Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Last Song - Chapter I

This shall be the last song for the night.

Ryan’s voice did little to bring me back from the world I had lost myself in the moment I walked into the crowd. This was our last gig on this tour, and my last gig with the band. Yeah, I know what the people present would think if they knew, is this going to be the end of Scatterbrain, or will they recruit another guitarist and move on?  Well, to be honest, I didn’t really know. And I didn’t particularly care either. I just knew that this is the last night, the last time.

It started a couple of weeks ago, somewhere within the first few days of our touring. I remembered the last tour, our first set of gigs. I couldn’t wait to get on stage every night. This time, it was different. It was not as if I hated to get on stage or I hated to play music. Just that one fine day, I realized I was growing apathetic to this life. The theatrics, the screaming fans, the women, the highs, the whole deal. It took a bit of time to sink in, but once it did, it was a thought which took root inside my head and just wouldn’t let go. Night after night, on stage, in bed, through strange highs, I tried to convince myself this was not so, but the mirror which had always been my harshest critic now gleefully turned my biggest detractor. And now it had come to this. I still loved my mates, so I thought it fair that I go through this whole tour before I leave. And tonight I had told them, right before coming on stage.

You’re kidding, right?

Duuuude, you sure you know what you’re talking about?

Hey, you can have as much time off as you want. But don’t go.

They were surprisingly supportive. Maybe they had noticed it too? But I made it clear that this was it. That I would be leaving by the night’s train. That I needed a lot of time to figure this out, and they were welcome to move on without me. No hard feelings.

And so on and so forth.
So, this was our last show together.

The implications of my actions hit me only when I walked on for this show. I could see the tensed expressions on Ryan’s face. He always worried too much. Gus looked sad. He had always been the softy. Only Bryan had it right. He was energetic as ever behind the drums. We all wanted to make it our best gig ever. But my mind had started to wander by then. To the past. To the future. To every moment possible except now. Every place in the world but here. My fingers moved across the frets with practiced ease. I even occasionally heard my own voice sing out, backing Ryan’s whiskey vocals. But it couldn’t possibly have been me. I was there in the crowd, watching the band drift through the night’s playlist. One can’t possibly be at two places at once, right? The performance was tight, flawless. And all of them, knowing that this was it, were giving it that extra bit which probably made this a seminal performance, but I wasn’t sure it was me there with the band. Just a stranger who knew the right notes and the right moments to sing along.

The last song was our current trademark, a cover of one of Solace’s best known tracks, just if. It was somewhat prophetic, since this was part of the last record Solace had out before they split. And this had been the song which had, in a very roundabout and obscure fashion, if I might say so, had brought us together.

If I could have just one more dream/ a last poem put to song/ I don’t care if I dunno what it means/ but I don’t mind singing along.

This was how my favourite part of the song went. The guitars went silent. The bass just played the skeleton notes first time around, and then during the repeat pass, all the instruments would come in one by one till at last the lead guitars would come and lead to a short but devastating solo. We regularly covered this song, and had even played an acoustic version of it one time when a lot of our gear got misplaced right before a show and all that we had left were a pair of acoustic guitars. This was one of those songs that start out humble. Like, while being written, nobody really expects it to do very well. But somehow it ends up becoming one of those songs which defines careers. In this case, this ended up being Solace’s swansong. But as with swansongs, it ended there for Solace.  And would end for us, too.

Shards of Tonight

Last silhouette or first shadow
tonight has run out of words
and as hard as we try
teardrops raindrops never stop

heavy with sleep the trains roll on
leaking out shards of light
the people in it lost
resigned without a fight

the haze of speed the blur of rain
or of memories clouding the way
the floor stares back in silence
no one has nothing to say

skipping strings and slipping dreams
coloured in sad monochrome
hues of my very own shadow
the one who walks me home

in rain soaked neon drenched to the bone
firefly smiles from people we pass
new and improved happy on sale
but even this it won't last

lights out once you're out of sight
from now you're on your own
labelled you labelled i; never we
even as we all take the last train home.

nb. for there is only so long that you can keep all the words inside you.
less a poem more an amalgam of thoughts, images and ideas...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sea Calling

This isn't a song,
but the sea calling.
Lapping softly at my feet,
whispering in my ear.
Only in my dreams do i understand
what it means;
forgotten between waking up
and opening the curtains.

