Apr 27, 2010

My state of mind

This painting that I did(copied from an art magazine) shows how my mind feels right now. It is in conflict with itself. It is confused, two-sided, wanting one thing and doing the other, not knowing the difference between day and night. My conscience is in conflict too. I feel like I'm living two lives. It feels like there is a parallel existence to my current being. I wonder if there is...

Apr 26, 2010

An attempt to rid oneself of boredom

The boredom that seeps into her mind
Is a slow murderer.
The drooping eyelids show that death is close.
But she cannot shut her eyes.
She cannot lose her attendance in class,
She cannot sleep in front of the lawyer at the conference,
She cannot sleep.
Death must wait for another chance and find another victim to succumb to it.
She escapes into her false reality,
And tries her hand at this poem.
A miserable attempt.

Apr 22, 2010

An end of something.

He looked at me with a fascinating passion in his eyes
The mere presence of his body over mine felt strange
A presence that I knew many others before me had felt
It felt sick knowing that I would be the next victim
The fascination, however, still remained, making me only sicker.
The beads of sweat from his forehead fell on my exposed body
Too many thoughts went through my brains at that moment
Unfit and unworthy of being remembered then
All I could do was to hope it would be over soon
And that the pain would not be too much.
Then, he entered it into me.
The blood oozed out of me spilling over the land I once tread on.
I lay there.
He looked satisfied.
Another victim to his name.
More money in his pocket.
I am the goat that the butcher killed with his knife today.

Apr 20, 2010

Finally, I have written this one for you

This is officially one of the most awaited posts on my blog. By one person. The subject of the post.

Finally, I have written this one for you
The one that will sail our friendship through...
Through the hard day's night,
Despite your not-so-much height.
You're just my Teenage Dirtbag Baby,
Tum Se Hi or Folkie's grapevine done wavy?
I'll always be around when you need to study resistivity,
Rho, and you, my dear friend, shall always be in unity.
The roots of unity you have sat and taught me before exams,
While I, on trains, have taught you how to be a man.
The hugs we have shared have always been funny,
Because they were shared on treks when it was sunny.
As silly as the rhyming seems to be,
This poem means a lot to me.
It is my way of thanking you for the times,
For cupcakes and food and reasons to smile.

I hope you get all the references made in these silly lines and I hope you like it.

Apr 8, 2010

Indian Ocean: My own experiences with the band

   My first experience with the band was in a journey to Vythiri, Kerala from Bangalore around 7-8 years ago. A trip with my cousins and my cousin sister with an amazing music sense, Spriha di, played Kandisa in the car. I distinctly remembering asking who it is by and taking it down as a note in my diary. During that holiday, I enjoyed Hile Le and Ma Rewa too and kept noting it down. On coming back home to Kolkata, I forced Mummy to buy the CD. I loved the album booklet where the lyrics were explained. Been a fan since then.

   Indian Ocean has a very distinct style of playing. In Rishi Valley, we were being shown Swaraaj, a film by Anwar Jamal, my ex-roomie's father, based in rural Rajasthan which focussed on an initiative taken by a group of women who wanted to get water in their village, which was being denied by the government on irrational grounds. In the movie, Jhini was played, and the music just seemed very much like Indian Ocean. I waited for the credits, and sure enough, it was Indian Ocean again. After this, I had downloaded more songs by them in the holidays from their album, Jhini.

   Then comes Baajaa Gaajaa, 2010 in Pune. I was assigned to cover the event and one highlight for me was that I would get to hear Indian Ocean live for the first time. The show was fantastic. It gave me a sort of high just listening to them. The only thing I felt bad about was the time constraint due to which, they could not play Leaving Home, my favorite song by them. But, what compensated for that was that I got to meet the band members after the show and take photographs with them and talk to them. An amazing experience! Since then, I've downloaded most of their songs, researched more on the band, and truly appreciated their music and performing skills. Great to be heard live. This is when I got to know that their movie, funnily enough named Leaving Home:The life and music of Indian Ocean would be out in theaters on the 2nd of April. Started counting the days two months in advance.
You can read the article here: http://thetossedsalad.com/2010/02/at-baajaa-gaajaa-10/
    Indian Ocean at Baajaa Gaajaa

