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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Meshuggah - The Essential Mindfuck

Listening to Meshuggah, as I just came up with this comparison, is like looking at a Cubism-movement painting- a Dali or a Picasso. For a long fucking time, it looks like fucking gibberish. Indiscernible ramblings of a plastic brained pea. It takes a special kind of mind set and situation to let those colours and lines and shapes sink in. And when they do, nothing else will do. Nothing is better. Nothing is enough.

So, if you listen to this band/playlist over and over again, you will need medical attention. Headaches and ear-bleeding is common. Along with concussion and nausea. After this has happened, three or four times, you settle down and start listening to it again, something strange happens. You discover a very tribal urge inside you. A rhythmic connection, albeit a very twisted one. Your mind wants your body to dance, but is too stymied to tell it how to. Your head bobs and bangs in very weird ways. But you dig it. You love it. Ladies and gentlemen, the essential restructuring of metal as we know it - Meshuggah.

Playing Order :

1. In Death Is Life / Is Death.
2. New Millenium Cyanide Christ.
3. The Mouth Licking What You've Bled.
4. Pravus.
5. Future Breed Machine.
6. Do Not Look Down
7. Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion.
8. Bleed.
9. Rational Gaze.
10. Perpetual Black Second.
11. Straws Pulled at Random.
12. The Demon's Name Is Surveillance.
13. Combustion.
14. Lethargica.
15. ObZen.

And an oh-so-lovely-and-informative article about why Meshuggah are very important to the progress and expansion of not only metal, but music in general.


Defining the Common Man.

In all its putrid beauty, Meshuggah have presented to us. Aptly titled, "The Mouth Licking What You've Bled".

I'm The Shallow, The Superficial. 

I'm The Common Man. 
Faithless, Narrow Minded, Indifferent, Impassive.
A Sycophantic Leech. 
Tantamount To Disintegrity. 
I'm The Vulture Feeding On Malignancy.

I'm The Sin, 
The Lecherous Sneering At Prostration. 
I Wallow In Disease. 
I Rejoice At Degradation.
I Yawn At Misery. 
Spit At Others Happiness. 
An Advocate Of Manipulation. 
I Embrace The Sickening.

I'm The Lost. 
I'm Average. 
I'm Common. 
I'm Infection. 
I'm Human. 
I'm Common
A Worm Thriving In Seas Of Disgust. 
I'm Common. 
The Mouth Licking What You've Bled. 
I'm Common

I'm The Pampered Degenerate. 
I Indulge My Inclinations
The Only Words To My Attention Are Those That I My Self Create

I Debar All Order, 
Repudiate All Purity. 
Infatuated By Contentment.
I Laugh At Lies. 
Come Behold The Sickness In My Common Human Eyes.

I'm The Greed. 
The Cynic. 
I'm The Indifferent Gaze.
Mendacity, Betrayal; 
This Is Not A Phase
Ebullient With Human Filth, Here I Am. 
Here I Stay.
Flourishing In Our Disgrace. 
Blessed Be The Human Way.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tool - The Essential Playlist

Factually and musically, the best band in the world. Listening to this music over and over again, will change your life.

Playing order :

1. Vicarious
2. Sober
3. Lateralus
4. Parabol & Parabola
5. Schism
6. Aenima
7. Forty Six and Two
8. Stinkfist
9. 10,000 Days (Wings, part 2)
10. Vicarious
11. Opiate

Monday, December 10, 2012

Celebration Day.....

What is it about groove and cadence? Some tribal instinct, deep in the bowels of a human's instincts, an urge to move. From the beating of the heart to the hooves of a galloping stallion. Rhythm, is that conveyor of symmetry and order. And on the bulwark of that strong rhythm, is held the canvas of the infinite chaos that is the universe.

Again, what is it about groove? And the chaos that it upholds? Completion. Closure. Together they form everything. Every speck of matter is born from the marriage of those two defining elements. everything we humans see and perceive to be of any physical substance.

And metaphysical substance. For isn't the heart's pulse and the brains discipline necessary to give birth to that rainbow of emotions? In the crowded bazaar of neurons, where the speed at which information disseminates rarely varies, are sold the highest of ecstatic highs and the lowest of the dark blues. 

And ever so often, when this commune is devoid of a customer, it finds itself looking for some chaos. It seeks out the madness, that will satiate this unusual thirst. A new thought, is all it needs. Enough combustible liquid to power the locomotive through to the next station.

In my daily life, I often find myself imploring for a new thought. The cadence of quotidian ritual is what provides nourishment to the physical self. But without the increasing entropy created by new thought, the physical self will turn into a remorseless automaton. 

Repeatedly, I find myself seeking the refuge of music and sound, to prevent that from happening. And when a piece of music that personifies this duality of nature resonates, a new being springs forth from within. So, it is the groove that captivates you first. Riding high on the chariot of that signature are the soaring vocals and strings and pipes. And so, it comes no surprise, that this song grabs my attention. Props my head up and makes me gyrate. On the wave of adrenaline that comes in the wake of the screams and building up to the crescendo, breaks out a ray of new inspiration. That is when, you realise, that you are transported to a paradise. Your own Kashmir.