This isn't a smile
it's the light playing tricks.
I'm but a silhouette
you're not supposed to read me.
You can stand near or far;
hold out your hand or not.
Wait till the sun goes down
till silhouette becomes shadow.

I don't mind waking up alone.
Silhouette and shadow will walk
to the seashore,
stand and look at the sun
draw stars on the waves.
And my footprints won't be there for long,
but I don't mind walking on,
for I can hear the sea calling.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


The night
is a colour
a tint of grey
with careless splatterings of sepia
it is the sleet
biting into coherent thoughts
wearing their edges out
and making them
examples of conformance
any dissidence torn apart by the wind.

The wind
is a feeling
sharper than sight or touch
lashing out in all directions
it knows no light, knows no shadow
it knows only form
seeking it always to break it down
till there are no mountains
and all that once stood in the line of sight
are washed away by the rain.

The rain
is an alphabet
a song in each drop
a story in each trail
it leaves on your skin
it is rain that falls on your face
but it is sweat and tears and blood
that runs down your body to the concrete
and you leave muddy footprints on the ground
that are soaked up by invisible roots of forgotten trees.

The tree
is a silent song
that is heard by all and none
reaching out from the ground
and into the heavens, arms outstretched
it hears the stories of the wind
and hears the stories of the rain
an hears the stories of a million footsteps
we shall wither but new leaves shall grow
and the treesong will echo in the empty realms of thought.

Lost in the night

        Lost in the night
        are the colours of the sky
        letting clouds pass by to unknown lands
        while we dream in grey.

        Lost in the night
        are ripples in the puddle
        the shimmer of a pale moon
        keeping watch over stray dreams.

        Lost in the night
        are curling wisps of smoke
        and the sharp smell of nicotine
        to go with thoughts of rain.

        Lost in the night
        are stray draughts of winds
        looking for the company
        of the wind chimes in my room.

        lost in the night
        are ten million shadows
        tired after the day's toil
        of being the other side of light.

        Lost in the night
        are use and throw smiles
        littered across the pavements
        and nobody to pick them up.

        Lost in the night
        is the feel of fingers entwined
        the last kiss on her doorstep
        and his walk back alone.

        Lost in the night
        are two minor chords
        words from a poem not written
        notes from a song not sung.

        Lost in the night
        are walls between you and me
        while we look at the same star
        and smile in fond memory.

        And the star seems closer
        than you and i are
        and you crumple our last moment
        and throw it out in the rain.

        And smiles we shared
        fall away like leaves in winter
        we walk, never looking back
        till we're lost in the night.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Paper Planes

You thought i was lost
but i know it isn't so,
because you see, i hadn't
really decided where to go.

and where I started from
I let go of long ago.

You thought I was a crying
but i kno its not the case,
i just laughed so hard as to
have tears come down my face,

I laughed and laughed my head off,
and my stomach hurt for days.

You thought I was cold
but it isn't really true,
I just don't always know
what I'm supposed to do,

or things im supposed to say,
or how to open up to you.

You thought you saw me wander,
you thought you saw me cry,
but then you weren't looking
when I turned around to smile,

for I've found my silver lining
after walking all this while.

So I'll take these words right here
and make a paper plane,
let them blow into the air
and not tie them to a chain,

wish it sun, and fair winds,
and a sky without rain.

And in every drop of ink
I'll leave behind a song,
that will always sing with you
even when you get it wrong,

and help you find your place,
a place where you belong.