   By now I have joined their group for 'Leaving Home' and am eagerly waiting for it. Then one fine day, the status says that they are looking for people to help with the release in different cities. I applied. Got chosen to be Pune's point-person. Felt great that I could actually be doing something to help them! So, I spoke to Smita Saran and Sumit Kilam about the requirements of posters in Pune and how else we could spread the word about the movie in Pune. The news spread about the movie. There was a buzz in the air about the movie. Anticipating fans getting excited. Posters being distributed and put up. And finally, 2nd April, 8:30 p.m, first day first show, I saw the movie. Overwhelming experience. Saw it again on the 8th, last day last show, and couldn't be happier. I come back home and check their page and we see a video posted where the band has actually thanked all of us(with the names acknowledged!) who worked in Pune for the promotion of the film. The best thank you we could've asked for!

   Alongside all this, I got to take the drummer, Amit Kilam's interview on the 31st of March just before the movie's release on the phone. It was great fun talking to him and I hope he liked it. :)
Fans can read it on: http://thetossedsalad.com/2010/04/interview-amit-kilam-indian-ocean-leaving-home/

  And that ends my personal experiences when it comes to this brilliant band. 19 years of creating music. 5 albums. 1 movie. That too, India's first non-fictional band movie. That's just great! I'm so glad that I've been so lucky to have had all of these just at the age of 19. Many more to look forward to, hopefully! Fingers crossed.

Apr 6, 2010


Her two-sidedness was not one of her better attributes
Charming though she may have been,
Both sides of her the world had seen.
It had been judgemental of her to say the least,
Anticipating with her every move for her to unleash the beast
Within her that would reside
It would emerge with a slap, a beating, or just a chide.
Her angelic side would cease to exist ever so often
That its mere existence would make you ask-when
When the girl grew up, changed, and drifted
Drifted far into the interiors of the big bad world
Where her true identity was moulded and remoulded,
Beyond the point that she could find her true form again.

Apr 5, 2010

Should the freedom of press be absolute?

The Indian Constitution, in Article 19(1) (a) provides for the freedom of speech and expression. It has been held that this right to freedom also includes the freedom of press. It is a deduced right since the press is taken to be a way of stating a citizen of a country. Freedom of press should not be absolute as it would be a Utopian concept to some. Allowing certain reasonable restrictions that keep the freedom under check and thereby, not absolute is a better option.

In most countries, freedom of the press implies that every person should have the right to express themselves in writing or in any other way of expression of a personal opinion or creativity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers"

The freedom of the press is different from other liberties of the people in the fact that it is both individual and institutional. It applies not just to a single individual's right to publish ideas, but also to the right of print and broadcast media to express their views and to cover and publish news. A free press is, therefore, one of the foundations of a democratic society like India.

Historically, restriction of the freedom of press has happened in two ways. The first is censorship by the government before publication; the second is punishment for printed material, especially that considered by the government to be ‘seditious libel’, i.e., material that may “excite disaffection” against constituted authority.
There will always be certain restrictions imposed on the power of the press.

It has been frequently alleged, especially in India, that the freedom of the press is in danger because the ownership of the newspaper industry is in the predominance of a few newspaper groups and chains. It is also suggested that the editors and journalists do not have adequate freedom of collecting facts and offering opinions as they are under the pressure of the capitalist owners and the government. In this situation, the press cannot be free.

Free press is free press. There are bad guys in every profession and there will be bad media persons too! The trade should be robust enough to handle these people. When media is controlled by corporates, it is not free. So, freedom is a relative term. Freedom for whom?

Apr 4, 2010

Kerala Travels

This is a 6-day account of my trip to Kerala with my school friends after our class 12 exams got over, before everyone went their own ways to different cities and countries for college. :) Amazing 6 days that I will always cherish!

