Simple Man

January 29, 2010

simple_man_taken_for_a_ride
Simple Man – Taken for a ride?

Mama told me, when I was young
Sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say
And if you do this, it’ll help you some sunny day
Ahhh
Yeah it will

Oh, take your time don’t live too fast
Troubles will come and they will pass
You’ll find a woman and you’ll find love
And don’t forget son there’s is someone up above

And be a simple kind of man
Oh be something you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh won’t you do this for me son, if you can

Forget your lust for the rich man’s gold
All that you need is in your soul
And you can do this (oh baby) if you try
All that I want from you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Oh be something that you love and understand
Baby be a simple kind of man
Oh won’t you do this for me son, if you can

Oh don’t you worry
You’ll find yourself
Follow your heart
And nothing else
And you can do this (oh baby) if you try
All that I want from you my son is to be satisfied

And be a simple kind of man
Oh be something that you love and understand
So baby be a simple, be a simple man
Oh won’t you do this for me son, if you can.

– Lynyrd Skynyrd

Taken for granted and taken for a ride, should Simple man always remain simple?


Wasted Sunsets

December 5, 2009

Venue: Palace Grounds
Date : 30th Oct 2009
A concert has been organized by Maruti Suzuki A-Star and the rock band ‘Parikrama‘ is called to perform with a guy who is Javed Akhtar’s son. Did I say Javed Akhtar’s son? Apologies for the incomplete intro. He is the director of a movie. Incomplete intro again. He is the lead hero of a movie. Incomplete intro again. Oops, sorry! He is a ‘rock star’ dude ;-)

Rock On… Hai Ye Waqt Ka Ishaara
Rock On… Har Lamha Pukaara
Rock On… Yuhin Dekhta Hai Kya Tu
Rock On… Zindagi Millegi Na Dobaara…

Farhan Akhtar croaks, stretching his vocal cords. Few of the frenzied women, going gaga over the ‘rock star’, try to breach the security to go up the stage. Many guys are head banging and smoking joints. Auntyjis (and few uncles as well) are screaming “Farhan, Farhan” as he sways his mike like Ian Gillian and a fake smile is seen on Nitin Malik’s face (The vocalist of the rock band Parikrama) who seems to wait for his turn, collect the money from the organizers, gulp couple of beers and happily go back to his hotel room thinking why he wasn’t born to be a ‘rock star’. Parikrama seems like playing in ‘Ma bhagwati vishal jaagran‘ (which is organized by the ‘mohalla kalyaan samiti‘ during Holi in North India) where the vocalist keeps chanting – “bolo saachey darbaar ki jai” and the bhajans are sung to the tunes of ‘Dil to pagal hai‘ and the real devotees become high on ‘desi tharra‘ (country liquor) whole night and the Sari clad auntyjis are seen only in the morning, pushing each other, breaking the queues, to grab loads of ‘halwa‘, prepared in desi ghee that is served as prasad.

“How are you doing Bangaalooore?”. He asks and blows air kisses. The hallucinating babes scream and rest of the janta is just too happy after the celebrity darshan. A-Star guys are happy as well and they show their happiness by illuminating the back stage by sparklers and flying rockets that were perhaps bought on very cheap price from Hosur or Sivakasi during the off Diwali season. I mutely observe the hysteria and with so much ‘fun’ going around me, start to think – Am I normal?

rock_on

But the rocker doesn’t stop there. U2 is next and Beatles is massacred as well. An ultimate obituary is paid to the legendary band!
After 20 minutes of divine performance, the rocker eventually bids goodbye, much to the disappointment of the females (babes and auntyjis included ;-) ) and the long wait of Nitin Malik gets over as he finally gets hold of the mike. As soon as he starts singing “Highway to Hell”, the Bengaluru cops, determined to preserve the sanity of Indian culture, enter the scene and stop the concert citing high noise levels. The concert is called off and we curse the cops for their Prem Chopra attitude. Though exasperated, I find solace in the fact that we got inside through a free pass and it didn’t hurt much, at least in terms of money ;-)

I slowly move out towards the parking lot and in a sub conscious mind, start humming -
Chilla Chilla Ke Main Ye Sabse Kehdoon
Rock On… Hai Ye Waqt Ka Ishaara


Brain Damage

September 29, 2009

The Ramleela maidan is bustling with thousands of people. Year after year since eons, the very same day Ravana is brought to justice by Rama and larger than life sized effigy of Ravana are burnt. Dusshera festivity is in the air and the mela is in its full swing. We eat jalebis, samosas, kachoris, panipuri (and other ‘not so hygenic’ roadside stuff) and buy wooden swords, dhanush baan (bow and arrows), Hanuman gada, chakri, helicopter, cheap sunglasses and catapults, most of which would hardly survive a week. People celebrate the win of good over evil and all of us are happy since Ravana is dead. But, is he REALLY dead?