Friday, May 20, 2011

hariye jaoar gaan

মনের ঘরের ঈশান কোণে
যদি না পাই দেখতে তোমায় ,
খুঁজে বেড়াব তেপান্তরের 
মাঠে, মেঘের আনায়-কানায় |

যদি বা ছেড়ে হাথটা আমার
বৃষ্টি মাঝে যাও হারিয়ে,
হাটতে হাটতে চলে আসবো
যেথায়ে তুমি রও দাড়িয়ে |

জানতে যদি চাও কি ভাবে
শীত ভোরে মোর মন দুখিয়ে,
শিশির ভেজা ঘাসের মাঝে
অশ্রু বিন্দু রয়ে লুকিয়ে |

ট্রামলাইন এর এপার-ওপার
মন দুখানি ঠায় দাড়িয়ে,
চৌরাস্তার স্রোতের মাঝে
চলতে গিয়ে যায়ে হারিয়ে |

কফি-র ধোয়ায়ে ভোরের হাওযায়
হারিয়ে যাওয়া একটি সুর
মনে পরায়ে তোমার কথা,
থাকো বা তুমি যতই দূর |

সাঁঝের আলোয়ে ছাদে তুমি
দাড়ায়ে দুষ্টু-মিষ্টি হাসো,
যখন করি প্রশ্ন তোমায়ে,
তুমি কাকে ভালবাস?

হারিয়ে যাওয়া একটি গানে
হারিয়ে গেছে কত কথা,
স্বপ্ন মাঝে ছাড়া আমি
খুঁজে পাবো না কি সে তা?

and for those who understand but do not read bengali...

Mon er ghorer eeshan kon ey
jodi na pai dekhte tomaye,
khuje berabo tepantorer
maath ey, megh er anaye-kanaye.

jodi ba chhere haath ta aamar
brishti majhe jao hariye,
hanttey hanttey ashbo choley
jethaye tumi rowo dariye.

jaante jodi chao ki bhabe
sheet bhor e more mon dukhiye,
shishir bheja ghash er majhe
asru bindu roye lukiye.

tram line er epar-opar
mon du khani thaye dariye,
chowrasta'r srot er majhe
cholte giye jaye hariye.

coffee'r dhowaye bhor er hawae,
hariye jaowa ekti shur,
mon e poraye tomar kotha
thako ba tumi jotoi dur.

shaajher aloye chhad ey tumi
daraye dushtu-mishti hasho,
jokhon kori proshno tomaye
tumi kake bhalobasho?

hariye jaowa ekti gaan e,
hariye gechhe koto kotha,
shopno majhe chhara aami
khuje pabo na ki shey ta?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Won't be Summer

It won't be summer without her,
without her voice; soft, lilting,
slow to speech
yet animated at times,
like clouds suddenly clearing.

It won't be summer without her,
without her smile; lost, thoughtful,
like the evening's first breeze
flitting by and by,
lifting even the gloomiest moments.

It won't be summer without her,
without her eyes; quiet, dreamy,
a rainbow of emotions, always
hard to understand,
yet making sense somewhere deep within.

She's a name in my phone,
She's someone I lost long ago,
She's the occasional dream
which will never come to be.
Yet its footsteps echo deep inside.

It won't be summer without her.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Remembering ahead

One of my seniors from school, Debosmita authors a really awesome blog which I follow quite regularly. A lawyer by profession, she leads a rather hectic life. Recently she blogged about the things she wanted back from life which was thoughtfully as well as hilariously written.
My student life being in its very final phase, I thought that post was the sort of thing that put my life (which is about to change quite soon) in perspective. So let me just walk you through that post and tell you how close and far apart my life is from the one described there right now...

 The time when I could hit on a guy without having to stress about whether he is older to me or not! (unlike the present times, when I have stopped even checking out men since they invariably turn out be younger or if older, then married)
 For me, (successfully) hitting on an older girl would mean more financial security, amongst other things XD  Anyway a guy has usually no issues hitting on younger girls, married or otherwise. Beyond a certain point, actually, the younger the better. Of course, I make no concessions as to how far or if at all the last couple of lines apply to me.

The only time when I would be late in reaching home would be either from a fest or from a night out! (unlike the present times, when I routinely reach home late from office or from a client meeting)
Well, this applies for everybody, doesn't it? It's about time that the powers that be, divine et cetera, do something about extending the length of day beyond the stipulated 24 hours.

