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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Celestial Again....

Amongst the falling angels,
My head floats in venomous ecstasy
Celestial, this feeling of flight
Amongst the stars, I feel alive

These waves carry me over
A melting frenzy of sound
Envelopes your senses
Contraptions of illusion fall away

Feel the buzz of clarity
Flooding my veins with fueled intent
that dull thudding hammer in my head
Wields a pile driver now

I lose my mind
and find it all
to see the undiscovered, ever more
This light, celestial,shines on me
I close my eyes
and see it all,
And let it guide me, wherever now
Towards the light, celestial, I reach.



Thanks to the song "Celestial" by Skyharbor for setting this lyric up........anyone who knows half a thing about music, should listen to this track. It is that phenomenal! Keshav Dhar, Dan Tompkins, Vishal J Singh and last but not the least, the might Marty Friedman.....hats off folks! Here, give it a listen.....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Transcendental

I have always heard myths about music. Music can transport you to another world. Music can touch your soul. Music can dissolve all the harshness around you. Music can bring tears to your eyes.

And so I started looking for this wonderful thing called music. This anecdotal elixir from some universe that was so far flung from the world I was in. This "art" that a layman like me could understand and appreciate.

So after some years of looking for this music, going through all the transitions of listening to new sounds, from pop to rock to metal to jazz to fusion, there happened a moment. This small, slice of time, was as simple as it could get and as spiritual as it could be.

Mohan, from the Indian rock band Agnee, singing "Sadho Re" strumming an acoustic guitar. That is it. For all the  wizardry in music, this little piece of music brought tears to my eyes while making me aware of my own mortal being. And the immortality of actions that leaves a trail of your being.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14548298/Sadho%20Re%20Acoustic.mp3

Before listening to this, I was a fan. Now, I am a devotee.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cowardice or Sensibility....

I don't know if I should call this a rant or something else. Maybe I just want to think out loud.

After 9/11, the war on terror began in right earnest. However dumb of a Republican George Bush may be, there is one thing about him that is almost universally true. He was out for revenge. He may call it justice, getting even, whatever. But it was plain revenge. He was determined to beat the living shit out of the Talibaan and the Al-Qaeda, even though he was often confused who was who and who was the not. He ran the war for almost 8 years and after he quit, the armed forces of the USA did get that old cunt Osama. But let us not forget where it all began. He was the face of his country, a President hell bent on bringing criminal to some sort of justice.

I turn to most heinous attacks on India, perpetrated by fundamentalist assholes (no one is going to flag  me for being profane about terrorists.......hmmmm), lets say 26/11. And I think, why did my Prime Minister never do anything, and let me be clear, anything at all, that at least at face value, assured the populace that something was being done. Why, if we knew that the handlers were in Pakistan , which is a fact, then did we not send the Pakistani embassy packing just to make a point? Or something, to make clear, that the cocksuckers who committed those acts will get what they deserve? In the words of Tom Morello, why did our leaders not grow a pair of titanium balls and just say, OK, this is our army, and we are going to fuck someone up? Why did we not make a clear stand on anything? Is death count, just like any other human statistic that we do not care about?

I know that we are a country that believes in peace and harmony and I believe in those ideals more than anybody else. But where justice is to be served, it should be. Peaceful and harmonious should not be made synonymous with cowardice. There is a very clear distinction between those, but with the PM and his cronies, it comes dangerously close to meaning the same.

We wait for Pakistan to finish their investigation. For US with give us some face time with David Headley. To equip our armed forces and bring them at par with the best. To strengthen our police agencies and grass roots mechanisms to prevent something like this from happening again. Don't tell me that something was done, because 3 months after 26/11, metal detectors at CST were not working. So, shut the fuck up.

The eternal optimist in me is on the verge of being frantically disemboweled in the face of growing cynicism about the ability of our leaders to lead in the first place. And in this time of crisis, if there is a brewing sense of unrest and borderline  anarchy present in the country, I think I know why.

As much as I have tried to scratch my head in the search for an answer, I have not been able to come up with one. Maybe someone else can. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Musical Wish List

I have seen some of my favourite bands in action and will continue to do so. But there are some that just continue to elude me! Here is a list of bands that I want to see live before I become incapable of doing so :

Lamb Of God
Meshuggah
Tool
Dream Theater
Rammstein
Motherjane
Demonic Resurrection
Skyharbor
Amogh Symphony - As and when they do go live!
Undying Inc
Rage Against the Machine
System of A Down
Animals as Leaders
Textures
Bhayanak Maut
Providence

And last but not the least, it won't hurt to watch another live show from

Metallica!!!!!



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Right to be free.....

Let me post this first up,

"It is to be noted that section 69 of the Act, which is an exception to the general rule of maintenance of privacy and secrecy of the information, provides that where the Government is satisfied that it is necessary in the interest of:
  • the sovereignty or integrity of India,
  • defence of India,
  • security of the State,
  • friendly relations with foreign States or
  • public order or
  • for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above or
  • for investigation of any offence,
it may by order, direct any agency of the appropriate Government to intercept, monitor or decrypt or cause to be intercepted or monitored or decrypted any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource. This section empowers the Government to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information including information of personal nature in any computer resource."


For the full article and more on the Information Technology Act, here is the link:
 http://www.mondaq.com/x/133160/Privacy/Data+Protection+Laws+In+India


Now as said above, when I demean or in simpler terms, talk shit about Digvijay Singh or Kapil Sibal, I do not tick any of the above boxes. These faggots are a meagre joke on the face of Indian politics among many other names that I will not bother to name. Mr. Sibal, the only visible thing that I have to be thankful to you for, is the $35 tablet PC (which you DID NOT CREATE, so stop taking credit for it) and the list, I think ends there. So when you talk about taking away my freedom to criticize you on my blog or FB profile or Twitter account, I think it is OK that I swear and curse.

And with the whole Caravan article about Arindham Chaudhari and the brouhaha that came in the wake of that, tell me that the Information Technology Act cannot be used to subdue Freedom of Speech and be misused to harass innocent people.  In that case, the article cited facts and was merely a critical essay. And that pony tailed fuckface had it thrown off the web in India. Well, not entirely, though. It can still be found on  millions of mirror sites. Go Google! And if you want to refute this, please   try to apologize to Gaurav Sabnis and try Arindham for wasting the Courts' time. I would really not be surprised if my family gets a summons because of this.


