Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A blogging ritual

I decided to follow the bloggers' tradition of posting on New Year's Eve. I don't think I need to give my 2 cents on the year gone by. Rather I'd write some random stuff.

Good boy : Likes a well served dinner at a restaurant.
Bad boy: Likes the well dressed waitress who served the dinner.

Good boy: Never thinks about sleeping with his secretary.
Bad boy: He doesn't think so either, unless the secretary happens to be a blond with big boobs.

Good boy: Packs all his stuff in just 2 suitcases.
Bad boy: Uses 2 girls to pack all his stuff into suitcases.

Goodboy: His wife doubled in size after just one year.
Badboy: He was responsible for that.

Goodboy: Dutifully carries his rubber in his pencil box.
Badboy: Dutifully carries his rubber in his waller, just in case.

Goodboy: Takes his virginity pledge seriously.
Badboy: He just takes the virgins.

Goodboy: Thinks the world is flat.
Badboy: Sees a whole lot of curves in this world!

Goodboy: A goodboy never goes after his best friend's girl.
Badboy: A badboy goes after her and her sister.

Goodboy: Solves all the 99 problems for a straight A.
Badboy: Hes sure got 99 problems but he bitch ain't one :-D

Happy New Year Y'all Faithful.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Battle for the soul of desi music

Ok ok..I wanted to title this as Nusrat vs Kailash Kher, but settled for the dramatic instead of the cheesy. Desi music has never been in want of legendary singers. There is greatness in singing and then there is singing with soul. Perhaps it has to do with being acquainted with poverty at some point in life....when suffering, pain and a certain hopelessness guide your way of life. You then start doing things in a way you really want to, you do things not for the commercial, but because you know deep down that this is how it needs to be done... you are at peace with a song because you know you have found its soul. The singing that is thus born is so fresh and carries away the listener with its carefree abandon.

It was way back in high school when I first heard "Afreen".
Well, granted the song became a hit in part due to the worshipping of the scantily clad Lisa Ray by bums like me.
Granted the lyrics are as cheesy as those of a first time love letter written by a high school kid -
"aisaa dekhaa nahiiN Khuubsuurat ko’ii
jism jaise Ajanta kii muurat ko’ii
jism jaise nigaahoN pe jaaduu ko’ii
jism naGhmaa ko’ai jism Khushbuu ko’ii"
(what else can you say about such descriptive compliments ;-) )
Yet...... Nusrat's rendering took it to a certain level of innocence that is so close to being spiritual.

Well, so what if it took all the seductiveness of Lisa Ray or the blending with techno to make Nusrat's music popular...Whatever be the means, the broader subcontinent audience so richly deserved to hear his heavenly voice.

While it was the constant poverty of a small traditional qawwali band that shaped the initial years of Nusrat, it was the total failure of his fledgling business that drove Kailash Kher back to his music roots. Thankfully "Rabba Ishq na Hove" was well received despite a subpar picturization(not that I mind Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta strutting their stuff in latex minis) and the medocricity of the movie(Andaaz) it appeared in. I need not comment on what followed....his khuli gayaki style of sufi music (inspired by none other than Nusrat) has won over its fair share of admirers since then.

"Oh Sikander" or "Mustt Kalander" , "Teri Deewani" or "Tere bin nahi lagda dil mera" , "Tujhe mein pyar karu" or "Angrai par angrai"....... the debate continues. Despite his somewhat high pitched voice for a male playback Kailash has adapted the Nusrat spectacularly enough to make it a commercial success.

Still when the old master and his mustachioed , kurta-pajama wearing middle aged crew sing,
"Nazar mila ke, mere paas aa ke, loot liya
Nazar hati to phir muskura ke loot liya
Koi yeh loot to dekho ki us ne jab chaaha
Mujhi mein reh ke mujhi mein samaa ke loot liya"

they do emobdy a certain simplicty that brings an involuntary smile to my lips.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

" What's the world's greatest lie ? " the boy asked,

completely surprised. "It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate".

By now its rather easy to guess that I've been reading the Alchemist. Paulo Coelho, has that rare gift of imparting soul into his prose. Everyone who reads the Alchemist is bound to nod their head at some point, agreeing to what he says and being somewhat impressed by the way he can somehow express what often goes unsaid by a lot of people.