The only work I would do on a Sunday would be a bit of spring-cleaning of my own room (unlike present times when I sometimes go to office or to the chamber of a senior counsel or work from home)
Well, I am rarely free on  Sundays anyway. There are always chores to run or tuitions. That shall not change. Like, ever. The degree of busyness might change. Though in my line I don't expect it to be that bad.

The only stress in life would be whether I would be able to maintain my CGPA [Cumulative Grade Point Average] (unlike present times when I have to worry about keeping my job)

Being a worrywart by nature, I highly doubt I could be much worse than I am now. In any case, as long as I enjoy what I am doing, I do have some semblance of peace about myself.

The only financial trouble for me was to sustain myself on the meagre pocket money (unlike now when I have to earn well, spend and invest wisely and also do intelligent tax planning) 
Being a statistician, I must say that this doesn't trouble me much. As a matter of fact, it is something I probably would look forward to.

The days when I was the queen of multitasking – juggling classes, swimming, internship and research projects together (unlike these days when I fail miserably to juggle even five assignments and three bosses at a time) 
Five assignments and three bosses? What ARE you? Uma Thurman from My Super Ex Girlfriend? I fluctuate wildly in this respect. Sometimes I can study, text and practise guitar scales all at the same time. Sometimes I cannot chew and talk on the phone together. HMPH.

The days when I could make blanks calls from the landline to another landline and have fun (unlike the present days when mobile phone has robbed me of this opportunity)
We currently do not have a landline at home, but I intend to get one installed as soon as I can afford it. For aforementioned reasons.

The days when I wanted to buy all the books from the bookstore but did not have the money (unlike now when I have the money but not the time to read books)
The latter part of that statement, irrespective of what one might say, is an excuse. If one wants to read, if one is desperate enough, there is always a way. Thankfully, I am quite confident that my hyperactive conscience won't ever let me stop being a bookworm.

The days when I would be asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" (unlike now when I am asked "When do you plan to settle down?")
This even I dread. I do. But then again, awesome chance to have some fun at the expense of relatives you are not very fond of.

The times when I would return from school and immediately call my best friend for chatting some more (unlike now when I am hard pressed to call my close friends even once a month)  
Another thing I absolutely dread. It is already happening. I don't get to spend as much as much time in the company of my friends that I would want. Thankfully, being a texting junkie compensates somewhat for this, even if only by a miniscule bit.

The times when I would fret for days if a friend broke my trust (unlike now when I hardly trust anybody for them to break it)
I am unfortunately both the person within brackets and without.

The times when I used to dream about the future (unlike now, when I dream about the past)  
Hopefully, as long as I can make two lines rhyme, as long as I remember what a minor chord and major chord is, as long as I can feel words with all my senses, I shall be both the person within brackets and the one outside...

Life around us is ever changing, and sometimes change IS the only constant (don't applaud, I didn't say this first). I may just be indulging in wishful thinking, but I do not intend to give up on the things I love may what come. Only time will tell...

n.b. - The original post, replete with wit and insight, can be found here. Thanks to the author for letting me use it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


There's this song in my head
and all its notes are blurred,
yet as the words in it fade,
it still strains to be heard.

In the dark it glows and flows,
like trails of rusty tears,
while its chorus forever sings
of all my deepest fears.

So many words I had to say,
but they don't fit anywhere;
some I kept some threw away,
some pushed in here and there.

Writhing, writhing, under my skin,
words with no tomorrow,
words of love, anger, and whim,
words of hope, joy and sorrow,

Words with teeth and words with knives,
words with the touch of a feather,
words which make or break your life
or keep you under the weather.

There's this song in my head,
verse, chorus and refrain,
look at all the changes I made,
yet the song remains the same.

n.b. This depressing poem was written during a sixteen minute metro ride between Garia and Hazra. I do not know what inspired it. But I think the song playing in the background might just have something to do with how this came out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gandu - The Loser

For those who have no clue what this is all about, Gandu is a Bengali movie directed by Quashiq Mukherjee aka Q. It is 90 mins of B/W and a vocal jackhammer. It is already creating waves internationally, but don't expect an Indian release. Here's why :


The movie has already taken campuses by storm. All with just two trailers.