So, dear Mr Kapil Sibal sir, go fuck yourself in the ass. I might have respected you in the past, but you just made my shit list, which isn't saying much because you are next to Arindham Chaudhari and Mayawati. And also because I cannot do jack shit about either of you. But still, go anal on yourself. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Ad Memoriam

Lot has been said and written and done.I do not share their personal loss, but I do share their anger. And the helplessness. In remembrance, of each soul that was touched by the Darkness on 3rd December 1984.




Nobody answers for their soul
And nobody begs anymore
Justice was denied
and denied again
Their souls will haunt
the air of our Land
Just like the lethal air,
that touched them to death.
In the silent dead of the night,
The Reaper struck at his stealthiest
And rode back with huge bounty
And then played his violin
to the wails and cries
that wafted in from Earth.
Condemned in life
and damned in death
Yearning for salvation
With rotting flowers on their wreath.
These souls watch on,
as we humans despair
Under the strains of the violin
to the dark legacy that they bequeath.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Corrosion of Conformity

Free will left to its own devices can take to one of many paths and make of it what it can. Conformity, on the other hand, works in weirder ways. Coercion, even more so. The best analogy, for geeks, would be Faraday's Law of Induction. That a dynamic electric field causes another conductor in the vicinity to start conducting current and produce a field that opposes the very field that created it.

Corrosion of Conformity, apart from being the name of a great band, is also the result of the very Conformity that caused it in the first place. Or how else do you think, a kid growing up in a small town, brought up in old family values, comes to find heavy metal as a tool of rebellion and non-coercion. What else does explain the stubbornness that helps the kid summon up the courage to refuse and resist? To resist from praying in a temple of pretend and refuse from uttering the very prayers that have long been held sacred?

There will always be people who tell you what to do and how you should behave and carry yourself. But, as I have already said, free will is best left to its own devices. One time or the other, you will have to start harnessing your own intelligence, if any. Rebellion is all well and good, but without free will, it is just some smoke with no mirrors. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rock N' Roll Hall of Shame.......



The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way, influenced the music industry through the genre of rock music. Thank you Wikipedia

Now, I know rock music. And this is definitely not a boast. People who know me will testify to this fact. So, my ADHD ridden brain is in complete shambles when it tries to comprehend the reasons over why Metallica is in the Hall of Fame and Deep Purple is not? Absolutely no disrespect to Metallica, they being my favourite band of all time, but I do not think pure common sense, logic and love of the music are at play here.

I want somebody to explain to me the reason why the greatest prog rock trio of all time, Rush, has not yet been nominated. Who else is left to be influenced by them? Rebecca Black maybe, going by her absolute lack of musical talent and sensibility.

Maybe some of the following bands make more sense to you as the ones to be nominated:

Kiss
Motorhead
Judas Priest
Iron Maiden
Cheap Trick
Journey
Ronnie James Dio




I don't even feel like cursing and being profane here. It's not worth it. Rock is kept alive by its fans and those very fans have no say into who goes into the Hall of Fame. Sad but true.




Friday, November 18, 2011

Einstein and the Worlds Most Famous Equation




One documentary that every man of science should see. The history and chain of events that leads to the most famous equation that is known to mankind. Presented in a very easy going way with real life characters and their stories as people and with enthralling narration, it will make you feel grateful for everything that you owe to science. Which is most things in life. Please do check it out.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0476209/

On the same topic, there is something horribly wrong with the world when the first result for the word "Einstein" is Einstein Bros and Bagels.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vishwaas

This is my tribute to Sant Kabir. Adjectives like great and wise and enlightened fail to convey my feelings about him. This feels so much better.

Chaar deewarein ghar ki
Aankhein moondein khadi
ek vachan na bole koi
apne achoot hoye

Dharti hile,
neev mein cheere padein
deemak, jant khaayein ghar ka jeev

Aankh na kholi
haath na jode
Traahi mein sab vileen.

Chook na meri
Doshi na mein
Duuja hath naa chhode

Deewar dheh jaaye
Neev ho jaaye jab dhool
kahat Kabir, haare sab,
Naa jeet kisiki hoye.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kahat Kabir, suno bhai sadho.........

Even though Sant Kabir has been an integral part of  India's spiritual landscape, my ADHD ridden brain became aware of the wisdom contained in his words only after Indian Ocean, Rabbi Shergil and Agnee started singing his verses. A typical example follows.




As Monika Dogra rightly puts it, for a musician, it is the journey, but more importantly it is the artistic turns and influential steering changes which produce a more marked change. The more you reflect on what Sant Kabir says through his poems, the more you introspect and become aware. And this leads to a greater knowledge of self and surroundings, which ultimately leads to enlightenment and humility.

I am yet to achieve anything close to what I just rambled about, but the very fact that the wisdom contained in those words have the power to touch my, or for that matter any-body's thought patterns with an indelible stamp, is testament to the greatness of the man in question. He might disagree, though. These revelations come from unbiased observation and puritanical thinking have a lot more to offer than any religious tome can ever claim to. Maybe it takes faith to uncover these. Or just open eyes and an open mind.

Will leave you with some of his verses that I could find and have come to like.

