Category Archives: music

That’s Why

Why? Why?

Let me tell you a small story.

This is the story of boy. And the boy is in Kolkata. Kolkata International Book Fair was in the city. He loved to read. He loved to smell. Smell the books.

So he went to the Book Fair. He bought few and smelled few. And he indulged himself in some gastronomic pleasure. It is traditional in Kolkata to munch something while you shop. And he did the same. While returning from ‘Milan Mela’ ground, he and his friends decided to hop into Arsalan for some ‘Biriyani’. Arsalan was full, so they headed to Aliah near ‘Dhormotolla’ and had ‘Biriyani’ and ‘Kebabs’ and ‘Phirni’. He loved calling himself a foodie and was proud of his taste buds. While returning home he took a bus. And the realisation happened there.

The bus was moving at a very slow pace, very typical to the average speed of Kolkata city buses, that too on a holiday. He got himself a window seat, rested his tired but happy body, and started enjoying the ride. He started watching the scenery outside. He felt as if the the city is trying to share her joy and warmth with him by rubbing her nose with his. He rubbed back and smiled. While moving his head slightly out of the window and enjoying the cool breeze, he thought he looked like a dog who is enjoying his flowing hair, to people on the roads.

As soon as the bus stopped near Rabindra Sadan, a bunch of people got into the bus, and his tranquillity was broken by the sudden hustle inside the bus. The conductor of the bus, in a very harsh voice asked everyone to move towards the end of the bus and make space for other passengers.

He was sitting in the front seat and the space in front of him got occupied by a group which he considered to be a part of the lower strata of society. He tried not to look at them as it would hamper his dreamy world, he thought, but a kid from the group, due to the crowd in the bus, was forced to sit in his lap. Her mother looked at him and smiled. He noticed that the group was big. There were 6 kids, a man and a woman, probably the parents, most of them wearing torn but clean clothes. The smallest one was in the lap of his mother, who was struggling to gain balance in the suffocating crowd of the moving bus. Then the next, around 4-5 years old, got hold of the window and was enjoying the scenery outside with his elder sister, the one forced to sit in the lap. The father was instructing everyone to stick together, otherwise they may get lost. The mother was stopping her kids from keeping their body parts outside the bus. It seemed that this as their first day outside, at least for the mother and few of her kids. They looked happy and amazed.

He hated the scene. He hated the way the kids were enjoying the scenery outside. He thought the window and the scenery as seen from it, belongs to him, and cannot be shared with those lower status kids. They talked, laughed and giggled in ‘bhojpuri’. When the conductor asked for ticket from them, the father said that they don’t have money. The conductor mumbled a few expletives to them and said, ‘Why do you people get on the bus when you don’t have money. Why do you come to Kolkata?’

He got amazed when the expletives uttered by the conductor did not steal the happiness from their faces, and when the conductor did not force them to get down from the bus. There was a boy around 14 years old with them. He seemed to be the eldest one and posed as ‘know-it-all’ in front of his other siblings. He explained the brands of cars moving on the road and warned everybody to keep their heads inside the bus. As soon as the bus passed the ‘Victoria memorial’, there was a sudden wave of excitement on the kids’ face. The y all looked at the memorial which was well lit at that moment of time with the moon just visible in the sky. The kid who got hold to the window pane, pulled the fringe of his mother’s sari with his small hands and said, ‘Ma, Look Victoria.’ And the mother who was busy balancing the baby and saving her other kids, leant a bit, and started looking at the ‘Victoria memorial’ with joy, amusement, astonishment and pain in her face.

And, at that specific moment felt ashamed. He realised that the window and the city Kolkata did not belong to him. It is to be shared and enjoyed. He felt that all mothers are same. Same as the city. They are busy protecting their kids and at the same time want to feel the happiness on their kids face. They feel secure with their husbands and are mesmerised by bright lights and monumental structures. The mother bent further and started enjoying the view outside with her kids. The girl sitting in his lap, for a moment, tried to push her hands outside the window and feel the air. He took her hand and forced it inside and said, ‘Don’t do that, it is dangerous’, with an authority like a big brother. He was happy again.

And that’s exactly why.

