Sunday, July 30, 2006

"to die upon a kiss".

Its usually an arduous task to attribute a single emotional characteristic to any of the Bard's plays. But in the case of Othello, its all about one thing - envy.

My earliest memory of Othello is watching the Laurence Olivier version on television, following which I read the unabridged original, and it impacted me instantly. The well-etched characters, and in true S'peare style, the multi-dimensional emotional gradient. One of the lines, which frankly has no relevance to the eventual plot, but goes to show how deeply ingrained the Bard wanted to have his characters, in prose, is one that stuck with me through the years (in addition to the title of this entry, which happens to be the last line of the play). When Desdemona's father bids goodbye to her, as she leaves with Othello, Iago and Emilie, he tells Othello, "Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. She has deceived her father, and may thee".

Makes you think about all those times when your lover has told you that they would leave their family, their parents and everything for you. While this is an adventurously romantic thought, it ought to make you question their loyalty to you, instead of honoring their love for you, in the future tense, as per Brabantio's words. But that's not how our world works, does it?

After I read Othello, Merchant, Macbeth and Twelfth Night, I began to envision that S'peare, psychologically, lived in a parallel universe. His thoughts did not coincide with ours, nor did his emotional quotient. His world was a world where every thought, every nuance of our psyche was heightened to high heavens, and in viewing things, Shakespeare-style, in a larger than life, larger than yourself plane, one began to understand themselves and their world better. To those who scoff and say that S'peare sensationalized things and over-glorified and over-proliferated emotions to an un-decipherable extent, I say, you can only analyze your mind, when you place a magnifying glass on our thoughts. And S'peare was one of those few souls who had the capability to do so. His plays were limpid pools of sensible profundity, which, without bordering on abstruseness, have the capability of shaping our world, even today. And frankly, will continue to do so, many, many years into the unknown.

As he said it best in Hamlet, "For in that sleep of death .... what dreams may come".

Dheem Tana

zindagi ek jung hai
jung mein tang zindagi
mazhabon ke naam pe
ghut rahi hai zindagi

nazron ke saamne jo na aaye
ek jawaab jo man ko bhaaye
saaz mein,
awaaz mein,
jab mile sabhi... saara zamaana gaaye ... dheem taana

dheem taana
a call for peace

Watch this space

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Yes, I got 'em! Picked 'em up from the Apple Store, and everything I heard about them was right.

First and foremost, Bang and Olufsen rules! Apple is a rockstar for bringing this high-end product from esoteric anonymity to semi-consumerism level. This pair of earphones surpasses anything else I've ever had (and I've had Koss, Bose, Sony and Shure), in terms of sound quality, clarity of background, surround and comfort.

Priced to kill, but unbelievably worth it! Highly, highly recommended.

In other news, if you're brown and you know it, don't miss this for the f-in world!

Friday, July 28, 2006

You know what I can't wait for?

The Fall release of the Original Soundtrack of Mira Nair's "Namesake"

Wanna know why?

Music created and composed by the inimitable Nitin Sawhney

Ya hear?

Slick!!! Sounds like a home run.
Hope Farhan's found his lakshya, man

else he's gonna be driving around mumbai going "main aisa kyun hoon?"
Hum Bill Pay Chuke Sanam

Funny how much of an issue this is. Goes down in history as one of the most landmark moments of mankind. Genesis. Fall of the Roman Empire. Bill Payments. The most ominous part is "Auto Bill Pay". Although its an attractive fuggedaboutit option, you always have this "should I shouldn't I" situation when opting for it. Credit, Electricity, Water, Gas, Internet, Cable, Escort Services ... oops .... how did that get there? .... but you see my point ... the list is endless. My point is - why not consolidate it all! Have one common monthly payment which will take care of everything. De-privatize everything! Marxism!

In other news, I need a drink.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cafe Del Mar

From what I've heard - home to one of the most peaceful sunsets in the world - and a label that spells a.m.b.i.e.n.t. - some of the most dark, inspiring, thought-provoking, soul-searching tracks have come out of this little sunset cafe's sessions over the years.

With the presence of ambient lounge heavyweights right from the mid-90s works of Jose Padilla and Beat Foundation, down to Moby, Substructure and Afterlife, this quaint little San Antonio music label has seen ambient music move from corporate elevators to social lounges. And I'm so glad it did, cuz what would we have done without it.

Dominated today by legends like Nacho Sotomayor, Rue De Soleil, Future Loop Foundation (to name a few), CDM welcomes new artists with the only key ingredient being the necessity for such vivid uniqueness in their music, that its incomparable to the advanced musical ear.

Very few Indians have graced the annals of Cafe Del Mar's esoteric CD collection, that comes out once a year.