Not sure what one of the greatest news channel on Indian television was trying to depict; perhaps a claim that the mummification process dates back to Ramayana and was being falsified by the Egyptians?

Or a more “no nonsense, logic defying, evil dead” style reincarnation of Ravana?
Decide for yourself ;-)

rav_1

rav_2

rav_3

rav_4

rav_5

rav_6

rav_7

I thank Arvind Trivedi for helping me visualize Ravana. The poor chap got killed by Arun Govil in Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana! (Well, I have no right to call him a poor chap. He became a MP after that ;-) )

All seven secrets were clicked using my Nokia 6212 phone.


Victim of changes

September 5, 2009

This post is dedicated to all those who stay in big cities, witnessing the enormous changes in their life styles, but still remain non-city slickers in their hearts.

I am neither a movie buff, nor do I own a TV (or more appropriately, I can’t afford it) and I am unaware of the cable TV bliss that the more fortunate ones enjoy. I belong to a generation that had a single TV channel at their dispense and it was called “Doordarshan”. That black & white Uptron TV (Of the “its on, its on, its Uptron” fame. The model name was Urvashi and it came with a shutter and a lock to be used frequently during our examination days) which made Master Haveli Ram a household name and Deepika Chikhalia a MP, (courtesy her Sita Mata role in Ramayan) remained the only source of information of the upcoming movies. Then there were couple of other sources like “Punjab Kesari” newspaper and magazines like “Mayapuri“, but those could be found only in the barber’s shop (nobody knew the word saloon) and were read by the curious customers based on a strict rotation policy ;-)

Well, let me not digress and to say that I was dragged up to the theatre to see a movie last month would be an exaggeration. Not much persuasion was required as soon as I realized that it was a Gulzar-Vishal Bhardwaj combo flick. (Mind you, I am not writing the movie review here. The name wouldn’t have mattered much to me even if it would have been called Kuttey, Kameeney, whatever). Gulzar was reason enough for me to head to the theatre, but I am almost always reluctant to see a movie in a multiplex, for two reasons. First, the tickets are obscenely costly, and second (the more profound of the two) it doesn’t give me the liberty to whistle when the lights are turned off ;-). People here give me a disgusting look, if I do so.

Circa 1997. I am trying to kill time in the scorching heat in the by-lanes of Lajpat Nagar in Delhi. I was staying at a cousin’s place and forgot to collect the keys. Left with no option, I find a movie theatre somewhere near to the market. Luckily, the show timings are just 45 mins away and I get ample time to grab my lunch. Bun-samosa, half plate chowmein and a glass of “ganney ka ras” (sugarcane juice) costs me 14 Rs. I get inside the theatre premises and stand in a queue for the cheapest available ticket. It is the second running week for the movie “Betaabi” and there are hardly 10 of us in the queue. Neither Chandrachoor Singh nor Arshad Warsi could attract the janta and it was perhaps left on the leading ladies to show off some skin to somehow make it totter till the second week. The ticket is priced at Rs 15 and I get my seat in the second row from front. There isn’t a single female in the whole theatre. The guy sitting right to me, makes himself comfortable by keeping his stretched legs in the front chair. The other one, sitting towards my left, is already excited and has started spitting the juicy beetle leaves that he is chewing near to my feet. I make my guess, it could either be Rajdarbaar or Talab or even a Manikchand (all different brands of guthka) or it could be desi jarda or khaini with mysterious names like “Nevla” or “Kuber“.

The lights are turned off and Jackie Shroff emerges in one of the Red & White cigarette ads. “Sachchey log, sachcha anand” he says and a strange frenzy prevails, followed by countless number of whistles. I get excited as well and participate with utmost sincerety. After couple of advertisements, the movie starts and we all settle down. The movie seems insipid to me, but people are glued to their seats. During interval, the spitting guy breaks the ice and says a single sentence – “Bhai, filum to badhiya hai” (The movie is good). I seem puzzled but dare not ask him reasons for badhiya. He swallows the whole new packet of guthka again, but I fail to see the brand. I curse myself for my poor vision and move out to buy a 2 rupee popcorn. Post interval, enter Mayuri Kango (the leading lady in the second half) with her thunder thighs and the hall goes live again. This time it is not only the whistles trying to outplay each others decibel levels, but also the choicest expletives that come out naturally from a typical Indian male when he sees an irresistible babe. Arshad Warsi too gets his share of swears for being able to do a sensuous song sequence with the lady ;-)

betaabi

The movie ends in a typical Bollywood style happy ending and we all move out of the theatre, well contented with the paisa vasool feeling. Three hours, with food and entertainment had cost me just 31 Rupees.
Back to 2009. A Bangalore multiplex, movie ticket is priced at Rs 180, for the same front rows and the price of popcorn nearly gave me a stroke.

