Saturday, January 31, 2009

Post 513 : Music 45 : Summertime Rocks by Smoke from album Smoke Signals

Smoke is a band formed by Dhruv Ghanekar ((ex-Charaview) and now a composer and promoter of Bluefrog Records) & Ashu (who is also ex-Chraview).

More about at the album at the Bluefrogsounds website

I have been listening to the song "Summertime rocks" from the album, it also features Kailash Kher vocals.

You can Listen to it at
and watch the kitschy video at

What to note:
1. Outstanding vocals from both Dhruv and Kailash Kher.
2. Feel happy lyrics, yet a very wonderlandish feel to it.
3. Drums and guitar. Which indipop(rock) band uses that anymore?

I am going to go out and buy it, its one for the collection. Funky and phenomenal. (As a policy, no ripping or downloads for albums I like....)

Go listen, feel happy. Life is such a drunk bumblebee!!

Post 512 : What you pay is what you get....

I was driving yesterday, and I realised that in my 14 years driving in the city...driving has slowly degenerated to a point...where now, as it stands, it is probably a car-smash-car road-skill.
Another epiphany stuck me. I could easily get a driver for as low as around 4-5k INR(about 100USD) a month, and at this point, though it would be a luxury, I can afford it, if I really feel like it.

In effect, to outsource a strenuous and arduous journey on the Mumbai City roads, all I need is about 5k INR.

what would be the qualifications required for such a job? 1. Trust 2. Basic ability to drive a car around. Would there be any entry barrier for such a job? None else I can think of. (For those of you who are naive enough to notice "driving license" as an item is missing...welcome to costs around 2k INR and thats it....everything else, including, the ability to drive a car is secondary towards getting that document. India must be a big consumer of grease :-))

That also means, almost anyone who can wield the automobile mechanics is eligible to drive.

The same story holds for someone who works in manufacturing. If you can deal with the mechanics, for 5K INR (or maybe a little more) you can work at a pen manufacturing factory.

And the same....for cooks in hotels (I said cooks not "chefs")....and ad infitium....

Coming back to the driver example, that almost means anyone can be a driver in Mumbai. Entry barriers almost dont exist. You dont need patience, composure, respect for traffic rules or fellow drivers, road sense, ability to deal with accidents, civic sense, social responsibility and on and on....

Get the drift?

You pay peanuts and you are getting monkeys. Should it even surprise us that driving conditions in Mumbai are so hazardous. We are part of the problem, we put almost zero pre-conditions before handing the car over to a person.

Lets turn this around. Suppose we said:
1. Every person who drives should be able to read English (road signs are almost entirely in English).
2. He (or she...assume for the rest of this post) should know the traffic rules.
3. He should do a basic training in roadside emergency (certified by a proper responsible authority).
4. He should have proper domicile (known family, proof of birth, traceable background....)
5. Tickets in Mumbai are religiously imposed and tracked (in utopia, that is, right now, most of us have never got a ticket in life, we just use grease and exit out of the situation). If tickets are issued, and more than 5 tickets and you can drive any more.

The list can go on. (Again), you get the drift right? What have we done, increased the barriers to driving on Mumbai roads.

Almost immediately the population of eligible drivers will go down substantially (down by 90% say). Salaries will go up by 2-3 times from current levels.

But the whole society will benefit.....(Including those who are now driving). But wait a minute, not "whole", because 90% people will now be without employment.

So is the lax rules and situation a response to a job crisis. Hardly.

In the pen example, we now know why a Camlin pen will never match upto a German "Lamy". The "Lamy" worker is far higher on the Maslow hierarchy.

The more I think of it, I see this degeneration continuing until only ashes remain. Then (maybe) the phoenix might rise.

Till then, order few more sacks of peanuts, we need to create more monkeys.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Post 511 : Vindication arrives in strange shapes and sizes...(Slumdog Millionaire)

Vivek's comment on my post...