Perhaps Coelho is the R.K. Narayan of the Latin Americas, just that he is a little bit more dramatic with respect to the story lines. My only complaint is, it is more on the optimistic side. (Atleast as far as I have read :)) But he does balance it out with some skepticism and uncertainty. I gotta complain atleast a little bit, shouldn't I? ;-)

But certainly everyone could gain that much bit of cultural experience by reading atleast one novel by this Brazilian author.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gravity versus Evolution

( ). Ok , here I veer off , being nerdy again. And btw, it is extremely ironical that I am talking about Gravity AND Evolution the very next day after writing
"All about myself blogs - Almost every blog is. You are in the wrong place , if you are looking to read about cosmology or genetics. "
Hmm.... that is how life humbles you at every turn. Now Seth Godin for whom I have a lot of respect says

"Newton gets all kinds of credit. They call it the Law of Gravity. They put his picture on pages that profile geniuses. They say he discovered gravity. Nonsense. He just named it."

--- wooww wait a minute. He was the first one to write a precise expression for gravity. In other words while people who came before him had some qualitative understanding, Newton went ahead and bam -- gave us a formula.

Granted it was somewhat inaccurate (you need to allow for some relativistic effects and perhaps even more stuff that we don't even know about as Seth points out), still it is heck of a lot more useful a theory than Darwin's evolution. It wasn't just spiel. It let us develop accurate projectiles (err missiles), compute the stress induced by their own weight in numerous materials used in construction and many other such precise utilitarian calculations.

In contrast, Darwin's theory was more of a paper giant. It was the elucidation of the structure of genetic material by Watson and Crick (or perhaps Rosalind Franklin, depending on who tells the story) that ultimately led to an explosion in the study of genetics.

"If the timeframe of the message of your marketing is longer than the attention span (or lifetime) of the person you are marketing to, you have your work cut out for you as well."

I would believe that it is easy to say "Man came from ape and was not created by God on the seventh day" and hold someone's attention (or wrath) than to try and convince them that the gravitational attraction between two bodies drops inversely to the square of the distance between them.

Anyways, Seth is Seth. He does have his own unique way of making his point. I do agree with him on the Atkins diet though ;-)

Monday, December 1, 2008

What a wonderful world.....

It is perhaps inappropriate that after all that has happened in Mumbai, I should write a post with this title. This Louis Armstrong song was made in the height of the Vietnam war and the Civil rights movement. Despite all the cynicism and anger that is in the air, there are things to cherish and feel happy about.

Now that doesn't mean that our government can remain inept and indecisive as usual. But that is altogether a different post.

So we are not a one post wonder.

A one post or an one post? Whatever! Anyways,my blog isnt an one post wonder anymore. This is officially the second post. I had a meeting with my boss just now. When I went up to his room, he was busy -- reading the Steyn blog. You may not agree with everything a right wing nut case says, let alone believe it is true. But nonetheless they write some funny shit. Even funnier if it were actually true. A sample,
Ayatollah Khomeini's "Blue Book" and its helpful advice on romantic matters: "If a man marries a minor who has reached the age of nine and if during the defloration he immediately breaks the hymen, he cannot enjoy her any longer." I'll say. I know it always ruins my evening. Also: "A man who has had sexual relations with an animal, such as a sheep, may not eat its meat. He would commit sin."


Now that gives y'all a taste of ma humor.

And so here we are

Yesterday I figured out that my 2 cents would be the name of my blog. And sometime today, in fact during lunch, while chewing on those chicken fajita tacos, a little random thought floated in my mind. And here we are now.

I am certainly not the most tech savvy person, although I am quite technical :-) Not that any of this means anything, but then blogs aren't just for posting stuff that do mean something, aint so?

Well this being my first day on the blogosphere, I took a little random walk. Left a few comments here and there...mainly to see if they would respond. I am certainly curious to get to know the dynamics of blog writers.

Some immediate thoughts... There seem to be the following types of blogics....(not that this terminology would stick...just didnt want to call them bloggers like everyone does...even if I'm trying to streotype them ;-) )

--- Those who post tons and tons of pics. They tire me with all the scrolling I need to do before I get to read anything sensible. But I guess their point is - a picture is worth a thousand words. Cant really argue.

--- Family types - talking about their kids and stuff. yaaawn. I'm sure one day I will end up doing this. I can get guidance from these people at that time.

--- Cynical and sad - I agree of late theres been tons of stuff to make people rightfully cynical. And given that everyone has their own chip on their shoulders , perhaps one wouldn't really want to read someone else's pile of crap :-D But these are honest posts and that certainly has its own charm.

--- One blog wonders. I need not say more. Plus this is my first post. I would def write one more. Just in case :-P

--- All about myself blogs. Almost every blog is. You are in the wrong place , if you are looking to read about cosmology or genetics.

I am still not sure how to effectively search for blogs I would love to read. I guess I would figure that out as I walk.