Arikathaayaaro (cover)

Phew! It’s been a long time since I have posted some music here. As much as I love music, I have to admit that I am getting sick of posting karaokes. I just don’t feel much enthusiasm that I had during the initial days of music blogging to do the karaokes. I feel like a ghost of someone else when I do karaokes. People have a tendency to compare your version with the original regardless of how much you try to put your own signature to the song. And that makes me sick. I don’t want to be a ghost anymore. And that might perhaps mark the end of my online singing pretty soon if I don’t get to do the originals. (Yes, I still want do an album of myself with the original songs, composed and sung by myself, but I don’t have a producer yet). But still, the karaoke singing at least helps me keep up with music – singing – because otherwise I don’t seriously sing anything, so this is sort of a practice medium.

The song of the day is from the Malayalam movie Bodyguard, composed by my favorite music director Ouseppachan and sung by Ranjith. This is a pretty tough song that challenges the breath control with it’s fast pace and the plans that comes in between. Here is my try anyway.

Movie: Bodyguard (Malayalam)
Music: Ouseppachan
Original singer: Ranjith
Covered by: Joseph Thomas (Jo)

Download “Arikathaayaro” (3.77 MB)

(image courtesy: Sify.com)

Categories: Entertainment, Music, My Songs

I don’t know…

I don’t know whom to believe any more.

Some say that Maoists are fighting for the tribals because of the abuse they face by the corporates and government. Maoists seem to be a group of people fighting for a cause.

But then I see Maoists killing people, jawans and civilians alike, and that makes me think how can such a group of killers ever fight effectively for a just cause.

Then some activists, including some ex-Naxalites, sign a press copy saying that they condemn the heinous acts of Maoists. They say that both the state and Maoists are abusing the tribals. They say that the fight against the mining industry was born even before Mao himself. And if Maoists have any sincerity in the matter, they should first fight the mining corporates than just plainly taxing them for business.

I don’t know. The picture that I get from all these is of the state and its politicians who make way for some corporates to function smoothly because there is big money for everyone to make in those thick, dark layers of land. And a set of killing machines who kill people to overthrow a corrupt system to replace it with another more centralized and violent system in the name of revolution. And a state-sponsored militia that fights/kills/abuses it’s own people.

I don’t know whom or what to believe anymore. But I do know that I should thank God that I was not born a tribal. For, at the end of the day, they are the ones who are most suffered, abused and wiped out of history that we, rest of the people in this land, keep making. I should be happy that I am not one of those unlucky tribals. But then that darn line keeps ringing in my head:

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Categories: Media, Nation, Politics

The Malayali Factor

Today’s is a guest post from a friend, Sally Varma. Please post your thoughts in the comments section.

==========================================

On May 22, 2010, Saturday morning, an Air India Express plane from Dubai overshot the table-top runway at the Mangalore airport and plunged over a cliff into a wooded valley, killing 158 persons. There were 160 passengers and six crew members on board Flight IX-812. The passengers included 137 adults, 19 children and 4 infants. Eight passengers survived miraculously.

The whole of India was shocked with the news. I was at home watching TV and was going through the different news channels showing the news of the crash. I went through all the regional news channels first and was shocked to find a harrowing truth. All the Malayalam news channels only cared about the Malayalees in the flight. Among the 160 passengers in the plane, the only reports that were being shown was about the Malayalees who were in the plane. The newsreader kept repeating the same news of the number of Malayalees on board, the number of Malayalees killed, the number of Malayalees who escaped etc… It is a sad state that we live in where such bias takes place. Is this not a tragedy for India as a whole or is it in the viewpoint of all these Malayali channel’s ‘just a tragedy for Kerala’? What about the other people and their families, the non-Malayalees on that ill-fated flight? Don’t they too deserve the same prayers as the Malayalees?

I then switched channels and went to the Tamil news channels, which were faithfully showing the news of the crash with no partiality or bias towards only the Tamilian people on board. Also channels like CNN-IBN, Times Now, NDTV 24×7, were all showing religious coverage of the crash.