Way to go, buddy!! Its confirmed, Slumdog stands true to the Oscar tribe, its a CRAPPY movie!!

Vivek Menon said...
Watched Slumdog Mi... yesterday - it is a crapy movie, I have no idea why the whole world raves abt this movie (i see mob mentality in the film review world too)...maybe my taste is bad - or is it... and A.R.Rehman won a golden globe for music in it... we all have heard much better music from him - Dilli6 is a good one....If it is the dose of reality that is making this a great movie, then they should watch a movie like Chandini Bar...Was at this store near Canary Wharf when a person of African origin asked me if I had watched Slumdog Mil.. - had not seen it then, but he had - so asked him wht he thought abt it - he said - the west likes this movie - cause they believe by giving it awards and watching the movie, they are helping the poor and not so fortunate ppl in these countries... and we both knew that is so not true - shared a good laugh with my stranger friend there... Blood Diamond is another such movie..

Post 510 : Music 44 – Masakali – Delhi 6 (contd.)

Finally bought the album, did not have the heart to rip this one off. The production quality of the CD and the jewel case is outstanding.

The jacket includes a photo book and the lyrics. That alone makes the price worth it.

On the Masakali song, Prasoon Joshi says :

“This song was  trip. I’ve tended to rely on imagery to transport you to my world. It may make more sense when you see the film, but I do think that it’ll connect even without an overt context. Because it’s about freedom. MasakAli could be the soul. MasakAli could be the inspired desire; it could be an innocent dream in the stranglehold of worldly expectations. Hear it symbolically and you will find many a connect. It’s got its own flavor enhanced by Mohit’s singing.”

I could not agree more with the last comment. Mohit’s magic is called signing, its inspired in its own interpretation, a la classical composition.

One key note :
Almost every song has Prasoon’s 2 bits on it. That suddenly makes the songs so personal, so familair. I wish more writers would do the same.
Mr. Joshi take a bow.

Mohit Chauhan


Prasoon Joshi

Post 509 : Fragile lives and delicate balance

As we watched Parzania, Amma and gang and I (bad english, but excusay muay), debated and talked about “what is” and “what is not?”.

I have been for years aware and adjusted to the fact that our lives in a city like Bombay is cheap and liquid. And I just dont mean, “lives” as in life and death…in general, even our daily peripatetic motions.

We are a nation with a very violent past (and heart) that was humbled into repression by Gandhi and his thoughts. The good man left us 50 years ago, and now the import of his thoughts are waning too. With each passing generation, we are pushed further down to the precipice.

One look at Parzania, and you might stop asking questions like “Why 26/11 on Mumbai?”, “why does Israel attack Gaza?”….

We as a community have allowed genocide in the name of religion (not just by Hindus, but by all faiths at different times).

Life for us is cheap, its not even a statistic, because in India, even the death counts are under-stated….so you might not even feature as a statistic.

I see no difference between the India of today and the Russia/Germany of 1980s, wherein the red flags could (and would) control your lives completely, usurping it at will and playing a slow game of rape.

Am I a Hindu? Yes, by birth. Am I a Muslim? My carpenter is, so is my mason, and my breakmaker…that makes a lot of Allah in my life. Am I a Christian? I studied for 12 years in a convent school. Am I a Sikh? Why I am ruled by one at this point (note the word I used is “ruled”). Am I a parsi? Some of my dearest friends are, and hence I am. Am I a human being? I think so, but am not so sure.

Its so easy for my kid to go khattam-shud tomorrow, or for my genitals to be chopped off in some barbaric kind of riot, or my parents to be murdered and shot at, or my house (and office) to be blown up into bits.

We forget that we live in a world that is hanging a delicate balance, a world on the wire, one straw on the wire and you go phuntoosh. I think its time we adjusted to the new reality. Time is ticking, the bomb (has been) was set in motion years ago.

We cannot but partake the Karmic Pain that Bush, Osama and the gang will one day unleash on us. We are part of the party. Go enjoy today, for tomorrow you might be on the edge of no return.