It all started with my taking a flight to Chennai. In Chennai, Pranati picked me up from the airport and we feared having caught the swine flu as we walked out and into our vehicle which took us to her place. We met Anuttam & the three of us walked along the roads in Annanagar till we reached some park which happened to be shut to our dismay. Without even thinking twice, we sat on the footpath while onlookers probably passed comments in their heads about how lowly we might have been. We chatted about the old times in school, discussed the usual “which college and course do you plan to do?” plans, gossiped, etc. Then, we came home and I napped while she started her packing for the trip which we left for an hour later. Soon, we were on our way to the train station and unable to get through to Ronak(Igu Soni) who would be our bodyguard on the train journey to Kerala for a small RV post-12th get together, organized by Kutta(who stayed in Trivandrum…Very sweet boy!). The train started moving even before it was our departure time of 8.00 p.m. because they were testing the engine. Igu was nowhere in sight. Panic stricken, we tried calling up his relatives. His family was as clueless as us! In fact, his father hoped that he had gone to the right station! Suddenly, he emerged with his now crew cut hairstyle from amidst the crowds. We got on, laughed at some entertaining children in our compartment, had chips for dinner and slept. I screamed in my sleep and woke up my fellow passengers, apparently. Lies, I tell you!

The day starts with us finally reaching and waiting outside the station for someone to take us to Kutta’s house! He comes 20 minutes later with Abhiroop trying to look like a stud with his ‘cool Cudappah sunglasses’ on. Did not look like one, Poopy! Went to the guesthouse, met everyone(Trilok,Sabu,Kittu,Kutta,Abhiroop,Madi)caught up, and then had lunch. In the evening, we all went to the Kovalam beach.Igu’s pants were torn in a very inappropriate place but he still ventured into the water. Abhiroop tried to show me disgusting things concerning others on the beach but I ignored. After an hour or so of tireless whipping by the waves, we changed and went and sat on a couple of rocks along the beach. Then, we went somewhere for dinner and waited a while but the food was worth the while. Chinese food all the way!

Next morning, we got up at 4 to go to Cochin for India’s best amusement park! I’d agree! 5 hours away with a 20 minute appam eating and for some, a shitting stop. Some of us received immense pleasure after the latter while others got disgusted by the same. The journey, though uncomfortable as hell, was worth it! The not-so-scary Balaram cave, the fun but puke-causing ride where we were turned back and front and upside down, the bumping cars where Sabu & I smashed everyone, especially Kittu, who never managed to escape us, the silly roller coaster, the spinning roller coaster which turned at weird angles off a cliff, and above all,The Space Gun, in which I nearly dug my nails into Sabu’s hands due to fear and an inability to breathe! We were suspended upside down in the air on top for 10 frightening seconds but I started laughing because of Kittu’s long upside down Banquo hair in the other shuttle besides Igu’s silly smile.:)
Then came the water rides. Though we lost Kutta and Trilok for a short time, we went crazy in the wave pool, the water slides, the mat race that I won because I was the fattest(I’d still say it is Igu, but people denied it then and I was having too much fun to bother arguing), the water pendulum, the tunnels, and to top it off, the water rollercoaster! Brilliant rides! In the wave pool, I nearly drowned because I was dunked once by Madi, once by Trilok and thrice by stupid Sabu! I beat everyone except Sabu in a swimming race though! My memorable feat for that day! Prono and I freaked out in the pendulum and the circular path water ride where we were chucked into a water hole from a height by the ride managers! It might be hard to picture some of these but it was the best time I’ve had for just 360 bucks in a long long time! After that, we went to Kutta’s favorite cousins’ house where we hogged on great food and were treated with amazing hospitality. A little crazy conversation on our way back kept most of us up and sadly, cribbing because of lack of space. A conversation about a difference in perspective of talking about something. Secret’s not getting out. Great day but tiring as hell so we all slept off as soon as we got back.