That’s why I love Kolkata. I love the smell in the air, the warmth in the sunlight. I love the Rabindra Sangeet that is played at the traffic signals. I know people will get pissed at the music during summers in a crowded bus stuck in traffic jam, but they will nevertheless love it. I love the metro trains, the underground subway, park street rolls, biriyani. I love underground, Someplace Else. I love City Center, South city. I love Durga pujo and Saraswati Pujo. I love Yellow taxi and green autos. I love shuttles and ‘dada ektu adjust korun na’. I love the way this city accepts. The way it has place for every person. It takes care of everyone. People from different city, state, country are happy here. I love Academy and Nandan. I love Oh! Calcutta and New market and Shree Ram Arcade. I love the crowd of Goriahat and silence of Rajarhat Highway. I love Metro, Jaya, Adlabs and Inox. I love radio Mirchi, miniskirts and ‘lal-paar-sada-saari’. I love when on a weekend some Bengalis are taking part in Kolkata marathon while some are spending it as a weekend trip at Mondarmoni, while some are reading ‘Anadabazaar Patrika’ with a cup of tea and ‘maarie’ biscuit enjoying the first rays of sunlight. I love St. Paul’s Cathedral, the morning walk in Victoria Memorial Park. I love the KC Paul as well as KC Dass. I love Haldiram’s and I love the parks filled with couples exhibiting love in parking places. I love the ITC House, Chatterjee International and S.D.F. I love Dalhousie and Sector 5.  I love Burrabazaar and Saltlake. I love park Circus and College Street. I love Esplanade, Chandni, Chang Wah and Tolly Club. I love BBD Bag and Ultadanga. I love EM Bypass and Khanna Haat. I love Tollywood and fish.

I love hope.

I love Kolkata

~dedicted to 14th February – the day to celebrate love.

P.S. The spellings of the places are not to be used in spell bee. They are intentionally used to keep the feel of the place intact and has been tried to bring close to the colloquial language.

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World is Flat, turning flatter to flattest.

We all believe that the world is flat.

Whether we admit it or not but somewhere in the back of our head we tend to ignore the reality and love to live in fantasy (not in a perverted way, by the way). We discuss who won the Roadies as if Anchal is our langotiya yaar (don’t stress on the langot which was shown in myriad in each episode, made sure, probably by ganja Raghu) and we curse Kanimozhi as if we do care. We love to live life king size and party till dawn. We love to think that we are fit and happy. We drool over Anushka Sharma a.k.a. Shutti or Anne Hathaway as if they will be ours one day. In the previous line you can change the names to any national/international/local actor/actress depending on your gender and preferences. Now stop drooling and concentrate. Sometimes we love to make the time stop.

The slightest hint of brutal reality scares us, but experience reveals that human mind is capable of bearing more than it can imagine. If we compare emotion and common sense, emotion always wins. Emotion can be found in abundance while intelligence is a rarity. If the opposite would have been true then all of us would have born Einstein instead of sissies. That’s why I love dramas more than sci-fis. I love ‘How I Met Your Mother’ more than ‘The Big Bang Theory’, any day under the sun (both are comedies though). By the way if you google ‘big bang theory’ the first result is the sitcom and not the cosmological theory. Evidences galore. Although the word ‘big Bang’ brings something else on my mind (guess what!!).

It is our attraction towards fantasy and deep rooted fear of reality which is helping the entertainment industry to grow by around 17% a year, in India. We love to (or at least pretend to) watch reality based movies like ‘Slumdog millionaire’ or ‘Dhobi Ghat’ and we give our critical ‘seemingly-crucial and yet so crappy-n-stupid’ comments on the movie and yet ‘Dabangg’ is the most commercially successful movie of the year (credit goes to our clapping and whistling throughout the screening). Although A R Rahman gets the Oscars and we detest Ismail Darbar’s comment, still ‘Bhag D.K.Bose’ is lingering on our mind. Do you actually absent-mindedly sing ‘Jai Ho’? We must accept the fact that we don’t love facts.

Let the world be flat and accept the reality that we live in dreams. Dreams are gooood 🙂

P.S. While I am rotting at my place all my friends are at ‘The Basement’ partying and celebrating World Music Day. I hate them!!!

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Devil Inside

Good acting. Superb photography. Cool lingo. Gripping ambience. Bad storyline.

Enough to describe ‘Shaitan’.

