Locomotive Breath. The show ended on a high note. I mean that "literally", as lots of people were stoned. After an hour wait to get out we finally and drove back kicking into the interstellar overdrive.
Just minutes before i could enter the concert arena, I could'nt help myself wondering if its going to be good show. For one, i was not a big fan classical/hindhustani music nor had i heard much of Jethro Tull. It was obvious that it was too late thinking about it as we have already purchased the tickets. I was the one to pull in more company for the concert so all more reason for me to be worried about the quality of the music that will be played. So it was Me, Uttaran, Ozzy, Arun and Prerna, with 3 of them having little or no prior concert experience. I have heard few Jethro Tull numbers and i liked them, but not much of Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the Pandit Ravi Shankar. The first thing we had in mind as soon as we entered the arena was to gobble up some unhealthy food and thats exactly what we did. The concert started at around 7:15 PM and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull introduced Anoushka and her band. She started off with Raag Jog in Aaditaalam. The splendid sound of sitar and tabala gelled well with the cold weather to give a promising start. She mellowed down with Raag Panchamsigara her dad's composition which was not so much to my liking but it was great anyway. She went on to play another song which iam not sure what it was. But it was overall a superb performance. This has convinced me to try out Anoushka's works. After the first set, we were eagerly waiting for Tull to take stage. The second set was purely JT, and they started off with Living In The Past.
I initially found Ian's voice a bit shaky but it improved a lot as the song proceeded. Although not my favorite Tull song it was enjoyable. The next track was Mercy, brilliant track, the guitar solos were very good and above all Ian rocked! Tull kicked in with a more familiar song Too Old To Rock n Roll and dedicated it to Sir Mick Jagger as we all know as the one the oldest rock stars to survive the new millennium. The frequency at which Ian was changing instruments in Heavy Horses, goes to show how talented he is as a musician. At this point Junglee was busy jumping here and there to avoid the pot smoking idiots. Just for the record there were many. Uttaran and me were particularly interested in 2 girls in front of us who were high. We wanted to try our luck if you know what i mean. After one and half hour into the concert the moment i was personally waiting for arrived. The opening notes of Thick As A Brick brought in the nostalgic feeling. That feeling only a few individuals can cherish. I personally love that song, especially the lyrics. I would pay any amount to watch JT perform that song again. Then came the magnum opus of JT, Aqualung brilliant as usual. That marked the end of set 2. The last set would be some fusion between JT and Anoushka. I was not sure how this would workout as i never been to this kind of fusion concert. It turned out to be one of the best concerts i attended to. The third said was beyond brilliance. They have done a superb job in mixing two unique sounds together. The set started of with a new composition just for this tour called Tea With Anoushka, which was lovely blend of guitar and sitar. It was slow to start but picked up momentum getting the crowd to sway. Celtic Cradle the next song that Ian introduced to crowd was simply mind blowing. True to his words it was indeed Irish music with sitar and flute as the main instruments. The music was very different and it had a lounge music feel. I guess all of us throughly enjoyed it. Moving on, Ian wanted to play Mother Goose for the crowd. He brought in Anoushka's band members to have a tabla, flute and sitar jamming with guitar, drums and keyboard. Uttaran was bit skeptical as it was well known Jethro Tull number and might spoil the whole sound with sitar. Again they have outdone themselves it gelled very well and the outcome was enthralling piece of music. Ian and Ravi Chandra Kullur (Anoushka's flautist) had a jamming session where they both tried to raise the bar higher and higher. Ian jammed with Anoushka and then there was a tabala and drums jamming.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Locomotive Breath. The show ended on a high note. I mean that "literally", as lots of people were stoned. After an hour wait to get out we finally and drove back kicking into the interstellar overdrive.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Posted by varun at 12:33 AM
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This is the amount of breakfast cereals we (2 of us) consume in 22 days. We stock it up at the start of the month! Is this normal? I begin to wonder if this type of diet is actually going to help us in the long run. We have already said no to puri, dosa, vada, pongal some of the main south indian dishes, so what is left is the western style food, cereals. what do you folks think?