So, I think this shows the Malayali attitude of selfishness and regional chauvinism. And to think that all these channels and papers were criticizing Bal Thackeray for his comments on Sachin.  Bal Thackeray had slammed master blaster Sachin Tendulkar for his statement that he is an Indian first and then a Maharashtrian. If these Malayali channels can do this sort of bias while reporting news of a national tragedy like the Air India plane crash, then I think the comment from Bal Thackeray also can be justified.

It is high time that the Malayali media stop promoting such regional sensationalism and start to consider everyone as equal human beings.

In memory of the 158 HUMAN BEINGS who were killed in the Air India plane crash of October 22, 2010. May their souls rest in peace.

Categories: Kerala, Media, Regional

Brainstorming Blogswara

Blogswara logo

Starting from the year 2006, Blogswara has released 6 online albums with 61 original songs in 5 Indian languages (Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada) by 101 individual artists. So much effort has gone into the release of each Blogswara album by everyone involved in this project. What Blogswara aimed for was never a commercial benefit out of it, or to make a band of our own, but to promote amateur music and give a platform for musicians who otherwise would not have been heard in the public. People who have participated in Blogswara have dreamed of sharing the music for free using the power of Internet. Many people who have participated in the Blogswara, who have worked together on a song, have not even met in the real world but made music happen. It was proof that music can unite people. It was all this and much more that has kept the spirit of Blogswara going.

But we think not everything is fair. Our audience has been consistent but limited, considering the wide reach that the Internet offers. And I think that the Blogswara members / musicians deserve a wider audience for the effort they put in. And we tried to reach out to the world. We had our bit of media publicity too. But it seems that the best way to reach out to a wider audience is through tapping the offline audience that comes in huge numbers.

You need money and marketing techniques to promote an album offline. Since Blogswara is a non-profit entity, it is impossible to pour in money. The other way is to get your songs and the concept aired through the radio – but they don’t seem to be interested in broadcasting anything other than filmy music.

At this moment, I think the time has come to think of a revamp, a fresh outlook to the whole concept. Keeping in mind that the very idea of Blogswara came through various discussions with online friends, I request you to put your thoughts, answers or criticism in the comments section.

  • Do you think it is time to bid good-bye to Blogswara? A concept that has been widely admired over these years by anyone who have heard of it? If so, why?
  • What can be done to bring more life to the concept, keeping the founding concepts in mind?

Please take your time and give us your thoughtful inputs. look forward to that. Thank you!

Categories: Blogswara, Entertainment, Music

Silsilaaaa-aaaargh!

If you thought you had enough of those dumb music albums that churned out by anybody who wants to try a shot at fame, I would recommend you to watch this one. This is classic!

Categories: Entertainment

The Unreported World

I’ve just gone through a series of videos by Unreported World and two of them struck me so much because it was shot here in India. You MUST checkout their series of reports from world over and particularly the following:

The Broken People
“We’re forced to eat rats, because we cannot afford to buy food”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc7iiFPDbDc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leUEtR7ZUWk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiLFVuosdm4


The Land of Missing Children

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Wm4nasexY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_fT-yQ6WnE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I4Lc-yDGJU

Categories: Dalit, Nation, Sex & Gender, Society

Roadrunner – An Amerindian Story

RoadrunnerThe image of America that I had in my teenage was that of a heaven. The stories I heard were plenty – that, in America, even beggars travel in Mercedes Benz, there is no poverty, you get a 1 ltr pet bottle of Coca Cola for Rs. 1 (yeah, in Rupees not in Dollars) etc. But not all stories gave such rosy pictures. Another set of stories told me that despite of being so rich, America has no family values or culture and their men and women are sex machines who are ready to have sex with everyone.

Watching the Hollywood movies and reading more about America in the late teenage gave another set of pictures. Drug peddling, racism, teenage pregnancy, school shootouts and so on. But it also threw out some old stereo types of the sex hungry females and culture-less families. And when I looked at it, I could draw a lot of parallels between my country and America. On both the good and bad sides. Then I realized that there isn’t much that I should be proud of or feel inferior of my country in comparison with America.