Music for the movie has been provided entirely by the city's own Five Little Indians, with Gandu himself doing the rapping.

Fucked up? Yes. Brilliant? Possibly.
Not everybody's cup of tea anyway.

And there are voices in the night.
The wind.
The chimes.
The dogs barking.
The trees rustling. But I can't hear them unless I'm on the terrace.
The fan, running at full speed for the first time this year.
Fingers clattering away at the keyboard.

Good night.

Friday, March 4, 2011

In defense of Saat Khoon Maaf

There were seven.

The first one was a sneering major. Who had a moustache. It looked tailor made for his sneer. That probably did him in in the end. His chest hair and his impotency too, maybe, but for that I will give Susanna the benefit of doubt. And dude, there's a time and place for making out, even with your wife. Mere andar ka janwar toh jaag gaya hai is hardly something you say while hunting for a panther. Its not even corny. Its suicidal. No wonder she sent hiim to the asli janwar. Happy making out.

The next renames himself Jim, fine.He gets married and sings her a plagiarised song as a wedding gift while lying naked in the rain. He was lucky she didn't murder him when she found out about that. And he was GAY. Well, what other hunk sings in a boys choir? Eh? And the clothes he was wearing at the concerts. His getup looked like he was trying to be, in turn, Axl Rose on steroids or Hendrix on a steady regime of Garnier Men's Fairness Cream. Even that she tolerated. He starts doing heroin and cross dress (with skimpy clothes. G-A-Y). Runs around (semi) naked with (semi) naked girls playing laser tag (even Barney Stinson would be shocked) and not even act ashamed at being found out. Sigh. Even then she kept him alive. She tied him to the bed and tried to get him detoxed (under different circumstances, that could even have been sexy). No use. So she gave him his lover of choice, the girl with golden eyes. I'm surprised he lasted that long.

Then there was the poet by day and sadist abusive sex fiend by night. I won't say much about him, because he makes me sick. Anyone, one shouldn't knock about a psychopath murderer and expect to get away with it. He got a decent death, I say. Way more decent than he deserved, actually. They khodo-fied a grave and gaaro-ed him there, Too soft. It should have been more brutal.

Then was, umm, right, the Russian. Probably said the corniest line ever. A reply to mere paas gaari hai is under no circumstances mere paas ma hai. BLEH. He didn't do much though, just had another wife and child in another country. Ass, didn't you notice that your darrling was one wife too many already? R.I.P.

Ahhhh, the police officer. Some brilliant, brilliant work there. A decade long infatuation which finally came to fruition when he helped her not get convicted for murder of her last hubby dearest. That should have warned him. It didn't. He just allowed himself to be led. She thought she could discard him whenever, but she gave him too much 'sukh and santosh' that first night. God that had to be one of the craziest and moving (literally, not figuratively) scenes. Rather like an ad which used to come on TV, just more... real. And then he kept coming back for more. So she married him and OD'ed him. Guess on what. Anyway, that had to be her shortest tryst of marriage (one scene long), but then there was a lot of foreplay, I suppose :-D

Finally, the Bong doctor. Spoke Hindi with a Bengali accent, spoke English with a Bengali accent. Spoke Bengali with a Bengali accent. Absolutely authentic. Obsessed with mushrooms. It was only a matter of time that he got the girl (well, everyone knows that Bongs are irresistible). And then he tried to kill her for money. Actually the only one who actually tried to do so. So he went out with a bang. quite literally. Not how i would wanna die, actually. *shudder*

I shall not speak about the seventh one, since he was already dead and she drank his blood. I just think he got too much screen time. Just a silhouette would have been enough.