Jo Dise So To Hai Nahin,
Hai So Kaha Na Jayee
Bin Dekhe Parteet Na Aave,
Kahe Na Koyee Patiyana
Samajh Hoye To Rabeen Cheenho,
Achraj Hoye Ayana
Koi Dhyave Nirakar Ko,
Koi Dhyave Aakaara
Ja Bidhi In Dono Te Nyara,
Jane Jananhara
Woh Raag To Likhia Na Jayee
Matra Lakhe Na Kana
Kahat Kabir So Padhe Na Parlay,
Surat Nirat Jin Jana

Translated in plain english, it means

What is seen is not the Truth
What is cannot be said
Trust comes not without seeing
Nor understanding without words
The wise comprehends with knowledge
To the ignorant it is but a wonder
Some worship the formless God
Some worship His various forms
In what way He is beyond these attributes
Only the Knower knows
That music cannot be written
How can then be the notes
Says Kabir, awareness alone will overcome illusion

===================================================================
 As already translated

To what shore would you cross, O my heart? there is no traveller before you, there is no road:
Where is the movement, where is the rest, on that shore?
There is no water; no boat, no boatman, is there;
There is not so much as a rope to tow the boat, nor a man to draw it.
No earth, no sky, no time, no thing, is there: no shore, no ford!
There, there is neither body nor mind: and where is the place that shall still the thirst of the soul? You shall find naught in that emptiness.
Be strong, and enter into your own body: for there your foothold is firm. Consider it well, O my heart! go not elsewhere,
Kabîr says: 'Put all imaginations away, and stand fast in that which you are.'

===================================================================

Couplets / Dohas

Chalti Chakki Dekh Kar, Diya Kabira Roye
Dui Paatan Ke Beech Mein,Sabit Bacha Na Koye

Looking at the grinding stones, Kabir laments
In the duel of wheels, nothing stays intact.


Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye
Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye

searching for the wicked, met not a single one
When searched myself, "I" found the wicked one

Kaal Kare So Aaj Kar, Aaj Kare So Ub
Pal Mein Pralaya Hoyegi, Bahuri Karoge Kub

Tomorrows work do today, today's work anon
if the moment is lost, when will the work be done


Aisee Vani Boliye, Mun Ka Aapa Khoye
Apna Tan Sheetal Kare, Auran Ko Sukh Hoye

Speak such words, sans ego's ploy
Body remains composed, giving the listener joy


Dheere Dheere Re Mana, Dheere Sub Kutch Hoye
Mali Seenche So Ghara, Ritu Aaye Phal Hoye

Slowly slowly O mind, everything in own pace happens
Gardner may water a hundred buckets, fruit arrives only in its season


Sayeen Itna Deejiye, Ja Mein Kutumb Samaye
Main Bhi Bhookha Na Rahun, Sadhu Na Bhookha Jaye

Give so much O God, suffice to envelop my clan
I should not suffer cravings, nor the visitor goes unfed


Bada Hua To Kya Hua, Jaise Ped Khajoor
Panthi Ko Chaya Nahin, Phal Laage Atidoor

In vain is the eminence, just like a date tree
No shade for travelers, fruit is hard to reach


Jaise Til Mein Tel Hai, Jyon Chakmak Mein Aag
Tera Sayeen Tujh Mein Hai, Tu Jaag Sake To Jaag

Like seed contains the oil, fire in flint stone
Your heart seats the Divine, realize if you can


Kabira Khara Bazaar Mein, Mange Sabki Khair
Na Kahu Se Dosti, Na Kahu Se Bair

Kabira in the market place, wishes welfare of all
Neither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all


Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye

Reading books everyone died, none became any wise
One who reads the words of Love, only becomes wise


Dukh Mein Simran Sab Kare, Sukh Mein Kare Na Koye
Jo Sukh Mein Simran Kare, Tau Dukh Kahe Ko Hoye

In anguish everyone prays to Him, in joy does none
To One who prays in happiness, how sorrow can come

====================================================================

Moko Kahan Dhundhere Bande
Mein To Tere Paas Mein
Na Teerath Mein, Na Moorat Mein
Na Ekant Niwas Mein
Na Mandir Mein, Na Masjid Mein
Na Kabe Kailas Mein
Mein To Tere Paas Mein Bande
Mein To Tere Paas Mein
Na Mein Jap Mein, Na Mein Tap Mein
Na Mein Barat Upaas Mein
Na Mein Kiriya Karm Mein Rehta
Nahin Jog Sanyas Mein
Nahin Pran Mein Nahin Pind Mein
Na Brahmand Akas Mein
Na Mein Prakuti Prawar Gufa Mein
Nahin Swasan Ki Swans Mein
Khoji Hoye Turat Mil Jaoon
Ik Pal Ki Talas Mein
Kahet Kabir Suno Bhai Sadho
Mein To Hun Viswas Mein

English Translation:

Where do you search me?
I am with you
Not in pilgrimage, nor in icons
Neither in solitudes
Not in temples, nor in mosques
Neither in Kaba nor in Kailash
I am with you O man
I am with you
Not in prayers, nor in meditation
Neither in fasting
Not in yogic exercises
Neither in renunciation
Neither in the vital force nor in the body
Not even in the ethereal space
Neither in the womb of Nature
Not in the breath of the breath
Seek earnestly and discover
In but a moment of search
Says Kabir, Listen with care
Where your faith is, I am there.

==================================================================== 

As already translated

LAMPS burn in every house, O blind one! and you cannot see them.
One day your eyes shall suddenly be opened, and you shall see: and the fetters of death will fall from you.
There is nothing to say or to hear, there is nothing to do: it is he who is living, yet dead, who shall never die again.

Because he lives in solitude, therefore the Yogi says that his home is far away.
Your Lord is near: yet you are climbing the palm-tree to seek Him.
The Brahman priest goes from house to house and initiates people into faith:
Alas! the true fountain of life is beside you, and you have set up a stone to worship.
Kabîr says: 'I may never express how sweet my Lord is. Yoga and the telling of beads, virtue and vice-these are naught to Him.'










Thursday, November 3, 2011

Celestial


Bits float around me
Like stars in a galaxy
and caught in this flow, celestial


Swimming through the nebulous light,
of notes and pitch and green and yellow;
Hanging on to the unseen tether,

                anchored in the unknown.


Like surfing in a feral gale,
Violent brush against my skin.
A million worlds rush by,
The heat of friction keeping them alive

Flail of hand and I catch a globe,
Blue green red and yellow;
Morphing microbes of light,
leave a tracer trail behind.


Caught in this spiral,
pulling me inside,
I cling on to these wings,
Carry me over, this envelope .





Seconds escape breath
On collision course with certainty
Hold the air in, lungs glowing hot
my wings let go, crashing through the stream






Plunging into the pitch black dense
Bits fall away from me
I try to grab another world
in this end, celestial.




 






Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fuck the hybrid!

