Oct 26, 2011

The City of Joy: Lansdowne Market

The freshest garlands in the market. My hands are a shade of orange now because I had to take out the petals for decorations. 
The elegant looking pandal near Hazra crossing. I love the fact that there are more cycles than cars in the photograph.
Streamers of all sorts to add color to one's life (I picked up the silver, purple &  blue ones for myself)
Look at the blue & yellow in this Kala Ma pandal. Such rich hues.
Patakas being sold by a little girl whose expressions are as explosive as firecrackers themselves. See! *bang*
I call it the One Stop Shop. Everything seemingly related to pujas was available here!

Oct 25, 2011

My long(est)-term relationship: Music

This is going to be my official speech at the launch of my book on the journey to becoming the best guitarist in the world (Okay, in India. Okay fine, in Calcutta. Okay, just in my own mind.) at some point in life after years of learning. It's like a reverie of how I became so into the music scene as I currently am. Just treat it as a dream post of a sort.
(Note: I do not know how to play the guitar at all currently but recently decided that I will buy one soon with my savings and learn.)

Yes, I know I started playing only at 20 while most others already had their act together by then. They all started when they were 9 or 13 or 16. Only a few pushed it till the 20s and couldn't recognize their inner passion and potential till then. But it was just that drive at that age. There I was on 25th october, 2011 sitting back and reflecting on how I need music playing around me all the time and not being able to get how some people I know don't like music. Music had become one of the most essential things in my life.

It was the trip to Kerala in class 6 where I heard Indian Ocean's Kandisa and really enjoyed it. I went through my Britney Spears and Sugababes and then the Beatles and Pink Floyd phases like everyone does at different points before/after that. But I always knew that there was something to it than I could fathom.

Then, The Tossed Salad (TTS) happened and I had to review Ashima Aiyer's music. It was the first time I dwelled on the melody and lyrics and what goes into it an individual song and its depth and from there, there was no looking back. There was more listening, new sounds, research, trial and error, and discussions and there was just more everyday to learn about music, and specifically, the music scene in India. It was a crazy rush everytime and very fulfilling as an experience. I would like to stop here for a second and really thank the Indian music scene for picking up the way it has, especially so in the recent years. There's just so much content, both good and bad, and so much potential to actually improve and reach a standard that cannot be countered by other countries. This is also excellent because of India's rich cultural diversity which a lot of the Indian bands retain in their sound. (I'm thinking Advaita, Swarathma and Indian Ocean as I write this.)

Then, the interviews for TTS started and I started getting better with each interview and started thoroughly enjoying the conversations with the artistes concerned. I'd interviewed Sahej Bakshi aka Dualist Inquiry once and I completely forgot my prepared questionnaire and just explored his music and all I wanted to know about it to understand it fully and then wrote the piece. He claims he liked it. It was just the involvement I felt while thinking about that piece of writing and it made me feel really good inside since I want to be a journalist in the future.

And that's the best part. There's been many interactions and they have all taught me something new each time and managed to only got more and more fascinated. And it was more like a fascination for life through the music because it was giving me this natural high of a sort all the time, which could only be fueled by other intoxicants which were therefore, not the necessity.

And then, NH7 weekender was happening that year and I missed it in its first year and had even stayed off Facebook for those 3 days knowing I'd be wanting to kick myself with the updates about how 'awesome' it was. I traveled to Bombay for the announcement party at Razz with the most amazing line-up and the entire show was pretty much orchestrated by Warren Mendonsa (Blackstratblues). It was a milestone for me and ever since, I have compared gigs to it. (Note: This speech is for the future and I would've attended Weekender by then but currently, I'm just super excited to attend it in 23 days). I volunteered with them and helped in Marketing and Promotions (I sold 6 tickets, including 3 people I convinced to travel to Pune from Calcutta for just those 3 days) and also with the NH7 wire, a magazine with NH7 as a part of TTS. It was all just overwhelming and seemed bloody right while writing for it.

