Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That Song You Listen To

People listen to music for a variety of reasons. In my opinion, the most common reason is to get away from something. This is a more of a broad reason, and can have many interpretations. So what people generally listen to are songs with deep meanings, that may be intensely melodic, or whatever; and this somehow stimulates them into a pleasing form of catharsis. Everyone has a favourite song that 'takes them to a special place'. This post is about such songs, and what my 'song that takes me to that place' is.

Before i tell you what my 'song that takes me to that place' is, allow me to explore what i think people look for in such songs. I want to explore the kinds of songs that people's 'songs that take them to that place' are. I think people like songs with a catchy hook or beat; or maybe deep lyrics; or maybe well syncopated lyrics. Stuff along such lines is what forms the basic characteristics of these kind of songs. The point i'm trying to make is: these songs will never be songs with stupid/pointless/punk themes. Noone's favourite song can be a frivolous one. It has to be something deeper than that. Sure, funny/comedic songs are nice to listen to when you're in a light mood. But when you're tired of the world; and you want to get away and listen to something familiar; something that 'takes you to a different zone'; it won't be a song about penises or how person W wants to castrate person N.

Just before i wrote this, i'd read an intense post written by a friend of mine about the unfairness of the Indian justice system and how it's directly affecting him and his family. So basically, i'm not in a light mood. I'd put my speakers on, and i was contemplating what music to play. Nothing immediately came to mind, so I chose to play this song.

I strongly recommend that you listen to the song before you continue. It'll give you a better understanding of what i mean.

If you don't want to listen to the song, then allow me to tell you about it. The song's mostly in French. And pretty much nonsensical. Translated, it makes no sense. I mean, it makes sense lyrically, and you get the story of the song. The question that comes to mind after hearing the song is: "What is the point of this?". You may like this song, but could it ever be 'that song you listen to zone out and exit the world'?

Well, it is for me. At this moment, anyway. What does this tell you about me? You tell me.

PS: Flight Of The Conchords - Foux Du Fafa; Blur - Tender.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Note: Foul language used. Foul thought patterns employed.

Today, children, we shall study languages. Of course, we will study it Pitendencies style! Cut to this music. Anyway, i am here to educate two kinds of people today:

1. Indians who aren't too familiar with hindi.
2. Indians who are familiar with hindi but do not know what i'm about to tell them.
3. People who aren't Indians, or struggle to come to terms with what the word 'Hindi' means. It's a language, you fucks. Indians don't speak Indian. Much like the Chinese don't speak Chinese, and the Russians Russian (Intentional). I hate racism or stereotypes. *Sincere face*.

Okay, 3 kinds of people.

Anyway, here goes:

In Hindi, there exists a simple saying that goes like:

"Iski to Maa Behen ho gayee".

It is basically the Hindi equivalent of "This is fucked", or "It's a gone case". You get the idea. Anyway, interpreted directly, the saying means this: "The mother has become the sister".

The Etymology:
There exists this prevalent attitude within Indians to judge all that is not their culture. Any deviation from the prevalent Indian culture at the time will be looked down upon. And Indians don't just look down on things. They snort with disgust and ensure that the aforementioned snot finds its way to the source of the disgust. After which they shall spit on the same source, and bitch about the topic at every tea party for the rest of their lives. Anyway, the story behind the source of the saying is as follows:

There lived a fair-skin-toned Iranian family in the interiors of Gujurat. As we all know, the Iranians came down to India and settled here, eventually becoming what we currently know as Parsis. As you may or may not know, the Parsis are staunchly ethnocentric. What i think this means is that they believe in their own community. That's putting it mildly. Parsis do not marry outside their community. And when the community is so small, some distant cousins are bound to end up married. Distant soon became close. And close soon became 'brother', but moving on. This Iranian family in Gujarat branched out over the generations, until they had about 3 families living in the village. Let's call them family A, B and C; all blood related. The daughter of family A was about the same age as the son of family B. They had been friends since childhood, and the Iranian parents were happy, encouraging them to grow closer. Sure enough, these two got married, and the marriage was celebrated in much fanfare in the village-on-interiors-of-Gujarat. Until, of course the villagers found out that, due to some bizarre misunderstanding, the couple were actually aunt and nephew. So the son married his aunt, thereby making his own mother his sister-in-law. Hence, his mother had become his sister. "Iski to maa behen ho gayi". This was unacceptable.

And thus the phrase was invented. The end.

