Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bhagat Singh- The Man who made the Deaf Hear!

On this very day (28th sept) nearly 104 yrs ago a most remarkable person came into being. Bhagat singh truly noblest of freedom fighters there is. He read too much for his age from marx,lenin,the gita to urdu poetry, was an atheist & possibly commited the most sacrilegeous of acts a sikh can do by shaving of his beard and cutting his hair for the sake of the revolutionary movement. Singh thoroughly deplored of “Gandhian pacifist Ideology” according to him it would all “
replace one set of exploiters with another
“ a very visionary statement indeed. We have been all too soft on every tom dick and harry utterly giving a whole different dimension to the famous sanskrit adage 'vasudhaiva kudumbakam' ,the Indian subservile mentality which has bowed down to every imperialist there is starting from the turks,arabs to the british has been successfully carried forward by the man termed 'Mahatma'. I for one only admire Gandhi like Hitler just for his charisma as a leader and his persona & conviction to convince more than 500 million people and make them dance to his utterly erroneous philosophies the core of which is called “Ahimsa”

Ahimsa-The misplaced notion
Ahimsa or non-violence supposedly originates from Hindu ideologies. But in Hinduism upon careful scrutiny Ahimsa only means non-violence to animals, other beings and importantly one's self thats right! Self Defense was completely allowed in hinduism and we see from mythology that war in terms of need and violence to restore order or in self defense was a Dharma. Abhimanyu who slained hundreds of soldeirs in the 'Chakra-vyug' was a martyr , Arjuna who was reluctant to wage battle against his brothers was reminded of his duty to restore order by Krishna,Krishna,rama waged battles against hordes of demons who came to destroy their cities.

There is just no reference just no reference which says Ahimsa needs to be practiced when one's family is enslaved or killed, when people(friends,neighbours) are plundered, women raped and children massacred,and draconion laws are imposed.This is precisely the connotation of Ahimsa given to us by Gandhi. He distorted the very Hindu essence of ahimsa into “Impotence”.Take this quote about Kurukshetra battlefield by Gandhi-
an allegory in which the battlefield is the soul and Arjuna, man's higher impulses struggling against evil
He misled hordes of his countrymen and proceeded to sacrifice thousands and thousands as pigs for slaughter to the british. Bhagat did not tolerate all of this he knew this whole notion of non-violence was a huge mistake and aptly took revenge when a veteran congress leader Lala Lajpat rai was brutally beaten to death in front of him . Bhagat wanted killing for justice,honor and self defense like any true Kshatriya warrior of ancient Hindu time.When he famously threw a bomb into the legislative assembly in 1929 it was to make “the deaf hear” in other words a desperate attempt to bring back all of the misled indians. Some heard it indeed and those that heard were the later revolutionaries who would join the INA of Netaji Bose as one organisation.Thats Why its safe to say Bhagat was the "foundation" of it all.

OK?!So who got us the freedom then?
It was certainly not Gandhi, the british did not fear the Indian National Congress it was too soft a body for them. British could still live with all the non-co-operation, hunger strikes, boycotts without any alarming damage but they feared the rising force of the INA which though was a relatively insignificant force under Bose had instilled deep fears in the mind of the British by its patriotic exploits in WWII in south east asia against the raj. According to Clement Attlee, the British Prime Minister, reflecting on the factors that guided the British decision to relinquish the Raj in India, is said to have cited the effects of the INA and Nethaji's activities on the British Indian Army and the Bombay Mutiny as being the most important. The INA was gaining widespread support among the British Indian Armymen and the british fearing a catastrophical mutiny cum backlash withdrew from the Raj. Only our History books give Gandhi and his entourage complete & undue credit forgetting the Real hero Subhash chandra bose.
Read Climax of Independence movement-INA
If you ask any person alive from the independence era in Malaysia, Burma or any part of malay peninsula they still believe that Bose single handedly got India her freedom! Where the facts swallowed up by the Congress & Muslim league for Political benefits? Congress which has an inherent “Soft core” ingrained from its 'false ahimsa' times has gone onto create and nurture pakistan,terrorism & corruption,bureaucracy in the name of governance.