And finally there was the one who got away. Her khargosh, the one she later tried to seduce, the only one who loved her yet saw her for who she was. Lucky chap to be alive, honestly. I wonder, though, who got away from whom.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From Raagas to Rock - The Segued Sessions

Sujato, Gourab and I met up a couple of days before Sujato was due to leave the city to make some music one last time. Sujato's friends Rituparna and Aurindam was also there to lend us their camera and vocal skills.
In terms of instrumentation, Gourab was lacking his mandolin, but instead had his flute. There were two electric guitars in the house and one acoustic to go with it. In short, enough to take down the house. I have exclusively played the electric in all the songs, and Sujato has played the acoustic in every other song where his vocal duties have allowed him some slack. Gourab has played the flute in the classical songs and an electric (he is NOT a guitarist btw, aka hear the man PLAY!) in everything else.
The songs that got documented are... (in chronological order)

The other songs which were also sung included Aankhon ke Saagar (Fuzon) and Aadat(Jal).
This session just showcases our diverse tastes in music, I suppose, and the way all three of us dislike stereotyping the music we listen to and play...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Akshay Patra Indiblogger Meet : The Who When Where and What

All pictures used here have been clicked by Kuntal Gupta. Thanks Kuntal for letting me use them to colour my post. You're da man.

The Indiblogger meet had been announced almost a month earlier, and was to be held on the 20th of Feb. I had signed up for the meet pretty early, and it was heartening to see the number of potential attendees swell up as the day for the meet approached.

The Venue, right beside City Centre I

I am one of those people who have this bad habit of punctuality, and keeping up with it, I reached the venue a good 15 minutes before noon. I knew that the Five Little Indians were to play near the end of the day's proceedings, and I could hear them jamming from outside the auditorium as they set up their rig. I went in through what I suppose was the wrong entrance, thus having to hop, skip and jump over the wires and the apparatus strewn about, and hopefully not subjected to too many looks of consternation.

The Hall was mostly empty, with barely fifteen twenty people there other than the Indiblogger team, all decked up in their finery of Indiblogger Tees. I went and registered (it was fun watching the names and updates come up on the screen projected on the wall) and found myself a quiet corner to sit, not quite sure what to do or what was happening around me. I spent my time watching people come in, register, walk up to a huge marquee/banner thingy kept there by the IB team and spraypaint all over it. After a point of time even I couldn't resist the pull of graffiti.

 IndiGraffiti in progress

Indiblogger's version of a Welcome Mat

A few minutes later walked in somebody who looked vaguely familiar. On a hunch I went up to speak to her, and it turned out that she WAS one of my seniors from school. Well, the familiar face of Debosmita immediately updated my status from lost puppy to at-peace-with-myself.

Within ten minutes or so, more and more people had started trickling in, and the band, by then done setting up their stuff, packed up their instruments and went off to do whatever it is bands do in when not playing music, thus leaving the auditorium in relative silence and people like me (who basically knew nobody and so were listening to the band jam with full attention) at a loss as to what came next. A lot of people seemed to know each other already and I could see clusters forming all round. By then the IB team had decided that they better get things rolling soon, so Anoop took the mic, called us to order, and steamrolled through the first three bits in their agenda in three minutes flat.

Then came the thirty seconds of fame, where all the bloggers were given half a minute (of Bengali Standard Time) to speak about themselves and their blogs, our names being displayed at random on the screen. Well, I shall (very tactfully) not go into any further details about this (mostly because I stumbled and bumbled through the whole thing). Let me sum it up by saying that there were a lot of laughs as the bloggers introduced themselves and everybody was treated to liberal doses of applause.

 30 seconds of fame

Right after that, the The Akshay Patra Foundation  was introduced to us, the main sponsors of the meet, and we were given a presentation and a talk about how the Foundation was doing a really amazing job with their mid day meal scheme in 8 states across the country. The final bit in that presentation was a (slightly long) recording of a speech given by Narayan Murthy, where he spoke at length about why the Foundations work was so important and their vision for the future.

The presentation in progress

Anyway, lets skip to the lunch bit. It was then that people actually got talking. Sumptuous quantities of good food helped, of course. A few of the Indiblogger people could be heard talking about how much they wanted to have proper Bengali food. The food court was quite palatial and snippets of conversation floated about everywhere along with the aroma of the food till we were shooed back into the auditorium where we found chart paper and sketch pens lying on all chairs. Rakesh and I deduced that they were (for some yet unfathomed reason) for hanging about our necks, though Animesh was sure his wouldn't go over his head. The IB team shortly confirmed my suspicions and told us to hang the charts behind our backs and go around and get commented on, the real world equivalent of blogging. in a way. This was really reminiscent of school, and for the next 30-40 mins there were yellow-yellow-dirty fellows (and the occasional person in white) walking about commenting and getting commented upon. It broke what little ice remained between the people present.