Post 508 : Movie predictions


In the glorious (and foolish) tradition of Oscars and hype, I must put my neck on the line and say this – if your taste in movies is half as weird as mine, then Slumdog Millionaire will be a crappy movie, wherein you will sit through and go-through-motions - “Its oscar nominated and must be good”, “Preeti said she wept when she saw it, I am sure there must be something to it”, “Is this the Bombay I am in love with?”, “Why are they showing this on screen?”, “Why is the popcorn having so much salt?”, “Is  that an ant or just the regular itch in my balls?”, “Am I the only one drowsy in the whole cinema house?”, and other existential questions like  “Why am I seeing this?”…….

On the other hand, Delhi 6, I think …(Aha, now we are talking)…will be the ribald, nail-you-to-the-recliner-and-think kind of movie. I think it be own-the-dvd-for-repeat-watch-movie.200px-Delhi-6

As for you who are looking to be entertained-and-not-lectured (whatever does that mean), enjoy your Slumdog Millionaire. Jai Ho!!

Post 507 : Movie 22 : Parazania (The utopia that never was)

I watched this Rahul Dholakia movie yesterday night with Amma, Appa and wifey.

Its a movie set in the Ahmedabad (Gujrat) part post Godhra and during the 2002  Communal rights. Its a downright real movie, a movie that you relate to completely (because of what you see everyday around you)…a la Shool, Gangajal, Apaharan.

I wont bore you with the story, you can google that…..but reasons you must watch this movie:

1. Its shows the underbelly of Gujarat like you have never seen it before.
2. Naseer and Sarika (and the 2 children) have given outstanding performances. Halfway through the movie, they weep on screen, and you very easily forget this is movie, it is as if…a real tragedy is unfolding in first person.
3. Wafer crisp editing (earlier my phrase was razor sharp, ah, thats too boring).
4. It will make you think, cringe, possibly weep, and question. Thats more than most movies can do now-a-days.
5. There is an element of jostle and wake up in the story, and that works well for an urban sleeping almost-dead soul…sometimes you need these defibrillator jolts.

Its is a 10 out of 10 movie. I could not point a single flaw in the movie (save the fact that the chawl folks speaking in English seems a little odd, but then English is the chosen medium, it was made for a English audience.)

Parzania4P sarika-parzania


On a slightly different note, this movie was banned in Gujarat and I think in most other states. This could have fetched us every film award we ever wanted, but still we will continue raving about Slumdog Millionaire, hype it up, make it the most cathartic experience of our time, bask in its after-glory, and…..Jai Ho!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Post 506 : Have to make a special mention of this post

From an old friend of mine. Spikey humor…!! Jigar at his best. Dont miss this one.

Post 505 : Bhala hua meri matki phooti (Kabir)

Heard this today on TV, and was blown by the lateral thought of the poet…

Searched on google found it at

Reproducing the part I had heard…


bhala(good) hua meri matki(pot) phooti re
main to pania(water) bharan se chooti re

kabir talks about death, the routine of life and activities we do to sustain our body in form of allegory of a broken pot.

thank you O Lord! for kindness
that this earthen pitcher is broken.
no more filling it up
no routine guards now and worries none


My own translation is:

Its a good thing (O Lord) that my pot got shattered,
I am now freed up (from this ritual of) filling up water!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Post 504 : Music 44 – Masakalli (Delhi 6)

We have our first hit of 2009. It has to be Masakalli….Sung by my wife’s fav…Mohit Chauhan.

Mohit Chauhan (singer), Abhishek, Sonam Kapoor, the pigeon, Prasoon Joshi (lyricist) and AR Rahman have all done a phenomenal job. In case you are wondering what this song is about, it is about the pigeon (now if you read/listen to the lyrics) it will make sense.

Question : What is with the Statue of Liberty in Old Delhi?

This is one movie, I really want to see in the early days…..Looking forward to this movie.