The first to make it on there was A R Rahman with the haunting theme tune of Bombay in 1998, followed by Talvin Singh's Traveler (mixed by Kid Loco) and Nitin Sawhney's Homelands (one of my FAVORITE ambient tracks in the history of ambient tracks) in 1999.

In other news, the first time I heard Homelands was on a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 9000 at a friend's villa in Dubai, and it was love at first note. I feel B&O is a very underplayed designer, especially when it comes to its low-marketing techniques vis-a-vis its comparatively-uncool counterpart, Bose.

But by far, its truly for the musical connoisseur, and not for the dude who wants to buy a music system cuz it *shudder* looks cool. When it comes to appreciating good lounge themes, and even dark trance for that matter, you have to hear it on an Olufsen, because it accentuates every single element.

Here's to my next musical investment. ;-)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Yesterday evening, involved dinner and drinks with my muse at B.E.D, followed by dessert and coffee at Daniel. I seriously recommend this order of events for an enchanting evening.

Try hitting B.E.D (which beyond the presence of some magnificent mattresses, stands for Beverages, Entertainment and Dining) a little earlier in the evening, get dinner reservations at the outdoor patio, and watch the sunset over midtown Manhattan. Paul Oakenfold spins their tonight, btw, and I don't plan to miss it. Takers?
One, Two ... Princes here before you ... That's what I said now.

In other news, the popularity of the TV show, Friends, was such that, by the end of the series, the six main cast members were each paid US$ 1,000,000 per episode.


Advertisements during the series finale, which attracted an audience of over 52 million viewers, cost $2,000,000 for a 30-second spot in the United States and CAD$190,000 in Canada.

Again. WHAT?

Courteney.... How YOU doin'?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Random thoughts on the E train.

"Somewhere out there, there may be someone exercizing their power to freeze time on and off, and we wouldn't ever know it"

In other news, Tantra T-shirts rule. I used to love these shirts back in college in India - a bit pricey for the kinda stipend we used to work off of, but indulgence never looked so cool.

Tantra's motto is "First World creativity at Third World prices", which is totally clutch! My favorite Tantratee was one with the image of the Taj Mahal, that said "Via Agra: Man's greatest erection for a woman".
People, People. Anonymous Commenting is passe. Come forth and be recognized.

In other news, Sneek peek at images from the making of KANK, courtesy DNA. Everyone, please turn to gape and gawk at the fashion sense and gayness of one Karan Johar. *Gag*.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Consummate Soundtrack

The tragedie of "Omkara" is encompassed melliflously in the score by Vishal Bharadwaj. Very few times does an OST come along, which is as eclectic (or as we say in Hindi, "hat ke") as it is comprehensive. A Chennai Philharmonic Orchestra blended with musicians from London and other parts of the world, come together to make a veritable musical battlefield, that is Omkara. The last album of this intensity, in my opinion, was Taal, and before that, Dil Se. But that's primarily cuz A R Rahman is God.

The title track is Energy. Namak is passionate, Beedi is naughty, O Saathi Re is heart-rendered, and Naina is painful. With each song having its own integral identity, Omkara comes across as an album that Vishal Bharadwaj has worked on diligently, and experimented and re-experimented with at multiple stages.

Not just in rhythm, most of the songs have such a meteoric rise and speedy build-up, that it is almost difficult for the listener to keep up with the songs' enthusiasm. Especially Namak, which, in addition to the usage of the word "Issak", is a song that I don't think too many people will appreciate, understand or evaluate. Accentuated by Rekha Bharadwaj's sensual vocals, Namak's diversity is its sex appeal - before you get used to the thumri-like nature of the song, you are delicately surprised by the usage of light piano interludes, put off at first and then entranced by the strings set that is ushered in, suddenly.

Till the closing riffs of the Instrumental minute and a half long "Tragedie of Omkara" track, in which you can literally feel the chorus section weep their emotions across to you, listening to this OST is almost Hitchcockian because you never know what to expect. In an era of predictability, commercialism and Himesh Reshammiya, this soundtrack comes across as the essential breath of fresh air after the suffocation of monotony. More like this, Bollywood. More like this.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

"There are three kinds of married people in the world. First, whose marriages are arranged. I've never understood that, but I'm sure they know what they're doing. Then there are those who fall in love and marry their soul mates. These few, I believe, are the most fortunate people in the world. And lastly, there are those couples that marry for their parents, for money or play it safe and marry a friend. These are the most unfortunate ones in the world... and they don't even know it. Until one day, riding the fast train of life they run into their soul mate, and are faced with the hardest question of all. What do you do when you meet the love of your life and you're married to someone else? What do you do? What do you do?" - Karan Johar

hmmmm. at least he's not profound.

in other news, KANK. First day First show. its a must-do.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Chahenge tujhe par, kabhi rusva na karenge,
Saaye se bhi apne, tera shiqvaa na karenge.

