilities.

A great round of high fives to Iron Maiden......for showing me what live energy is al about!

A bow down to Dream Theater......for letting me realise what exceling really means!

A full death wall to Lamb of God for showing me how hard work pays off and what high speeds actually mean!

A salute to Slayer......for showing me the difference between speaking of the devil and being the devil!

Appellations galore to Alter Bridge......for the realisation and the appreciation!

A headbangers ball to Brute Force for giving me a favourite band here in Pune.

And last but definitely not the least.............this song for.......sustaining existence!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The new album by Lamb Of God , "Wrath" is out and is exactly what the title says.The riffs are angry, the drumming is explosive and the vocals sound baneful. Lamb of God have not deviated much from their typical sound, which might not be a good thing, as some songs do tend to get boring after some time. Metalcore influences are more obvious on this album as are the various experimentations with new sounds.

A typical LOG album, in majority with some refreshing new touches. I would give this 7/10.

Track Listing:

The passing 1:58
An acoustic solo passage like never before from LOG.Leads to the main piece which has a bit of "Call of the Ktulu" feel to it.Pleasing to listen to and a good opening track. The warping on the outro gives a taste of things to come.

In your words 5:24
Angry opening riff, heavy double bass drumming typical of CHris Adler. Must say that the vocals definitely sound different.The main parts sung in typical Randy Blythe growls.....but the chorus lines have a feel which seems to put the mail vocals off a bit, egging it on. Sounds pretty good though. 3:50 onwards the instruments in unison produce some kind of a grandiose feel. Something one would attribute to Scandinavian metal, never seen with LOG before. Good riff and solo to end.

Set to fail 3:46
Typical Chris Adler pounding and angry riffs mark this one. Solo at 2:36 tries to get more melodious and coherent than LOG's erstwhile efforts. Guitar layering is well done in this case.

Contractor 3:22
This one starts with a whistle and goes like one. Lurching riffs, fast double bass work and vocal hooks galore. Another happy little evil sing along. you are bound to get adept at using the word "guaran-fucking-teed" after you listen to this one.

Fake Messiah 4:24
Leviathan opening riff leads to another typical LOG part. Plenty of variations in drumming parts make sure Chris Adlers office has a busy day. The Arabic tinged distorted solo from 3:50 onwards does a good job of finishing the track off.

Grace 3:55
A flamenco guitar opening piece. SOmething very new for LOG. Leads to a proper metal assault. something like "as the palaces burn". Vocals here seem stronger than other songs before this. Main riff sounds delicious as does Adler's drumming. Neo-classical metal influences stand completely visible in the solo that begins at 2:40.

Broken Hands 3:53
A great intro on the guitar, leads to the stage being setup for Randy's vocals to take over.The chorus growls stand out prominently here.Solo at 2:29 is a complete misfit.

Dead seeds 3:41
An opening riff that seems like 'Redneck". The opening vocals remind me of "Omerta". Seems like a secondary effort to all the songs featured so far. Nothing wrong with it though. Just nothing new.

Everything to Nothing 3:50
"Master of Puppets"-esque opening riff leads to a proper pacy song. Randy's vocals lead the way all along. Will make for a great live song. Mosh pit ahoy!

Choke Sermon 3:20
The drums on this track are louder than anything else. Again a typical LOG track. Till the break at 1:44. The riff sounds a little Mastodon-esque. The solo at 2:18 is a refreshing change.

Reclamation 7:05
7:05 ....are they crazy! A twin acoustic guitar melody to start things off. Which launches into a huge roar , much like what is seen in "Descending". The vocal, drums and guitar trio locomotive runs smoothly, blending into the acoustic bridge parts. Part at 3:31 is panned very well. Randy's vocals are working overtime here. Definitely the best track on the album, alongside Grace.The outro is again a befitting passage provided by twin acoustic guitars.

My name is...........

Hey, hi there.
Don’t be so surprised now. It is just me, the drum kit. Well I have stayed here long enough to pick some decent words up (and some indecent ones as well). Does not feel like a surprise then, does it? Each one, who has begun this journey, has picked something up, immeasurable. Undeniable.

Might sound like the worst life to you, being bashed all your life? Well count the exception in. The one thing I enjoy the most is getting bashed up! Might sound like a low life to you, but I ain’t!

I have been witness to what you call a learning curve, many times over. Those first shivering, immobile hands, rigid feet and stuttering words. The sounds that I emit then, make people remember other things to do in life. But stay with anything long enough and the dividends are apparent. Apparitions and these walls will agree to solitary practice paying off quite handsomely. Slowly, cautiously at first. Then faster, harder, smoother. It rumbles on. Creating a storm of sound, every time. In the hands of a master, this paraphernalia transforms its surroundings. The heartbeat of any melody. Explosions in every angry riff. The crescendos and diminuendos of every story told in music.

This present form of mine did not materialize out of thin air. But put together lovingly and with great pains by your own good self and many others like you. Part by part. Skin by skin. So every time i get to be a narcissist, I fantasize of myself as a symbol of your own team work and desire to make music. And somewhere I think the blood, sweat and tears have coalesced to give me my present form. In so much that I hardly remember my first shape. It does not trouble me at all. Anyways I look better than ever before. And the regular tunings and clean ups do help too. Those cymbals are my bling you see. Bronze alloy jewellery like none other. Drum sticks of many a colour and size too, join the party time and again. Pretty much the complete picture , ain’t it?

