Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tour of Himachal Pradesh-pics

After a long time folks...and this time moving a bit away from the usual content. Me, my mom and dad went for a tour very recently (Sept 25-Oct 9, 2009) to Himachal Pradesh. It was a wonderful tour, with the state offering us everything from lush green hills, mighty snowpeaks and picturesque valleys in the Kinnaur-Kailash region to the barren beauty of the desert Himalaya, natural rock cut formations and furious rivers in the Lahaul-Spiti district. HP truly is 'paradise on earth' and I dare not try to describe its beauty in words, so you might as well just jump on to the pics that I have posted in the blog through Slideshow and is available as the top gadget on the right-hand side of the blog page. I am sure you guys would have the urge to visit the region after going through the photos...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


They come to me in unearthly hours,
Warm, hazy
Bright, illusive
Memories, fluttering like leaves in the Fall.

They bring me the music from far,
Hard, soft
Dark acid, poison blues
Songs, that had remained long unheard.

They bring me faces of long-lost friends,
Joyful, disillusioned
Drugged, dazed
People, who failed to catch up with life.

They bring me the happiness I detest,
Sunlight, dew on grass
Morning Glory, first blackbird
Happiness, that I do not want.

They bring back the pain to me,
Darkness, tears
Mildewy, a taste of ink
Pain, which makes me what I am.

They bring back your face to me,
Flesh, desire
Diamonds, starry night skies
Your face is now just a distant land.

They bring everything back to me in the strangest ways.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Battle Begins, at last...

"Come to me in my dreams, and then/By day I shall be well again!/For so the night will more than pay/The hopeless longing of the day."-Matthew Arnold.

I don't know for whom Mr. Arnold had written his poem 'Longing', but it perfectly fits for me when I describe the helpless wait for the new English football season. For a guy who practically lives on soccer, a 2-and-half month existence without any 'real' action on the lush green English fields was similar to starvation. For people, especially the male gender, like me who have nothing better to do but argue with equally crazy friends in hushed voices at the back of the class who were the best and worst of the weekend, this long wait was just about trying to kill the pain. For a Man Utd fan like me, these months were even worse, what with a certain Portugese guy deciding to shift base to a place I absolutely hate and an Argentine moving just cross-town to a place I hate even more. There has been enough talk,enough of the transfer news and rumours,now is the time for some real action-the time to show that there are certain people who can play only with their money but can't do much out there in the green. Many people maintain that the EPL will now lose its sheen and Spain will have all the glamour, with a club there gone absolutely crazy, but me, like Sir A.F., maintains that this has and will be the hardest fought league in the world. We all know who will take the top two spots in Spain... pundits say there are at least six teams out there in the English jungle who can claim the big honors. Only time will tell what happens, but let me make a few predictions at my own risk as we take a tour through the Isles-

1. We begin our journey in the North, in a quaint industrial town called Manchester. Let's begin with the newly rich kids on the block. Man City have the money but not the brains or the feet. Max 5th in the table.Who will Mr. Hughes choose as strikers...he has bought so many of that breed that now he risks a rebellion in his ranks-even if he plays three strikers,two among the following have to sit out-Bellamy,Ade,Santa Cruz, Robinho, Tevez. I'll support anybody who plays against City, except perhaps Liverpool and Chelsea.

2. Going cross-town to the Theatre of Dreams...yes,the best player in the world has gone only to leave a long shadow behind. But the best brain in the business has experienced similar situations before, and everytime he has come up with answers to shut the critics up. Maybe the buys were not big names,but still if this team works as an unit,there is no reason why a 4th successive trophy would elude them.Rooney has to be at his best,and eagerly we look forward to a Mr. Hargreaves taking the field. Best I expect? Champions! Worst I expect? 2nd place. Come on you reds,come on you reds....

3. We take a 35 minute flight from Manchester to the capital...and from Heathrow take a cab straight to the Harbour...welcome to the home of the Blues!! The big question in the air is will an Italian job be perfect for a Russian? Mr. Ancelotti has been there,done that. He knows his job and has sent out a warning to United on 9th August at Wembley. But the English rumble is a wee bit tougher than the Italian mesh...and he knows this is gonna be a struggle. Though they didn't get most of their targets in the summer,they successfully retained most of their team...and are United's main rival contenders this season.