When I finished reading the book “Roadrunner – An Indian Quest in America” by blogger-writer Dilip D’Souza, I felt the same way again. Dilip draws parallels between India and America, oh and perhaps it’s not just about these two countries, but what the human kind everywhere in this world shares in common. It is a travelogue that takes you along with the writer while you go through the pages. Instead of going through the prominent tourist spots and presenting the boring details of such journeys, Dilip chooses to take the paths less traveled by travel writers. He talks to ordinary people, takes us through the extra-ordinarily ordinary places and gets you glued to the pages. He also observes both countries in terms of patriotism and liberalism and gives us a food for thought on the subject. And one story he has kept for us in one of the final chapters, based on a personal account, would shake us cold.

In Roadrunner, you won’t see a blind admiration or an outright contempt for America, both of which could be prominently seen in the books about America. The book is more than 300 pages long and I did skip a couple of chapters that seemed boring to me. I wish Dilip could have skipped some of the detailing in those chapters. I think in the web 2.0 era, writers have to learn how to engage readers in striking, but shorter lines. Dilip does that in his blog though.

Nevertheless, Roadrunner is a good read and as a person who has never visited America, I enjoyed reading it because it gave me a feeling of going on a trip along those long windy roads with the author.

Oh and about the package – it was a refreshing change that the back cover of the book did not have any newspaper quotes, or celebrity quotes saying “Great book! Thumbs up!! I would strongly recommend it to everyone” and such gimmicks. I like that. 🙂

Order the book in Flipkart here

Title: Roadrunner – An Indian Quest in America
Author: Dilip D’Souza
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: Rs. 399

Categories: Books, Review, Travel

Revenge or Justice?

“Justice is done” was the initial response of many Indians in the online and offline world, when the court verdict on Ajmal Kasab came out yesterday. I don’t understand what justice is being done here. Let me clarify – I am not talking about human rights and all that when it comes to Kasab. He deserves a severe punishment for the kind of crime he did. And a death row is definitely not a severe punishment for Kasab, because we are ending up doing LeT’s job for them. Kasab came here to kill as many people as he could and also either to kill himself or get killed in the process. And ironically, in the name of justice we are giving him what he really wanted – death. His masters would be happy that a country’s judicial system is doing what they originally intended to do – to kill a low-level suicide militant. Is that justice done to the victims of 26/11?

And is this going to send any message to LeT or such terrorist outfits? Is hanging Kasab going to stop them? Kasab’s masters would get a thousand Kasabs to replace him for their on-going or future operations. They have no use of getting a Kasab back, when they have new, unknown and enthusiastic Kasabs ready to kill themselves for their masters.

So what result is hanging Kasab going to bring? Kasab, the scapegoat of his terrorist masterminds in Pakistan, has now become the scapegoat here too. The government with all it’s intelligence failures and the inability to track down the mastermind roots will now gloat that we could kill a terrorist (after he’s done what he came here to do). The issue of our police force not being equipped with the right and proper armor (Karkare, a brave man, gave his life because of such ill-planning) will now die down.

I am not asking for mercy for Kasab, but a severe punishment; severe than a death sentence. And I think the best way to punish Kasab would be a rigorous life sentence as actor Rahul Khanna has tweeted. There would be more suffering than ending your life in a moment. With the hanging of Kasab, we are just taking a revenge, not doing justice.

And that’s got me thinking – When a victim takes revenge, it is called a Crime. When the state does that revenge for a victim, it is called Justice. Isn’t that funny?

Categories: Nation, Terrorism

Picasso @ the Lapin Agile

What would’ve happened if a young Picasso and a young Einstein had accidentally met at a bar in Paris? Which of the two would have won, Art or Science? Come to Alliance Francaise de Bangalore to find for yourself.

Tahatto presents Steve Martin’s play, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile“.

May 7th (Friday) – 8 pm
May 8th (Saturday) – 4 pm AND 7:30 pm
Ticket price: Rs.150/-

For tickets, call 98800 36611 or visit IndianStage. You can also pick up tickets from Landmark in Forum.

Categories: Art