 Live and let comment

We literally had to be forced back to our seats, and then a lottery was conducted with the charts to find lucky winners, though they weren't awarded any prizes as far as I could see. The meet was then entering its final phases and the bloggers divided themselves into groups and one spent time discussing the technical aspects of blogging on one hand while the other group discussed about blogging for social issues.

This was the tech discussion. That's me straining to hear what is being said.

A third group secretly separated themselves from the rest, and we, in the true spirit of Bangaliana sat around a round table and indulged in full fledged adda. I remember Kuntal, Rakesh, Aritry and Deborshi being there, and we were joined from time to time by Addy and Vineet who not only kept us entertained but also told us a lot about the whole Indiblogger experience. It was total unadulterated fun till Anoop told us to wind up, which included moving all chairs and tables to make way for the band.

 Five Little Indians

FLI took the stage and stated outright that they don't do covers. They immediately launched into one searing song after another. The bass boomed, the drums shook up the whole auditorium, the guitarist might as well have had an extra pair of hands, and the vocalists complimented, harmonised, and to put it very bluntly, kicked absolute arse. All of us present moshed and sung along till we were hoarse.

 Five Little Indians in full flow

6 o' clock and the performance over, we slowly made our way out, collecting our Indiblogger Tees, shaking hands and taking numbers and URLs.

The Indiblogger team had put a lot of effort into this meet, and it was picture perfect. All of us had an absolute blast, and I look forward to more such meets in the near future.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A different flavour of homecoming

Raul scored against Valencia a few days back. Even at this age, he astounds me. He is not a magician like Messi or Ronaldo, but what he has already achieved is still worth an ovation. He is hardworking, and he does what he is supposed to do. Score. He has done so for Spain and Madrid year after year. And now he is doing it for Schalke. Way to go, Raul.

In Black and White

And my mom was like, Kal TV te Roman Holiday diyeche. Dekhbo bhabchi.
I was a bit surprised, since I know my mom doesn't watch many english movies. And this movie was almost as old as her. So I asked her when she had seen it before.
Turns out it was one of the first movies my dad took my mom out on a date to.

Friday, February 18, 2011

For a favourite crazy doctor

One of my best friends is getting married this sunday. And I'm quite pissed at myself at not being able to make it. way more pissed than she is at me, i think.

she was one of the people who turned me into a chocolate junkie. (should I be thanking her for that?)
she was the person who made me fall for western classical music, especially the cello.
she was the person who made me realise that mumbai isn't that bad a place to be, actually.

she's a charming and sparkling person by day and a chainsaw wielding, coffee drinking crazy doctor by night. awesome combination, i say.

so. this one's for you. :-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Never Let me Go - The movie

Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Directed by Mark Romanek.
Screenplay by Alex Garland.

There are very few movies which live up to the book its based on. This one is one of them. Probably because the author was involved in the whole process, the movie captures almost everything that was in his book. For me, this is probably the best movie of 2010. Maybe because it does not seek much attention, it is not brash or loud. It is a very quiet movie, just like the book was. I have already written about the book and why I like it so much, so let me talk about how the movie turns out.

The screenplay is absolutely brilliant. Some elements from the book have been subtly altered, and some have been entirely left out, but it has been done so in a way such that the flow is never hampered. This is not easy to do, since the the movie goes back and forth like the book, narrated by Kathy H. The narration itself is quiet, but each word resonates ever so deeply.
Mark Romanek has done a great job with the cinematography. He has deftly given swathes of colour, warmth and emotion to a movie whose content and context is so bleak. The lights, the sounds, the loneliness, the words spoken and unspoken, everything adds to the atmosphere of the movie to make it a poignant watch.