Hunger strikes and Hazare:

Hunger strikes have become publicity grabbing stunts. Bhagat singh fasted for as much as 100 days in prison demanding decent amenities for Indian political prisoners on par with european prisoners breaking all the hunger strikes record then.In this age of democracy(supposedly) its highly impractical to fight corruption in RDB or "Indian" Kamal styles and I have no qualms about peaceful protests or hunger strikes taking its place. But the media's projection that Anna Hazare's culmination of fast as victory for India against corruption is worrying. This should be seen in the perspective of what it actually is, agreed the awareness the fast has generated against corruption is tremendous. It is still a long long way off from the Hoo haa the media is doing merely for its TRP ( am sure they ll move away into other things soon). There is serious misgivings on whether the Lokpal bill will first get implemented as strong as it is warranted and that will be the first step in a long arduous battle and India must focus on getting this done.

I prefer Sept 28 to Oct 2 and a trip to n Museum Khatkar kalia
is high on my agenda and not Porbandar nor Raj ghat.

I Leave on this note

Legend of Bhagat singh

Friday, January 28, 2011

Of History and Histrionics!

The title is my original attempt at mimicking Black adder season 3 nomenclatures (Sense and sensibility, Bride and prejudice etc) Cool eh? eh? But seriously the last coupla months have taken me several hundreds of years into the past providing starkling info i scarcely knew. The cholas trace their lineage back to shibi chakravarthy (the king who offered himself for the pigeon) who is called shembiyan(tamil), Its astonishing to see that Shibi is referenced broadly in the Mahabharatha and even in some parts of the Ramayana[POS,Wiki] .The Mahabharatha even has lot of mentions of Pandyas and cheras who along with the cholas fought for the pandavas. A pandya king was killed by Ashvathama[Wiki-Pandya kingdom]. The cholas(ironically means new kingdom) and Pandyas (old kingdom)have a very very long bloodline from Mahabharata time(dated several thousand bcs [SOI]) going till 13th-15th centuries!!!

We have just under 1-2 pages devoted to them in our history books. They are unfairly compared with their later counterparts like Chalukyas, Rashtrakuthas,Hoysalas and Vijayanagar kingdoms who hardly have a few hundred years of co-existence. One can easily proclaim that the cholas and pandyas are the longest running dynasties in the history of india(maybe world) alas a pity they have little sources devoted to talk about their history than the other great(in size yet shorter spanning) empires like Mauryas and Mughals. Here's a map of the Ashoka kingdom around 300 BC. Notice the only place left unconquered? Yes that’s right the unconquered zones by this Saamrat were the then ‘Tamizhakam’. he was on friendly terms with kingdoms in the South like Cholas, Pandya, Keralputra [Wiki] .The cholas were the first truly international conquerors from India it is in part thanks to their deed now Tamil is an official language in as far countries like Singapore,malaysia and the distinct south indian style seen in the world’s largest uninhabitated temple at Angkor wat is testament to that while Bali (Indonesia) is still miraculously a hindu state not to mention plenty of Hinduism seen in Thai,Myanmar culture as well (However it is to be noted that the cholas were not the pioneers of Hinduism in the southeast , its been there before Rajaraja I).

The romans knew about the pandyas and were trading with them from about 550BC [SOI, Wiki]. One is felt compelled to completely agree in the wake of all these evidences and more when Micheal Wood says Tamil is the last living classical language and Tamilnadu (Tamizhakam)the last surviving Classical Civilisation.