And just like you, I too miss those who have left. The times bygone. Those who have graced this throne and used this hardware as an extension of their own body, soul and thoughts. The moments of joy and anguish alike are embodied in every stroke that has left a scar on my skin. The reverberations of those cymbals still rage inside my own heart, as if powering it on. Being here gives me a balance of thought. The sonic locomotive when I am being played and then the solid shape to enjoy the sound of silence that follows. A witness to every metamorphosis, of person and personality. And every time that door creaks open, I rub my hands in glee. Like a little kid who gets a new toy on Christmas eve. Time for some action.

With love and respect,
The Chancellor Drum kit……comprising of

The 16” snare with an Evans skin. The 14” 16” and 18” toms. Planet Z 14”high hats and 20”Crash Ride and ZXT 16” Crash cymbal with their respective stands. Mallet beater aluminium pedal. With guest appearances from various sticks and Mapex double pedals. And last but not the least, the 22” kick drum……………Rage On!

Myles of joy................

Finally a review for Myles. That’s the Pulsar 180 DTSI (2008 model) that I own. Naming bikes is an attribute of the gay fraternity, say the wise dickheads. Well, please go and do your “Is-He-Gay-Or-Not” and “How-did-it-Happen?” thesis somewhere else. Am not gay and that shall be the end of it. Now piss off, will ya?

I confess that this comes a tad too late. 7000 kms too late. Any human with a normal brain does not need as many kilometers to ascertain the worth of his mode of transport. Thanks to truck loads of laziness on my part. Still, that gave me space to be a spectator to some amazing adventures and incredible rides. Indelible memories for this lifetime.

Well, statistics first…….well, no. Refer to the Bajaj website for that (which does not open most of the times). It is major boring whaleshit. Straight to the point. What hits the eye first is the form. The color red, as I have always stated, is like a panacea for a cold heart. It sets it on rage. A blood red paint scheme with some pretty decals, the street-mean looking headlight cluster, the LED stop lights and the carbon black exhaust. Matter black finish engine and 6 spoke alloy wheels add the kind of menace that goes on to complete the maxim “beauty and the beast”. The sum of the parts is one brilliant contraption as far as pleasing the visual senses goes. The best view I think (this one is for the lens men and shutter bugs) is the rear three quarters view. Try it once to understand what I am all about. Kudos to the designers. Will massage the owners’ ugly ego very nicely.

This is a touring bike with a spark for some throttle-opened-till-the-stop action. The 16 PS of power comes in handy on the highways. Maxed the bike out at a 116 kmph on NH 4B (Karad – Kolhapur section). In a very smooth manner. This is no pocket rocket. The engine is in no hurry of speeding up and revs up in a very graceful manner. Suits my riding style to the T. My bulk and a heavy back pack which robbed me of, 4 kmph, I think. Well no use crying over stored blubber and clay brick aerodynamics. And it’s no back breaker. The rider seat is very comfortable. A butt pleaser to say the least. But the same cannot be said about the pillion seat. Thin on foam I guess. And the 15.5 Nm of torque do a great job of handling the chores inside the city. The handle bars are a bit uncomfortable, but not exactly wrist breakers. The 2nd gear is a huge relief in the stop and go and seek and murder and then again go Pune traffic.

Speaking of gears, I don’t think the Bajaj boffins spent a lot of money on the gearbox. The weakest link in the entire package has to be the gears. Clunky and often unpredictable shift. Infrequent but regular false neutrals too. But these gremlins are more restricted to the lower gears. Put it in 3rd and beyond and all this is long forgotten.

The real eye opener for me was the chassis. Been through many ghats for that bit. And the bike handles it with such aplomb that the apothegm “corner cutter” sounds very appropriate. Brilliant on the twisty sections of tarmac, never letting the 150kg odd kerb weight affect its chassis stability at high speeds. Sublime is the only word that comes to the mind. The suspension is a bit to stiff for normal riders. For me, with the extra pounds, it is perfectly tuned up. The front disc brake is powerful too, lacks a bit of feel though. Not linear enough. Rear drum brakes are more than adequate and the combination has saved this skull from going under a scalpel on many occasions. Full marks on the handling front.

The ergonomics are spot on too. Digital display is my favorite bit with the orange glow reflecting the numbers adequately. The data gathering sensors are a little slow, but that should not bother me one bit. The switches are fantastic and operate with absolutely no hassles at all. The headlight and the parking lights, fire up with a good glow and to date I have had no complaints about them at all. Even at a low beam position, the beam spread is pretty good, hardly raising the need for the full beam. The fuel reserve light (on the analogue tachometer) also doubles up as the rev limit indicator. The side stand light is a deft touch too.

The Indian commuter is always obsessed with we know what. How many K’s to the L. And am very happy to share that my bike, with a single person riding all the 7K odd kilometers inclusive of a healthy mix of city and highway riding, throws up the figure 42. DTSI and some good riding habits (hecklers beware) deserve a mention here.

All in all, a package, I would say which is more than the value for the money spent on it (64K Indian rupees in case you start searching). The spares are cheap, should you need them at all. Almost bullet proof. That’s just cause I haven’t put a real bullet through it as yet. Dealers and service centers are stocked with these and should not be any cause for trouble. Reliable and frugal. That’s what Bajaj do stand for. In a very Indian way. Don’t they?

Happy and safe riding. Always use the helmets