Sunday, July 29, 2007

Post 290 : Freedom of choice, as long as you do as I think....banana republic

The more I think of it, the more I am convinced that I am part of the biggest most idiotic banana republic that ever existed.

I was watching this debate on television, "should gender pre-determinisim be allowed for parents of would be children?".....

Background : In rural parts of India, culturally, we still tend to prefer a baby boy to a baby girl. Why? Well....for a variety of reasons. One of them is that the hindu scriptures suggest that begetting a son is the easiest way to open the gates of Moksha (liberation).....A son is needed to light your cremation pyre.....Two, a girl tends to be a social obligation, since in our idiotic dogmatic society, the girl's family takes care of not only the entire cost of her marriage, but also gifts her wealth during marriage (dowry).

Given, these two social pressures, in parts where this choice is pre-dominant, there is a tendency to abort female feoteuses, and to kill girl babies as soon as they are born (genocide).

Its for these, starting 1996 (or so I think!!) India has banned gender determination pre-birth for the baby. Female genocide is still at an all time high, probably higher (since now you only discover its a girl after she is born, instead of aborting her earlier). There are still about 700 females for every 1000 females across the nation.

Look, I get the social and cultural ramifications.....and I am all pro-choice, anti-female genocide (I would personally love to have 4 daughters, if I could...)

Yet ....?

I hate the crack-jack bunny government trying to control market dyanmics. What the government should do is come down harshly on those committ should incentivise people to have should educate people more (illiteracy is big cause for this problem).

Banning sex determinism is not a solution. This is exactly what happened in the 80s, in a bid to avoid population growth, Sanjay Gandhi went about forcibly neutering males so that they could not longer sire children.

We are a banana republic.....and I am not at all proud of it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Post 289 : Politics and the art of fluffy delusions

Growing up, I heard politico-types speak, and also certain corporate honcho lectures, and often wondered "This sounds gibberish. Do they really believe in this doggone bullshit?"

10 years into the corporate world, and I think I see a pattern, I can dissect an insight out of it, which I must admit is not very flattering.....

I am fairly entrenched into mid-level managers within a corporate echelon....and I can get previously inaccesible peek-a-boos into the worlds of peers.

And what does the crystal tell me? The future looks bleak, it looks black.

The truth, the whole truth is....

To most of my peers, the gibberish is not gibberish, its a truth, a way of life. This is very analogus to what an atheist feels when he sees his siblings fawn over some religious mumbo-jumbo. Either I have Neo's Matrix vision using which I can slice-dice the humbug or my peers are delusional.....

Is that scary? Depends. A generation full of delusional characters who thrive on fluff in, fluff out. They consume fluff like manna and dish out rehashed fluff as elixir.

Net net....What appears geeky gawky trash to an audience, is probably what the speaker believes in with all his/her heart...Its a way of life.

Its also possible, that these folks(in their younger days), started off passing of gibberish, because thats all moved the needle for them(or they thought so), gave them access power, made them popular with other gibberish consumers/producers, and then as years passed by.....their acceptance of the gibberish became more total, masking their true perceptive minds, numbing their ability to detect and discard fudge.

Now that I have seen this happening in close quarters, probably, I can guess, this is probably the very same malaise which afflicts our politicos. You keep repeating trash so often, that very soon your mind becomes delusional and you start feeding off your own crap...muddling your head, eventually killing the pristine Matrix mind.

What scares me, am I also losing some (if not all) my mind of this muddling game? If yes, then, maybe the time to quit is near, before this malaise takes over completely?

Question to you, if you know me, am I already bitten? Write to me, would love to hear @ iamitabh at yahoo dot com

Another reason why Hans Christian Anderson's Emperor's New Clothes, will remain relevant in our times and immortal.

Post 288 : Vegan...half way there

In 2004 Jan, I gave up feeding up on meat. Since then, I have consumed meat now and then, when I had no choice, but then in the past 6 months, I am almost completely off it.

I dont like meat anymore, nor does the thought of eating it, excite me, anymore.

So that clears my stand before proceeding into the rest of this blog entry (ahem! ahem!)

I was reading with interest, the Jain community protesting against Reliance Fresh (Mukesh Ambani venture) and the retail venture of Kumarmanglam Birla (Aditya Birla Group), both stocking and selling meat.

