Sunday, September 11, 2011

1638 : Challakere Brothers

I have been listening to Gayathri Mantra and Vishnu Sahasranamam by Challakere Brothers.

I have never heard such a fantastic rendition ever before…and I have heard MS croon Vishnu Sahasranamam all my life.

They have the long (technically correct) version of Gayathri Mantra…I was dying to find some version of that…and lo!! I found it.

The beauty of their rendition lies in faultless pronunciation, and pitch perfect step….to the T. Vedic Chanting done the old world style…the way it was always supposed to be.


1637 : In the times of Anna

The Airtel chap wants a bribe to fix my connection, the Hometown chap is refusing to deliver my computer table unless I pay him out….and the Airtel Manager is using his power unfairly to further his sales incentive.

Airtel and Pantaloon Retail are premier organizations within India…Listed, run by self made entrepreneurs.

Will the delivery guy and the broadband repair chap be covered under Lokpal.

I know the answer….and that’s the sham of our modern lives.

Sunil Bharti Mittal and Kishor Biyani are building their empires on a foundation which is essentially diseased at its root. Why blame Raja alone for corruption?



1636 : I have no legs, but I can make you walk !!

Picture this.

I was a at a book fair yesterday, picking up stuff for a little friend of mine. I finish shopping – clutching 6 bags containing around 30 books I trudge back to my car – which is parked in wilderness (about 200 mtrs away).

I open to boot, dump the books and am about to enter the car when a voice beckons me “Sir!!”.

I turn back startled… remember this is the middle of an empty space, so I am surprised someone could creep on me.

I see this young chap – say in his very early 20s, light beard, a good mooch…well combed hair, in a cycle for the disabled, with a twisted hand and polio infested legs.

My first reaction is “Run” – “this guy will hypnotize you and escape with your wallet” (yes you here these kind of stories in India all the time!!)

Instead I stare hard and see that the guy looks simple and innocuous, not crafty at all…so I wait.

He now knows that I have his attention – so he tells me – in very good English

“Sir, I want to be like you, but I cannot. But I want to continue to try. I have pools for children, will you buy?”

“What pools?”, I ask.

“Sir, you inflate this and your kid can play in the water.” As he says this he puts his hand in his bag and removes a tiny well packed box, almost the size of a small Pizza and hands it over to me. “The cost of this is 300, but I want 370 for it. I will use 70 to help myself”.

My first instinct is to open the box and check whether it really has a plastic pool or is it just full of plastic carry bags….but then my rational mind kicks in and says….it does not matter. I like his honesty so far.

“Sir, this will not only help me, but others like me….I part of a group that is full of disabled people.”

I pay him 400, tell him I don’t want 30 back – pick the pool, tell him a beaming thank you and move into my car.

As I am driving off, I wondered – he could speak good English, he was genuinely less abled, and was working hard in the afternoon sun to sell a few pools.

I know so many folks in my immediate life, who will not fight, who are fully abled but wont move an inch to “live” (instead we shall complain of the cramp, or the back pain, or the headache, or the carpel tunnel and use this excuse to sleep off in the afternoon) – this chap and his ilk should be the posterchild for the modern suburban world.

I don’t think I did him a favor (or charity) by buying the pool. I was paying him Guru dakshina for teaching me a few things which I will try and remember for my life. I don’t think I shall ever forget his face, and 400 was the price I was more than happy to pay for something as priceless as that Smile

1635 : Trishangu

I am travelling to Bombay the coming weekend, and strangely I have no palpable excitement…what I instead have is probably a bit of cautious trepidation.

Why?…No clear answers….maybe it’s the prospect of crashing into a chimera….

The world has most definitely changed, and Trishangu is here again Smile

1634 : The hedonists

My new apartment complex is a built a bit like a resort (yes!!)…it has three gigantic pools and quite a few seating zones around it…and some fantastic lighting at night.

Picture this.

There are about six thatches that house about 3 park benches each, laid all around the pool. In the mornings, a few groups aggrandize these seats regularly for their regular meets.

There is a Ramdev baba camp (the kind that huff and puff), there is a bunch of folks doing meditation elsewhere….

…but….the two thatches closest to my balconey….are monopolized by a set of older men (septuagenarians…I think)..each thatch occupied by about 8 to 10 men….

These two thatches are about 100 feet away from each other.

Now one bunch is occupied by a group of raucous older mean, with raging testosterones, they laugh aloud, scream and keep gossiping wildly….seriously!!…they seem like a bunch of girlfriends in a cat chat.

The other (which is housed 100 feet away), does prayer chanting in harmony. They look full of purpose and seriousness with their eyes closed and postures still.

Guess who is having more fun, will live longer and in general, seem the more healthy lot?

Guess which group I will join when I turn 60?

Livin la vida loca Smile

1633 : Hey you

If you are Pink Floyd fan, try and find David Palmer conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a album called Orchestral Maneuvers, conducting the version of “Wish you were here” and “Hey You” (and a host of other classics…I have just mentioned my favs)

I heard this album 15 years ago on a tape I owned….(and then I finally found a bootleg about a year ago…you can’t buy good stuff anymore…they don’t sell it…Sad smile)

I can’t get over this album….its fantastic…..listen to it on your home theatre and you will fall in love with Floyd forever……the magic of some 50 odd instruments going in unison …melody and harmony walking in two steps Smile

And did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

(from wish you were here)


1632 : I LOVE ANNA

Yes I really do….Anna Nicole Smith, Anna Kournikova and the list continues.


1631 : Airtel is a big four letter word @ Bangalore

Its been a bloody 28 days and my connection has not got shifted yet. The airtel folks just avoid talking about it.

And yes of course, they keep encouraging me to go in for a new connection.

And of course, they are F*ing monopoly in my complex.

And, I know at least quite a few yuppies who are equally disgruntled with Airtel to the point that they are moving to another provider…the movement is definitely gathering steam….a tad slower than the Anna movement.


Sunil bhai, watch out….you are steadily losing customers on voice to Vodafone and on the dish to Tatasky(who seem to have got it perfect with customer service….their service is indeed world class).

Years ago (6 to be precise, I moved my phone from Airtel…because they fucked me up)…..

Its time to kiss them goodbye on broadband as well.

(The only silver lining…the infrastructure from airtel is good….so till it works, it works well….God forbid if you get on the side of a problem….)

Its time to short Bharti….they can only go south….feedback on the ground is usually the bell weather dipstick.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

1630 : It was the 3rd of September…

That day I shall always remember,
For that was the day that my daddy died.

(From Papa was a rolling stone/Killer by George Michael)

Friday, September 02, 2011

1629 : When the world ends

Ok let me admit, I am usually a very peaceful and composed person – I have seen terrible accidents unravel in front of my eyes and I have been completely at ease with the way the moment has played out.

Through most of life I am in a Zen like state….and if this sounds immodest and like a personal drum roll…well so be it.

So am I Alan Watts? Up until a few days ago, even I deluded myself that I am getting there, my own anger problem notwithstanding.

In the past few days, it almost seems like all of that was a big bloody sham. My delusional self has caught up with the unwinding of the world around me. Its like someone made a dent into my wraith, and the Zen-ness is slowly leaking out. All I am left with is this is crummy angry bastard who is losing his calm over the tiniest of the provocations.

I am beginning to see how it is that a huge tower implodes. Once a tiny glass shatters, the resulting explosion sets in motion a few more, and these in turn sequentially a few more, until a point when your world seems to be caving into the black-hole called Nothing.

And thats when the wall caves in, and the singularity begins.

(If this post sounds like a babble, well, its my wires crossing into each other!!)