PS: False Etymology, in case you didn't get that. Fool's Garden - Lemon Tree; Pain of Salvation - Sleeping with the stars; Avial - Aadu Pambe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


You have two options right now, as you read this post. You can
1. Skip the next 4 paragraphs and proceed directly to the short story, or
2. Read the preface of sorts and then read the story.

I do this only for them who like to read and then form opinions, as opposed to those who don't mind forming an early opinion.

Good evening, girls and gents. Today, uncle Loy will take you through another one of his compositions (Short Story). This time around, you will read about a protagonist called 'Doctor Amus'. Before you get into the story, however, a few details need to told to understand Doctor Amus. Doctor Amus is many things, and here are a few superficial aspects of what humans understand as his 'personality':
1. He resides in Mumbai.
2. He is a Hippopotamus.
3. He is not a qualified doctor in any field defined by humans.

But that only gives you a superficial sort of idea of the character that is 'Doctor Amus'. What you need to understand about Doctor Amus is that he is the living persona of a contradiction, as are all of his kind. Doctor Amus is special in that he strives to achieve that perfect balance of contradiction. He lives and breathes a complete contradiction, and this is his only philosophy-To engage in any activity, say activity A; and to then engage in any other activity, say activity B; such that activity A and B contradict each other.

Now that you've drawn a mental picture of Doctor Amus, you can proceed directly to The Story:

Doctor Amus was lonely. It was the middle of the day, the sun was at it's peak, and he'd been awake for 6 hours now. His girlfriend had just ditched him, and he was all alone on his terrace. In his pocket, lied 3 unused condoms, and it looked like they weren't about to be used any time soon. In a fit of anger and frustration, Doc A threw those condoms away.

Doc A decided that this would not do. No. He decided that he would allow himself ONE grieving period, after which he would pick his life up, and let nothing faze him. But to reach this, he need ONE decent grieving period. To achieve this objective, Doc H set out in the direction of Colaba. He had heard that vendors do infact sell in Colaba, what is known to humans as 'Cannabis', or 'Marijuana', or 'Weed', or 'Herb', or 'Charas', or 'Hashish', or 'Pot', or 'Ganja', or 'Crazy ass shit that takes you high but allows you function even though you aren't really all that crisp'. This was his trip. This was his grief. He decided that he would wallow in his pity that day, and from then on, he would move on. Just like that. However, this is when the complications arose. He went to Colaba, but all he saw were tourists and christians. Not one peddlar came up to him and offered to sell, because let's face it, which vendor in his right mind would go and pitch weed to a hippopotamus? Even if one of the aliases of the said substance happened to be a part of the animals name? So basically, Doc A spent the entire afternoon searching and searching for some of that illegal substance, to no avail. He asked hundreds of people, shamed scores of aunties, and educated dozens of children, but got none of the substance. Disheartened and dejected, he gave up. Clearly, the universe did not want Doctor Amus to experience grief just yet.

Finally, Doc A decided that this was it. Grief or no grief, he was moving on. He was too laid back for his own good, and NOW was the time for change. He went up to his terrace for a breath of fresh air, and who should he run into there, but his girlfriend who ditched him this very afternoon. They both stood still for a moment, eyes locked into each other. The wind blew as incessantly as ever, and the evening sun glistened peacefully and sleepily. They ran at each other, hugged, and everything was good again for Doctor Amus.

Except for one small detail. In his earlier frustration, Doctor Amus had thrown away the condoms that he felt he wouldn't need for a while. Now, however, he faced a predicament. He had no condoms, and he really wanted the make up sex. For there is no sex like make up sex. The only option was to go and buy more condoms.

At this point of time in the story, i choose to tell you, the reader, a little fact about chemists. The busiest time of a chemists shop is in the evening, around dusk. About an hour before and after the setting of the sun. Now that you know that, you should also know that Colaba is at it's busiest in the afternoon. After lunch and before the sun gets that orange tint. So basically, if you want to purchase the aforementioned illegal substances, the busiest time of the day is hardly the time you want to go. Also, if you wish to purchase a condom from a chemist, the busiest time of the day for the chemist is hardly the time you should choose to buy the same if you wish to avoid judgment or embarrasment.

Anyway, if you remember correctly, Doctor Amus had decided to forego his sense of embarrasment in the afternoon. He tried to purchase the illegal substance when Colaba was at it's most crowded. Now, however, Doc A is faced with the dilemna of buying condoms at the chemists' peak hour. Will he nut up and shed all semblance of embarrasment?