Their vex being : Both the Ambani's(gujjus) and Birla's (jains) are going against their own grain, and they should excercise restrain, else they will earn bad karma. Basically, the thought being can you run your retail venture without selling meat, and forgo a few dollars of profit in the process.

I must mention, that the Jains are non-violent, so even their protests have been non-violent, using the press and direct conversation with Ambanis/Birlas, than actually the more "common/usual" burning shops and placard protests.

The more I thought, I came to naught, I appeared to myself as a bigot...Yes, I strangely agreed with the Jains.

Is money so important for the Ambanis/Birlas that they cannot forgo the few dollars. I find both of them at a point where they can influence the world with their clout, rather than bend to accomodate it.

Ideally I feel, if they respect their religions, they must see merit in the demand of the Jain community.

I dont back this due to any religious sentiment, but more on account of my newly acquired credo of non-violence.

Wrod to the non-violent credo!!!

Post 287 : The anatomy of a life

Our lives are nothing but a set of events. Some of these events are good/happy events, some of these are neutral events, and some tragic.

Good/happy events is what we will/want to happen, neutral we dont care, and tragic events we hate.

Strangely, we are never really "happy" with good events, because we have already discounted them in the present. Which means I have already planned/thought and killed the surprise from owning a Merc someday. I already have fantasized enough about the machine, that when it does come along, it will be just another conquest, the "delight" factor is gone.

"Tragic" events, even the ones which fortell themselves are still unwelcome and the surprise is always there. If I have been detected with cancer 8 years ago, the eventual atrophy is already to be expected, when and how fast are some parameters still in the air. Yet, I will continue living life as this event simply does not exist. And lo another ostrich joins the human race.....

Given our prelidection to events (as described above), its almost always that a "tragic" event strikes some "unfortunate" entity ("and always a silent prayer of thanks from the other ostriches, "thankfully it is not me!"").

One such event struck occured last week, and it was another death to the ravages of life. And it was time to remind myself, that the next tragedy is never too far away. Probably not even 2 steps away, just around the corner, apparent-yet-transparent to my ostrich eyes.....

Maybe for once, I shall not wince, I shall not be surprised, I shall keep looking out, flexing myself, waiting to exhale "ah! so it was you", biding my time, tip-toeing on the "event" as it happens....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Post 286 : When you run from emptiness, you have not only arrived, you have gone too far

When I look at my current life, I realise as it stands today is nothing but a racy excercise to fill in the time, frontload it, overload it to ensure that there is not a period which is you with yourself.

Fill in time with gym, office, travel, friends, relatives, parents, sibilings, movies, television, moving targets and is there time to pause and stop......I dont know about others, but I miss that aspect of life massively, few minutes with myself, playing a musical tone, ingesting the undiluted sounds of the world around us.

Our aggrandizing of time and its fill up is akin to us running scared of if, if we did not do this, our world would collapse...a la black hole.

Modern life is claustrophobic, but then I am the proudest monkey.

Post 285 : Music 27 : Mujhe Khabar Thi (Saadgi Lata Mangeshkar)

Heard Sajda. Liked it. Go get Saadgi.
Have not heard Sajda (Jagjit + Lata). Like Ghazals. Go get Saadgi
Have not heard Sajda. Dont hear Ghazals. Like Lata. Go Get Saadgi.
Have not hear Sajda. Dont hear Ghazals. Lata, who? (Still) go get Saadgi.

Thats it....Wont waste words or time inventing words around the album.

From Mujhe Khabar Thi (the main video song for this album)......Farat Shahzad lyrics.....loved these lines.....

Tamam Shehr Mein Ek Woh Hai Ajnabee Mujhse,
Ke Jisne Geet Mera Shehr ko sunaya tha

( Deja Vu ....Sajda's Mili Hawaon Mein....

Tamam Shehr hi jiski taalash mein ghum tha,
Mein uske ghar ka pata kis se puchtha yaaron....)

Post 284 : Qaisa and Amir

(Years ago, long before the time electricity brightened our nights, in an ancient town...appears Islam dominated, what with most male particpants having long beards and speaking in unknown Arabic sounding dialects. They look Muslim.)