Posted by varun at 10:43 PM
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Its kind of hard to believe that my cousin sister is married. I just wanted to write something about this special event in my family. I remember the rants we had about marriage and what we want and we dont want. Somehow it was me and her who were the shameless rebels of our family. We always wanted to breakaway from tradition in any possible ways. Thus came the discussion on how many guest we will invite? and what we will do? what we wont do? , the list goes on and on. One thing for sure was the fact that our saying will have no impact as far as parents were concerned. I remember the days when she was really fussy , fighting with her father for every little things he wanted her to do. Some instances include her refusal to look at any horoscopes sent to her, not willing to talk to suitable bridegrooms chosen by her father and so on. She entered her second phase where she suddenly changed from brashness to shyness and spent all her time including office hours over the phone talking to Raja. She let go her stand on how the wedding is to be conducted and let her father take care of it. She soon became the scrape goat for all of us and boy! we loved it. Everyone of us used to tease her but she always took it in good spirit. I was over the moon on day of her wedding. Everything was going as per plan and i was playing the bakara part in the wedding. It never occurred to me that this would be last time i would be seeing her before she takes off to US. It was all of sudden realization that a person you have known all your life is moving on and chances of seeing her whenever i like are very less. I guess iam not the only one with mixed emotions. Iam very good at hiding my emotions so on the day of wedding i goofed around and made fun of both the bride and groom. When i got time for myself after the wedding i was really sad. I guess, it must be same for everyone close to her. Even if i make it to the US in future there is very less chance of sharing the same level of bonding as before. Things will be never be the same. I understand that we have now grown up and ready to take serious responsibilities of life. Its just so hard for rest to understand and be mature. She had moved on, she has a family of her own and i would soon have mine. I will cherish the best moments we had together for rest of my life. From this moment its a new beginning for them and iam happy for them. If you guys are reading this, i wish you all the very best for your future.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Skandagiri is 73km from Bangalore. Located at an altitude of 1750 mts, its a beautiful location for moderate trekking. This is essentially a night trek, but we decided to trek in the morning as girls were accompanying us. The trekking day started off with me searching for ATM at 4:30 AM. I then picked up Manish and Uttaran. Arun and Kiran were right on time. So the only people who were late at the start point(EGL) were Ozzy and Prerna.There can never be a trek without at least one person getting late. We never thought getting out of the city would be a problem, but it turns out Uttaran (Our Navigator) has not done his "classwork". We were roaming around the city to find the exit to Bellary road. Finally, we were out and cruising along the highway. Reached Chikbalapur at 7:30 AM, and soon found our way to basecamp of Skandagiri. We parked our cars at basecamp, and found a guide for the trek. Although a guide is not needed for the morning trek, we decided to hire him nonetheless. We started the climb around 8:00AM, and it took us 3 hours to reach the top. We had few first timers with us, so we had to stop at regular intervals for them. Irrespective of the stops we made it to the top in good time. On the way we saw all the 6 circular fort walls as stated in the wiki .
We reached the basecamp by 2:30 PM. It was blistering hot. On our way to Bangalore we decided to stop at a road side Dhaba for lunch. We found one soon after a sudden downpour. It was rather strange to see the weather change so suddenly. Nonetheless, it was awesome driving in the rain and with our CJ (car jockey) Arun playing superb rock number i had no complain.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
This is all in all uttaran's idea. Initially i was hesitant about Skandagiri as i was planning the same trek with another group. I realized that might not happen as my other group is full of ditcher's. This is the chance to make it there. We made all our plans, we will start at 5:00 am from egl and hope to return back by 7:00pm. In our usual long tea breaks we decided what stuff to be carried. We are 6 of us taking 2 cars. Me and Ozzy are the car drivers. Arun might bring another person along, not decided yet. These folks want me to cook at the peak!! Iam not sure if thats gonna happen.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
This really not a post, but just to test the new template. I might not del this post after all.
Wanna know more ?
This is supposed to be hidden, lets see if this works, or else ill be back to square 1. Btw, iam done with getting a new license plate attached to the car, iam happy now.Done it!!! now my read more... works on IE and FF
Monday, August 25, 2008
Just few days to go for my cousin's wedding, iam a nervous wreck. First, i will be asked to wear dothi which i have never worn all my life. I feel very insecure with the traditional outfit. Just when iam getting accustomed to what i have to go through, there come another shocker. The Bridegroom is supposed to put a ring on my fingers!!! Isint is what people do in gay marriages?? I hoping none of the bridegroom's friends from US will attend the wedding.
Yesterday, i managed to break the license number plate of my car. I admit it was my fault that i did not notice the bike parked behind my car. I could not see from my rare view mirror as the bike was parked using the side stand. It was totally not visible in the mirror causing the accident. Whom should i blame? Me/Guy Who parked the bike/The car manufactures ?. I know it has to be me, but i think the car manufactures must start having this beeping sensors in the rare, to identify any objects not seen through the mirror.
