Thursday, January 27, 2005

Concert at Karikan

I'm sitting on a rock on a mountain slope. Down the slope there is a ledge which is now serving as a make-shift stage. If I look straight ahead I see lots of smaller mountains all covered with dense vegetation. Beyond these mountains is the sea. When I face the stage, I'm looking west, so the sun is setting right behind it. As the evening progresses, the full moon comes out onto a clear sky and spills a silvery glow down below. Great music plays on, till early morning when the moon has made it's way to the place over the sea where the sun had set the previous evening. Find me a better theatre!!!!!

It was a hindustani music concert. All night the voices, the sitars, the shehnayees, the mandolins and the veenas enthralled. The hippies, making up almost a third of the crowd, were there to lend a little glamour to the show. Some of them even performed on stage. Most of them looked ridiculous in the indian clothes. The vocals got a little monotonous at times, and that's when I stole little naps, but most of the music played was just unbelievable, and together with the dramatic landscapes, the overbearing presence of the mountains and the sea, and the sun and moon providing the effects; the mix was wickedly heady. So many times, it felt like a dream.

Check out some photos here

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Ithi Ninna Amrita

A keenly awaited play was performed at the Rangashankara on 18th, 'Ithi Ninna Amrita'. It starred Arundathi Nag and Sreenivas Prabhu, two relatively renowned actors on the Kannada theatre scene. It started off with the two characters reading letters that they wrote each other through the years, in chronological order. After a couple of letters the novelty of the play's format wore off and it became apparent that the whole play was going to be just reading of more letters, and we were left wondering what the hell was happening. At first the Emperor's-New-Clothes syndrome forced me to look for profundity where, I realised later, none existed. And then I just gave up trying to sustain my interest. I became preoccupied with watching the stack of letters that were still to be read and trying to guess how much longer the ordeal would last.

You'd think that this would be an easy play to act in. I mean, how tough would READING be anyway. Arundathi Nag managed to ham-act in this role too!! Her Kannada was just plain pathetic. She slurred, she mispronounced, she paused in all the wrong places. Towards the end, she hardly got a sentence right. She was nearly as irritating as a mobile phone that rings in the middle of a play! I'm convinced that in the right hands, a parrot would have done better. Just because she owns that theatre doesn't mean she can mete out such torture. Sreenivas Prabhu on the other hand was the redeeming influence. Kannada sounds so sweet when he speaks that I was inspired to start reading a Kannada novel after a long time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Ani's next

Ani has fallen prey ! He is in love and he showed all the classical symptoms. He called me up yesterday and shared with me the developments that have happened over the last few weeks. He chose the understated style that most guys would feel compelled to adopt when talking about such matters to another guy, but it was easy to discern the enthusiasm and excitement in his tone. I discovered how easy it is to participate in his happiness.The only downside I could see is that we stand to lose Ani to Hyderabad for good now. Congratulations and all the best my man, Ani!

Things seemed to have worked out perfectly for Ani. He avoids the uncomfortable frictions at home because the girl is from the same caste. And since this has happened when he has already decided that its time for him to get married, the commitment will take place while the inebriating influence of the hormones is still strong. He will have taken the plunge before he realises that choosing your mate is not an expression of independence, but the tightening of your leash.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


In this space stood a posting about my thoughts on the Tsunami. The posting was pilloried by a very unlikely critic. In hind sight my critic was right, it was badly out of taste. The closing statement came in for particularly harsh ridicule and I must admit that it deserved it. It was corny and melodramatic ; like a 'dialogue' designed to be delivered by Jayapradha in a low budget Jeetendra-starrer, just before she breathes her last amid the noises of wailing shehanayees and violins.

Moral of the story : Never document those fleeting moments of soppiness in a public blog. You'll be embarassed.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I say let's evolve

Tyler Durden ! My favourite pop-philosopher in recent memory. Some choice quotes below.

You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.

We're consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don't concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.Fuck off with the sofa units and Strinne green stripes patterns. I say never be complete. I say stop being perfect. I say let's evolve. Let's the chips fall where they may. The things you own end up owing you.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

2005. Welcome!

New year's eve! I hate the pressure of a milestone. And I hate the pressure of beginning with a clean slate.

We welcomed the new year at Sapna bar in Yeshwantpur, over cold rum and warm beer, and shayari by Nadeem, the special guest for the day. After that we drove to a party thrown by one of the hyperactive girls that Jax met at orkut. There was no entry criteria but if you smoked like a chimney and drank like a piece of parched land then you could blend in more easily. I felt out of place just 10 minutes into the party. I slithered out.

On the evening of the first of January I met Jax and Alak. We made our resolutions. Jax and Alak vowed to reduce their weights to 70 and 55 respectively. I took up a more serious resolution. I aimed to make atleast 3 new friends by the end of this year. The kind of friends you don't need to call up before visiting.

The other two main highlights of my resolution list are
2. To learn a new instrument (probably the harmonica)
3. To learn a new language (perennial entry in my resolution list!)

The Skinny Alley concert that we attended inspired me further about taking up my second resolution with greater ardour. The way musicians smile at each other during a live show is for me the biggest motivation to learn an instrument. The smile has so much mysterious contentment. An understanding of senses that we mortals can't seemingly comprehend. I don't want to be deprived of that kick any longer.