And finally, the acting. Much as I like Keira Knightley, I have never thought much of her as an actor. But in this movie she excels. The role of Ruth, beautiful, sharp Ruth is divided between her and newcomer Ella Purnell, who plays a younger Ruth in Hailsham. Keira Knightley is a far cry from her usual glamorous self. This role asks for an edginess, the rawness of a person whose life falls apart bit by bit, and she is all Ruth is. Probably her best performance till date.

Andrew Garfield was also a new name to me. As the grown up Tommy who has managed to check his bouts of rage, and then to the Tommy in the final stages as life finally overcomes him. His happiness, his pain, his anger, his acceptance, Andrew Garfield has brought to life all the contrasts that are Tommy.

And finally, Carey Mulligan as Kathy. I had seen her just once before in a small role on TV which I had absolutely loved. And here, she steals the show. The director realises the full potential of the character and the actor playing it and focuses a lot on her. In many ways, that is strange since Kathy is the quietest in the trio. But the empathy and the sadness that one sees in her eyes all through, as well as her smile in lighter moments, she speaks volumes through her expressions. Her voice and her eyes, every word she says, that is what keeps this movie together, that is what makes it so beautiful.

This is the sort of movie which could have easily gone so wrong. But thankfully, it gets almost everything right.

Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro

It has been years since I first read this book. And I have kept coming back to it again, and again, and again. The story of three people walking a road which has been set for them by the world around them. This, however, is not a book of rebellion. It is one of acceptance. Narrated by Kathy H, the reader follows the lives of Kathy, Ruth and Tommy from their childhood days at Hailsham, a boarding school where all the students are 'special', and all of them have a fixed purpose in life. It is only slowly that Ishiguro reveals the nature of the world around them, their predestined fate and how each of them cope with it. From Hailsham we see them growing up as the author paints a beautiful portrait of their lives, so familiar yet so different. Once adults, life takes them separate ways, but the three friends remain tied together. Ruth, the donor slowly falling apart, giving up on life, the contrasts in her character getting highlighted all the time. Tommy, the donor who braves life in his own way, his rage subsiding as he slowly comes to terms with what is to be. And Kathy, the carer who walks with us in this story, her quiet and serenity somehow smoothing out even the harshest of edges by a bit.
Ishiguro continues in his tradition of writing books which have no clear climax, or shall we say, closure. The melancholia that is in the pages seeps into the reader. But he never uses that melancholia as the driving force. The vitality that is there in the book is also very real, very tangible.
In an interview the author had mentioned the difference between the book and the movie as modes of expression. The book, he claimed, need not give the reader much to go upon. He most certainly does not. He gives the bare necessities, and the rest is for the imagination of the reader to fill in. Let us just say that in this book, however might your brushstrokes be on his canvas, what remains at the end of the book is bound to be beautiful.

Chords and notes in half light

One fine day, we decided to jam again.
Gourab, Sujato and me.
We convinced Gourab to pick up his mandolin again, which had been gathering dust for over a year. For some reason, it manages to accompany the acoustic guitar like very few instruments can.
an autumn evening outside. dimmed lights in the room. beads of perspiration with each strum, each note we played. the traffic outside. The slow whirring of the fan keeping rhythm.
The mandolin had rusty strings, sulky with disuse. one string had snapped, and Gourab had used a stopgap measure in the form of a guitar string for the evening.
4 chords were decided on, A-minor, C, G and E, and this is what it resulted in.
Somehow, i feel the composition has been able to capture the autumnal vibe. I wonder if you feel the same.

Friday, January 7, 2011


every road i have to walk
and every key that has no lock
and every door i've had to knock
on when evening comes.

and every night without a day
and every word i have to say
and every barn where i lay
when my legs feel numb

a summer night
a winter sky
thoughts of rain
a pale goodbye
and i dream in grey
and i dream in grey

grasping at a flitting thought
the horizon i have sought
the special place that i lost
with the rooster's call

on every corner of the road
past the pavement where i stood
the streetlights flicker like my mood
till the moment is past

the last time 
that i smiled
the morning dew
our fates entwined
and i dream in grey
and i dream in grey

i am there i am here
till the day we disappear
we are not what we were
and my dream is a song

and my dream is a song.

would have been much more comfortable with this poem song had i written it in some other season.

Image courtesy . Sayali


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