Sunday, April 29, 2007

Head in the clouds

Mountains are often climbed in the mind. Long after the body has stopped complaining and resigned itself to the pain, that sweet pain of accomplishment, the mind motors on carrying its heavy burden with it. Why do people do it? I can manage the hills and minor mountains but I can't even comprehend what it must be like to make an attempt on Everest, let alone reach the top. And then to do it with NO legs or no eyesight??? It boggles and tickles the old ticker. Too many people have said and corroborated that its the journey that matters, not the end. Yes, that's true for most part. But there is a certain thrill in standing at a summit, no matter if its the highest peak in the world or the highest peak in Kerala. That feeling of drinking in the contours of our earth, flowing into a hazy horizon is unparallel. As soon as that's sunk in and been imbibed, you start to wonder what the view will be like a little higher. And then some more, and so on until you're Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary standing on the highest point on earth.

Right now, I'm just glad I made to the top of Brahmagiri, South Coorg.
p.s. Some photos might seem a bit strange. The photographer was undergoing some perceptual inconsistencies during the trip and apologises for the same. *insert sheepish smilie here*


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sreekhol Sophistry

What splendid fruit
The upside down tree bears

That tree -
The roots touch the sky

From that tree
The fruit is ripe, but hangs
Sans stem,

Where many tender ones

Have fallen to rot

If that tree is cut

It lives
If not,
It dies...

- On a banyan tree by Sarat

Bidut Rajbongshi on the Sreekhol

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

where do the children play?

At the Big Chill in Asvem, Goa, of course. More on this later.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Proud moment

7am, Chapora fort overlooking Vagator beach in Goa. It's completely deserted except for my camera and I. And a few peacocks/pea hens ???? I admit, I'm one of those bird watching nerds that wakes up at the crack of dawn for some sightings and I was hoping to catch some of Goa's diverse bird life. But a peacock?? In Goa?? Is the whole world heading there?? Anyway, it was resplendent sight.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

From The Vault

Asleep from day

No shady deals
Just fishy steals
And the cats love her

Fixing tyres
From Bandra to Andheri
Taxing circumstances

Thrice blessed
Tiny Gods
Lucky me

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Old School

It isn't often that you get to prance around to the Hip Hop histrionics of three menacing black men from Senegal. Daara-J (meaning The School in Wolof) descended on Bangalore a few weeks ago and blasted their unique brand of rap over that unstoppable ancient African rhythm. N’Dango D, Aladji Man and Faada Freddy almost brought the roof down on the Alliance Francaise auditorium. Even if they had, I'm sure the audience would have just gone on dancing.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A human number

It was an ocean. A pulsating, yawing, bucking, swaying mega mass of humanity losing it to the metal thunder of Iron Maiden. There were little currents that ran through the ocean defying the laws of squeeze as they pushed through the seemingly impenetrable fortress. Statewise representation was easy to pick out with large segments of the North-East making the arduous journey to see their Gods live, or atleast through a cloud of dust, smoke, humidity caused by sweat caused by humidity and noise, unadulterated noise.

When we first heard that Maiden was coming to town (somewhat like Santa Claus) we reacted with a sense of disbelief. This has come from years of rumours of everyone from Metallica to John Lennon (bless his soul) was coming to town. Disbelief became doubt and doubt anticipation which finally morphed into ecstasy. For 6 grown blonde men in tight clothes and flowing locks, belting classic metal tunes on a large stage, with a 20 foot Eddy shooting us down? HELL, YEAH!!! We revel in that kind of cheese.

Their first three songs from their latest album, A Matter Of Life And Death, were performed in the same order (Different World, These Colours Don't Run and Brighter Than A Thousand Suns) showing a new more progressive drive in Maiden's composing. With 3 virtuoso axemen in the lineup this is hardly surprising. They later played The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg and For The Greater Good Of God (???) from the same album. All this was well and good, but me and the 30,000 thousands others squashed together were blood thirsty for the good stuff, the stuff that we've grown up on, the stuff that would make our heads roll off our necks. The super frenetic Trooper took our lives and there wasn't a single voice that didn't scream along the introductory speech to Number Of The Beast.

But nothing was to compare to the moment when Eddy made his first appearance, in a monster tank towering to the light rigs hanging above the stage. He stepped out of the war machine later and walked (to our glee) amongst the musicians mowing us down with a WWII machine gun. It was too much to bear.

The other heady incident was the instant the majority of the crowd realised that Fear Of The Dark was going to be played. The chants that followed probably shook the heavens and if the anti-Maiden brigade is to be believed, raised the devil himself to come and possess our bodies.

At one point, Bruce Dickinson let himself get a bit emotional and revealed that Maiden would be back in less than 17 months as he was overwhelmed by the fan base in India. Ho hum. Luckily there wasn't too much room or time for more soppiness and we could "shred our heads" once more to Run To The Hills and 2 Minutes To Midnight.

There was the customary encore scene, with the customery slightly embaressed faces (The "We know that you all knew this would happen but we have to do it anyway" kind). The show ended aptly with Hallowed Be Thy Name reaching a dizzying crescendo and little niggling thoughts about our mangled neck muscles.

I screamed like a 15 year-old white girl for Britney and I'm proud of it. Because Iron Maiden can't be fought and Iron Maiden can't be bought!!!

Monday, April 02, 2007


Pasha the autodriver
Moonlighting for a few rupees more
Toils through light and dark
To keep hunger at bay
For him and his parivaar
Who came with him in fright
From the masjid at Babri
Where they witnessed the fight
That took the life of his father
Who was trying to make peace
Between his brother and a Hindu
As they came to blows
His intention was misunderstood
The fray enveloped him
And cast him aside
Pasha, then a lad
Ran, crying to his side
But his abba had a bleeding head
And death close by
Those days are hard forgotten
Pasha still motors
At night in the auto
Lifting sacks as the day blazes on
I'm told the story
With a pithy little end
Pasha says, 'All men are men first
And humans in the end'.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

"Moni" - A brief report on O.B.T.C

The name has stuck. Sometime, when the defences were down (read: dappled) the mother entity had high jacked "Operation Bell The Cat" (confidential, until now) and the bouncing bundle of fur is to be called "Moni" as opposed to our post-modern retro-revisited neocon "Angie"(sigh). Rest assured, the matter will be looked into with utmost post haste and dispatched to the necessary department heads, filed in triplicate to sections D,U,C and other requisite necessities.

But really, at the end of the day, the name doesn't really matter, does it? Its what you really feel inside. And I, for one barring one incident (read: cat scratch fever), love the cat. :)

(Slinks away, tippytoe...)