Saeed Rahi's words. Such intensity. In today's works, as the Peas would say it best, Where's the love?

And even more intensely, is it really missed?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

And we have a winner!

All contestants, please e-mail me mailing addresses to redeem your DVDs. But I have a winner who will make all your responses seem like paani kam chai (water-less tea - don't ask!)

E - that's a legendary response. Check out her new website and blog, but she went totally above and beyond the contest, not only to respond, but to come up with a top 10 list, as to why one should be president.

All I can say is .. eat my shorts, dubya! Thanks, E. Your DVD is in the mail ;-)

Worried & VO for PREZ!!....July 19, 2006
Alright, I'm offically worried about my friend, V. Oberoi, for the rest of the article referred to by me as VO. The poor guy who normally has quite a humorous side, is going a bit morbid and has watched Rang De Basanti so many times, he is now quoting directly from the film... AND not Aamir Khan lines... no from Anupam Kher's dialogues...Poor VO and since we keep playing phone tag, I'm hoping once he reads this, he'll realize there are those of us in the world, who care and hope he's doing well....Which he should be, quite shortly here....

But as he has asked, and my wanting to win an official DVD copy of RDB, hopefully one with better subtitles than the one I've already's the official "TOP 10 DAVID LETTERMEN-ESQE reasons as to why VO should be President:

#10-There would be NO First Lady.

#9-Sari's and Bhindi's would become cool in the States.

#8-Words like petrol, cousin brother/sister would become common, instead of words like Kin, ya'll...

#7-Hindi would become our second language instead of freakin Spanish

#6-Bollywood's entry into the Oscar's would finally WIN!

#5-The swearing in Ceremony, would be unlike anything the good old White, Anglo community has ever seen, music composed by A.R. Rahman, Farah Khan choreography, Manish Malhotra designs, Ram Gopal Varma Direction.

#4-The speech would include dialogues from famous Hindi films.

#3-All the Brown people could holla "Hail Hindustani!"

#2-The official White House menu would now include, idli, Dosa, Goan Coconut chicken, Naan, Fried Rice, Chicken Tikka Masala....

AND Finally

#1-Because, I would get to be a "Presidential" speech writer and quite possibly press secretary.
HAHAHAHAHAH! Pure and utter genius!
The anthem of our generation

Is it getting better? Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame
You say
One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot.
You gave me nothing,
Now it's all I've got

We're one
But we're not the same
Well we Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple
Love is the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then You make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what You got
When all You've got is hurt

- U2
A line that rings so true for those doing business with India. Anupam Kher says this to his brother over the phone, in Rang De Basanti.

"India mein jab shaadi hoti hai, to dulhe ke saath saath, saari baraat khaati hai ..... aur band-waale bhi"

(When a guy gets married in India, then, along with him, the entire entourage gets to reap the revelry, as well as the wedding band)

In other news, thanks to the CitiNRI RDB campaign, you can easily spot my cube by the insane mounds of Rang De Basanti DVDs next to it.

Here here. Hark, its A Contest. (Too much Shakespeare in the Park)

RevolutionEvolution Announces the "Baj Gayee Ghanti, Rang De Basanti" Contest!
Whoever wants a free DVD of Rang De Basanti, leave me a comment telling me why I should be President of the United States. Free copies will be sent out to all for trying, and a special surprise gift for the wittiest response!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Make way for the Capricorn!

Mr. A R Rahman! You are ... officially ... without doubt .... the man!

You make me proud to be January's son!
Dialling is my birthright, and I will do it!

Aight, for all those who dialed/e-mailed/commented me this morning to ask whether I was ok, post reading my "Questioning Loyalties" piece - I love you all for the thought. I'm perfectly aight. However thanks to you, my phone is now out of battery, from vibrating itself to death. (On a parallel, but curious mindfield, what a way to die. But I digress)

A lot behind that thought. Bombs over Beirut, for one. And several other things that stare me in the face and show me inch-by-inch, how the world is veering away towards atypicality. Shocks me at times, how much the world has moved towards "Love Thy Neighbor" to "Love Thyself First". Its for the personal good at each level, of that I'm sure. Is it for the global good?

Well, its Adam Smith vs. John Nash. The barroom revelation scene from A Beautiful Mind. The father of economics spoke of global and holistic economic progress by concurrent widescreen thought during every major decision. John Nash disproved that to gain the pride of Princeton (and his privileged and privy 'personalities'). Actually, I wouldn't really go as far to say disproved, I'd say "re-opined" and ended up re-opening a can of worms, there. But Nash's philosophy claimed that if every economic entity thought of singular progress ahead of global, it would result in global economic good. Or as they say when things go down, every man for himself.