Listen to it at…




Aye Masakalli Masakalli, Ud Matakalli MatakKalli
Aye Masakalli Masakalli, Ud Matakalli MatakKalli
Aye Masakalli Masa Masakalli, Ud Matakalli MatakKalli
Masakalli Masakalli, Ud Matakalli Matakalli
Zara Pankh Zhatak, Gayi Dhool Atak aur Lachak Machak ke Door bhatak
Ud Dagar Dagar Kasbe Khooche Nukkad Basti Mein yeaaiyeee yaaiyeee
Atri se Mud, Ada se Ud.. Kar Le Poori Dil ki Tamanna, Hawa se Jud, Ada se Ud, Ud burr burrrr tu Heera Panna Re..

Masakalli Masakalli, Ud Matakalli Matakalli
Masakalli Masa Masa Masakalli, Matak Matak Matak..
Ghar tera Saloni, Badal Ki Colony,
Dikhla de thenga in sabko, jo udna na Jaane
Udiyo, na Dariyo kar man mani manmani manmani
Badiyo, na mudiyo kar nadaani...
Udiyo, na Dariyo kar man mani manmani manmani
Badiyo, na mudiyo kar nadaani...
Kad Taan le, Muskaan Le.
Keh sannananananana.. hawa..
Bas Thaan le, tu jaan Le.
Keh sansannananananana.. hawa..

Aye Masa kalli Masa kalli, Ud Mata kalli Matak Kalli
Aye Masakalli Masa Masa Masakalli,
Masakalli Masa Kali..
Ud Matak Matak Matak..
Tujhe kya gum,
Tera Rishta Gagan ki bansuri se hai,
Pawan ki guftgu se hai,
suraj ki roshni se hai,
Udiyo, na Dariyo kar man mani manmani manmani
Badiyo, na mudiyo kar nadaani...
Udiyo, na Dariyo kar man mani manmani manmani
Badiyo, na mudiyo kar nadaani...
Kad Taan le, Muskaan Le.
Keh sannananananana.. hawa..
Bas Thaan le, tu jaan Le.
Keh sansannananananana.. hawa..
Masakalli Masa Kali..


Ud Matak Matak Matak Kali..
Masakali Masa Masa Kali
Matak Matak Matak

Post 503 : Music 43 Mar Jawaan (Fashion)

This one has to rate as one of the finer songs of 2008.

Lyrics: Sandeep Nath, Irfan Siddique
Music  : Salim – Sulaiman Merchant
Sung by :Shruti Pathak (should rate as one of the best voices around!!)


Dont Miss the part

Soche dil ki aisa kaash ho,
Tujhko ek nazar meri talash ho,
Jaise khwab hai ankhon mein basse meri,
Waise needon pe silvate pade teri,

Translated means :

My heart longs for such a possibility,
That you might long for a single glimpse (of me),
Just like (your) dreams are entrenched in my eyes,
(So also) You are part of the crease (in the silhouette) of my sleep,

My final list for 2008 as of now is

1.  Pichle Saat Dinon Mein (Rock On!!)
2. Bheeni Bheeni Mehki Mehki (Welcome to Sajjanpur)
3. Sinbad the Sailor (Rock on!!)
4. Kuch Khaas Hai (Fashion)
5. Mar Jawaan (Fashion)
6. Khabar Nahi(Dostana)
7. Lazy Lamhe (Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic)
8. Miit Jaye (Kidnap)  



Mar jawaan, mar jawaan,
Tere ishq pe mar jawaan,
Mar jawaan, mar jawaan,
Tere ishq pe mar jawaan,

Bheege bheege sapno ka jaise khat hai,
Geeli geeli chahat ki jaise lat hai,
Mar jawaan, mar jawaan,
Tere ishq pe mar jawaan,
Mar jawaan, mar jawaan,
Tere ishq pe mar jawaan…