Qaisa is a short dusky girl, dressed in cream-brown attire. Amir is frail, with a slightly hunched back, dark skinned and yet dressed in black with the white cap (called the Taqiyah) recommended for Muslims.

Qaisa seeks Amir's help to vanquish 12 arab gents (probably religious figures??), and you ask why ? (not sure yet, read on??). These 12 gents are arriving at Amir's house for boarding and meals. (why??)

Amir's house is guarded by a huge black door made of heavy wood, unpolished and unvarnished. The gents arrive. Qaisa hides behind a wall.

Amir makes the gents comfortable and disarms them, makes them feel secure. He starts feeding them a multi-course meal.

While heading back and forth between the kitchen, he finds Qaisa tired and about to doze off behind the wall, decides to nudge her and wake her up...but before he reaches out to her, upon moving closer he sees her glassy eyes, realizes she is awake...and backs off.

The next time he passes her, he signals her to be ready (for the kill).

Qaisa is on cue....

She comes out of her hiding place. She is carrying a loaded multi-round gun (how on earth, did this come in ancient Arabia?). She starts shooting the gents with an anger that has a stench of revenge.

The gents somehow throw fire at grabs her clothes and she is aflame. Meanwhile she is still going about shooting rounds and soon, all you have is 12 writhing bodies.

Amir is shell-shocked by the whole play.....he is frozen in time....he remembers twitching and feeling a strange excitement, a sense of adventure as the scene plays out in front of him....yet being afraid...and as the bodies fall on the floor and the rout is over, Qaisa falls to the floor, now looking like a ghoulish flame.....Amir returns to life...rushes to save Qaisa...throws himself on her in an attempt to douse the flame.

While doing that, his rover eyes move around, watch the door, still contemplating "will help arrive?, is this real?, what must I do?"

And then.....

(I wake up. My throat is parched. I need water, I am breathless with some asthama issue. Its 12:47 am. Amir was certainly me, Qaisa was my other half....and yet, I lie awake does the brain conjure up such images....and all the while it was playing out, it seemed so this also the nature of our life? my subconscious telling me something? .....Had "I" not woken up for water, "I" would have known the whole story, yet, "I" rationlise that "loss" saying it was just a dream, yet "I" know(!), that I shall never know(!) the "whole" story.......Is this what death will be like? Someday my unconscious decides enough is enough, "it" needs "water" and wakes up...and khattam shud....this life-dream abruptly will have ended....the unconscious will not have known the "whole" story, but it will not care either....and the dream ("me, I") , what about that...why bother, did it even have an existence....nah!!)

Post 283 : Proudest Monkey

I have been up since midnight with breathlessness (less out of any f*ing excitement, more out of my asthamatic dreams) and a head that just decided to make its ache felt today.

Have been writing mails (and believe me, I am such an anti-social animal, that even the ants refuse to climb over "writing mails" and "me" is supposed to sound oxymoronish).

Was writing something to my mom, and was ranting to her about the frigging emptiness and the usual psycho-babble ilk of my kind indulge in....and up on my playlist comes up Proudest Monkey by Dave Matthews Band (one of my favorite bands...which is quite a good compliment considering the amount of music I indulge in...I seem to like almost all their songs).

Was so freaked out by the co-incidence of what I was ranting to her, and the song playing....It seemed eerie. Life seems to be working under a monstrous synchrnocity (credits Deepak Chopra...hic!! hic!!)

Here goes:

Proudest Monkey – DMB

Swing in this tree
Oh I am bounce around so well
Branch to branch,limb to limb you see
All in a day's dreamI'm stuck
Like the other monkeys here
I am a humble monkey
Sitting up in here again
But then came the day
I climbed out of these safe limbs
Ventured away
Walking tall, head high up and singing
I went to the city
Car horns, corners and the gritty
Now I am the proudest monkey you've ever seen
Monkey see, monkey do

Then comes the day
Staring at myself
I turn to question me
I wonder do I want the simple, simple life that I once lived in well
Oh things were quiet thenIn a way they were the better days
But now I am the proudest monkey you've ever seen
Monkey see, monkey do
Monkey see, monkey do

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Post 282 : Amit Varma (LiveMint) - Celebrating Pratibha Patil

Enjoy Amit's Blog India Uncut...