That solid percussive frame, which is embellished by the playfulness of fingers hitting strings, bears aloft the majestic voice and traverses on the landscape created by the orchestral arrangement. To Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, I pay tribute and respect for making an ever enduring song. The Led Zeppelin is never to far to climb on board and marvel at what you can grasp. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Headphone sound off!

Just got my new Audio Technica ATH M-35 headset, as a part of my new guitar rig. A small birthday gift to myself, if it doesn't sound too tragic. And of course, my Sennheiser HD 202's are still going strong, which only sets the stage for a direct comparison. Here are my observations. Mind you, at this stage, I have had the Audio Technica's for like 3 days and not really given it the proper run through. But still, first impressions :

1. Audio Technica's are fucking well made. All leather pouch, headband. Better pin connector, wiring and sockets. Better plastics than the Sennheiser. But then, they did cost me much more than the Sennheiser's. Both headsets come with a 1/4 inch converter jack, but the one that comes with the M35 is superior.

2. The M35 has an absolutely flat frequency EQ. No single frequency dominates. So it is an ideal choice if you want the perfect feedback of what an instrument is doing. Perfect for home recording, I guess. The HD 202 has a more adventurous sound. What I mean by that is, the lower frequencies are pumped up. At the same designated volume, the HD 202 is louder than the M35. I guess the marketing blurb wasn't completely wrong, when it said that the HD 202 are DJ headphones. So yeah, in a manner of saying, the HD 202 are better to listen music on, in a casual listener kind of scenario. 

3. Because of the EQ disparity, the clarity of sound challenge goes to the M35. But that is only very slightly. Because, even though the HD 202 is a bit bass heavy, it has the clarity to carry it.

4. Both head sets are comfortable to wear and listen to for long periods of time. Added advantage with the M35's are that they are foldable/collapsible. 

The conclusion here, is multi-pronged. If you want to get a first set of headphones, and good ones at that (don't even touch that Sony MDR shit) get the HD 202. You will love them. They are usually $20 - $22. But, if you want to do some home recording or just use as a part of an instrument rig, the M35 (or better) are the way to go.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Childish notes.....

Living in the middle of nowhere is getting to me. Steadily and slowly, but it is. I am acting as a mirror to this bleak landscape and a conduit into the lifelessness for anyone who wants a glimpse of it. I guess, this is what they mean, when they say, "You must be losing your mind, boy!". I concur. Wholly and truly.

When social life is limited to near and dear ones who are projected onto a 15.6 inch screen and colleagues at office who are nanometres away from you, I think music has been the one true escape to sanity. A true rainbow of emotions and sounds start a conversation that you find yourself immersed in. You join along, adding words. Talking to the walls, in the sanest of ways. If any. 

Brings back memories from India. Warm and pleasant Kolhapur. Happy and care free me. Mates to play with and studies to contend with. Come summer holidays, all I wanted to do was play. Mother beloved wanted me to do something more productive. Maybe because I would learn something good, but mostly to get my ass out of the house and neighborhood. She needed her sanity too, you know.

So, one summer, I was on roster at a small music school nearby. Wasn't really a school, just a very learned old man, teaching music and making his last moments mean something of any worth. I went, I learnt, and when the old pendulum clock crawled its way from 4pm to 5pm, I would fuck off out of there and join my mates. No more harmonium notes, no more scales and no more old man telling me to "practice and be perfect".

Fast forward, to the dull reality of today. Actually it is just the weather. I am fine. Those days always bring a smile. I do wish for one more thing though. I wish that the teacher had locked me up for a few more hours everyday and made me practice. Learn more and better. Be a proper musician. I know it sounds like molestation, but I believe that kids are a bit like animals. They have to be treated as such, on occasions. 

Because, when you are left completely to your own mental faculties, a lot of things start to emerge. Your thoughts begin taking shape around you. And you want to present this being with a voice. Which can only be musical notes, to do it true justice. I disagree with my good friend Ameya Warade on a lot of topics, as good friends can often do. But I truly agree to what he said about the formalized language system."It is an imperfect medium. There is only so much you can convey. Sure,  you can come up with a new word, phrase and/or construction. But even then, it takes an entirely unnatural amount of explanation to translate your thoughts with any degree of accuracy."

Which is what music does with such melodious simplicity.  It fills in the gaps. And gives voice to the mute. I wish I had a companion in a musical instrument, that I could talk to. To understand the construction of my own thought pattern. Those meandering highways that connect the super-structural city that is the human brain. I have committed to commencing a physical journey that leads to such. Only time will tell, if I succeed. Till then, music made by others is where my sanity has sought and accepted asylum. 

(I wish to make clear right now, that I am strongly, even vehemently against pedophilia and wish all sex offenders and child traumatize-rs the most violent of deaths.I know it is silly and a little unnecessary to say it so explicitly, but unfortunately, there are alive among us, what I can only describe as a bag of righteous cunts who do not understand the following - irony, humor, sarcasm, satire and wit. That said, I do not wish to offend anybody who reads this.But sometimes, I just cannot help.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Racing for last position.....

Only the best drivers in the world compete in Formula 1. Never have doubted that. Never will. The capabilities needed to make it to the top tier of racing drivers and drive one of those machines around a track is no mean feat and way beyond normal average humans. In this respect, all those drivers who have walked the pit lanes and burnt tyre and clutch, to fight for pole position and race victory, are heroes.

