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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.