An absolute rant coming up. Brace up and if you are going to complain, I suggest you shut your stupid whining horizontal vagina up.


This is the last time I am going to speak on this topic, hopefully. Next time, I start shooting people with water guns and eggs or something. Hybrids are stupid. Stupid as a dodo. As stupid as Michelle Bachmann. Or maybe a little less. Prius or Insight or Doodly fucking doo dah! Hybrids just do not make sense!

Lets start with the overall fuel economy. That is a good starting point, as that is where this argument usually starts. A Prius can give you 45mpg tops. Even with the most feather footed of drivers, it cannot possibly give more. This is not an empty statement. Car magazines and programmes all over this planet have tested and confirmed this fact. A Volkswagen Golf Blue Motion TDI on the other hand, is capable of doing 80 mpg. Talk to Top Gear if you need proof. Or search on Youtube for "Top Gear economy run". Or any magazine for that matter. An internal combustion diesel with clever electronics is capable of more than that miserable plastic lunch box. What an insufferable car!

Driving pleasure is up next. Now, I know, half the people will want to watch porn by the time they get here. But yeah, to people who really care how their car rides, again these Hybrids come up short. Stupid tardy shoe boxes, with suspension that is too saggy, weight distribution completely fucked up and steering response that is as quick as a tortoise trying to raise its paw, it holding the title for a true drivers car is not going to be a reality any time soon.

Ah, and my favourite is the price thing. I tried this out for myself and found results astonishing. A completely specced up Volkswagen Jetta will cost you $30,000. And guess what is the price for a base model Prius? Stopped yapping about hybrids yet, hmmm? Whimpering maniacal buttmunches!

Last but not the least. The proverbial white elephant in the room. Pollution. Isn't that why you bought a Prius instead of a Nissan Altima or a Toyota Matrix or a Honda Accord or a Ford Focus? 'Cause it is green. 'Cause it produces less CO2 in the city cycle and less CO2 overall. True. On paper, a Prius beats a Golf/Jetta on emissions. But let me ask you, what are the emissions involved in the manufacture of a Nickel battery? And not just emissions, water and soil pollution too. Did you think of that you old cunt? This is even assuming the fact that the rest of the emissions for manufacturing the entire car is same for both makes.

You bought a hybrid because the world says it is cool to own one. Because the government in its infinite insipidity says that it is a greener option. Because hybrid owners get some tax cuts. In heavily congested cities like London, hybrid owners do not pay congestion tax. And because of your lazy and crooked ass logic, that you are doing your part in saving this planet from certain annihilation when you say, "oh, I drive a hybrid". Fuck you, you dumbass hypocrite! Because all you care about is that you reach from A to B. Because you are as bland and obtuse as your choice of wheels. That is a fact. Face it. Eat it. Tastes terrible, doesn't it?

And now, before you go and try to throw up, here is the last nail in your coffin.Watch it, you disagreeing wanker!





Monday, October 17, 2011

Winter Sunshine

Twinkle in through the window
and rustle up a warm hand
soothing my creased neck

Oh the comfort of the warm scarf
running over my brow
I know this is a goodbye
good bye for a long time

Take away, my relief
for ever longer nights
have me yearn increasing

For some time quotidian
you will greet me through the window
With a cold hand and frost smile

No soothing of the creased brow
no cure, i wonder now
what they say about distance

And longing forsaken
But I shall not beg,for I now,
that when the landscape melts
You will kiss my brow again.


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Golden Threshold


Just finished reading "The Golden Threshold" by the Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu (Indians who do not know this, I have a new sobriquet for you - dunder headed morons and you do not deserve to read this). And I want to summarize it in 4 words - Do not read it.

Don't read it, if you are the type who writes "ur" and "f9" given the slightest of chances.

Don't read it, if you start reading a book after looking at the total number of pages.

Don't read it, if you have the attention span of a rodent.

Don't read it, if Times of India is your favourite newspaper.

Don't read it, if you cannot spell archaic.

Don't read it, if your shallow brain is going to squint and squirm every time it encounters the word "breast" and "girt".

Don't read it, if you do not have the humility and feel the necessity to use a dictionary.

But, if none of the above concerns you, do read this. This volume deserves to be read. It is literally poetic persona par excellence. It is an enthralling journey of her mind, through her life and events and places around her. Dark in places and bright as the sun in others. It will take time and effort to understand what she is saying, but believe you me, when the feeling hits home, its more than worth it. O Nightingale, take a bow. And then some.






Sunday, October 9, 2011

Autumn breeze.....

Autumn breeze,
take my nightmares away.

Befriend the leaves
red and gold,
sharing stories
Tales of joy and woe and wrath.

Unwind the intertwine,
where rooted they stay;
Words and pictures blur
to live is to go away.

Accept if you please,
this burdenous gift.
In debt I will remain,
separate on our paths, we will drift.

Beg the sun
burn those threads off,
and let the autumn breeze
take my nightmares away.

Leaves red and gold,
I bid you fair journey and good bye,
fly away to greater land
Be at peace and so shall I.





Friday, October 7, 2011

What music?

Fact : Bands from Sweden never suck. They play some of the best music that is out there. Take any one for example : Abba, Yngwie Malmsteen or Meshuggah. ( I saw three examples to come out of Sweden-land : Arch Enemy, Katatonia and Opeth and yeah, fact confirmed)There is something in the water and air of that land that lends them their amazing musical abilities. Of course, the government there has arranged for a lot of low price jam pads and gig opportunities which is the biggest impetus any musician can get. All in all, a pretty successful operation.







And from this field of gold, once in a lifetime there is found a diamond, Opeth. Starting out where every kid in Sweden starts out, that is , Swedish death metal, Opeth were soon at the forefront of that. But when they emerged from the landscape and found their identity, they incorporated every influence they could find on the way. Jazz, punk, folk, classical, everything. Their music is described by someone as a "journey through sonic landscapes, ambient scenes, stoner metal riff columns, long solos, all of which can be punctuated by death metal savagery at any given point of time." And that adequately sums it up.