The feel of the movie is typical Anurag Kashyap-ish. Those who have watched DevD and Gulaal will recognize his eye for detail and the signature camera work and the ‘water-effect’. The lingo and the lifestyle shown in the first half of the movie seem larger than life for the middle class India. From having a joint in private ‘Holi’ party to racing the ‘Hummer’ with ‘Audi’, everything seems so artificial but keeps you glued. I am still wondering ‘Bhai rishta hai ya gaali?’ Getting a synonym for the ‘crazy vibrator’ made the viewers lmao. The actors are shown as kids of wealthy families, pampered a bit too much. Morals should be kept aside while watching the movie.

Koechlin and Khandelwal steal the show. Although Koechlin’s story seems to be hastily portrayed, Khandelwal as a tough, angry cop and frustrated-but-still-caring husband has been aptly cast. Other actors also paid due respect to their roles through their performance.

The second half of the movie is better and brings you back to real life from fantasy. Visit to Bhendi Bazaar and its detailing are good. The song “Khoya Khoya Chand’ played in the background with gore action hitting the screen is truly awesome.

The movie is meant to be a thriller and it thrills. Some scenes make you say ‘Shit, this shouldn’t have happened’, but some scenes compelled me to utter ‘Now, that’s too much’. A bit of control could have made it better. The ambience gripped me not the story. Although the surprise factor was unexpected at moments but it hardly surprised me.

The best thing about the movie is that, it never tries to teach you moral science. The movie is just an incident. It is stark portrayal of the devil inside every human being.

Tik Tik Tik Tik.

P.S. I am still looking for the Kala Khatta flavour.

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Weekend, McD and a lots of shopping

Yesterday I woke up at 8:30 in the morning and believe me it’s late. I am an early riser. Last night drank few pegs and slept like a pig (I don’t snore, thankfully). Was about to meet an old friend after a long time but she didn’t call the previous night to confirm. Yes she is a girl and we became friends in my second year on phone. After that we became very good friends. So I called her to ask her why she stood me up. The reason she gave me was quite genuine. She told me that she didn’t forget that she had to call but she didn’t. She doesn’t know why. I know girls and believe me this is a perfectly believable and genuine reason not to give a call back. So she asked me if I can meet that day only. No no, she said, “If you want to meet me, you can today”. I, not being rude, said okay and she told me to meet her at Rashbehari. Moreover I was bored to hell, a typical Saturday morning. From there we went to Park Street. I love Park Street as it has life not like our Sector-V. We went to McDonalds as we can sit there for hours and no will bother. She ate a McChicken burger. I had one McMaharaja and Filet-O-Fish. We both had a dessert and chicken nuggets. After spending a couple of hours there we came out and here begins my shopping spree.

I went to Music World after that. Although I experienced a bad service I bought a lot of music from there. I could not resist myself from sheer music greed. I bought

Joe Satriani – Definitive Collection (3 CDs) – Sony Music

Guns n Roses – Greatest Hits (1 CD) – Universal Music

Perfect Day – 100 amazing songs (5 CDs) – Sony Music

Aamar Hiyar Majhe – Rabindrasangeet (6 CDs) – T Series

Movie DVDs:

  1. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Half Ticket, Jhumroo (all Kishore Kumar classics)
  2. Gol Maal, Chupke Chupke, Bawarchi (all Hrishikesh Mukherjee classics)

Most of the music is for gifting to my friends. Then after that I thought of returning home and was walking back on Park Street with my friend when I spotted – ‘The great Oxford Sale – upto 80% off’. We Indians are always attracted by the ‘sale’ thingy and I am attracted to books. So I headed straight to the Oxford Bookstore to buy books and enjoy the ‘sale’. I bought

Connect The DotsRashmi BansalEklavya Education Foundation

The Ultimate India Quiz Book – Derek O’BrienPenguin Books

Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner – Penguin Books

Mother Pious Lady – Santosh DesaiHarper Collins and The India Today Group

And I was very happy. After a long time I felt like it was worth spending money and the shopping was fruitful. I don’t know whether I will be able to finish these books in my hectic schedule. Fingers crossed. By the way I returned home after that and saved a whooping Rs. 109.80 (I don’t have the India rupee symbol handy). I watched Half Ticket and fell in love with Madhubala.

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