4. Take a cab again, to the armoury of Arsenal. I think this is gonna be a 5th straight disappointing season for the Gunners. A lone Frenchman maintains they can get top spot this season,but I don't see too many hopefuls among their very own fans. The Fabregas saga is still disturbing them and thouugh many maintain Ade was a good riddance...i don't think so,what with V.P. and Eduardo both being injury prone and the other striker being a hapless Danish called Bendtner. Their only good addition has been Vermaelen in defence but can he substitute Kolo Toure? They have the broad shoulders of Andriy Arshavin to ride on though...and that is their only hope. Brace for another season without silverware, Gunners, anything more should be a bonus!!

5. Just a short open air bus ride through the busy London thoroughfares brings us to White-Hart Lane. Many people are saying they are good contenders this's been three years they are beginning with this tag only to come splendidly out of relegation trouble to finish 10th!! They got a problem of plenty in the strike as well-Defoe,Pavlyuchenko,Crouch and Keane have to perform for places. But is there plenty of quality elsewhere? I don't think so. A top six-finish should be good enough for them and a good manager in Redknapp should take them there.

6. Again to Heathrow. A flight to the port city of football-crazy Liverpool. Can their team reward the most vocal fans in England,if not the world? They went splendidly close last time and gave some astonishing performance, including thrashings of Man Utd, Real Madrid, Villa and ran Chelsea tantalisingly close in the CL. They have lost a midfield stronghold in Xabi Alonso and a good defender in Arbeloa (another victim of Real's crazy wallet). Nobody is giving them too much this time, but they are the most unpredictable team in the world and on their day can upset anybody's applecart. Expect the deadly trio of Gerrard,Torres and Benitez to deliver...

7. We've travelled enough. Sitting in a pub over a chilled beer, let's talk about the other teams chances. Villa and West Ham played well last time (Villa had a better 1st half and Hammers a better 2nd one)...will do well to finish top 10 this time. A team that stunned us with its rise over mediocrity last time was Fulham. It'd be interesting to see what they do this time.

8. Let's order another beer and talk about another very intersting part of the that is as exciting as the fight for glory...yes,you're right!! It's the battle for avoiding relegation,a bloody war of survival. The names that instantly come to mind are Hull, Sunderland, Wolves, Birmingham City and Burnley. Two of these clubs would definitely go down. Fact!! But who would've thought that a certain team in black-and-white would play 2nd division this season...who would've put Boro in that bracket as well! So don't be stunned if there's a big scalp among those last three names in the table!!

Get,Set...and let the fight for the enemy's blood begin!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What Queer Games the Mind Plays!!

It was 5.30 p.m. in the evening when me and my friend Sumantra boarded a bus from Beliaghata to Tollygunge to return home from college. We got seats but at different parts of the I sat and looked at the routine Calcutta scenery, when this random line from some song began to play in my head-"With the whole world upside down...",just this line,nothing else!! I remembered every beat in this line, every chord of was from some song I have very recently heard, probably within the last two days...but I couldn't remember any other line or which song was it from or which band played it. But this line kept playing itself in my head...I considered a host of songs to which it could belong, I brought my phone out and listened to each of those probables...but nah!!!None of them had it...the bus had by this time crossed the Anwar Shah crossing and I feared I had just got affected by amnesia or short-term memory loss when the seat beside me got empty...Sumantra came to the seat and I told him about it. He told that this was nothing unusual and he had been through similar situations as well...that provided little relief though!! I grew restless trying to remember the song and even as I write I've desperately failed in doing so. What queer games this little thing called the brain plays on line keeps playing itself over and over like a bad record in your head and you desperately look for its source...and everytime you are disappointed. This is like my mind seperated from 'me' and playing cruel hide-and-seek games with its owner...maybe everything will come to me in a sudden flash of brilliance. But until then, keep on playing this frustrating game...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reality T.V. Getting Uncomfortably Real?