I got some ideas about the other debatable and often controversial topic of Aryans and Dravidians. The not so conclusive yet methodical,scientific and archeleogical uncovering at Turkmenistan shows of a possible Aryan invasion into India via Hindukush and the compelling evidences of the Ratha(chariots), vedic incantation sites buried and Soma drink (Available only in present day Afghanistan) from [SOI]presents a good theory .Woods goes on to show a DNA match in villages South of Madurai with the earliest African homosapiens which he believes is a sign of Nativity (Dravidians)[SOI I]. However though all this is somewhat in line with the DK, DMK’s ‘Dravidian’ existence, the evidence that lot of philosophies unique to Hinduism being found in several Thirukkurals and even in Puranaanooru’s sangam Literature is a contradiction [Thuglak,EB]. “யாதும் ஊரே, யாவரும் கேளிர்” is a classical case of misintepretation of the Hindu rebirth concept which led to the verse making its way into the 'World tamil classical song' penned by our very own CM. Right from Sangam literature to the time of Nayanmaars,Alwars and to Rajaraja chola's helm, Hinduism has been the integral driving force for tamil literature enriching the language and it will be utterly foolish to deny this obvious fact[Thuglak,EB].Now as opposed to the fanatical stance of the DMK against the influence of Sanskrit or “Vada mozhi” into the tamil proper vocabulary. The cholas and Pandya kings thought it was imperative to learn both the classical languages (Tamil and Sanskrit) and the “Grantha tamil script” enjoyed tremendous respect.However it really remains a great puzzle as to how “Classical” or pure tamil remains the only language without an iota of Sanskrit in it?!!!! The evolution of tamil needs to be better understood probably it will shed light on the Dravidian-Aryan theory.

I always thought “Aayiralthil oruvan” was a bad tribute to the timeless novel that [POS]is even as am writing this I have only read less than 50% of the epic but am convinced it has enough storyline to merit atleast a trilogy of the scale of LOTR to do some justice. I am just hopeful that Mani Ratnam’s ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ will be an effort to remember.


[SOI]- Story of India, BBC documentary by Micheal Woods.
[POS]-Ponniyin Selvan, Kalki Krishnamurthy
[EB]-Enge brahmanan, Jaya TV by Cho ramaswamy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

EPL- Roshomon Effect!

With eight games to go (9 in Chelsea’s case) and this being the closest league finish in many many years. It presents endless opportunities for the dreamer in me to fantasize – A la Roshomon .

Presenting two of such tales with four crucial fixtures(chapters) taken as the crux.

Dated:10th may 2010.

Wenger’s Cut:

Chapter 1:The stalemate at Trafford:(Man Utd vs Chelsea)

In What was a crucial encounter with much at stake, neither side managed to record any significant gains with the match ending 1-1.

The first goal was so typical of UTD this season

a)Valencia taps past and crosses from the right.

b)Cech and terry vie for ball yelling “mine” “mine” not realizing the approaching rooney who says “mine” and promptly slots past em into the net.

The all important late equalizer did arrive from Drogba, who otherwise was totally offcolour throughout nay absent. Yeah he did hit the post a coupla times but I fail to see how it counts at all!

Chapter 2: Same old story again(Man Utd vs Liverpool)

Vidic after being "Torrer"ised for most of the first half suffers a nervous breakdown and decides its good for his health if he gets sent off and so picks up a routine red card from the ref. El nino unsurprisingly scores. And even less surprisingly- continuing in the footsteps of such illustrious predecessors like Ngog , Dossena -kyrgiakos(AKA the greek dude) scores off a volley!

Chapter 3: This is 'Mancini Time'(Mancity vs Man Utd):

In a match that was a marred by an atrocious tackle on Adebayor by that Anti-footballer (Though I dint see it clearly –Adebayor was stretchered off fearing worst) 10 men UTD try their might to keep off city until they enter the unfamiliar zone of “Mancini time” , where hold on... off all ppl Tevez does the “owen” deep into the injury time(reckon bout 6mins) and celebrates by unveiling a tee underneath that reads “Bienvenido a Manchester” with obvious translation.