This piece is from Mint, where he contributes.


Celebrating Pratibha Patil

If George W. Bush comes visiting, she can impress him by chatting with Saddam Hussein and asking him where those WMDs are

Thinking It Through Amit Varma

If you are an Indian, your heart should swell up with nationalistic pride today—and perhaps even explode. India elects a President as you read this, and it is likely to be Pratibha Patil. There has been much talk in the media about how she is unfit for that post, an opinion I have also expressed. But now I have seen the light. I was wrong.

Competence and intellect are optional attributes for a post that only has ceremonial value. Our President represents India to the world, and should be someone who people can take one look at and say, “Ah, so India is like that!” For various reasons, Pratibha Tai embodies much of India in her slender frame.

Consider, first, her spirituality. We are a spiritual nation, and Pratibha Tai actually converses with spirits. When she was nominated for the presidency, she revealed that she had been told by an enlightened soul that she was destined for bigger things.

“I had a pleasant experience,” she told an audience at Mt Abu, where she had gone to meet a lady named Hridaymohini aka Dadiji, who runs a “World Spiritual University”. She had chatted with a gentleman named Dada Lekhraj, who died in 1969 but has presumably hung around since. “Dadiji ke shareer mein baba aaye,” she told the audience. (“Baba came in Dadiji’s body.”) This, you will notice with pride, also has a touch of the erotic about it, which is quite appropriate in the land of Khajuraho and the Kama Sutra.

There are many advantages of having a President who can speak to spirits. She can chat with Gandhiji (Mahatma, not Sonia) over breakfast, and let us know his views on the world and Lage Raho Munnabhai. If George W. Bush comes visiting, she can impress him by chatting with Saddam Hussein and asking him where those WMDs are. (“Dadiji ke shareer mein Saddam aaye.”) And so on. Lucky Dadiji.

Pratibha Tai will also not let India’s traditional sciences wither away just because they are nonsense. (What kind of silly reason is that anyway?) Consider astrology: Just last year, while launching an astrology website that she surely knew would succeed, she said, “Astrology is a serious and deep subject which has a great influence on our society. The growing expectations of the people from this subject requires application of science and technology.”

Under Pratibha Tai’s influence, astrology might even be introduced in the IITs. Her encouraging words could spark off an outsourcing revolution in astrology, as the rest of the world dials Indian call centres to find out what Aquarians should have for breakfast.

A President should have a vision for the nation, and Pratibha Tai fits the bill. During the emergency, she had announced, “We are… thinking of forcible sterilization for people with anuvaunshik ajar (hereditary diseases).” This is laudable, because it is in sync with the oppressive policies of our great leaders Shri Nehru and Shrimati Gandhi (Indira, not Sonia), whose governments repeatedly denied us personal and economic freedoms— for our own good, of course.

Just see the impact of such a measure. All of us have genetic predispositions to some disease or the other. If we’re all sterilized, only government servants will have kids. (Babus will, of course, be exempt from all laws.) Thus, our mai-baap government will have the only mai-baaps around, and our population problem will be solved at one blow.

Pratibha Tai displayed a similar subtlety when she spoke out against the purdah system, claiming that it originated as a protection for women against Mughal invaders. The fact that she said this with her head covered spoke volumes about her feelings about the world today. Is it not awesome to have a President capable of such nuance?

Many allegations have recently been made against Pratibha Tai, but her supposed shortcomings are features, not bugs. She allegedly protected her brother from murder charges, and mismanaged a cooperative bank she controlled by cancelling loans taken by her relatives. Is Indian tradition not all about taking care of your family? Also, using a cooperative bank to defraud people is an honourable political tradition in Maharashtra, and that state has reason to be proud of her as well.

It must be admitted that Pratibha Tai’s opponent Bhairon Singh Shekhawat also cares for his family—he reportedly helped his son-in-law get out of a CBI case. He might also be an unheralded pioneer of the great Indian art of corruption—he was allegedly suspended in August 1947 for taking bribes, as soon as India gained independence. But he can’t speak to spirits.
My heart is filled with delight by that old political adage that we get the leaders we deserve. Today, Pratibha Patil will almost certainly be elected President of India. Aren’t you proud?