Soche dil ki aisa kaash ho,
Tujhko ek nazar meri talash ho,
Jaise khwab hai ankhon mein basse meri,
Waise needon pe silvate pade teri,
Bheege bheege armaano ki rahad hai,
Geeli geeli khwahish bhi to behad hai,
Mar jawaan, mar jawaan,
Tere ishq pe mar jawaan,
Mar jawaan, mar jawaan,
Tere ishq pe mar jawaan..

mar jawaan..hoo…

Post 502 : Music 42 : Kuch Khaas Hai (Fashion)

mohitkalamalbum_248 Neha-Bhasin-1

Mohit Chauhan (Silk Route) and Neha Bhasin (ex-Viva) girl – create magic on this. A simple romantic number rendered with amazing deftness….

Music : Salim-Sulaiman Merchant

Lyricist : Irfan Siddique

Kya ye khumar hai ya aitbar hai
Shayad ye pyar hai
Pyar hai shayad
Kya ye bahaar hai ya intezaar hai
Shayad ye pyar hai
Pyar hai shayad

Kuchh khaas hai kuchh paas hai
Kuchh ajnabee ehsaas hai
Kuchh dooriyaan nazdeekiyaan
Kuchh has padi tanhaiyaan
Kya ye khumar hai ya aitbar hai
Shayad ye pyar hai
Pyar hai shayad
Kya ye bahaar hai ya intezaar hai
Shayad ye pyar hai
Pyar hai shayad

Kuchh saaz hai jaage se jo the soye
Alfaaz hain chup se nashe mein khoye
Nazar hi samjhe ye guftgoo saari
Koi aarzoo ne hai angdaayi li pyaari
Kya ye khumar hai ya aitbar hai
Shayad ye pyar hai
Pyar hai shayad
Na inkaar hai na iqraar hai
Shayad ye pyar hai
Pyar hai shayad

Kehna hi kya mera dakhalna koi
Dil ko dikha dil ki shakal ka koi
Dil se thi meri ek shart ye aisi
Lage jeet si mujhko ye haar hai kaisi
Yun hi khumar hai kyun beqraar hai
Shayad ye pyar hai
Pyar hai shayad
Jaadu sawaar hai na ikhtiyaar hai
Shayad ye pyar hai
Pyar hai shayad
Pyar hai shayad

Kuchh khaas hai kuchh paas hai
Kuchh ajnabee ehsaas hai
Pyar hai shayad
Pyar hai shayad

Post 501 : I should have sold this spot as a product placement for Levis

Will hope one day they will contact me..hence this is an empty asinine post.

Post 500 : Learning my swansong – 7 (4 ragas down)

My irregular habits (refer to my exercise schedule) s now afflicting my music habits as well.

4 ragas down:

1. Bageshshri
2. Darbari Kanhara
3. Yaman
4. Bilawal

In Dec 08, practised for 14 out of a possible 31 days. That makes it 92out of 146 since 7th Aug 2008.

Post 499 : Weight Watcher 19 (123….stop it right there)

In the recent past was tinkering with the idea of changing this title of this series given that my weight has not moved since 86 for almost 20 months now….

And then….

Last month (Nov-Dec) I gained 3 kgs.

For Dec, I managed 15 out of a possible 31 days….total since 5th Feb 2007 is 335 out of 705 days.

Hope to back to 86 by Feb….time will tell.

Post 498 : Music 41 : Khabar Nahi (Dostana)


Listen to Vishal Dadlani on this song, and you will know why this such a brilliant song. Excellent harmony, a smoothish blend in voice (it blends in from the background into the music and the chorus).

The lyrics are not the greatest….but the vocal harmony between Amanat Ali Khan (used for the Maula Mere Maula harmony track in the background).

Top Songs for 2008

1.  Pichle Saat Dinon Mein (Rock On!!)
2. Bheeni Bheeni Mehki Mehki (Welcome to Sajjanpur)
3. Sinbad the Sailor (Rock on!!)
4. Khabar Nahi(Dostana)
5. Lazy Lamhe (Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic)
6. Miit Jaye (Kidnap)