Chapter 4: Revenge is sweet especially when it comes with a leg break:(Arsenal vs Man City)

Adebayor who by now cleared to play the next week against Arsenal though still in pain(as the knock was no more than a bruise) , found it hard to shrug of old habits with the sight of a returning RVP proving irresistible. He grossly mistimed a malicious two footed kungfu lunge on the now very wary RVP(who has finally learnt to dodge) leading to a dreaded fall and leg break(Aaron like) He was stretchered off (This time very very serious) however rather ignominously with a red card for the challenge to his name! RVP now completes a fine victory to record a comeback, poetic justice as one may say.

As you might have concluded the win gives us a title after 5 long yrs vindicating my belief in this side’s character, Qualiteeee, mental strength and drive. Yeah!This one’s for Aaron and all the believing fans.

Dated:10th may 2010

SAF cut:

Chapter 1:The facile win at Trafford:(Man Utd vs Chelsea)

We needed a scheme to Batter the blues that’s right batter em. So we got this plan-simple and effective with a rehersal done at Carrington.

It unfurled perfectly-Rooney had to whisper “Vanessa” twice on JT’s ears timing it with Valencia’s crosses to ‘nick ‘two facile goals .Game over.

Chapter 2: off their CL perch:(Man Utd vs Liverpool)

Of course besides leading UTD to a double its no secret that my next coveted objective was to see Liverpool off their CL perch and we had a terrific opportunity to achieve that.

Who better to nail the coffin than Gary “Nemesis” Neville. The lad laid an absolute divine cross(divine retribution )beckamesque perhaps for our costliest bulgarian to get a goal off head something which he has failed to do with regularity this season.

Chapter 3: Mercenaries vs Master class:(Mancity vs Man Utd)

The match proved a valuable lesson to differentiate what money can and cannot buy. Fittingly it was Berba who scored the opener resulting from a Scholes-Park one two. Personally I have always believed Tevez is not worth 25 million , the man despite being a surprising success this season just couldn’t get it past Vidic while an inspired Gary (that’s “right” Middlefinger) Neville kept out Bellamy just as he did with Ronaldinho. Now When the Second goal arrived in the form of Valencia our other signing it proved extremely gratifying and more than made my point and day.

Chapter 4: The Turning Point:(Chelsea vs Aston Villa)

Much as we had the league in our own hands and by our own terms, We cannot discount the effect a draw at the bridge by the villains had on the ultimate outcome of the league as well as psychologically on our game against the blues at the Bridge.

Continuing their good showing against the top four this season Villa played a peach of a game(no long balls) to hold onto a goalless draw, Drog’s antics notwithstanding.

The rest is a fourth straight Title sans Ronaldo which is remarkable!

And So which of these stories will prove closer to reality ??
Wait till 10th may.

Until then ?
keep dreaming and write your own stories…..

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Down and Out

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Courtesy- Pink floyd and the lack of original ideas(This is me :( )
November 15th shall always remain etched in memory as a stark remainder for what could ve been almost my self destruction almost..

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Seeking the soul of Indian cinema

I have always had a burning fascination for well made indian cinema , but then 'well made indian cinema' is in itself an oxymoron(borrowed usage). However in my quest to unearth the neglected gems though rare as they may come,I chanced upon Benegal's Nishant('Night's end') , Ghattashradda (kannada: 'Funeral rites when alive') and Adoor Gopalakrishnan's 'Videyan'(Malayalam:Servile)all in Youtube(yes u can actually watch something other than soaps, sports, semi porno stuffs here!)the latter i had to sadly abandon due to lack of subtitles in youtube.