Opeth are not purists of any sort. They are a mish mash of all the music they grew up hearing. Which is why some people cannot seem to get their head around them. Which is why, I love them. This is the band that gave us albums like Blackwater Park and Damnation, Still Life and My Arms, your Hearse. Talk about amazing musicianship. For crying out loud.





To me personally, this band is exactly what I want to do. Be metal as fuck but still not sacrifice anything else that I wish to do with it. This is that band that made me believe that poetry does work, that heavy metal does not forsake lyrical excellence for its demonic sound. And neither does it have to be rooted into something to have an identity.







I was supposed to see this musical excellence personified in Chennai, India. But I did not. I rued that day and all time to come after that. Till today. 7th of October 2011. I got to see them here, in this city of water called Minneapolis. yes. As I will say, over and over again, redemption. A chance to see something that will truly live with me as long as I don't start forgetting. And even then, the music will never go away. And by the title of a song that they wrote, it has come full circle. Closure.





So, Mikael Akerfeldt, the man who is the face and voice and guitar and brain of Opeth, you have my congratulations, heartfelt thanks and best wishes. Keep rocking, John Johnson.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Let me show you my rig....


I am not a guitar player. But I have worked with some of these knuckleheads. But what excites me about drumming is the noise that is coming out of a guitar amp. Someday I would learn how to play guitar and rip through with blazing slows and murderous riffs like I do everyday in my dreams. And everytime before the Rock in Rio gig, I have a backstage interview where I show off my gear. Well, since I have no real gear, I put together a wishlist. From listening to a ton of great guitar players and knowing what kinda sound I love, this is what I want in my setup.

That beautiful guitar that you see alongside, is going to be my weapon of choice. It's the PRS Mikael Akerfeldt SE, basically an Akerfeldt-ized version of the amazing Custom 24. And if you have ever heard Opeth's music, you would know that this guitar is great for any kind of sound. Death metal savagery, ambient landscapes, stoner doom riffs, anything. Just gotta have it.


This gorgeous metal diabolical deity of sound that you see alongside is one of the greatest amps ever built. The Mesa Boogie triple rectifier is where a lot of great guitar players get their sound from, chief among them being John Petrucci and Mark Tremonti. Most people associate heavy metal with a stack of Marshall JCM heads, but I would much rather prefer these. With a gang of tubes glowing in through the back, when set up right, this badass muthafucka will deliver such a ripping sound, you will either feel that cold chill down your spine or maybe shit your pants.



To know what this pedal does, first head over to this link right here and watch the video. Tom Morello and Co start riots with their rebellious sounds and some ingenious techniques. This pedal is such an integral part of his setup and gives him that unique sound that I just love. No other Whammy even tries to come close to this one.








Now now, I know that a lot of people will be screaming bloody murder because I put this up here instead of the classic pedal or the Dimebag Wah, but the simple fact of the matter is using Wah is a disorder called Hammettittis. And Metallica is my favourite band of all time. The End.









Another legendary pedal from the great guitar players. Absolutely vital if you want to play blues or blues based music. Most people go in for a big effects and modelling pedal to save money in the formative years. I would rather start with these small pedals to understand the basics and form my own sound.






The TC Electronics CX 400 Compressor is another indispensible tool when it comes to creating a signature sound. This very model has been discontinued, but it is the best of its kind. This is rack mount version and very convenient to use.






The big mother of all on stage MIDI controllers, the Voodoo Ground Control board. However complicated your effects rack/setup is, this board can handle it and then some more. Must have for a good on stage performances.









Probably the best guitar - amp and effects modelling system out there. The best players rave about it and it shows in their sound and playing style. This comes when I have a lot of money to spare.






And last but not the least, the Furman AR 2 power conditioning system. Living in India makes you insecure bordering paranoid about the power supply and spikes and the kind and you want a good system to protect your equipment for over voltages and keep everything in good shape. This takes a lot of brunt and has a lot of tolerance built in.


Well, there you have it. There will be additions and subtractions in this, but this is what I need in my dream setup. Gimme my sound. Gimme.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Keep the Faith


Yesterday and completely unknowingly, I uttered, "The only true equivalence to organized religion is organized crime" and earned nods of approval and the odd stare. Though I did not shovel a lot of thought into it, thank you ADHD, I keep coming back to it. How much credibility does this statement and indeed this argument merit?

Religion came about as a guideline for a "flock" of humans to live together in harmony and with an odd power struggle thrown in for good measure. The fact that religion did not establish the general laws of being a sentient human being, those coming directly from common sense, what it did was present those principles to the congregation with a sugar veneer on a fancy plate.

This does make sense, as a way to avoid complete anarchy, religion works wonderfully as a tool of control and discipline. People feel safer following and when the majority tends to agree with something, everybody unarguably, gets a sense of what is right and wrong.

What went wrong in all this, according to me, is that the "Rules for good living" are dated and stagnate as we tend stretch them out too far. So the practise of "Sati", honourable at one time, is abhorred now and rightly so. Like any organism, religion has to stay vital and fight for survival. And the way most religions did it, is through power and money.

Cashing in on a devoted fan following is not a new concept, as opposed to what some Babas and Gurus would have you think. Creating enough gravity through religious books, saints and seers and the occasional God, with plenty of folk yarns about sins and virtues thrown in to stitch it all together, not a lot of people escape this black hole without feeling a huge void. And all the capital that goes into creating an even bigger pictorial representative of how good religion is.

With the current state of all religions being so abominable, thanks to wars, discrimination and the kind, what happens to faith and belief? Well, what happens is, people are forced to rely on their common sense, which unfortunately, they have been stripped bare of. The euphemism that is religion, relies on some basic human values which do not need any tome or recital. To simply put it, I quote the lead singer of Slayer, Tom Araya, who is a devout Roman Catholic. He says, "I might not clearly know what is right and best, but I and everybody else do know what is wrong. There are some things that you do not do, doesn't matter what religion or caste you come from."

I have already signed an agreement to comply with whatever Tom Araya says, in Slayer or otherwise. But, I do welcome everybody to ponder over his statement, leaving aside the fact that he is the lead singer of a band which has made albums like, "Hell Awaits", "Haunting the Chapel" and "Christ Illusion".