No. He had shed all semblance of embarrasment in the afternoon, and the motto of Doctor Amus dictates that two activites must contradict each other. So, he refuses to go and buy condoms because of the resulting embarrasment; thereby achieving his goal of contradiction. Humans choose to call this 'Hypocrisy'.

So finally, at the end of the story, what we're left with is this:
Doctor Amus is a Pot smoking, hypocriticial hippopotamus. He is a Hippo (Hypocrite) - Pot (Marijuana) - Amus (His name).

Thank You.

PS: Eels - Flyswatter; Arctic Monkeys - Cigarette Smoker Fiona; Athlete - Tokyo; Pain Of Salvation - No Way.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

An Incomplete Story That Also Happens To Be Non-Fiction

Before i begin to tell you about how i'd like to begin my post, i'd like to take a minute of your time. You've all heard this name before: 'Sean'. It's pronounced like so: 'Shaun'. I'd like you, the reader, to repeat this name thrice to yourself. After you have done this, proceed to the next line. PROCEED ONLY AFTER OBEYING THE SAID INSTRUCTIONS.

Good, now the name 'Sean' has entered your subconscious. Remember, if at any point of time in your life, you feel the urge to have sex with, or even just kiss anyone called 'Sean', act upon it. You won't be sorry. Thank you for your minute, and back to the post you go:

I'd like to begin this post by telling you that i will first take a bit of your time and relate a certain incident that happened to me yesterday. After the incident and the analysis of the incident, i will take a bit more of your time. But let's not get into that. Anyway.

The Incident
Yesterday morning, i woke up with a heavy head and an even heavier heart. On my agenda for the day were 2 dreaded plans:
Plan 1: I had to go back to my college to talk to my professor and sort my final years marksheet issue (Another story for another time). This would be at around 11am, and i expected it to go on till about 1pm at the latest.
Plan 2: I had to go to a friends place halfway across the city to pick something up; which meant i'd have to avail of certain facilities that i'd rather not avail of-rickshaws, taxis and trains. This was scheduled to be immediately after Plan 1.

Of course, being the prat that i am, i procrastinated and ended up being at college at precisely 1.30pm. I finished my stupid meeting, and set out to catch a train to the friends place. I got into the train, sat for about 25 minutes, and then got off at my desired destination. From that station, i proceeded towards the queue for the rickshaws. Unfortunately, there were no rickshaws. So after waiting for about 20 minutes, i decided to walk. Halfway to my friends house, i managed to get a rickshaw. I reached in 5 minutes and stayed for another 45; after which i set off on my return journey. At this point, let me tell you that it was now raining heavily, and i was sure i'd face the same rickshaw problem. Sure enough, i did. After waiting for 15 minutes, i spotted this lonely modern cab. In Mumbai, there are 2 distinct kinds (more like, varieties) of cabs:
a) The traditional Premier Padminis, or the Fiats, as they are lovingly called. These form an overwhelming majority of the cab population of my city.
b) The comparatively modern cabs, which are faster, more sleek, more cost efficient as a result of being more fuel efficient and the drivers aren't that cranky. As you've already guessed by now, the ratio of modern cabs to Fiats is similar to the ratio of the followers of the Baha'i faith to followers of other faiths in India.
Because of that fact, modern cabs are much more identifiable. So therefore, if you leave your cell phone in one and realize only a few short minutes after it happened, chances are that you'll find the same cab in the same spot, the driver waiting for you with your cell phone in his hand and a smile upon his face. Not true.

Yes, that's how i choose to end that story.

PS: Pain Of Salvation - Marticus Nauticus II; John Scofield - Hottentot; Avial - Aadu Pambe; Mute Math - Chaos. Just in case you were wondering what the point of the first two paragraphs were, remember this: 'Sean'.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Invention Of Clapping

A very happy yo to all. Apparently, i've passed my board exams. The following paragraph will explain the previous statement.

The Situation: My results first came out online on the infernal Mumbai University website. They call it 'results', but the only thing that you can find out is whether you passed or failed. Some people like to crib about this, and others thank God for this. Anyhow, to access your 'result', you have to enter the seat number the university assigned to you. Predictably, i lost my hall ticket, which had my seat number on it. For reasons unknown, i could not recollect my seat number; and i was thus stuck. I did not know whether i had passed or failed. The next day, i had a show in a nearby city, and thus, i couldn't go to my college and figure things out. However, in the night, i get a call from my roommate, and he tells me i've passed. That is all.