And of course, when it came time to see my compatriot, Narain Karthikeyan graduate from the feeder series to the top pedestal in the Jordan Formula 1 team, I could not be more proud. I have been a Formula 1 fan since 1997 and a fanatic since 1998 when Mika Hakkinen started his campaign en route to 2 world titles. He still remains my hero and will always be, despite the amount of brilliance to be found in today's crop of F1 drivers. In that same context, I have followed Narain's vicissitudes with great interest. He started where most drivers start, the minnow teams - Jordan and HRT - along with his affairs with IRL, A1 GP, NASCAR etc.

The thing that always fascinated me about these F1 gladiators, is their will to win. Mark Webber came from Minardi, a team known for always being bog last. Today he is a driver for Red Bull, a top flight team, that has just won the Constructors Championship for the third time running. Kimi Raikkonen came from Sauber, Michael Schumacher came from Jordan and Benetton, Mika Hakkinen came from Lotus. Basically, minnows of their times. And all of them, made it great. Made an impact on the world of racing and an enormous impression on me.

Now, I turn to a race that was as disgraceful as it was hilarious. I am referring to the 2005 USGP at Indianapolis. There were two tyre suppliers back then - Michelin and Bridgestone. All the cars running Michelin rubber  (7 teams, 14 cars) had to pull out because of a problem with the tyre construction. Which leaves 6 cars on the grid to run the race and fight for that illusion of victory. And the teams were perfectly stratified - Ferrari - Tier 1; Jordan - Tier 2; Minardi - Tier Absolute Last.

So predictably, Michael Schumacher takes the cake, Barrichello follows home in second, Tiago Monteiro came third followed by Karthikeyan. The exact running order at the start of the race. And that's my point. The un-spectacular nature of Narain Karthikeyan. He could never take the fight to his team mate at Jordan in 2005, presently in HRT or the other series he has ever raced at. True, he has taken victories and pole positions, but those have been few and far between and none in F1.

Vijay Mallya, in so many words, said this long back. When asked if Team Force India will have an Indian driver, he shot straight back saying, there was no driver good enough. And that  is the bitter truth. Karun Chandhok has not graduated to F1. And Narain Karthikeyan is mediocre. In that hallowed world of F1, he is as bland as beige and as devoid of zing as grey porridge. It is sad this. And so, I guess, "Karthikeyan comes in in the last position" is an inevitability. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hate Speech in India.... really.......

As long as these laws, and any such are present and valid in the Constitution, India is not going to be great. We are not destined to be a super power or anywhere near that as long as we have these tonne heavy shackles of bullshit tied to our limbs. India is a secular country, and these laws directly contradict that very quality.

India prohibits hate speech by several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and by other laws which put limitations on the freedom of expression. Section 95 of the Code of Criminal Procedure gives the government the right to declare certain publications “forfeited” if the “publication ... appears to the State Government to contain any matter the publication of which is punishable under Section 124A or Section 153A or Section 153B or Section 292 or Section 293 or Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code”
Section 153A of the penal code says,inter alia:
Whoever (a) by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or (b) commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquility, . . . shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
Enacted in 1927, section 295A says:
Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of [citizens of India], [by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise], insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to [three years], or with fine, or with both.

Courtesy Wikipedia. 

Reiterating my own statement : All religions are equal. Equally worthless. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

The young sailor's enthusiasm.

Carried by the westward breeze,
On a sail of crimson, blue and sienna,
Step after step, hand in hand
Into the sinking sun, with the young sailor.

With gaiety and humor,
Animal noises and boisterous laughs.
Funny faces and a hippety hop,
Into the sinking sun, with the young sailor.

Of stories, sailing over the deep blue,
to the legends of sails and souls.
A will to live, to yearn.
Into the sinking sun, with the young sailor.

From curiosity that sparks,
As wild fire it spreads.
Never at rest, at peace.
Torment of knowing new,
what many did ignore.
A myriad of colours,
A carpet of magical hues.
Into the farthest it stretched;
And beckoned ever so strongly.
The young sailor answered
the call of the Sol.
And into its fleeting wake,
Ran, chasing a dream.
Chasing into the bright unknown,
To catch the setting sun.

A Nightmare to Remember.....

I do not know if it is the wine talking, but let the words have their way regardless. I think the pain will never go away. Only the throbs of it keep getting milder, a bit more bearable, if you might. Tears rolled down when I heard the song live, in the memory of somebody who I can no longer share it with. But the memory will live on, especially every time the song plays.

I left the tears behind, when the song unraveled in front of me. When amidst the whirlwind of musical notes, any and all cries were lost in the sound. After stepping out of the door, it felt like closure. An assurance, that I would remember the great memories and be able to live with the darker ones, for "....If I die tomorrow, I'll be alright, because I believe, that after its gone........the spirit carries on."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oh My God....

Just saw the movie. The first sensible movie that Akshay Kumar has done in ages. Paresh Rawal has played the role of Kanji Mehta to perfection. And the theme of the movie is where the strength is. Apart from the slight cowardice at the end. Instead of going the full monty and saying that all religion and every god is a fairy tale and be treated as such, the movie still keeps the concept of divine faith alive. Nevertheless, logic, common sense and human ethics are far older than religion and that every god survives on the nutrition named fear has been reinforced and that is great.