Most of India will wake up to a horrific news tomorrow...the eye would get stuck on this piece in the morning papers, the lazy toothbrush in the mouth would get a bit disadjusted, and concentration would wander to that piece. As I write,news just breaks that a Brazilian politician and popular t.v. show host, Wallace Souza, had found a most ingenious mean of boosting TRP ratings for his show...that of using murder!! The t.v. show, 'Canal Livre', showed live crime in the Amazon region of Brazil. The very premise was very interseting to hold all the TRP there...but people were coming up with similarly intersting ideas as well (and perhaps too many crimes to Mr. Souza's liking were not being committed). So Mr. Souza devised something notoriously good...showing live murders on t.v.!! And the show did show such gruesome stuff...but when there were one murder too many,police sensed not everything was allright and soon found that Mr. Souza were ordering murders (he atleast ordered five,according to reports) to shoo his rivals away and make the eyeballs pop on his show. Good game gone a bit wrong, right? Do you guys remember something very similar in India...there was this hugely popular show 'India's Most Wanted' which was stopped after the host himself became a man wanted for murder? (We always have to keep up with Brazil,be ahead of them in everything,they are one of our main competitors on the world economic scene). But let's return to Mr. Souza. What a wonderful thing this TRP is...what unimaginable things it makes us show on t.v. so real, but this takes the cherry, thank you TRP, even our darkest imaginations couldn't have brought to us stories as interseting as this!! What about the men who were shot down only for the TRP to shoot up...will their souls always haunt Mr. Souza for the rest of his life? Maybe. Maybe not. Mr. Souza still claims that he is the purifier of the city and set up the police to get rid of crimes such as drug-trafficking, homicide and paedophilia. But such situations can be summed by Dylan in an inimitable style-"As human gods aim for their mark/Make everything from toy guns that spark/To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark/It's easy to see without looking too far/That not much is really sacred."


The guitars are strumming, the drums pick up the beat
I begin to fall, down a very dark dungeon,
Wild eyes flash as I hurl myself down
Hands try to catch me but I’m falling too fast,
I see people dancing, I see people dying
Does this music enthuse you, does it kill you with joy?
I’m the eternal spaceman, travelling from star to star
I stoke up a dying galaxy, and sway with sexy nebulae,
Or am I in the sea, on a wildly swaying ship?
Is there a hurricane coming, it’ll sweep us off our feet.
Voices call me from behind, try to stop me as I go by,
Yet I rush in like a fool to depths where angels have died
No, no, no…this is all wrong…’coz I’m Shiva the Destroyer!
My anger will crush the earth now, blow it off to pieces…
Oh, if only I could understand whether ‘tis day or night
Day or night…how can one know when all’s covered in smoke
Look wherever my child, you can’t make anything out.
So just allow the smoke to slowly wrap you up,
It’ll make your fevered body cold, and caress it like a lover
And it’ll lift you so that you can’t feel the weight anymore
It’ll take you to heights you have never imagined before,
You don’t need to know where you are gonna end up
You don’t understand whether ‘tis the last night of your life,
Just drown yourself in the music, you don’t need to breath anymore
Oh, am I so high now that I can't see the earth below?
Am I so high that little things called love and hate matter no more?
Is this music playing still…can you make their hazy faces out,
I don’t have the answers, I just wanna soar into the heavens above,
Keep me drunk, my child, play on this music I so love.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Scenes From a Night in a Sleepy Town

A half-lit moon makes its way through shriveled branches,
As she listens to the rhythm of my shoes on cobbled roads.
A drowsy black dog looks upto me with a little hope,
Which fades soon as she rests her head between her paws.
I shall ask the moon to dance with me tonight
On the lonely beach where the waves silently die,
From there we shall look up at the dark palace on the hills
And feel sorry for a King so wishing to be rid of his crown.
I see a few gypsy men sit by their lazy fires,
Their stock of stories seemingly ran out fast
And as the men in their homes surrender to sleep
The town seems to wake up to the moon at last.
But how does the poet court the moon tonight?
How does he make her jealous without you by his side?
The poet wants to draw the moonlight from your lips
The poet wants to feel the night in your hair,
Without you by his side he is but a creature of nowhere.
Oh, promise me that you will torture me through the night
And break my heart into a thousand little pieces,
Then you will spread them all across the Milky Way
So that each be a star to light up this beautiful night.