Bottom-line, every human, with some basic rules, can carve out his/her own faith that he/she can live with comfortably and still be a "good" human. Some may point out the underlying convenience that features so prominently in the previous sentence and others might paint horrible word pictures of anarchy. But, if you have a brain of your own, not beset by the woes of ADHD or any other mental illness, please do ponder over this.

To me, religion is not an important thing. I would rather ignore it than waste any brain power thinking about it. And I do stand by my sentence about it being criminally equal to organized crime. To put it very simply, back when the Italian mafia in New York was only 20 years old, a leading light of that fold said "We are bigger than U.S. Steel!" and that for them was a great landmark, an absolute pinnacle of how far they come, earning money from shady schemes.

Everytime I look at a temple, mosque or church, it dawns on me, the fact that, organized religion controls more power and money than many a U.S. Steel and some countries put together. Hard to forsake all that, ain't it?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Born to be Wild........

A keyword can be defined as the central theme or idea expressed in any written or said body of lingual work.


Road. Speed. Miles.

While the idea that one word can represent a whole is tantalising enough, it's main fallacy lies in the very fact that most words around it are short changed.

Friends. Marriage. Music. Laughter



So what happens, when there are a bunch of keywords themselves that make up the body?


Islands. Endless. Water.

What is discounted then? What is the central idea? Wherein lies the theme? A question that I have wrestled for the some hours now and reached nowhere.

Wilderness. Thunderstorm. Sunshine. Rain.

Maybe the answer lies, in not discounting words, but in the way we define them. Keywords are just words. Maybe saying more isn't actually saying more. But, saying less is more

comprehensive.

Life. Longing. Future. Satisfaction.

So when we read this body of work, and let it stand and define itself, we see a finite creature. It will mutate. It will die. Come back to life. Around those very words. Without trying to over analyse these small spurts of intellegible syllables, just letting them stand and talk to each other. Let them be human, so to say. Their mistakes are just errors we injected into them in creation. And then, maybe, just maybe, we might actually come close to understanding our own creation. And live with it.

Journey. Space. Time. Human Contact.

So, in a bid to escape this tussle between my mind and it's creation, I become the arbitrator. To understand what my mind is made up of. Here is hoping, that I understand the language that I created.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Starry....

Yes. Another big tick mark in my life. If it keeps going at this rate, I do not want to live beyond 50. Or so I think.

Today I saw this, The Starry Night.


A masterpiece from that most eccentric of painters, Vincent Van Gogh. A Dutchman, who had radically different ideas and executed them in a unique way. The layers of oil paint. The spirals of unguided rails. The only conventional thing about this painting, is probably and I say probably, the subject. But even that is rendered in a very radical hand.

But it was not very pleasant. I though I would have 4 orgasms every second when I see this painting. But I was rather very cross. Not with the art. Never. It was the people. Them clicking pictures. Them not staying there even 30 seconds to admire what was done. Glance at the painting, check the painters name, take a pic and immediately post it to Facebook and Google+. And then move on. Where was the desire? Where was the curiosity and the joy? Where was the outcry? No poetic justice for that genius.

I walked away. Sad about what my favourite painting of all time was reduced to. But, the happiness far outlives the gloom. Because every time I look at it, just makes me want to live to achieve. Something momentous. Someday........

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Flying high.....

Jeremy Clarkson, the British auto hack, was driving his boyhood hero, the Lamborghini Countach and came to a conclusion. "Your childhood heroes are best served as posters on your bedroom wall. More often than not, they are very unruly and cumbersome in real life. You attempt to meet your heroes and they will break your heart."

Yeah, right. And I was going to meet two of mine today.

When I read about this plane, was when it was declassified as a military plane and CIA said that it was OK for the world to know about it. Its top speed is Mach 3 and it flies on the edge of the atmosphere. At 90,000ft and Mach 3, there was nothing as fast to catch it. It flew into enemy territory with reckless abandon. With no weapons on board, its only defenses were its stealth clothing and brutal top speed. And because it expanded every time it toof off, because of the heat produced by friction with air, it had gaps in its panels which would leak fuel.




It was this kind of light-year-ahead technology and out of the box thinking and of course the looks that got my goat. As a 10 year old (actually 17 year old), you cannot but be excited when you look at it. For me, what Kelly Johnson and his crack team at the Skunk Works of Lockheed Martin achieved makesthe SR-71 a legend. In service or in a museum.

(And by the way, do not smirk or laugh at the yellow thing in the picture above. That was used to spool up the Pratt and Whitney engines in the Blackbird and was made of 2 Mercury V8 engines pushing out close to 800 horsepower. Ok, now don't shit your pants.)

And like Messrs Johnsons and Co. were working their magic, around the same time, under an embargo and unable to borrow from military technology, the blokes at Aerospatiale-BAC came with an aviation icon that changed the airline game and created a whole new segment of passengers - the uber jet set. With that thin fuselage, ultra light weight body and delta wing configuration, this airline could push to Mach 2 and do a trans-atlantic flight in just above 3 hours. 9/11, among other things, spelt the end of this giant leap of mankind, but it can never erase the legacy of the Concorde. Always revered, always orgasm inducing. Always remembered.




While the Blackbird retired and much better machines came in to replace it, nothing ever matched it coin for coin. THe Concorde had no such luck. British Airways and Air France lost the spine to keep it running and others cancelled their orders. When the Concorde was retired, mankind as a race, took a step backwards in evolution. So it goes, and still they are my heroes. And today I saw them.

In metal. The touch was real. The feeling, surreal. Thank you Intrepid.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Death Bed

He drowsed and was aware of silence heaped
Round him, unshaken as the steadfast walls;
Aqueous like floating rays of amber light,
Soaring and quivering in the wings of sleep.
Silence and safety; and his mortal shore
Lipped by the inward, moonless waves of death.

Someone was holding water to his mouth.
He swallowed, unresisting; moaned and dropped
Through crimson gloom to darkness; and forgot
The opiate throb and ache that was his wound.
Water-calm, sliding green above the weir.
Water-a sky-lit alley for his boat,
Bird- voiced, and bordered with reflected flowers
And shaken hues of summer; drifting down,
He dipped contented oars, and sighed, and slept.