It is such meaningful cinema that shall last the test of times. For instance not many are aware that Kasaravalli's first and ground breaking movie besides winning the prestigious
Swarna kamal(Alas it remains a doubt if anyone besides the National award panel, or the film crew ever got to watch this ) is archived in Paris national films archives(Thats right not
Kannada archives mind you!) . Well as a Kannadiga colleague of mine puts it
99 per cent people watch kannada movies , and the rest watch kasaravalli
no wonder the kannada film industry
is in dire straits. There is just no point in making movies like them time and again for festivals and panels if the bulk of the population are not even aware let alone watch it!Just
dont understand how these supposedly art film makers can sustain the motivation levels(Another Friend of mine swears Kasaravalli s simply "unwatchable") Yes as "Ghattashradda" unfurled and flourished
in its innate simplicity , realism and revelled in the powerful performances it became increasingly clear ... (What?!! No item numbers, action stunts,punchlines!!! surely "Unwatchable" indeed!).


Nishant is driven by some glittering performances from brilliant artists in Nasserudin shah, Azmi, karnad, amrish puri aptly honed to perfection by the creative genius in Benegal,
Nihalani and Vijay Tendulkar. Movie leaves a lasting impression.


It is alas a pity that i never got to watch many of Ray's classics apart from his "Apu trilogy " as also the timeless masterpieces of Bimal roy, Adoor, GV Iyer
impeded by the lack of subtitles. However sooner will work a way around it

Back home down south I finally watched Balachander's "Aval oru thodarkathai" timed it with Kamal celebrating his 50 yrs in tinseldom.
Tamil films in 70's from the house of Balachander,
Mahendran though one cannot exactly categorise them into the 'parallel cinema' mould are certainly not short of the 'soul' what with excellent scripts backed up by powerful acting, sharp dialogues and
good music.

The journey has only begun.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Curious case of the Headbangers!

Feb 15,Sunday Evening Setting s perfect, stage set for a certain band of British Gentlemen to perform.So in Walk I with this group of Friends of mine,of whom barring two the other two have allegedly been there , seen it all and duunit all before(mean the Headbanging part).After the nauseatingly painful wait is compounded even further by a string of bands whose primary idea of entertainment being Heavy noise For heavy metal and Skimpy Broads dancing in tandem to the noise strumming from their Guitars- clearly enuf to keep the crowd preoccupied for some time or so they thought, honestly makes me puke..So even as i begin to wonder What to expect next and the first seeds of doubt already sown, coz after all your financial stakes are high i mean 1.5k for a 2 hr concert? seriously is an unreasonably high figure esp in these times of recession.Reassurance does come in the form of PARIKRAMA who showcase their brand of refreshing fusion music ,coming as a whiff of fresh air.Then come the massive moment, which they dub as "the maiden mania"- a frantic period of wishful chanting for the chosen gods of the evening.The Gods dont play with your nerves for long and do appear fairly quick enough,and when they do the atmosphere turns electric,sparks fly its almost as if an explosion was waiting to happen.With the grand entry they presented with Aces high ,i realised how i was slowly yet surely now losing control of my unsuspecting head,when the crescendo picked up momentum with "The trooper" and "Wasted years" i was by now comfortably in the air joining in the high , and revelling in my new found wildness.My orgy reached its Highest ecstacy midway through the performance(2 mins to midnight,powerslave,hallowd be thy name) with Dickinson shouting "Scream for me Bangalore" and Eddie, donning a gun walked up the ramp,i promptly responded by swaying my head in all possible directions 360 deg,195 deg,60 deg u name it.I was perfectly feeling the high my neighbouring Polish broad had been experiencing firsthand although with the aid of artificial supplements.As we approached the end i couldn't help but amaze at the near perfection with which Maiden dished out all their Rollicking numbers so much so that you ll have a tough time distinguishing em from the Stereo version, the energy of their performance bowled u over mind u these were 5 Gentlemen easily past their fifties yet they were just bout crazy as me or any of my friends here!

Overall i came out pretty fucked up with a sore neck ,drained totally,one thing however i came to realise was there was no definitive science for Headbangin its what your head does that defines u,but for the purpose of junta who go by standard textbook model i would recommend the section 'M' in Maddox's "Alphabet of Manliness" which describes Headbanging in all its intricacies.