I will admit that i did not start this post to tell you about how i don't really know if i've passed or failed. I like to take tangents and see where they take me. Sometimes when i rap, i lose confidence. The next paragraph will tell you what the original point of this post was.

On my desktop, i have a folder that says "Shite". This is a very broad term, and all sorts of stuff that i've written lies in this folder, most of it incomplete. Anyway, here is some of it. Before you read it, know that i've not edited it.

This is my attempt at theatre. My incomplete attempt, i may add. I'll finish it later and post the entire story in a later post.

The Invention Of Clapping - Documentary

Intro & Outro Narrator
Jonah Bitrae Naem (JBN)

V/O: Intro & Outro Narrator
Our (pause and with heavy sarcasm) "narrator" today will be Jonah Bitrae Naem, from Sweden. The voice you're hearing now is that of an actual narrator. Apart from being a famed fictional historian (or a fictorian), he is also an avid Jon Arne Riise fan. His credentials are irrelevant, as his field demands escape from traditional norms and truths. He shot to fame in 2000 after writing and creating an ancient Indian myth - The Sabudana Paradox. Now, the (sarcastic) "narrator" will take over. GOD, i hate that------ (cut).

Images and videos of JBN doing various activities.

Thanks very much, Narr. Never a pleasure. (Pause while he turns to camera) Hi. It is the natural tendency of humans to treat everything with a pinch of salt. It is only natural to treat revolutionary fields like fictional history or e-sandalwood harvesting with a high degree of scepticism. I don't expect you to believe in what i do or approve of it, and if you're already aggravated, i suggest you stop this right now. This doesn't apply to you, mom. (Pause + Laughter Track) Anyway, if your curiosity is sufficiently piqued, i will proceed to explain to you what i do for a living.
Do you remember this? (Cut to scene of "It is the natural tendency of humans to treat everything with a pinch of salt") The beauty is that, although that statement makes sense, i have absolutely no method of verifying that statement. I state what i think is a fact, and that is all. In my field, if there has to be a God, he/she would be common sense. A creative application of common sense is what seperates the cream of fictorians from the rest

Painful but fun. I enoyed it.

PS: The Chicken - The Dave Weckl Band; Dave Matthews Band - You & Me; Cake - Excuse Me, I Think I've Got A Heartache.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Unwanted Opinions Anonymous

**I may add, before you read this, that i repeatedly use words that, in India are called "Them Four Letter Words" in this post. Just a warning. To put it bluntly, i use certain expressions in the English language that are used in slang and refer to extremely sexual or dirty things but are actually used either to convey disgust, as expressions of catharsis or for point-emphasis. I apologize for this if you are put off by it. But please bear with me.

I am affected by opinions, be it for movies, music or even people. Sometimes, i call it peer pressure; sometimes i call it bandwagon humping tendencies; but the point is that as much as i hate it, i'm affected by what others think. Opinions make a difference. Just to clear the air, i'm not looking at this in a i-hate-when-people-hate-me sort of way but in a i-hate-when-people-tell-me-a-movie-sucks-when-it-actually-doesn't sort of way. In my opinion, anyway.

Allow me to posit a scenario:
Your friends are chilling together, and they call you to chill with 'em. You go wherever they are, and basically just sit back and relax with them. In this state of 'chilling out' or 'relaxing', several topics of discussion float around, such as women, sports, movies, friends etc. Suddenly, you go: "Dude, have you seen 'Trainspotting'? I'm dying to see it. I saw a bit and it looks insane!". Picture this: they all start laughing and say stuff like: "Fuck yourself, idiot", or "It sucks, idiot", or even "I hate blackcurrant ice cream. Mmmmmmmm." What emotions do you think you'll experience?

For starters, you won't finish the movie. Even if you do, it's ruined. Fucking opinion pushers. I liked 'The Love Guru', and a huge fucking middle finger to whoever didn't.

One cannot avoid opinions. Personally, i'd go crazy if everyone suddenly stopped putting their opinions forth and became very politically correct. The slang for politically correct is PC. Like the magician. Hyperlink! However, i hate vehement bad opinions. They put me off. Sometimes, i hate vehement good opinions as well, but it's the bad ones i detest. Anything in excess is bad. People who attach a lot of emotion with their opinions are unacceptable. People who stress and emphasise every point in the opinion are, unacceptable. Has your friend ever told you a snippet from a movie you haven't seen either to:
a) Get you to watch it, or
b) To make you think of the movie in a favourable light, or
c) To make you think of the friend in a favourable light.