In other news, its so difficult to write the word SINGULAR with an S. First of all, the branding efforts of a certain telecom provider have been so widespread and omnipresent, that its mentally difficult to consider the word to be correct in its original form. I almost hit spellcheck before it struck me. Secondly, I guess its a rare word to start with, so. Not part of common lingo at all.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Excerpt from a conversation between Bush and Blair, at a summit press conference yesterday, when they were unaware that the mics were open to recording:

Bush: See the irony is what they (the UN) need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over.

Don't believe me?

This is what happens when his chief of staff (speech writing division) takes a day off.

My god, Mr. President, this is world politics, not crazed cattle rustling. Now get that twig of hay out of your mouth, put on those stetsons and ride into the sunset, and let some real president take over.

Yeah. I know. Not gonna happen.
Questioning Loyalties.

The world is 'coming of age'. The difference lies in the pretext. While some are flaunting their era-aged 'rights' and fundamentals through revolution, the rest of the world is dawning on realization. While some are fighting for reasons that they are yet to completely understand, purely propelled by some kind of fascist propaganda that they have learnt by rote, the others are now questioning tradition, questioning the propensity of thoughts and ideals that people have blindly followed over the years, and conveyed through pedigree to generations. Somehow, in some hemi-fantasmic way, I can represent this, in vision, by saying that while half the world is laid to sleep by the blindness of their faith, the rest of the world is now awakening by the true perception of their world. People have now begun to question everything around them, and have begun to do what's right for them, and are breaking out of the cocoon of convention to do so. And pretty soon, the veil of guilt, that prevents them from savoring their new-found happiness to the fullest, will fall. Who would've ever thought, that you can find peace within yourself, when you begin questioning loyalties.

Its heartwarming, to say the least.

As for the girl with the broken smile, just know that i will always be here. just know that no one, and i mean no one, has ever graced a piano with a magic touch, the way you have. just know that your music emanates from your heart and i love the way music is not just a part of your life, but your way of life. just know that you will be missed. truly.

In other news........... nah.... wouldn't be fair to the integrity of my words, to say anything else. Love thyself, everyone.

Friday, July 14, 2006

My Readers in Dubai - could anyone send me a current pic of the construction of the Burj Dubai? Its for a journalism project I'm work on. Would be thoroughly appreciated, and gifted with several things including Dubai Duty Free Premium Label Spirits when I visit.
Piya Bavari Again is an album featuring lounge/dark trance versions of Indian classical songs rendered by Pt. Ajay Pohankar. One particular song worth checking out is the Hindustani rendition of Yesudas' Ka Karoon Sajni. Check it out here.

And for those of you who are interested (yes, all one and a half of you) the Saturday 7/15 PhotoTour will include, but is not restricted to the following locations.
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Grand Central Terminal
  • Times Square
  • Morningside Drive
  • Grand Concourse
  • South Street Seaport
  • Ground Zero
  • Columbus Circle
  • Central Park
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Greenwich Village
  • Wall Street
Optimized directional support provided by the quintessential Its ambitious, but its gonna be fun! I'll be clicking away like a Japanese tourist on steroids.

Talking of Japanese tourists, I just noticed that Japanese people hate to be stared down. Not just plain dislike, they really hate it. They can't take it. They go all karate-eyed, when this is attempted. At which point I'm like, so what are you gonna do, mitsubishi? tie me down and feed me raw fish. oh wait, you already do that.
The New York Times Review calls "The Great New Wonderful", the first great film about 9/11. The review is so spot-on accurate that its criminal.

The best part about GNW is that it doesn't hit the 9/11 aftermath head on, but derives its humor and situation from a series of parallel stories (much like Crash, only not). Sharat Saxena and Naseeruddin Shah have two great roles as security guards from Queens, and Naseeruddin stands out. Stephen Colbert has a funny lil cameo as a school principal. This film debuted at Tribeca, and got rave and well-deserved reviews. In the city, its been resorted to 4 shows at a Clearview in the Meatpacking District, but gets a great crowd of Tischies, Tisch-Hopefuls and the omnipresent Tisch-Wannabes (For the unitiated, Tisch being the esoteric and uber-competitive Film School of New York University, which features a who's-who list of celeb-graduates including Oliver Stone, Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and our very own, M. Night Shyamalan, who is currently into wet women (how wrong can i be?).

But you know the interesting part? After drooling over GNW, its difficult to associate its director Danny Leiner, in any shape or form, with his two former pieces of work - namely "Dude Where's My Car" and "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle". Talk about a paradigm shift, homey!

In other news, kiss the mistletoe, hang the girl.
20 days of work, and a month gets over? Man, life is short.

Noteworthy: Jackson agreed when they divorced to pay his ex-wife $1 million a year for the first three years after their split and $750,000 annually for six more years. Rowe also received a house in Beverly Hills and a 1998 Ford Explorer. She agreed to visit her children only once every 45 days, according to the lawsuit.

Ever thought - what would Jackson's personal ad look like?