Amit Varma publishes the website India Uncut, at Your comments are welcome at

Post 281 : Why I am not potty about master H-Pott (Namita Bhandare) - LiveMint 24th July 2007

Loved this article. Why?

Well, I tried reading Potter, and it sucked big time. I think this phenomenon is like "Emperor's New Clothes" - no wants to call Rowling nude (and crappy).

I hate this whole hype surrounding the book and the series. I am happy if he dies in this final edition (please kill the jackass).

On one hand you have I Allan Sealy, Rushdie and on the other hand, Jackie Collins - both have their place in literature, but the Potter sucks is neither here nor there, its fucking pretentious, its a marketing gorilla.....its art gone awry.

Namita, take a bow, you called Rowling and Potter - "potty", I wish I had done that long ago.


Was I crestfallen at my daughter’s act of rebellion? Truth be told, there was a sense of disappointment—but also of relief.

Looking Glass Namita Bhandare

As a diligent mother, I had gone to extreme lengths to acquire movie tickets for the new Harry Potter film. I knew a friend of a friend who knew somebody at PVR cinemas and I had got the prize: first day-first show tickets. And then, my 12-year-old dropped the bombshell. “Harry Potter is boring. I don’t want to see the film.”

Was I crestfallen at my daughter’s act of rebellion? Truth be told, there was a sense of disappointment—but also of relief. Many, many years ago I had valiantly tried to read the first Potter book to my children at bedtime, only to give up when I saw how quickly it put them off to sleep and how fast J.K. Rowling’s deathless prose seemed to dry up my throat. We never did finish the book. And I think we were all relieved when I went back to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

It’s day two PDH (post Deathly Hallows). The hype and hard sell for weeks preceding ‘The Launch’ have paid off in terms of early sales figures. Reliable reports inform me that the US print run is 12 million copies; 240,000 copies have hit Indian shores and punters say 160,000 of these were sold on day one alone.

Book 7’s launch had the usual ingredients of the previous launches: a one past midnight release; top-level secrecy with books being trundled off in armoured vans; children—and a distressing number of adults—in costume, no less, lining up for hours to grab their first copies.
To be sure there were a bunch of “spoilsports”—pages posted on the Internet before the anointed hour, early shipments by an online firm, right wing ministers in Israel threatening bookstores with dire consequences for staying open on Sabbath, and advance reviews (most notably by The New York Times which heaped praise on the book—‘spellbinding’, ‘monumental’, etc.—and contained not one hint of a plot spoiler).

No matter. Rowling was reportedly “staggered” at the “disregard of the wishes of millions of readers”. There were others who rushed to her defence. On the Huffingtonpost site, Rachel Sklar was breathing fire and brimstone in a post titled, Harry Potter and the Fact that I hate The New York Times. For Sklar, the embargo on the book was “tantamount to a public trust”. Breaking that trust, even by 24 hours, was enough to send her off the rails. Elsewhere, bloggers like grannieannie threatened to cancel their NYT subscriptions.

Excuse me? Is someone concerned that we’ve just gone overboard? What is it about an innocuous book—and not a particularly well-written one—about a boy wizard that has sparked off this hysteria? And why am I left dismayed?

On a most basic level, the sales pitch and the hype generated by a giant PR machine with the media and large bookstore chains often playing complicit partners has got to be off-putting. This is manipulation at its most crass level.

But that’s just one part of the story. On another level there is something deeply, deeply unsettling to see the sort of blind devotion that Master H-Pott seems to command. It’s like watching Benny Hinn on God TV whipping up a torrent of tears and Hallelujahs from thousands and thousands of perfectly reasonable-looking adults. Is there place for reason in the world of Harry Potter madness? NYT had a minor ‘scoop’. What ethical breach had it committed by purchasing a book from a bookstore that had chosen to ignore the embargo? And at the end of the day, it’s just a book. But to say that in the wake of Pottermania makes me liable for treason.
But to me the deepest cut of them all is the way the Harry Potter hype-machine has robbed reading of its romance. What can compare with the sheer pleasure of discovering a great book—and wanting to share that with close friends? What could give a child greater self-esteem than coming up to a parent, new book in hand, saying, “You have just got to read this,”?