In a hopelessly religious country like India, it is a good start. Do watch this movie. Ratings not required. Thought is. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Divine outpouring, my arse!

An uber profane rant about God and his stupidity. You read and are disturbed, then you are a twat.

"Jab Uparwala deta hai, to chappar faad ke deta hai!" - This is in Hindi, when roughly translated into English means "As and when God wills, it doesn't rain, it pours!"

By the dint of hard work, perseverance on my part and a lot of sacrifice, strength and support on the part of my family and friends, I have hit a bit of purple patch in life right now. But a number times now, from multiple mouths, I have heard the above mentioned adage. Now I do not care much about religion and God and all the perfumed-up bullshit. But this time, I think it has gone a tad too far.

I am a little miffed at friends and family who used this adage to describe the arrival of good times. I mean, I would be happier giving them the credit. They do deserve it. Everybody worked hard for some considerable length of time to make it happen. And I, sure as the sun, am not a cunt, for not giving out much deserved props.

But now, thanks to that adage, I am supposed to thank the bearded cunt in the clouds for everything. So , all this fucking time, when I was struggling and depressed and my near and dear ones were working hard and helping and supporting me, this faggoty God was in a deep fucking slumber and then all of a sudden he wakes up,shakes off his fucking daze and with a fucking flourish of his shitty hand, makes everything right? What an absolute cunt.

Ergo, please, if you have played a role in me being a little more successful, please claim the praise and credit. Lets revel in the genuine joy of being optimistic, hard working and loving humans. And leave that divine asshole out of this.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Intertwined problems of an independent nation

""Is it Muslims only who have feelings? What about Hindus? When Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswathi and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur were arrested, did anyone think of feelings of Hindus?" Thackeray questioned."

The above excerpt is taken from this article here. And I think it represents the kind of entanglement of problems that India is finding itself in, all of them at once.

First for some background and context. Thackeray is Bal Thackeray, leader of the Shiv Sena, a regional political party with a strong foothold in Maharashtra. And the backdrop for these comments are the recent riots in Mumbai, much better told about in the article and related.

Following is what I find wrong with the outtake :

1. "Is it Muslims only who have feelings?"
Objectively or otherwise, No. Everybody has feelings. But a country cannot be run on feelings. When you call a country secular, you have rules and a Constitution that is based on that very secular thread. Unfortunately, the Constitution of India is not very accurate when being judged on the secular parameter, which is where the problems begin. Ironically, the definition and outline of what secular means in the context of India has been clearly outlined in the Constitution.

2. Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswathi and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur
Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswathi is a Hindu seer, read more about him here. The main thing to establish context here is, the seer was arrested on November 11, 2004 and charged by Tamil Nadu state prosecutors with being a conspirator in the murder of a temple manager, Sankararaman. So, he being a Hindu and a seer does not have anything to do with anything. He was being charged and treated as a criminal being accused of murder. If you feel bad for an alleged murderer, please try to be objective and not a cunt.

Sadvi Pragya Singh Thakur a long-time Sangh Parivar worker and believer in its core ideology of "Hindu rashtra (nation)". She has been arrested and awaiting trial for orchestrating the Malegaon bomb blasts. The charge sheet for the crime has not yet been filed, holding up trial, indicating something fishy being afoot.Though for the purposes of this write up,objectively speaking, she is a terrorist. And that should be the end of that.

3. The Hindu-Muslim problem. 
Now, this will directly date back to the time when India was first attacked by rulers from Central Asia and I think the bad taste for what India had to suffer at the hands of Muslim invaders and rulers over a number of years has remained. Fast forward to pre-Independence India, the riots leading up to the Partition of India and the aftermath did not help at all. The formation of Pakistan, a Muslim majority state, the Kashmir insurgency problem, wars with Pakistan did not help. Then came the Shah Bano case and twisting of secular laws in the Constitution and laid down by the Supreme Court, demolition of the Babri Masjid and the riots that followed that and the tension that has remained ever since in one way or another. Be it the Godhra train burning incident and riots that followed in its wake, 26/11 terrorist attacks, Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad or the recent spates of violence that erupted in the North East. 

As a secular country, India should not let religion dictate the politics. Even though the word secular was added in the preamble only in 1976, the country has always been secular in spirit. But right from the moment India became free and wrote her own Constitution, religion has never stayed out. It has become part and parcel of the way we think about the idea of India's existence, which is stupid because so many religions have their fingerprint in this land and have basically co-existed in peace for so many years.Even though 65% of India's population is Hindu, we take pride in calling ourselves secular. 

And that is how it should be. A spade should be called a spade. Two wrongs cannot make a right and tit for tat can never be the foundation for a sane ideal. A crime should be treated as such without being viewed through the tinge of religion, caste or creed. We need to be better Indians, to make a better India, not religious douchebags to create an unstable State. Objectivity and common sense need to be restored in the system to make that happen. This will take time. But India does not have another way out. 

Thanks to additional comments and inputs by Swayambhoo Jain and Balaji Sridharan on this write up.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fast unto fret....