48-year old unearthly-looking S B/W M/F, Multi-racial, multi-faceted and multi-divorced, but has single handedly funded fast-changing lifestyles of every cosmetic surgeon in America, loves slippery tiles, enjoys dangling own kids outside hospital windows and sleeping with other's kids afterwards
Pick Up Line: Do you know where my other glove is?
Editor's note: Don't bother shaving on your first date. He once dated a chimpanzee. How much hairier can you possibly be?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

I feel that Capote, the film, increased the sales of Mockingbird, much more than "In Cold Blood". Probably because the way the loyal character of Harper was portrayed, and it made people want to perceive what she would write, vis-a-vis Truman, who was etched into our minds to the extent that we could predict the entire text of "In Cold Blood" by watching the movie.

I picked up the last copy of this book from B&N, today, and has it become my commute-buddy!

Highly recommended.

In other news, stumbled across this song after much hunting and searching! It was on a very early French lounge album, that featured Andre Bocelli's work, dating back to the mid 90s. The song's called "You Take My Breath Away" by Sarah Brightman and Andre Bocelli, and is primarily awesome cuz of the sampled and string-bassed usage of Asha Bhosle's "Dil Cheez Kya Hai" from the original Umrao Jaan. Its legit, because of the build and transition into a semi-African rhythm/vocal piece. It also borrows a flute interlude that sounds suspiciously like an element from the background score of Gupt (Viju Shah's music).

Don't lose patience with this track. It has the tremendous ability to grow on you. Plus its rare.

Anyhow - here it is, youngeons. Now be gone! ;-)

I call this piece, "Church Vs. State".

(Location: Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, Church of St. Thomas)

The diagonal imagery is a means to highlight the contrast between things Corporate and things Episcopal.

A pre-cursor to the (much over-hyped) photo-tour of NYC which I will be embarking on this weekend. Expect more details!

A more clear picture of the Church of St. Thomas. What stands out is the intricate architecture, versus the comparatively stoic and repeat-patterned edifices that make Manhattan the concrete jungle that it is.

In advertising lingo, that is the name given to a ad spread across the inside ceiling of a moving public vehicle (bus/train). Cool, no?

In other news, I think this is the most awesome philanthropic site ever. The best part is that beyond just plain 'giving', they encourage people to get on their feet and work. Kudos to Kiva.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Interesting: Music Launch of KANK

(1) Karan Johar is Gay

(2) Mitwa is a phenomenon!
Elevator Etiquette

(1) The "Rudolph": When the person in the elevator pretends to reach for the "Open Door" button, when you're running towards the closing doors, but doesn't do much, and you end up ramming your nose onto cold steel, causing it to go red. This gesture is also referred to as the "I-Don't-Really-Care-But-Pretend-Really-Hard" move.

(2) The "Elevator Shuffle": The way people move around in an assembly formation, depending on the order of floors that have been clicked, so as to avoid coming in someone's way, but also to help you get off the damn elevator sooner.

(3) "Mr. Nice Guy": The inevitable cool dude who asks people for the floor they want to go to, and pretends to be the Lord of the Lifts. As if all the people on the elevator have hand-related deficiencies from over-usage over the weekend, and Mr. SmartAss is the only one with the magical fore-finger that can get people up in life.

(4) "Impatience is a virtue": The guy who triple-clicks the Open Door button when the Elevator reaches his floor. Dude, its gonna open. Chill. No one's gonna keep you in this elevator, strip you down, and make you do the hula dance while playing connect the dots with your liver spots.

(5) "Hercules": Guy who manages to slide in through closing doors, and split the elevator doors apart. Notice the struggling gesture that they make as they do this - like they're passing a stone or something. They're doors, person, not Redwoods.

(6) "I'm-too-sexy-for-this-crowd": Usually seen on Wall Street - guy in pinstripe-Domenico Vacca suit walks into elevator, clicks his floor and does the stare-around. Spending his 10-seconds catching a glimpse of each person on the elevator - like he's recording them to memory for his serial-murder task list, later in the afternoon - and then doing the smile, to satisfy himself with the fact that he is, in fact, the coolest one there. Probably the coolest because of the breezy draft running through his ears.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Monkey Chimes

Everyday, as I take the E-train to Midtown Manhattan from 42nd Street, I pass by a Chinese toy store, where a mousy little septuagenarian Oriental lady holds a toy monkey playing cymbals, with a pre-recorded high treble version of that annoying Aditya Narayan song, "Chota bacha samajh ke mujhko". While this moment automatically makes me feel like I'm trapped in some sort of Asian-dubbed Groundhog Day Bootleg DVD, it also makes me contemplate a variety of different plots to assassinate said monkey toy. One day, I shall prevail.