Phani's wedding was something i was looking forward to. The wedding was to take place at Vizag and the reception at Kakinada. I planned on attending only the reception. The main attractions apart from the wedding was food. This town is supposed to be famous for crabs and peserets (dosa). I reached on 23rd morning and headed to the hotel. I met couple of my college friends who had also come for the reception. Knowing that the reception is only in the evening we decided to take a cab and head to Rajamundri. We wanted to spend sometime at the banks of river Godhavari. The moment we stepped outside the room, we felt the heat and we rushed back to the room. The rest of the day was spent watching movies on my laptop. The food at the reception was extraordinary. So after a heavy dinner we decided to take a cab to Yanam. Yanam is a union territory, about 24 km from Kakinada. Booze is supposed to damn cheap at Yanam, so we made sure we go there that very night. Little did we know that Yanam was a very small town and a decent accommodation was not possible. Besides it was already 10:30 pm and we were not in a position to search for a good motels. We settled down in a small stinking room with A/C. The toilets were so dirty that we decided to skip the morning downloads :-). We spent rest of the night boozing and talking about politics. On sunday morning we went around Yanam only to find a river bank. After few hours, we could no longer tolerate the heat.
We boarded a bus back to Kakinada. We reached Kakinada around lunch time, so we walked around to find some hotel that serves Andhra meals. But it was so hot that we abandoned the search and settled for an A/C restaurant. It was time to say good bye to Kakinada, but the heat had other plans. It was not a very comfortable train journey from Kakinada to Bangalore. To make things worse there was a kid near me who was playing "spiderman" by hanging on the chains and jumping from one seat to another. It was a tiring journey but food was something i will remember for a long time.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
After the trek, it was time to relax. Nothing befitting than watch some good movies. Thats my idea of relaxation in city.I had 3 movies lined up for viewing. The first one was "The Dark Night", "Children Of Heaven" and "The Color Of Paradise". Dark Night is the latest batman flick which everyone is talking about. The "excellent" casting of Heath Ledger as joker is often raved about. I have seen it on dvd before and was not all that impressed about it. But after lot of people recommending me to go to the theaters, i decided to give it a shot. Surely it was not as bad as i thought. It was very good entertainer and worth a watch. I guess its the best batman movie so far. This blog entry is not to talk about this movie, rather about two Iranian cinemas i have seen on the same day. I was a bit skeptical of Iranian movies as i thought it would be about some religious nut cases trying to make a point. But it turns out to be way more than that. It makes Hollywood/Bollywood movies look dumb. I guess they are dumb when compared to this.
Children Of Heaven: (Majid Majidi)
This is a simple story of brother and sister living in poverty. The boy (brother) looses his sisters shoes at the market. Afraid to let their parents know of the loss, they begin sharing the one pair of shoes. The little girl wears it to school in the morning and the boy takes it from her in the afternoon. The story moves on with lovely incidences that bring you delight and awe. The movie's got some amazing moments to cherish. The pair is so natural with those furrowed faces, anxious knitted brows, range of sad faces they come up with make it worthy numerous viewing. My top three moments in the movie has to be , the scene where both the children sit in front of their parents and exchange glances and talk to each other in writing so as to avoid their parents overhearing the loss of the shoe. The scene where both the children follow the little girl who is using the "lost" pair of shoes, only to realize that they live in much more poverty than them. Finally, the climax, its a poetic finish to the story. Its a must watch for all people who love good movies. Frankly, Dark night stands no chance in front of this movie. No special effects, no big actors, no hi-funda concept, just purely human and lovable.
The Color Of Paradise: (Majid Majidi)
Another masterpiece from the same director. This also an Iranian film. The story is about a boy, who is rejected by his father because he is blind. The story goes on to show what feelings a person goes through when not liked by people he loves. The movie also shows the angle where the father feels that a blind son can never lift him off his poor economic status, hence only a burden. The boy is taken to his village to meet his grandma and his sisters and realizes that he would want to stay with them and study in their school rather than a blind school. The movies rolls out in slow pace with beautiful cinematography, breath taking scenery. I have never cried for any movie before until i saw this. It was truly touching when the father realizes his mistake and tries desperately to save his dying son. Its sure to make you cry. This is a movie with such strong message, human value,love and caring.