Had my weekly chat with my parents back in India and my Mom happened to mention that one of my cousins had completed a 4-day fast. Now, for some background, I was raised a Jain. My parents still believe in Jainism, as do most of my relatives, including this cousin we are talking about. And Jains are sado-masochistically anal about the religious duties that are to be performed during their 8 day Paryushan festival. A lot of them have 8-day or less fasts, eat only boiled stuff, stay away from onions and other roots etc etc. And when it comes to fasts, it isn't like moving your normal diet to fruits and milk. Oh no, Jain fasts mean you live only on water, consumed between sunrise and sunset. Nothing before and after, respectively.

Now, this seems hugely impressive, and it is. Fasting like that for 8 days on trot. My elder brother did 11 and everybody is the family celebrated the second coming. Now, as any sane doctor or dietitian will tell you, losing 50 pounds in 8 days cannot be healthy and will have its repercussions. But that isn't what blew my top.

So, coming back to the Skype chat, my Mom mentions my cousin doing this 4 day marathon of consuming and committing nothing and consequently Mother beloved has to go to Mumbai for the formal meet and greet celebrating this human stupidity. As if this was not enough, Mom said that if I were to do something similar, she would visit me in the US. AND NOT OTHERWISE, BECAUSE IT WOULD COST A LOT OF MONEY FOR NO REASON!! And she wasn't kidding too. I asked her thrice again as to what she meant, and she meant exactly the thing stated above.

The only way I can represent my anger through words here is that I wanted to burn every single Jain temple down to the ground. It is exactly this kind of insanity in religion that justifies something that is totally unnecessary and yet denies something that is so simple and needed. Fuckin hate religion. And now, even more so.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This 15th of August....

Saare jahan se achcha, Hindustan hamara....   - No. Not really. It might be optimistic to say this, if we were really addling/crawling to some semblance of progress. Maybe there is progress. For who, I have no clue. Numbers on some paper does not reflect in real life.When that happens, I will add the Happy in front of Independence Day. Till then, we have a lot of work to do.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Curtain Falls .....

The final day, and Sushil Kumar wins the Silver medal in men's wrestling to bring the Indian tally to the best ever figure of 6. No golds this time. But here's hoping for better things at Rio. Till then, we celebrate the 6 stalwarts who got us the precious metal. Much love and gratitude along with a sense of personal debt and national pride.

From Left to Right :
Subedar Vijay Kumar - Shooting.
Sushil Kumar - Wrestling.
Saina Nehwal - Badminton.
Gagan Narang - Shooting.
Yogeshwar Dutt - Wrestling.
MC Mary Kom - Boxing.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teach me how to catch a fish....

"I also feel that a very good chess player might not necessarily turn out to be a very good coach." - Vishwanathan Anand,

Essentially highlights one of the most important things that I see wrong with the Indian education system. For example : In the engineering colleges that fall under the University of Pune, a fresh graduate with a Bachelor degree can teach a Bachelors undergraduate class. Without experience, with no formal training of how to speak on a public platform, handle students, communicate effectively or even hold a piece of writing chalk properly. I am pretty sure this malady is not a resident of Pune alone.

Another notion that is wildly popular : If you do not find a job in the industry, you are fit enough to teach. Well, the teaching profession is not necessarily the right place for the rejects of the corporate world, because as a teacher, the person can hamper the educational development of many people at once. Making a student lose interest leads to worse results, not to mention the loss of respect for the teaching position and profession.

I am sure this is not the complete picture. Salaries, geographical location, family commitments are all a part of this. But the fact remains : Treating teaching like a second grade profession will essentially set you back.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This has to stop

This video of a heinous act being committed is unbearable to watch, but still, it shows us the faces of the perpetrators. Please take a look, share and spread this. Help bring these assholes to justice. Help uphold the common ethical sense that moral policing is wrong and this 16 year old girl did not deserve this. Taking India ahead one step at a time.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Until It Sleeps......

Written by a friend, for a friend, who is no longer with us. We will always hold you in our hearts, Appya. The Memory Remains. Thanks for the words, Indi.

Rituals – the 10th day – of what import is it?

Of what importance is the ritual that takes him another step away from her
Of what importance is the ritual that frees his soul and binds her deeper.
Of what importance is it, that shuts his face out from our lives - 
Leaving a few impalpable moments - captured back in time;
now sealed with a hairline vent
Sealed, to be opened later; locked, to be safe and saved.
Vent, to prevent them from getting stale.
And no, I wont let the rituals lay them bare
I’ll hold on them with utmost care.
You've had his body, his face and soul – 
in the name of rituals and customs… 
Turning them in ashes, proclaiming it’s freedom,
But these prints of his face on glossy little sheets
Are mine to keep 
while I weep.

-By, Indrani Shetake.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

In anger, with you....

Hands held out for mercy
Cries of help, fall on deaf ears.

Weak do not survive,
Extinct are the fearful.
Right moment, good judgement,
To summon the demon within.
Tap into the anger,
Your veins are overflowing with.

Timid flesh devour,
Red bloody and claws gleam.
Power of a thousand sinews
Embolden the beggar hands.
From the bowels of hell,
lies which, deep within us
Let vicious fury erupt.

Do not suffer in silence,
Not turn away in blind ignorance.
Do not look down
Stand your ground. Fight. 
Retaliate, with all your might.
For the venom that swallows them today,
Will necrotise your kind away.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All in a song....