I’ve heard the argument that the HP series has triggered off a new wave of reading. I’m not buying that line. You don’t graduate to reading Middlemarch after being brought up on a diet of Harry Potter, which is neither high literature nor high imagination, once the charm of Quidditch and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans has worn off. But what does happen is a tendency to want more and more mindless books. Read the HP series? Now, on to Dan Brown. We’re reading books because they’re designated “cool” by the mob.

So, did I rush out at dawn to join the throng of eager parents and children for my copy of Deathly Hallows? Nah, sometimes it’s far more pleasant to sleep in late.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Post 280 : What is a poem?

A poem is nothing but a mindgame. Why?

Well, a hidden metaphor here, a bent from the side there...and viola you have a complex written thought structure, in which, in all probablity the poet is expressing a fairly simple idea...yet he wants you to untangle it from within a play of language and abstract gizmondo.....

While all of this is being essayed, neither the writer nor the reader have any sureity, that they shall ever get to the same idea (with the same colored hues with which the writer meant it to be)......and yet...therein lies the fascinating part of written poetry.....neither the twang of the poet or the reader shall ever meet for sure, yet both of those are playing a game.

The poet, setting the maze, the reader traversing it...and when the reader feels he has has unravelled enough to know the poet's mind, (or the simple idea behind the complex tapestry)....its a moment of "ahah", of nirvana, of written 'telepathy'.

And that, my friend is the reason, why a poem gives you joy. Very much, just like a Zen koan, or a Japanese Haiku....

Its all about veling a message on one side, and unravelling it at the other side (sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but who the heck verifies?)

And you thought the frigging greek warriors invented cryptography......

Post 279 - The poet who died

I rarely admit this, but when I first started writing, my pen lusted for 'poems'...yes, those very structures which sometimes rhyme, sometimes have a meter, sometimes have a metaphor....yet always should touch a chord within the reader ('other' to you).

What were the first victims of my infatuation with poems? A lot of Indian poets, and my own lofty attempts to scribble words that married the meter to the march.

And yet....

By the time I was 16 , I seem to have been completely disillusioned with poetry as an art form. When I look back and wonder 'why?', I really dont have to 'wonder' I know the answer was the race of the contemprary poet who had bastardized the art of poetry for his own evil, apportioned it to suit his(her) inability to write 'content' short, the poetry I read was trash.

In contrast....

By the time I was 20, I was madly in love with Urdu and hindi poetry, and thanfully am still very much.


Because the meter still exists in Urdu poets, so does the 'aliveness'......

I recently started reading English poetry again, and.....

My thoughts are re-inforced....I was disillusioned because some bastards had raped an art form and put it front of the audience, calling it 'contemprary poetry'.....16 years later, and much wiser, much more discerning, I must admit, poetry still moves me.

And you know what?

I am just delighted by that realization.

The poet (in me) is dead, long live the poet.

Post 278 - Music 26 (Sajda - Jagjit + Lata)

Was recently listening to the video of "Mujhe Khabar Thi" from the album Saadgi by Lata didi. For all the political undertones undermining her sucess, you have to acknowledge that at times she can be brilliant.

The above mentioned song looks vintage Lata from every angle....... I shall post about it, as soon as I have heard it enough times to comment upon it, which shall be very soon.

For obvious reasons, it took me back to Sajda, one of the finest ghazal albums of all time. I know almost every song there like the back of my hand. I have grown up listening to those songs for the best part of 12 years (at the least) now.

"Bekarari badthe badthe , dil ki fitrath ban gayi....", goes one song, just the language, the metaphor goes a long way.

Listen to Lata on "Mili Hawaon mein udne ki woh saza yaaron", and you will know why the recent video reminded me of Sajda (BTW, Mili Hawaon mein is a duet with Jagjit and arguably one of the finest songs within Sajda).

Reach out to me, if you cannot locate Sajda in your nearby stores. I promise you, that this is one the finest Ghazal collections of all times.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Post 277 : Weight Watcher 6 (The knees and the nose of running)

Its end of June -

Am Weighing 85kgs, 36cms in the waist (though I am really not focussing on either now).
Between 5th Feb and June end, there were a total of 155 days on which I could excercise out of which I excercised on 87, a total of 14 days in June.