I know theses movies are of different genre and not the same as action flick. But still it make me wonder why cant people take movies like this with good social message. Hats of to Majid Majidi for bring us such great cinema.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
After week long anticipation of the trek at kodachadri (near shimoga) that was planned 1 month in advance, the air was filled with disappointment. We learnt that shimoga was flooded due to heavy rains and trek was not possible. The long awaited trek had come to an end even before it started. We had 3 days to kill and no plan in place. Sensing this few of my friends decided to head home rather than wasting their time in bangalore doing nothing. We were down to just 4. We decided to drive down to nandhi hills near bangalore. We knew it was not a trekking spot, but at least it took us out of the city. Nandhi hills trip proved to be a good time pass, but there were far too many tourist to actually have fun. In matter of 15 mins we decided that we shall trek Muthati the next day. Raja and Joe were the people who worked out the logistics for the trek. I took the responsibility of driving and kicha, hmm sleeping. We started from bangalore at 6:30 AM on Saturday. We had enough food and water, as there would be nothing available there. We left the city via kanakapura road. The roads were very good, so we cruised at around 80kmph.
It was decided that we shall have our breakfast at some restaurant in kanakapura. We reached there around 7:45 AM. We found it difficult to get a decent place to eat. Even though there were small hotels on the way, we could not park our car. Finally we found one small hotel for breakfast with a good car park. By 8:10 AM we were on our way to a small village called Sathnur. The road at this stretch was bad and narrow so we decided to slow down. Once we reached Sathnur which was around 16km from Kanakapura, we took a deviation to head towards Muthati which is around 18km. The roads were narrow so we had to be careful. We were a bit surprised that most of the journey from Sathnur to Muthati was downhill.
River Cauvery At Its Best
The next destination was Kallibetta, and way to reach it was a slippery rocks, untamed thorny bushes and tall grass. We had difficult time walking through these obstacles. Our guide was very helpful in clearing the way for us. He even offered to carry one of our backpacks as kicha was struggling. The most difficult stage of the trek was to jump to the other side of a huge inclined rock with a cactus plant exposing all its thorns at us. Our guide did it with ease. I was a bit nervous and i approached with great caution. Our only grip was the rock and nothing else to hold on to. In the end it was successful manoeuvre and all of us got to the other side safely. I managed to get a thorn embedded in my palm.
Me relaxing after the thorn incident
A Funny Notice
Pretty Tired Kicha :-)
Our guide promised us that route to base camp was very easy. It was easy and we managed to reach the road to base camp. We had to walk 6km on road to reach the destination. We were thirsty and tired. We walked as fast as we can to reach the camp. On the way we saw police patrol question the lorry filling up sand. We were not sure if it was illegal. We were also stopped by forest dept officials and inquired about our whereabouts. Our guide spoke to the officials and they let us go. We finally reached the base camp at 3:10 PM.
There was a concern if i could drive back immediately after this tough trek. I decided to drive down without a break just to get away from a some IT folks who have gathered in the base camp for some team building activity. The drive back was tougher than i though due to exhaustion, but good old classic rock n roll kept me going with me singing "Highway to hell".
Total Distance Of The trek : 20km
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Day 1 : The "blooper boy" (nick named after his Sar-pass trek) arrived on sunday morning. We went on a drive and we had our lunch at MTR. Wasted rest of the day.
Day 2 : The Day started with us rushing off to the Railway reservation center to book Chirag's return ticket. This was a no work week for me, so i spent time reading and writing blogs, some technical articles. We had dinner at Suswadh and drozed off.
Day 3 : We were in office by 7:30 am. As Chirag guessed my meeting got cancelled and we were in early for nothing. Chirag was brimming with ideas today and wanted to patent it. He discussed with me and Uttaran. I did what i always do, find fault in the idea. Eventually we are agreed that idea was good and patentable. Another incident made the day worthy a mention. Ankita blurted out her intentions of leaving IBM if she is faced with such a "situation". This was a shocker for us, as we never thought she would leave IBM. We always pictured her as one of IBM grannies :-). No other useful work for me this week, so i decided to investigate this further. On careful analysis of various statements she made during the day we came to the conclusion that she would leave IBM when she gets married. I think i need to file a patent for my investigation procedure, co-author Chirag. Although she found our analysis stupid and funny we are not done yet ;-). I will write a seperate blog for her.
Day 4 : Midweek, nothing dramatic happened, just the usual. More discussion on patent. Wait a sec...this stupid guy (Chirag) blabbered some of my secrets to my roommates. Iam going to get him for that someday. I had to go to BEL to investigate on a e1000 driver issue. I was off for the day and Chirag had to go to office on his own. I was surprised that Alphine had convinced Chirag that the former is smart and intelligent. Only we know the real truth. The e1000 issue turned out to be very interesting bug which i will blog on "Linux Hacks". Uttaran had come home with Chirag and we went out for dinner. I was able to resist the "ice cream" temptation even after numerous pleas from these guys to hit the parlor after dinner.