Night, with a gust of wind, was in the ward,
Blowing the curtain to a glimmering curve.
Night. He was blind; he could not see the stars
Glinting among the wraiths of wandering cloud;
Queer blots of colour, purple, scarlet, green,
Flickered and faded in his drowning eyes.

Rain-he could hear it rustling through the dark;
Fragrance and passionless music woven as one;
Warm rain on drooping roses; pattering showers
That soak the woods; not the harsh rain that sweeps
Behind the thunder, but a trickling peace,
Gently and slowly washing life away.

He stirred, shifting his body; then the pain
Leapt like a prowling beast, and gripped and tore
His groping dreams with grinding claws and fangs.
But someone was beside him; soon he lay
Shuddering because that evil thing had passed.
And death, who'd stepped toward him, paused and stared.

Light many lamps and gather round his bed.
Lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live.
Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
He's young; he hated War; how should he die
When cruel old campaigners win safe through?

But death replied: 'I choose him.' So he went,
And there was silence in the summer night;
Silence and safety; and the veils of sleep.
Then, far away, the thudding of the guns.


- Siegfried Sassoon (1886 - 1967)
The Old Huntsman and Other Poems. 1918.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A.D.H.D.

buzz, buzz, buzz,
Goes the screamer in my head
you have been staring too long!
you have been sitting too still!

typing, humming, chewing, talking


Notes streaming out
I cannot hear
Images spewing forth
I cannot see
What am I thinking of?
I do not know

5,10,15,20......

buzz buzz buzz
Goes the screamer in my head
you have been staring too long
you have been sitting too still

typing, humming, chewing, talking

Stability absent
In every thought
Silent chaos has this wrought
Incomplete is every action
painful relapse is the only reaction

Notes streaming out
I cannot hear
Images spewing forth
I cannot see
What am I thinking of?
I do not know

I leave the chair
and pace around
hands twitching in anxiety
containing impatience I cannot handle
repeating steps, times a million



buzz buzz buzz
Goes the screamer in my head

The obsession to change
Need to act
fingers on a lot of open pages
More fiction that fact
Purpose vanishes and a pile of eyesore

Notes streaming out
I cannot hear
Images spewing forth
I cannot see
What am I thinking of?
I do not know

At break of dawn
this cycle begins
every moment goes by
Without cessation,
Act, react, kill, repeat.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Need to fly

I love visiting new cities, new civilizations, new ways of life, which of course have new cuisine. So, here, right now, I will make a list of places I want to see before I die.

1. Taj Mahal - It would be a shame if I never see this. Big shame.

2. Rome - If architecture is your passion or even a slight interest, this place will give you Chernobyl sized orgasms every 5 minutes.

3. Prague - Not a lot of people know this, but this, capital of the Czech Republic is a beautiful place.

4. Washington DC - Again, the monuments and the history screams out loud.

5. Lakshwadeep - Emerald of the Arabian sea.

6. Alexandria - The sum remainder of the oldest civilization known to man.

7. Tikal - The great city of the mysterious Maya.


Will keep altering this list. But some of these places will not be rubbed off.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kristallnacht

Sun rays glinting off ,
Pieces of glass lying.
Kristallnacht.
What proof do you need?
What evidence do you heed?

My eyes taped shut,
for I watched in disgust.
My ears pried off,
I heard in horror.
I bereft of my senses now
I live in dark elysium.
Oh, light from a thousand suns,
on this morning after Kristallnacht.


Blinded now,
shielding from the glare.
I trample upon the broken glass,
Rasping sound of those transient memories.
Telling me of my amputation
Noise, I chose to ignore.
Railing of the multitude of voices
From the night of the broken glass

Now, I live in anaesthetic perfection
For my functions are to obey and kneel.
Surgery is complete,
I am a complete citizen.
I signed my forfeiture
to speech and live.




Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Core

thrashing and marauding
bleeding and bloodletting
blood, sweat and gnarling
Muscles ripping into frenzy.

The brutality burns on
around the core
foundation intact
intertwined

The violence will collapse
if the core disappears
enmeshed in each other
Failure of substance

The energy is gone
feet drop down
the lights turn cold
and eyelids close

A mere trailer
Grim and disfigured
enough reminder
of consequences


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Arindham Chaudhari, you are a fucking jackass.

We all know the mildly discomforting, very irritating and grossly bad dressing "Guru" of I.I.P.M., that being Mr. Arindham Chaudhari. In a long line of stupidities, here comes the last straw.
"Arindam Chaudhuri sues Caravan, Penguin and Google for Rs 50 crore".
Check this link for the details. Below is a video of him, talking about freedom of speech and journalism on the internet and of course what he thinks about it. Thanks to Deepak for the video link.




I cannot stand this guy anymore. So, to merely repeat what the title says, Arindham Chaudhari, you are a fucking jackass.



Update on this.....This piece of news just made me so happy.......


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hmmm

Close to 21 years ago, a young, reckless, shy and intensely musical James Hetfield wrote the lyrics of "Nothing Else Matters" because he missed his girlfriend when he was on tour. He did not want to share the lyrics of this song with his band mates in Metallica, or with anyone for that matter. To him, the lyrics were very intense and personal and not really in touch with Metallica, this headbanging, bloodletting, screaming musical beast he was a part of.

21 years later, I am more than grateful that he sung them.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beam of life....


Ship:
On the endless sea
under the everchanging sky
I have been on a journey
Never ending in time


ship:
Winds pushing me past
the islands of Paradise
and the remnants of a wreck
Over secrets of truth and lies

Ship:
I need to take rest
Where is the shore?
A storm is approaching fast
And my will can take no more

ship:
I see a light in the distance
Someone can hear my plight
Drawn to it, my salvation
Through this fight, through the night.


Lighthouse:
Through clouds darkened thunder
In battle with feral waves
I will be your guiding light
Like thread that connects to your being
I will bring you home



==> Aerosoul



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Venomous arms of death....

Finally wrote a death metal song!......yay....let it reign!