Can no longer seem to run, have hurt my knee a bit, is this what they call runner's knee?

Anyways have started with weights, elliptical, ab excercise and whole story.

Life is looking good. My pain in the arse (literally) is quite gone, the surgery seemed to met its objective quite neatly, not quite 100% yet, but getting there.

Post 276 : Music 25 : Le chale (Sunidhi Chauhan from My Brother Nikhil)

To set the record straight, I am fascinated by this genre of background scores. This love was accentuated when I heard Satya's background score.....

(Digression - if you read the inlay card within the background scorecard of Satya, you shall get Ram Gopal Varma, speak about "how should background scores be heard and appreciated" - his point is, when he was evaluating the score for Satya by Sandeep Chowta, he used to sit in a black room with eyes closed, and just listen to the music, and evaluate whether it would convey the mood for a particular scene.)

Since Satya, I have built up quite a collection (Ab Tak Chappan, Black, Truman Show, Eyes Wide Shut.....)

Two films where the background score is derived out of the movie's theme songs (or so I noticed, I am sure there are more than 2 films).....Don (the Farhan Aktar one) and My Brother Nikhil. (I would love to lay my hands on the background soundtrack of Don.....)

Listen to Le Chale, by Sunidhi Chauhan (it also has version by Shaan and KK).....slow and fast.....Its possibly one of the best background theme songs for a movie.

This shall easily rate as one of my favorite contemprary film songs in the entire past decade. Sunidhi is controlled and the melancholy is all over the place....a perfect complement to what needs to be conveyed in the movie.

Look out for Sunidhi's voice range, and you shall know why she is what she of the best in the business.

Two closing comments:
1. I suggest next time you decide to watch a movie, go pick up the background score and listen to it about 10 times, and then watch the movie. You shall be surprised of how much meaningful the movie and its scenes suddenly appear. I have done this with Satya. I heard Satya almost a hundred times before I saw the movie. Every single scence was like a deja vu for me.

2. Can anyone get me Don's background score....Farhan bhai, you need to release it....its too good to be in your closet.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Post 275 : Music 24 : Junoon (Abhijeet Sawant)

Abhijeet Sawant was the original Indian Idol (2005)....

I thought all his earlier songs were for Tham Ja (which he sang for "Jassi Jaise koi nahin", the Indian version of "Ugly Betty"). Tham Ja was a solid romantic zinger which was completely in line with what is expected out of IndiPop, but yet had a great melodic underbelly to it.

And just when you thought, he was one more of those 100 idiots who pain-you-in-unmentionables, in the garb of IndiaPop, life and Abhijeet Sawant both surprise you.....

And how?

Well, Abhijeet's latest album ( I have heard only the title song) a sufish song, called Junoon.

His voice is perfect, has the very Pakistani hoarseness which sets the mood.....

Is this song like the other pop songs (Ishq Nachaye by Sona or Alvida by Strings)....NO....its not really there.

Yet it is a sincere attempt by Abhijeet to search for meaning, (and thats what art was always supposed to be, its coincidental that it also entertains), and hence I LIKE this song.

What is the one thing to look out for?

Amazing harmony. Listen to the chorus keep going, "Junoon, Junoooooon, Junoooooon, Junoooooon......", and Abhijeet hum "....Chad Raha Hain" in the foreground.

Just for this one improvisation, the song is a hit in my head. Whoever thought of that bit of harmony, is a rock star, whether it was Abhijeet or his producer.

Post 274 : Music 23 : Aicha(Live) - Khaled, Rachid Taha, Faudel

If you have heard the 90s monster hit, Didi by Khaled, you would understand why it was a hit with people who did not even understand even a word of what was being sung.

Hear Aicha (and its hazaar versions) and its deja vu all over again.

Coup de grace....listen to aicha .....the live edition, and its such a haunting number.

It has mesmerising vocals, Khaled sounds divine.......

The live edition is a classic, in fact way beyond what Didi was.....

Makes me wonder, why don't junkies like Beyonces and Britneys of the world apply themselves....I live in hope that someday, I shall listen to something like Aicha (PRONOUNCED AYESHA) in english....

Living on a prayer and a (live) song....