But You've to agree indeed,when they said-
"I'm coming back I will return
And I'll possess your body and I'll make you burn
I have the fire I have the force
I have the power to make my evil take its course"

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Maestro,Music and Maargazhi utsavam

Well ‘Maestro’ is one title that gets tossed around frequently but when it comes to Ilayaraja There is no arguments at all,absolutely. Raja has revolutionized Music in Cinemas with his unique blending of carnatic ,Western classical,folk and some Rock too. The way in which he uses the orchestral Violin is simply Sheer genius in the mould of a bach , Mozart,or a Beethoven as also the Profoundness and aptness of his background scores which are magical to say the least. We have had so many legendary and good composers who have enthralled the masses with their brilliant music like the Burmans, MSV, ARR, Jatin-lalit, Ismail Durbar, Ravindran, Shankar-ehsan and Loy to name a few but somehow they all appear to me to be content with accomplishing the important part which is satisfying the audience,and giving musical hits , they don’t push to the next level and precisely this is where a Raja differs from the rest he does the important “job” and more , he transcends the mundane to brilliant to Genius (a territory beyond mortals reach) in his countless numbers which will just leave you gasping and out of the world. Somehow I think Raja has not received enough recognition from the Wider Indian public and this is best illustrated in the fact that he has bagged a paltry 3 National Awards even after scoring music for more than 800 films primarily coz he has done the bulk of his compositions in Tamil. Agreed Music is beyond Language barriers but this is one major reason why most of his numbers remain largely unheard beyond TN , On the contrary ARR enjoys a massive following throughout the country largely coz he has successfully translated most of his popular numbers into Hindi and also has considerable Genuine Hindi numbers under his belt. Recently I happened to listen to Raja’s 1986 album “How to name It” and must say who better than him to give a tribute to Bach and Thyagaraja??. Raja in his long career has Dealt so many classical Ragas imaginatively and perhaps my good friend Ram gopal is best suited to shed more light.

This being Margazhi ,the only month when carnatic music shows some signs of revival,all the sabhas will be busy with concerts.The modern day concert spanning an average of 3 hours and in many cases even less is more of a 20-20 affair, people just don’t have the time and patience anymore.The performer is under pressure to wrap up his alapana pretty quickly and has to cede to popular public demands which can often lead to repetitive numbers.”Thani avarthanam” long thought to be an integral part of any concert has now become the default break-time during which the phonies take their time off to launch into Canteen food, who gives a damn for a bunch of percussionists blaring away anyway? A handful of Rasikas still do and they maybe the reason this margazhi festival keeps happening year in and year out. So when do these Phonies actually return? They comeback just in time for the Thillana, Thukkadas in the end and promptly give a standing ovation at the ‘mangalam’ still munching away at their pottalams,Bravo! Its appalling how much Madurai has changed from say 30-35 years ago when people had the luxury of attending concerts at more than 6-7 sabhas not to mention the ever happening concerts at the temples , we are not so fortunate anymore in that we barely have any choice at all.. Thanks to the Patronage of the TVS group Lakshmi sundaram Hall and Sruthi arts academy in TVS lakshmi continue to be the glorious exceptions. This coming from the city that has produced so many stalwarts and legends of classical music such as Madurai Shanmugavadivu Subbulakshmi, Madurai Mani Iyer, TN Seshagopalan among others presents a truly grim picture indeed.

So it is Recession time and What are the hot jobs currently?Catering could be a profitable option especially at sabhas,The intensive,and increasing security checks that IT professionals are subjected everywhere means Security personnel is also another viable option.Con artists (ever an option) in Bangalore always have the last laugh and like SriRamachandra murthy says “Muruga indha naata enna maadhiri mutalgakitta irrundhu kaapaathu”