Green tentacles
reaching out from within
clasping your neck
and you cannot run away

Can't break free
can't seem to breathe
Throttling to dense darkness
Eyes fading into oblivion

Intense throbs of agony
Running through your veins
Pain conveying the fact
the reason is inane

One vial at a time
the venom gathered strength
New found power at first,
Renewed curse it became

Die you shall now
for that is your fate
you are served at the hands
of that which you create



P.S. : Just to make clear that I have not ripped any Cannibal Corpse song off here. They are way too awesome. I just like the artwork.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Spirit Carries On.....

Maybe reminiscing about somebody who has left. Maybe celebrating somebody who is leaving. Maybe convinced of my own mortality and trying to be immortal in some way.



Nicholas:
Where did we come from,
Why all we here?
Where do we go when we die?
What lies beyond
And what lay before?
Is anything certain in life?

They say, "Life is too short,"
"The here and the now"
And "You're only given one shot"
But could there be more,
Have I lived before,
Or could this be all that we've got?

If I die tomorrow
I'd be all right
Because I believe
That after we're gone
The spirit carries on

I used to be frightened of dying
I used to think death was the end
But that was before
I'm not scared anymore
I know that my soul will transcend

I may never find all the answers
I may never understand why
I may never prove
What I know to be true
But I know that I still have to try

If I die tomorrow
I'd be all right
Because I believe
That after we're gone
The spirit carries on

Victoria:
"Move on, be brave
Don't weep at my grave
Because I am no longer here
But please never let
Your memory of me disappear"

Nicholas:
Safe in the light that surrounds me
Free of the fear and the pain
My questioning mind
Has helped me to find
The meaning in my life again
Victoria's real
I finally feel
At peace with the girl in my dreams
And now that I'm here
It's perfectly clear
I found out what all of this means

If I die tomorrow
I'd be all right
Because I believe
That after we're gone
The spirit carries on


Lyrics by John Petrucci




Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vanilla Celebration

Small victory,
Minor milestone.
moment of relief,
and a vanilla celebration.

A little rest and respite,
a brief break from the fight;
pick up the sword again
the end is not yet in sight.

Shed off the rust,
clear your eyes.
there are miles to go
Before you kiss the prize.

That is to come,
inevitable concern.
Truth be cast into momentary damnation
I'll enjoy my vanilla celebration.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lethargica

Pencil sketch of wall and tree,
green leaves that I can see.
Against the siena of the wall,
Obvious in juxtaposed harmony.

Eyes closed, shutter opens
Dark outline I see.
a million shades and one dimension less;
Black and white symphony.

I picked up the palette
to fill in the soul
The ink did not flow
for fear had blocked the nib

Let it go, leave it be
it is good as it is
Mimicking perfection is not the aim
Succeeded I, in convincing myself

So now the image remains,
A symphony in black and white
Incomplete in soul,
Unachieved in totality.






Monday, April 18, 2011

Unplug the ignorance.....undo the massacre

20th April. The 11th anniversary of the Columbine High School Massacre. Sad fact that kids have their hands on guns and 12 others lost their lives. 21 were maimed. And a rock musician was blamed for this. When Michael Moore asked what Marilyn Manson would have said to the students at Columbine, he replied, "I wouldn't say a single word. I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what no one did."

And that is the crux of it all. No one listened to them. When I look around, I see the same kind of ignorance again. Look out around you. What do you see? A sea of zombies, too self centered, with earphones stuffed where they are and eyes riveted to the latest cellphones/ tablets, we forget where we are, who we are and what we live for. It's easy to say that you are keeping to yourselves. Well, then just have a look in the mirror and tell yourself that you were responsible for Columbine and any more of those to come, The Old Bearded Guy forbid.

I, like everyone I want to blame in this post am guilty. And I will try to mend my ways and be a little more human. Enjoy the music. But also understand and enjoy what that music was meant for. To come together and celebrate our being human. Try, that's the least you can do.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I believe......


I don't believe in God. I do not think there is supernatural entity that looks over all of us and decides of our welfare. I believe things happen according to rules and laws. Action and reaction. Cause and effect. Life and death. There is no dice.

What I do believe in is, words and their intent. I believe in the action that results from that intent. For as a human, I can comprehend what another human or a group of the species does and if that is good or bad, right or wrong. My generation has born witness to many such incidents where the actions of man has written and changed human history.

So when 1 billion people chant one single name, put their faith in what he represents, I have to reconsider, rethink. For when he is at the crease, doing what he does best, this multitude is transported from the ebbs and tides of their daily lives to that Eden where they want this person to succeed. For him to succeed would mean for the country to succeed and for every face in the multitude to take a personal victory from that Eden and carry it into their quotidian life.

When recently, he visited a School for blind kids and greeted a little girl, "Hello, I am Sachin.".She knew who he was. Even if only by his voice and name. But I imagine, that little gesture would have given her the strength she wants, needs and deserves. To fight back against all odds. To triumph, to be the best she can be. As a human.

And so when he goes to work, I and many many others like me, hear and see through the pain, violence and suffering around them. I believe he represents the best of what this great country can represent. I believe that I want to be as good as him, at whatever I do and as a person.

I do not believe in a supernatural God. But now I have found one in a human. He is a cricketer and opens batting for India. I believe in him, for this belief forms a part of his soul as it does of mine.Tears roll down as I write this, without hesitation, for tears like these will be the celebration for this man when he has The Cup in his hand. I believe in the righteousness of his intent and that it will lead those who play with him to greater heights and him to salvation as he knows it. He defines how perfect a human can be and that is God enough for me. His name is Sachin Tendulkar.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Goddess in the rain




Wind meandering,
rules its will and path;
Behind closed doors,
raises illusions of fear.
In open air, heavenly,
and embrace of element of life.
A walk in the clouds unclear.
Goddess is in the rain
and permeates me in life.

With every drop she crescendos,
with every gust she exhales.
Her heart and boundless joy,
for she dances with the gale.
Sometimes, even if in ignorance,
she chooses to sing to herself,
serenading who choose to liberate.
The Goddess in the rain
will permeate me in life.

And when i drench myself
,
I feel her embrace.
A cool injection of love.
Motherly warmth without face.
For invisible instruments in ease
and notes seemingly random
She creates a Being ethereal.
Goddess is in the rain
and permeates me in life.