Prancing in the wilderness of your mind,
like a welcome breeze.
Inspiration, you are welcome through every door;
Enchanting you, with every move.

Draped in a garment,
Of luscious notes and pitch.
Melodies in harmony and often in contrast.

As often as it happens,
When this angel appears anew.
Brushes your face with her silky hands,
Tantalizes your ears,
Infuses your nerves with renewed energy.
You fall in love, all over again.
In love again, with a song. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Not fair Appya.......... not fair at all.....

I will live with this regret for all my life. I wasn't there, with him, on his happiest day. And I wasn't there when he was taken away. But I am proud and honoured to have included him in some of my happiest moments. Some of my best. And I never told him just how much he meant to me. And now, in his mortal absence, never will be able to.

Apoorv Pathak, you wonderful man - friend, brother, partner in crime, husband, son - accept my apology and my farewell.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Of Trojans and assholes

So it happened. Finally, a trojan got to my Windows 7 and brought it crashing down. Not just that, it would let me install it again. I had to resort to drastic measures to get OpenSuse and Ubuntu installed on my system as stop gap measures.

I know, its an exciting thing to create something that dangerous, but it does real damage. If I were working on a project, I could have potentially lost a lot of hours worth of productivity. And if I were to find the person who created this trojan, then let's just say that the lyrics to "Hammer Smashed Face" would be recreated  in real life, to the last gory detail.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gushing fountains.....

The Chinese aren't exactly known as master goldsmiths or mechanics. Fascimile masters, yes they are. From a paper clip to a fighter jet, they have done it all. But, I am not here to slag them off. The world does that for me. I want to say something about what they did right.

I am an elitist when it comes to writing instruments. Still a fountain pen fan. Have a had 50 odd, when I was in India. Still have 5 here, in Minneapolis. That love of the fountain pen brought me to the world of Calligraphy, which I still enjoy, to this day. And no other fountain pen have I loved more, than those made by that Chinese company Hero. I don't even know what the parent company is called. But whatever it is, they make arguably the best and most affordable fountain pens ever made. the 330, the 332 and the 616 which I recently bought. All fantastic. Try them. I would be surprised if you hated them. Fountain pens do kinda improve your hand writing too. Happy scribbling.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


The deafening whirring of chainsaws. Snakes slithering around me. Shards of glass, piercing the skin. The crimson of blood becomes all pervading. Hypnotic discombobulation of coloured lights. Flashing out of nowhere. Crackle and pop of firewood. That burnt smell of smouldering, charred skin. Snapping of bones under immense pressure.Pain. The dull thudding of a heavy jackhammer. Repeatedly hammering into my skull. Again. Again.

Till my brain was turned into mulch and my conscious behaviour was rendered non-existent. Broken were the bones and those sinews that gave them motion. Bleeding with the Rational Gaze into the Electric Red. Combustion renders the Dancers to the Discordant System useless. Do Not Look Down at the Future Breed Machine, for In Life is Life and In Life is Death too. The New Millenium Cyanide Christ is the Demiurge which presents a Catch-33 in this Chaosphere.

Thank you, Meshuggah. Thank you. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stage on Fire......

When you want to see a live musical show, you want your moneys worth. Any way it comes. And bands like Rammstein and Marilyn Manson recognize the seriousness of putting up a great stage show along with good music. It is entertainment ultimately. You want people to come back to watch you play. Today, watching Rammstein play, blew my brains all over Target Center. Brilliant! For example, see the video below!

Oh, and when we are talking of theatrics, check out this new Swedish band called Ghost. Oh yeah, Satanism still rules. On stage and with music too. They are badass!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Living on a Prayer......

The title, as the title of the blog, is a Bon Jovi lyrics and may sound specious, especially for a devout atheist. But, when normality won't do, inspiration is the only way to survive without losing your mind. So, these are 4 great songs, modern rock compositions, that are helping me keep my sanity. The melody, velvet gloved aggression and the feel of this music is beyond the realms of what is real.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Haikus - 2

Tranquility of exterior belies
A torrent of emotions inside
Amongst kith and kin alike
Weep I, for someone in whom I don't confide?


In different colours and different hue
Same as the difference in me and you
Against the backdrop of vermilion, a patch of grey
is the beauty of silence amidst a lot of say.

Monday, April 23, 2012


No, this is not about the movie(s). This is about the Agneepath that is far more inspiring, much more expansive in scope, way simpler in its structure and boundlessly more profound. The real Agneepath, that epic piece of poetry written by Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

Agneepath Poem:
Vruksh ho bade bhale,
ho ghane ho bhale,
Ek Patra chhah bhi mang mat, mang mat, mang mat,
Agnipath, Agnipath Agnipath;

Tu na thamega kabhi 
tu na mudega kabhi
 tu na rukega kabhi,
Kar shapath, Kar shapath, Kar shapath,
Agnipath, Agnipath, Agnipath.

Ye Mahan Drushya hain,
Chal raha Manushya hain,
Ashru, Sweth, Rakta se Latpat Latpat Latpat..
Agnipath, Agnipath, Agnipath. 

A Rough Translation
Trees standing mighty and tall
Dense and huge
Don't ask for an iota of shade.
On The Path of Fire

Thou shalt never halt,
thou shalt never turn,
thou shalt never stop.
This will be your pledge.
On the Path of Fire.