Woken up to Madhuri and Babu’s arrival. Did nothing the whole morning but went to a nice resort after lunch. There, we were greeted with grape juice. Quite delightful! Then, we all went to the pool! Had a great time swimming, racing and defeating Kutta & Madhuri, almost beating Babu & Sabu, having  water fights, etc. Then, we got coffee by the poolside, which was really nice and hot. After that, a few of us went to the beach while the others went to play pool/air hockey. I’m sure they had their own kind of fun but this beach was one of the prettiest ones I have ever seen! A clean, private beach with very few people. The only sound was that of the crashing waves. We were not allowed to enter the water but some of us went in to get our feet wet anyway, and came out completely drenched! Went for a short walk alone by the water which gave me a lot of inner peace. Missed some people and then, went back to the group. Got ready after that and finally, had an amazing dinner…A buffet with great pasta, sauted vegetables, gratine, and the like. Lovely desserts too! After that, we reached the guesthouse, waited for the fuse to be fixed(due to overload because both the ACs in the guys’ rooms were on for too long!),did college entrance work(I’m studying there now!),and slept!

We got up and were supposed to go to Kanyakumari, but for some reason, that got cancelled! Instead, we decided to go watch some Mallu movie which was silly but had great cars. Well, I suppose it was worth seeing the cars but the movie was not worth it! It was called Sagar Alias Jacky(Yes, that long sequence is the hero’s name).He is some good hearted don who kills one of the villains with a twig! Cant dance coz he’s too fat and so, walks around like a macho man! Sabu explained the dialogues to me though. I pity the guy. Bugged the hell out of him in an attempt to understand it! Came back, had lunch, and saw more movies the rest of the day. Watched another crappy movie called Surf School. In  the night, I saw The Great Debaters which was really good! We had RV style Maggi for dinner, saw the match, and then slept off!

Kittu came to see us off at the station but did not come with us to Kollam. Kutta did not continue with us since he had to go to Mumbai for his TISS interview. Kollam was really pretty! We had nice, long dosas for breakfast and then, went to a house-boat we had booked on the backwaters. It was like a mini-cruise with 2 rooms and a sit-out downstairs and upstairs. We were all enjoying the sit-out upstairs when it started raining. We had to rush back into the rooms on the lower deck. We stopped by the banks of some island or something like that and ate lunch. After that, it was all blank for me because I slept in the room while my feet faced the window and were being cleansed with the gentle drizzle. That night, after reaching Trivandrum again, we all packed our little suitcases since we were leaving for Bangalore the next day for Sujay’s birthday, which was another story altogether. We made RV Maggi at night, watched a couple of movies, and crashed till the next afternoon, when we had to leave the beautiful state of Kerala. 

Apr 3, 2010

3rd April, 2010.

This is a silly poem I just wrote after a field trip to INS Shivaji(Naval Training & Engineering Establishment) in Lonavala so that I don't forget the day's events, since for a change, I didn't bother taking notes :) (Yes, go ahead and laugh, whoever gets the joke). The rhyming scheme and choice of words doesn't bother me right now because all I wanted to do was write this down while the events of the day are still clear in my mind and then sleep! Here goes nothing!

A bus ride where the manner of sleeping became a joke (I personally found nothing funny in it)
On reaching, a man in blue uniform spoke.
Spoke of the whats and hows and whys
Even during a ship-like simulation ride.
The models, techniques, badges were fascinating,
People walking around or just sitting and contemplating.
A beautiful landscape amidst the hills and the trees,
A dam compensated for the lack of a sea.
Water fights followed, a must have at such a spot.
Enjoyed by all but a few spoilsports.
After we left, a sense of dissatisfaction filled us,
The craving for food arose within us.
A craving that six cups of ice cream could not suffice,
Was satiated by kala khata syrup on ice. (Reference: Golas)
Jokes cracked on sucking the ice stick,
Ended when a boy dropped the ice itself. 
A pitiable waste, I thought. 
Dehydration on the bus ride back,
Too bad, now I'm just going to hit the sack.