In other news, shall be embarking on a photographic journey of NYC this weekend, and publishing the same in a photo-journal on my website. Will keep you all posted.
Random Musings

* Someone send Zidane to an Anger Management class, now. And, the French team owe me 39.40 Euro!

* I've become a keen observer of how a group of people react, when someone new walks into their conversation, speaks for a bit and then leaves. There is almost always a fleeting wierd remark about the person or a sideways smile between the rest of the members of the group.

* Doesn't N look like a paler Norah Jones in this picture? Btw, this was taken, back in her "anti-blonde" days, as she was wrapping up the intermezzo of Moonlight Sonata, blended with an unplugged version of the theme of Metallica's The Memory Remains, at her apartment. She has got to be the only person I know who could logically blend these two songs, and mellifluously blend it in with balanced 'sustain' and harmonic tuning. Salute to you, N-sharp!

* Some dark music that I delved into earlier last week (Smokey Nights at Back Room on Norfolk Street), reminded me of a piece I wrote many moons ago. And when I start saying things like "many moons ago", its a reason to scurry and leave me to myself ;-). This is Forbidden Octave.

* The Pakistan International Airlines crash last night, reminded me of the one that happened back in '89. Here's the spooky caveat that I read: "In August 1989, another PIA Fokker, with 54 people onboard, went down in northern Pakistan on a domestic flight. The plane's wreckage was never found".

On that sombre note, arrivederci.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I've discovered my motto. Its taken years, but I think I finally have it. Something that sums up what I like to do, and the way I like to live.

Ahem. Here goes.

Work hard. Play hard.

Simple. Succinct. But so true.
Tripping to the title track of Omkara, with Vishal Bharadwaj's unique operatic/Western classical touchwork on a seemingly rustic song. Watch the delicate infusion of the bass and rhythm - the build is legit.

Also, listen to Aankhon Mein Raho from the OST of Company (here). Sandeep Chowta's simple acoustic guitarwork, and Soumya Rao's mellifluous vocals. Can't believe its the same chick who crooned seductively in the club hit, 'Ghoongta'.

Music for the soul, this weekend. I'm lovin' it.
Finding the girl with the broken smile...

I FINALLY found an acoustic version of Maroon 5's She Will Be Loved. I'm so ballistically excited about this one. Its a song that I always dreamt up acoustic.

This is from a private set somewhere deep in Europe. Mad props to M for locating this one from the dark corners of seedy internet chatrooms, fighting sexual predators and frustrated (yet horny) old ladies, to bring this piece to the rest of the world.

And of course I'm going to share it with you. I'm not that cruel. Here you go.

Two things to look out for - the bass riffs as they come in, and the revival of the song, with the single bongo hit towards the middle. Absolutely Electric! Yenjoy.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Friday, July 07, 2006

Restaurant Review: earthNYC
Chelsea Hotspot, earthNYC, transforms into boutique restaurant/lounge.

Quite like the first sin, one bite is all it takes. However, in earthNYC’s case, it’s not nearly about sin as it is about indulgence.

earthNYC, the dreamchild of Bombay-ites, Hemant and Bhavana Phul, opened its doors in 2004, and has risen to dizzying heights of popularity amongst devotees of New York City’s signature exotic nightlife. Over the years, the chic Chelsea hotspot has clearly established itself as one of the trendiest lounges in town, with its ethnic décor, dreamy interiors and celebrity-studded events. And from the summer of 2006, earthNYC takes a whole new avatar, as a boutique restaurant serving up some of the best and most authentic South East Asian/Indian cuisine.

“I’m a die-hard foodie”, admits owner and culinary director, Hemant Phul, “and I’m very adamantly particular when it comes to food. Bhavana and I love experimenting with the look and feel of various cuisines, and you’ll notice that the food is treated with a balance of artistry and flavor. I think it was that personal fascination that led to this transition”.

And the transition has been smooth and effortless, according to most EarthNYC regulars. Elements have been delicately infused into the décor, and the Phuls have been ‘auditioning’ chefs and dishes since January 2006. “Every dish on the menu has been sampled time and time again, and is a result of months of meticulous re-perfection. In my personal opinion, every element on the menu is a work of art”, adds Bhavana.

The menu reads like roll call at the United Nations, with items demarcated by country of origin. Some highlights in the appetizers include Goi Ga from Vietnam, a torn chicken and cabbage salad with garlic and lime dressing, Som Tum from Laos, a shredded green papaya and daikon blend with peanuts and garlic lime dressing and Bhindi Fry from India, featuring tangy, crispy fried okra. Some dishes such as Water Spinach, which the menu rather proudly claims to contain both dried and rotten spinach, may seem downright eccentric at first sight, give your palate a pleasant surprise, at first bite.