It's time for a true story! Here goes it:
One day, my friend Karun just happened to be sleeping. He does sleep a lot, but he is, after all: Lazy Man (with his trusty sidekick: Lazy Boy). Anyway, because of his slumber, we were forced to go the movies without him. There, we saw "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". Now, as you may or may not know, the movie is shite. Comic lovers especially hated it for reasons that i refuse to get into. Personally, i loved the movie, but after hearing everything everyone else had to say, i kept this piece of information to myself. Moving on, everyone told my friend Karun that the movie sucked. For those who can't understand terminology usage or are from the past or the future, 'sucked' is a bad thing. Do not misinterpret this for your generation. Therefore, because of us, Karun did not have high expectations when he finally got down to seeing the movie; and because of this, he loved it. This is a perfect example of what i'm trying to say. Almost too perfect. But that's how life is. Seemingly too perfect.

PS: I like self referencing. It's why i love 30 Rock: see Season 1, Episode 5: Jack-Tor. I also like Baby I'm Yours - Arctic Monkeys; Dreaming Of You - The Coral and Friend Is A Four Letter Word - Cake.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Comfort Eagle

We are building a religion
We are building it bigger
We are widening the corridors
And adding more lanes

We are building a religion
A limited edition
We are now accepting callers
For these pendant key chains

To resist it is useless
It is useless to resist it
His cigarette is burning
But he never seems to ash

He is grooming his poodle
He is living comfort eagle
You can meet at his location
But you'd better come with cash

Now his hat is on backwards
He can show you his tattoos
He is in the music business
He is calling you "DUDE!"

Now today is tomorrow
And tomorrow today
And yesterday is weaving in and out

And the fluffy white lines
That the airplane leaves behind
Are drifting right in front
Of the waning of the moon

He is handling the money
He's serving the food
He knows about your party
He is calling you "DUDE!"

Now do you believe
In the one big sign
The doublewide shine
On the bootheels of your prime

Doesn't matter if you're skinny
Doesn't matter if you're fat
You can dress up like a sultan
In your onion head hat

We are building a religion
We are making a brand
We're the only ones to turn to
When your castles turn to sand

Take a bite of this apple
Mr. corporate events
Take a walk through the jungle
Of cardboard shanties and tents

Some people drink Pepsi
Some people drink Coke
The wacky morning DJ
Says democracy's a joke

He says now do you believe
In the one big song
He's now accepting callers
Who would like to sing along

He says, do you believe
In the one true edge
By fastening your safety belts
And stepping towards the ledge

He is handling the money
He is serving the food
He is now accepting callers
He is calling me "DUDE!"

Do you believe
In the one big sign
The doublewide shine
On the bootheels of your prime

There's no need to ask directions
If you ever lose your mind
We're behind you
We're behind you
And let us please remind you
We can send a car to find you
If you ever lose your way

We are building a religion

We are building it bigger

We are building

A religion

A limited


We are now accepting callers...
For these beautiful...
Pendant keychains

Cake - Comfort Eagle

Sometimes, merely recommending a song isn't good enough. You may never listen to this song , but you will realize that it is purely the song's magnificence that is forcing me to commit such blasphemy. Please have a listen.

I could end the post here, and leave you to enjoy the music. If you are listening to the song, then please stop reading. If not, read on. Of course, i can't really control what you read, and keeping this in mind, i continue to type out my thoughts. Logic doesn't have to be logical.

I've started listening to Cake, and i can't seem to get enough of them. For me, this song (Comfort Eagle) shows Cake at their finest. I like to look at music and imagine what the song looks like. This is an extremely psychedelic experience, and i'll try to explain. Don't expect much, i'm not very articulate.

Imagine a song starts off with a guitar riff. After a few cycles, the percussion kicks in along with the bass. Now, the guitar, bass and percussion instruments lock together, and this forms the backbone of the song. Over and above these instruments come firstly, the vocals. To highlight differences in the different vocal lines of the song, other instruments sometimes play leading melodies or counter melodies, where the aim is to basically add layers to the music and reduce monotony. At the highest point of the song, there are a lot of layers on top of the basic backbone of guitar, bass and percussion. The layers can be backup vocals; lead vocals; keyboard & synth usage; flute/saxophone/trumpet etc; lead guitar parts; extra percussion; basically anything that deviates from the backbone of the song. The song rises up to a crescendo, and then again drops a notch. The entire cycle starts again, with minute differences, and the song ends on a soft note.

To me, this is what Cake's music is like, and the feeling is indeed awesome. You know a song is good when it gives you goosebumps.