And coming to how I got to where I am today. Everything that I just explained drove me to want to finally understand the other side to the story and be the one making the music to give me the clearest understanding of a piece of music when I hear it. It was after focussing on Mr Woodnote's feet work the loop pedal at a live gig at High Spirits, Pune and understand the many layers to his music that I wanted to pick up an instrument, any instrument, and just devour it completely in the sense of knowing each and every sound and combination that can possibly come out of it.

And for those of you who are curious, once I'm done with the guitar, I'm aiming to delve deep into the intricacies of the saxophone. That's all. Thank you for pushing me in ways unknown to you or me and making me explore this wonderful field of music, this magical field of opportunities.

*takes a bow and goes and hugs Mummy who is sitting at the front row*

Oct 24, 2011

Shopping for the Diwali puja

Rangoli: A treat for the eyes
Diyas of all shapes, colours and sizes for the puja
Ganesh & Lakshmi murtis (idols) on display
The little rui (cotton) seller boy
Incense, roli-chawal, kapur and an assortment of other requisites for the puja
The kheel-batasha prasad (offerings to the Gods)
All these photographs were taken on my phone camera and are therefore, not as clear as I would have liked them to be. Still, they should hopefully capture the essence of the marketplace for all the Diwali puja items. No firecrackers were in that area of the market and so, are not included.

Oct 22, 2011

The Moth

I see it outside my window, struggling with all its might to get in. It reminds me an awful lot of myself but the only difference is that it can fly and I can't even though there are days when I wish I could. It is trapped in the outside world while I am trapped inside. But it still has more freedom than me. It wants in; I want out. I may as well admit here that though I do feel liberated, at the end of the day, I do not get the liberation that I seek.

I used to be good at a game of Hide and Seek as a kid. Today, if I hide, I can't look myself in the eye in my own reflection. Today, if I switch off the light so that I can't see the moth any longer knowing that it still is there despite the temporary darkness, I know that it has won and I have lost.

Oct 12, 2011

Maadhyam: The revolution is here

The second edition of my college fest, Maadhyam 2011 is finally here. After all the toil and trouble, three days of fun and excitement is expected. Day 1 will see an inter-college fashion show at Phoenix Mall, Day 2 with a band competition at Phoenix folled by a dance competition at the college auditorium and finally, and this one's the best, Ankur Tewari & the Ghalat Family on Saturday, Day 3! I can't wait. If you're in Pune tomorrow onwards, make sure to drop in at the Vimannagar Symbiosis campus. Enough and more entertainment :) And passes for the gig are only for 100 bucks. And that's just awesome for such good music!

Oct 6, 2011

Random Tweets: All in a night's work

These were all tweets over a span of an hour on the night of October 5th. Yes, I was extremely bored.
  • Let it swallow you in, as you lie there waiting. Would you even want to even try and get out? You know and so do I.
  • I wish to learn the language of cockroaches someday. And escape the vindictive wrath of humanity with my fellow brothers and sisters.
  • Plain and simple curiosity. Questions. Answers. Disappointment. Truth. Acceptance. Repeat cycle. The end.
  • You believe in unicorns and expect me to dismiss my beliefs?
  • You switch off the light as you walk inside. I lie there, terrified. It's a rolling sea outside. Don't hold me, you are not mine.
  • Sleepless in a city unknown to mankind. I hope the astronauts get here with the Martian brownies soon. And diet coke!
  • The depth is too much but drowning isn't even an option. Melt. Crash. Reconstruct. Grasp. Twitch. Yelp. Tighten. Stop. Revive.
  • The towel soaks me dry. As does vengeance and pity and loneliness.
  • Beauty is always overplayed or underplayed and never correctly estimated.
  • It doesn't belong to you and never will. Let go. Or could it be that you never knew it all along?
  • You fell asleep and I was numb.I tried to hurt you to awake you but you would not budge.You just lay there silent as before. #footfellasleep
  • It was just a glimpse. But it ended before I even shut my eyes. And without my knowing, someone pressed the Restart button.
  • Draped in the attire you chose, I stand. Hopeless and carefree, a step at a time. They come, they go. Would you care to stay?