The variety in the entrees is balanced by relative affordability, compared to other boutique restaurants in its league. In the kitchen, a team of multi-ethnic chefs strive to create unprecedented blends between diverse styles of cooking, while retaining the characteristic identity of each cuisine. The food at earthNYC inspires a true culinary journey, with dishes like Hyderabadi Murgh or Konkani Machi, bringing out the zeal of vigor of Goa.

EarthNYC has already tantalized the taste-buds of celebrities from Bollywood and Hollywood alike, including Susan Sarandon, Nicole Richie, Manish Malhotra and Rani Mukherjee, who personally swears by the appetizers. With their exclusive delivery and catering gaining popularity, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, Merrill Lynch and Atlantic Records are amongst the many corporates who have sunk their teeth into Earth’s delectable cuisine for their private dos.

For those who are overwhelmed by the menu’s diversity, Hemant adds, “There’s a lot more coming up, as we are constantly upgrading our menu based on the appreciation and comments of our customers”. With a revolutionary new and ever-changing menu, and developing into an NYC-favorite, there are now several more reasons to “come down to Earth”.

EarthNYC, located at 116A Tenth Avenue, between 17th and 18th Streets serves dinner from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM (Monday through Saturday) and 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM (Sundays).

For more info, visit or call 212.337.0016.

Reviewed by Vishal Oberoi

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ok Ok Ok. I tried to resist it, but its unbearably difficult. I have to paste the copy of this ad for "Aap Ka Suroor" in Chicago - purely because of the inherently brilliant quality of language, and the eagerness of the text. It will be funnier if the voice in your head, is Javed "Dundee Daddy" Jaffrey from Salaam Namaste.

"Why you should not miss this Concert?
Himesh Reshammiya, the Voice that rocked India is here to Rock Chicago.

Indian idol Abhijit Sawant, who won Hearts of Billions Indians is to steal yours!
Hottest Items from Zeher, Aksar performed live on stage for the first time by a very Hot Udita Goswami to light fire to your hearts!
SaReGaMa winners Himani & Vineet will perform a Medley of Hit Song's from 60's & 70's to take you down the memory Lane.
And You don't want to miss yet another Great Show by the Chicago Showman's Video Vision & Sahil. "

Wah Ustaad Wah! If you don't believe me, here's the link.
Will Ferrell Does Bush

So True. So True. SO TRUE!
"I don't see gay marriage as a slippery-slope down to people marrying snakes. I see people marrying snakes as a step 'up' the slope from gay marriage. I've got no problem with people marrying snakes-- as long as they're not marrying gay snakes. We must marry limbless reptiles of the opposite sex. Otherwise, it's just unnatural."
- Stephen Colbert

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Separated at birth?

I have undeniable proof of the fact that Mika and Himesh Reshammiya were separated at birth. No, the Medusa-haired, item-girl-kissing Jatt and the constantly-seeming-troubled-with-life and Unnecessarily-Deep Nasal Freak may not have much in common in the looks department, although I would dare Conan O'Brien to do a "What will their kids look like" segment on these two. Scary.

Anyhow, the similarity lies in their defiantly-unique singing style. Here's the proof. Muhahahahahaha.

In other news, N tells me of an awesome new flick that she caught at Tribeca, called The Great New Wonderful. Amongst other significant actors like Tony Shalhoub (Monk), Tom McCarthy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, etc., it also features Naseeruddin Shah in a rather impressive performance, with a small role by Sharat Saxena as well. Check out the trailer here, and its playing at a few indie/alternative places on the Lower East Side. If the Times review is anything to go by, as it usually is, its the lighter side of Crash, as far as post-9/11 recovery flicks go. But definitely check-outable.
"More tears are shed over answered prayers than over unanswered ones"
- Epigraph from the unfinished book, "Answered Prayers", by Truman Capote.

On the train ride to Washington D.C. recently, I completed a riveting novel, acclaimed by many to be the hallmark of the 'non-fiction' trend, which now has dedicated sections in bookstores, and in some cases, entire bookstores, to its fame. The novel was entitled "In Cold Blood", by Truman Capote, and it brought into focus for me the character that Philip Seymour Hoffman portrayed, ever so effortlessly.

Capote became, by far, America's most famous writer of the times, especially for that one book, which was preceded by "Breakfast at Tiffany's". While 'In Cold Blood' is a literary masterpiece, it was also an ethical timebomb. It brought out one of the most controversial moral issues of its time - how far does one go to fulfill his artistic dream?

The issue that the film raises, is the fact that Truman could have saved the lives of the real-life characters, the accused sociopaths with whom he had developed an understanding and deep attachment, especially with Perry Smith, whom he adored. As it was non-fiction, the story was writing itself and unfolding, in front of Capote's eyes. However, the most logical, controversial and, dare I say, "fitting" conclusion to the chilling tale, would have been the execution of the two murderers, as per the court ruling. And although Truman gained Perry's undying faith, by pretending to be his friend/confidante, he never ever intended to save him from the gallows, even though he could have, as Capote's friend and novelist, Harper Lee, points out at the end. The result? Perry and Richard were executed. Capote went on to write "In Cold Blood" and became a phenomenon, both for his writing and for the new trend of "the non-fiction novel" that he created.