Image source: Internet


Shot in the dark – Part 2

June 27, 2009

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I have started one more blog, where I am putting few of the pics that were clicked using my ‘not so old‘ digicam. If at all this newly picked interest (or khujli to be more precise) survives for few more months and the recession doesn’t eat up my job, I might try to graduate into the league of digital SLRs. But that’s going to take couple of years at least and I expect this bug to die down by that time. Till then, enjoy the pics from a garib camera of a garib owner. The link is here.


Final countdown Part 2

June 1, 2009

This post is in continuation to one of my previous post.

Manoj Kumar has one more fan. The workouts suggested by this great son of Bharat mata have finally paid off. I have scrambled inside this cool category and somehow managed to run (oh really? Ok, 70% run, 30% walk) my first 10k marathon successfully on Sunday. The inspiration behind this run was there as well and she cheered me when I touched the finishing line. Well, the last sentence was a lie ;-)

We waited outside the stairs of the main entrance in the Kanteerva stadium to run along with her. She came, she saw, but she didn’t run. What a farce, a lie and heartbreak for most of the Shahrukhs in making, who memorized the lyrics whole night and were ready to sing – “Aankhon mein teri, ajab hi ajab si adaayein hain“. She remained elusive amidst her monstrous bouncers and the Shahrukhs were thoroughly disappointed.

Instead of Deepika, I decided to chase one more hero.
“Sir, can I have a photograph with you”?
“Oh sure, why not”. And Prakash Padukone happily posed for the photograph along with me. After the photo shoot, we shook hands and exchanged pleasantries and wished each other goodbye. I have been a sports buff and though I never saw him winning the All England championship, I did read a lot about him in quite a few sports magazines. I have been his fan for his badminton prowess and not for the obvious reasons known to lesser mortals (for begetting Deepika, of course :-))

And that was a lie again.
“Sir, can I have a photograph with you”?
“No. I am leaving now”. Pat came the reply.
But I was determined and decided to chase him through the aisle. I managed to walk along and clicked one, with my left hand in the air. I was careful enough, not to walk very close to him, for he gave me very daunting looks. He obviously looked very peeved with this gesture of mine and would have broken my camera perhaps. So I decided to make a move from patli gali.

Here is one more pic that I clicked on the way. It is the Vidhan Soudha (known as Vidhan Sabha in other states) of Karnataka. I know most of you have hypermetropia, so I would read out the biggest democratic joke written on this building, just below the tricolor. It says – “Government work is God’s work”

vidhan soudha


Master of puppets

May 26, 2009

Ye desh hai veer jawano ka,
albelon ka, mastano ka
is desh ka yaaron kya kehna,
ye desh hai duniya ka gehna

Not sure what Sahir Ludhiaanvi had in his mind when he wrote this song, probably a desh bhakti geet? Or when OP Nayyar was composing the music for this song, they probably thought that this would actually shake the whole nation. Yes, it actually did and is still “shaking” us since last five decades. The other contemporary melodies mellowed down soon, but, none of them ( barring ‘aaj merey yaar ki shaadi hai‘ ) could match the charisma associated with this classic. When other baraat songs were mostly ephemeral and remained seasonal, this Sahir-Nayyar combo remains the hot favorite in any north Indian baraat even after eons.

Recently, I had the privilege of attending one of the Rajasthani wedding where the great “Master band” of Udaipur was called for the baraat. For all those who are unaware of this bliss, I can bet, you too will forget all your salsa classes or those Latino dances or the basic synchronized dancing steps, and would move your bums and dance like weirdos when this song plays. The whole moment is so magical, complete in itself and if you’re on booze, the world sounds so platonic ;-)

Well the usual tussle between the hyper excited blokes and the band members continued. The band members were pulling the chariot in the forward direction and the baraatis, determined to prove Newton’s third law, pulled it back in the opposite direction. To keep baraat moving with a steady pace, different colored currency notes were flashed. The guys struck a deal. One currency note, and the song would go on and on. By the time the baraat reached the bride’s place, this Ganga-Jamuna masterpiece had completed its sixth iteration :-)

band

A happy ending to a great baraat, the baton at bride’s place was passed on to “baharon phool barsao, mera mehboob aaya hai“.


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