In this huge Scene and frame,
Man is continually progressing,
Bathed and by trial of Tears, sweat and blood,
On the Path of Fire.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

When Overwhelmed......

When overwhelmed,
sensory isolation
brings mental clarity.
In that moment of dissolution,
Emerges a map of creativity.
Figures take shape,
Colours fill voids,
and these walls come alive. 
For, when overwhelmed,
Claw away at the vines of complexity;
To reveal the simple beauty.
And, when overwhelmed,
The want of that moment to be perfect. 
Seek to connect,
To a kindred soul
Share the nestling smile,
in the collective bosom
of a satiated creature.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Beauty and Brains......

Next time you smirk when you hear that title, remember this moniker that I invented just for you, "Scrotum carrying arseholes!".

Hedy Lamarr - Austrian sex siren, actress, hated Hitler, came to US and with the help of her pianist neighbour (who she was probably having an affair with, but that's not official.) invented the first frequency hopping system in the world which the Allies refused to use. Hedy and Herr Pianist got the system patented, but the world got around to using it only after the patent expired. Fucking miserly cunts!

Don't believe any of it, do you? Read this and weep. Alone. Or rejoice and jizz.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Majesty....

Again, we come to heavy metal. Bleak, rebellious, loud, brash, arrogant. It does have a cerebral side to it which is, I guess I can use this word, beautiful and inspiring. And at the peak of this hill, are those very Brits, Iron Maiden.

Every metal head has their favourite metal band, depending on what aspect of metal they like. But if there is one band that embodies all the best aspects of metal and does it with infinite grace and integrity, its the Irons. They are not my favourite band of all time, not even of their peak decade. I do not have their entire back catalog. But doesn't matter what mood I am in, how dark everything looks, just a play of "Hallowed be Thy Name" or "Fear of the Dark", it always makes things look better. And doesn't matter if it is Rock in Rio in 1985 or En Vivo in 2012, they have just personified excellence, integrity and done that for as long has they have on stage and off it. And I guess, every metal head on this planet is proud of them. Up the Irons. Enjoy some of their best.

Thursday, April 12, 2012



Endless carpet of grey
Flanked by colours, myriad and shape
Clouded sky
Come Clarity.


Moment of silence
I close my eyes
And see the carnivore inside.
Paranoia devours my flesh. 


Aerosoul - The Final Hurrah

For a band of musicians, the venue will make a difference. A good one will spur you on and a bad one will bring out the poker face. Aerosoul's last performance was at the terrific Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and that is as good as venues get. Feels good to leave this at such a high.

Thanks to Shruti Iyer for meeting me at Einstein's Bagels, Harsh Mankodi for breaking up with his earlier band, Arjun Kumar to agree to playing keyboards and Quresh Sutarwala for all that enthusiasm and energy and coming onboard just before the first gig. Enjoy these videos and a round of thanks from a grateful musician who never thought that this would ever happen!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Four Fathers of the Sound of Rock.....

Yes, they thoroughly deserve that moniker, for without them, I would not be able to annoy my neighbours with the thunderous guitar sounds coming from bands like Septicflesh. Yes, these four giants, mostly unknown by most, but revered for their creations, for they defined the guitar sound of modern rock.

Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender aka Leo Fender (August 10, 1909 – March 21, 1991), the founder of Fender, that piddly little company that makes guitars like the Stratocaster and Telecaster. 

Lester William Polsfuss aka Les Paul (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009). I think I have said enough. Rather, let me put it like this : If a guitar player has never played a Fender Strat or Tele and a Gibson Les Paul, he/she has not really played a good one as yet. 

Seth Lover (January 1, 1910– January 31, 1997). Now this one is a little more cryptic, but bear with me. This was the guy who invented the Humbucking pickup, the one which helped players go from the Classic rock sound of the single coils, to the more modern rock and metal guitar sound. I quite literally owe my love of heavy metal to this guy, because I do not like the single coil sound as much and my metal journey did start out from exciting guitar sounds. 

Jim Marshall (July 29, 1923 – April 5, 2012), "The Father of Loud" and the "Inventor of Awesome" is simply the guy who created those titanic amplifier stacks you see behind Yngwie to Ritchi Blackmore to James Hetfield to any good rock or metal guitar player. Marshall amps and cabinets have been the mainstay of the modern rock sound and I can bet any amount of money, that all professional rock musicians have owned at least one and covet one or the other models for it is so essential to their sound. Ah yes, the JCM 800, that is my favourite. And I am not even a guitar player. 

I think this next sentence that I am about to type in is more relevant to these folks right here than anybody else. You have left us in person, but your creations and hence your presence stays with us for all time. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Do You Want To Buy A Tower of CD's?

I was just watching "The Social Network" and particularly alluding to the title, the part where Justin Timberlake, who plays the role of Sean Parker of the notorious Napster fame says to Eduardo Saverin, "Eduardo, do you want to buy a tower of records?". I have to admit, to be the founder and creator of something like Napster has to be pretty awesome and to say that sentence to someone, even more so. But being cool and being right are not the same thing.