He never finished another book, and died in '84 of alcoholism.

Many attribute his inability to write and severe depression, to his inner struggle between the appeal of completing his legendary book, and the characters he was trying to portray therein, and his deep bond with their real-life counterparts. The question is - who comes first?
Its a Tie!
I'm rather proud of my new acquisition. From the world of Sharper "Buy-What-You-Don't-Need" Image, I present to you, the "Tie-O-Matic" - motorized, revolving and floodlit tie rack, which rotates and lights up your closet.

Ah, what a relief! I was having so many issues hanging these lil cretins up on hangers, and then, with the silk ones falling off.

In other news, D.C. Rocks! Desis in D.C. rock too - mostly cuz they don't have a "New Jersey" next to it. ;-) No offence, Corzine.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who thinks so highly of D.C., especially during the freedom celebrations.

And most importantly, would like to say a BIIIG Hi with lots of love, hugs and kisses to the sweetest grandparents in the world, Daddy and Amma. Mom told me that they frequent my blog, and that tells me that I need to go a little easy on the personal info (just kidding, Daddy). I owe a significant lot of who I am today, to the blessings, patience and upbringing of both of you, and I wanted you both to know that I miss you both - a whole WHOLE lot, and will always cherish the times I spent with you! You're the best!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Here's a classic

Phone rings in a Newspaper's Obituary Section office in Karachi.

Clerk: Obituaries. Can I help you?

Guy-on-Phone: How much to put an obituary ad?

Clerk: 50 rupees per word, sir.

Guy-on-Phone: Ok. Sochne de.

(5 minutes go by)

Guy-on-Phone: Ok. write this ..... "Razzakbhai Dead".

Clerk (a little surprised): That's it?

Guy-on-Phone: Yes!

Clerk: Sir, I should've told you this. There's a five word minimum.

Guy-on-Phone (a little pissed off): Yes you should've. Hmph.

Clerk: So...

Guy-on-Phone: Abbey, sochne de na....

(another 5 minutes go by)

Guy-on-Phone: Ok, write this.

Clerk: Tell me, sir.

Guy-on-Phone: Razzaqbhai Dead. Suzuki for sale.

Hum logon ko samajh sako to samjho dilbar jaani
Jitna humko samjhoge, utni hogi hairaani.....
Dosti jab kisi se ki jaye,
Dushmanon ki bhi rai lee jaye

(When you befriend someone, listen to the opinions of their enemies, as well)

Sudarshan Faakir's immortal words. In addition to the hyper-appreciation of inanities of Hindi Cinema and development of some lyrics of questionable integrity, got the opportunity to hit up New York City's Summerstage, with two of my catty homegirls, to catch the Balkan Beat Box performance between sets.

What I found most intriguing about their music, was the distinct Israeli influence with the 4 brass quartet, and the usage of a standard rhythm in all their tracks, which was distinctively Brooklyn. Being a major fan of the Balkan music movement, I thought that the music was rather breakbeat-ish, and very non-like the traditional marching-band association that has been built with their type of music. Have been hunting down their music ever since.

Also, much like several other protagonists, they have a distinct sound that doesn't change too significantly across their music - like their bass riffs and their percussion-style. And the best part is that it doesn't get repetitive -, it just becomes their "sound". What you come to expect of their music, especially their live sets. I found this type of structure unique to very few performers - Safri Duo, DJ Tandu, to name a few

You know which act I really wanna see, this Summerstage? Cheb I Sabbah and Riffat Sultana
Its going to be miraculous! New Yorkers, don't miss this act, and several others like Damien

J, im looking at you for pre- and post-gaming support. Salute!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Stand clear of the closing doors ..... please

Among the sweetest things that anyone has written for me or about me, E's blog entry is way up there. :-) Rather touched that I am regarded so much - thanks! Btw - check out her blog. The most targeted and well-opined takes on Bollywood, that you can't even believe that this chica is not desi. As I always tell her, in a previous life, she probably was a demure village damsel from the far corners of India. And you know what they say about the des - you can take a (wo)man out of India, you can't take India out of a (wo)man. And don't miss the pictures of the production of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

In other news, I could swear that my subway attendant on the way to work yesterday was Officer Wiggum, because it sounded just like him. And anyone who can truly decipher what those subway attendants really say, deserves an award.
One of the many remarkable lines from Good Night and Good Luck.

Name me another wife who reminds her husband to take off his wedding ring before he goes to the office?

Ava Gardner.

What a subtle line, with a startling contrast to the stark portrayal of Ed Murrow's career at CBS. A must-watch!