Day 5 : Chirag declared that he would be spending the full day writing the draft for the patent. After few minor hiccups he managed a decent writeup. Chirag decided to visit his cousin's place in the evening and stayed back for the night. Ankita was very upset with lack of proper planning for the Team outing. Finally Suresh was able to pull everthing together.
Day 6: Team outing day!! LTC finally has some fund for team outing. We went to Club Cabana. We were around 80 of us and it was great fun. Played cricket in the morning and went bowling. Some of us decided to hit the bar for some drinks. Initially Ankita decided to join us but opted out due to strong liquor smell in the bar (Health Pub). We had a quick breezer and joined others for lunch .Lazy afternoon was spent playing table tennis and fooseball. Chirag and Ozzy decided to stay out of water. Uttaran, Ego and Me hit the wavepool and relaxed. We decided to go to Purple Haze (Pub) in the evening. Ego ditched us, but cheezo, me and ozzy decided to go ahead with it. Some incidents in the pub reminded us that we are still not in college. More on that later. We were desperate to find people of our wavelenght, so on our way back home we barged into "Moocha" the coffee shop (I think that was name of the shop) . I wouldnt say we found what we were looking for, but we got rid of the headache with nice chillers (treat for the throat and eyes).
Day 7: We got up late and i started watching Seinfield. Cheezo kept reminding me that i had gone to the gym only once this week. I should have hit the gym after an unhealthy "last-night" bash. Lunch time! We decided to have some biriyani and Chirag headed to the station to catch the train back to pune.
Thats it!! It was an eventful week, hoping to have some more of such weeks.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Today being my birthday, I realized that i have turned 25. Thats a quarter century. I suddenly realized iam OLD. I guess its time to reflect back on my life gone by. It had been one crazy journey, had fun most of the time. As far as i can remember i had always been rebellious, sometime it was good thing to do and sometimes bad, but i had learned to follow my heart very late in my life. I always believed in somebody else's words and never lived my life. Things did change for the better when i started taking control of my life. Iam happy that i have come a long way (positive) but also angry with myself to have lost out on many opportunity. Whether i have become a better person or not is for others to decide. There are 3 things i would like to share :
1. Family : I have most amazing family, I say this from my bottom of my heart. My grandfather, the man i
admire the most. A very intelligent man with lots of moral values. Man of dignity and pride. Iam not here to write an essay so ill cut it short. Two things i love the most is his unwillingness
to giveup on any work he takes up. I wish i had more of that quality. The second thing is he has
a mind of his own. Iam still puzzled how he was able to break away from this superstitious
belief shackle. Most people around me believe blindly on what "elders" say. He is different
he always questions what was told to him and took in what he believed is right. I think thats
a great attitude. I will proudly say i have some of that in me. My grandmother and my mother both alike, kind, helpful and very supportive. My father, i miss him the most as he has always been away from the family due to his work. He is a great guy, very loving and supportive. And my sister and cousins, well, crazy bunch of kids always pestering me for something or the
other. Great kids though.
2. Friends: I have had and still have a amazing bunch of pals. They have been with me through all my ups
and downs. We share a lot in common. I believe , key to friendship is to share the same
wavelength. I love to meet new people and make friends. My initial shyness to talk freely with
strangers held me up most of my life. I think i have changed for the better, time will tell. I think
i will stop it here. If any of my crazy friends read this they will be laughing their ass off.
3. Myself : I wanted to write this to reflect my 25 years but ended up writing some boring essay. Did i
analyze my life? Yes i did, and i have achieved a lot of things but lost out on some. So ill end
this with a apt song of my feelings.
"Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death"
If you never heard of this then you have wasted your life.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
I would have never thought i will be writing a blog on the band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). I first song i heard of this band was on a soundtrack of "Remember The Titans". The song "Around the bend" was very catchy and feel good number. As time passed i got really addicted to this song. I decided to try out their album, so i chose the Greatest Hits album. The first track of the album was "Proud mary", which was so good that i instantly liked it. As the album began to roll on i started to enjoy every bit of it. I could not believe that i missed such an impressive band. It is strange that this band never made a major impact with selling records as one would have expected. They seem to have this slow and feel good touch to the music unlike most rock bands around. Most of the songs had great lyrics, and good guitar work. Its a good replacement to Simon and Garfunkel. For all those folks out there who have not heard CCR, i suggest you hear them as they are very very good. So go on and grab a CCR album and enjoy.