What Napster did was steal. Or rather, empower people to steal. Plain and simple. Whether an artist is rich or poor, metal or pop is not the question. They took what was not theirs and handed it to others. Some people would call it being Robin Hood. And in some ways, it was. But, in a civilized world, where we do have laws for some reason and a majority of them being for the welfare of people, this is unacceptable. There is another dimension to it. People supported Napster, not because it was something revolutionary in the way of doing things over the internet, but because they could get stuff for free. Again, plain and simple. Don't get me wrong. Napster is useful when you are a new band and want other people to listen to your music. But one song from a new band does not compare to entire discographies of established artists.

What I am going for here, is perspective. With the internet becoming such a leading driver in globalisation and the spread of information and knowledge, it also became a vehicle for IP theft. Not on its own, but as a tool. So while Napster, P2P Torrents and hosting sites like Megaupload do help people to store their data, a large part of their existence is down to simple stealing. Theft of I.P. Acts like S.O.P.A. and P.I.P.A., though hugely unnecessary and stupid, were a reaction to this theft and there will be more of them coming in the future. Much more focussed, much more lethal and much more effective.

I am not an enemy of the internet. Not even slightly. I grew up with the web and when it first became freely accessible. I love being online, living in cyberspace. Email was such an amazing thing when it first started and to me, it still is. Google has become synonymous with running a search. Facebook is the same as normal social life. The geographical distance, in a lot of cases and for many purposes, has lost its significance.  Picasa, Youtube, Wikipedia, I could go on about this, without even mentioning some of the more specific technical stuff that we use the Internet for.

Some housekeeping first, confessions if you might. I have illegally downloaded a ton of music and other stuff.  Sometimes because the music was genuinely hard to get, (try buying a Slayer CD in India and you will know what I mean.) , but other times it was just for free shit. Same with movies, documentaries and software. And I plenty sure that I am not the only one who has done this.

But when I see what this kind of behaviour on the part of the normal populace has done to the order of things, I am forced to re-think my actions.Let's talk about music, as that is something everybody understands. It's not Metallica's and the Adele's of this world who are affected by it. It is the Meshuggah's and the Obscura's and the Gojira's who wilt away. Up and coming artists cannot get anybody to buy their music and hence they end up giving their stuff away for free. All this, assuming they are very talented and have come up with good stuff. Touring does not make two ends meet. Not for everybody. And when someone like Sahil Makhija aka Demonstealer from the Indian band Demonic Resurrection is juggling 36 jobs to keep his musical career alive, if you still cannot see the truth, I think you need to blow your brains out with a hand gun and then examine them. Or just look in the mirror and call yourself a greedy pig.

Now, the flip side. Music and movies and software has become cheaper. Fleecing the customers has gone down. Digital media has become more accessible, legally. The old guard has ended and the new order of things has come in. You can sample stuff before buying it. You can interact with artists and creators if you want. All that is possible. If you want it to do it. Before thinking about how to get it for free, think about how to get it legally.

So to sum it up, I do not want a tower of records and CD's. Actually, I do, but well, most of us do not. But you do not need to. The world has changed for the better and you need to change your mindset. Support your local scene, support artists and the ilk, if you want to see more and better. I have started to do the same. Wish you all do too. Not out of fear of being caught and penalised, but because it is the right thing to do.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Raanjhan Yaar Di...

Since I found the lyrics and meaning to this song, might as well put it up. Brilliant song, gotta love it.

यार दी दीद मंगां . . रांझण यार दी

संवरी हाँ ते मैं निखरी हाँ ... रांझण यार दी
होर तों होई होर हाँ ..... रांझण यार दी
तांग तेरी वे आ वेहड़े , सोहणे सजण
यार दी दीद मंगां . . रांझण यार दी
यार विच असां , लब्बी है खुदाई

छम्म- छम्म नचां , इश्क कमाई
कमली हाँ मैं , सोहणी जग-हसाई
मीठा भाणा तेरा , मिठ्ढ़ी जुदाई
यार दी दीद मंगां. . रांझण यार दी

Yaar Di Deed Mangaan , Raanjhnn Yaar Di
Sanvri Haan Tey Main Nikhri Haan , Raanjhnn Yaar Di
Hor Tonn Hoyi Hor Haan , Raanjhnn yaar Di 
Taangh Teri Vey Aa Vehdhey ... Sohney Sajjan
Yaar Di Deed .......

Yaar Vich Assaan , Labbi Hai Khudaai 
Chamm-Chamm Nachchaan , Ishaq Kamaai
Kamli Haan Main , Sohni Jagg Hasaai
Meetha Bhanaa Tera , Meethdhi Judaai 
Yaar Di Deed Mangaan , Raanjhnn Yaar Di "

Some important meanings
(Deed - Jhalak , to see someone)
(Raanjhnn - Heer's lover )
(Sanvri-Nikhri - Groomed)
(Hor tonn hoyi Hor -- Tranformation , to reach some other Level)
(Taangh - Longing for someone)
(Vehdhey - Aangan, Courtyard)
(Assaan - Mainey, I)
(Khudaai - Moksha,)
(Kamaai - Earning, Achievement)
(Kamli - Mad Woman , Crazy, Unmaad)
(Jag-Hasaai -- When The Whole World Laughs At You)
(Meetha Bhanaa - God's Ways of Doing Things are Accepted)
(Meethdhi Judaai - Sweetness of Separation)