February 28, 2010

Bandeh! An exclusive interview with The Indian Ocean.

Filed under: Uncategorized — prakash @ 10:14 am

When I first called up  the Indian Ocean office, I wasnt sure if they would agree to give an interview. After all, the interview was for my blog and not for some newspaper. Even then, the band obliged and gave this interview. Am grateful to them for the same. Thank you Indian Ocean. Best wishes for the future!

The Band! 🙂 (Photo courtesy: http://www.indianoceanmusic.com)

Bandeh is one of the most magical tracks that I have ever heard. Please tell me everything about it.

The Track has been written by piyush mishra, who is an old theater hand from Delhi. He used to write and perform with a group called ACT 1, and as he believed that songs like this can be written only when you are in the thick of things. So piyush and act 1 used to very often raise their voices against what they thought was wrong with society … so when some one like him pens down lyrics, like he did for ‘Bandeh’ coupled with the fact that we had a director like anurag kahsyap who gave a us a free hand … what you hear is the result of that.

As a band, you people have been making music for years together now. What were the odds you faced? How did you overcome them?

Let us put it to you this way that for the first 5 years, the earning of each of the band members was Rs 5000 per person per YEAR, and this was gross… Also beside a hand full of people who believed in us (which was mostly spouse and family), everyone else told us that what we are trying to do was stupid and would never work …. So we had no money, little or no support, and no end to this hard period in sight ….. But for us, we never looked at it then, nor do we look at it now as a STRUGGLE, because we never really had a goal in mind, nor do we have one.  We just love doing what we do and hope fully will be able to do it for a long long time

All Indian Ocean songs have interesting lyrics. Either it is a Christian hymn or some kind of poetry etc. Where do you get these lyrics from?

The peculiar thing is that except for commissioned project, we have never really thought like, “let’s do a song in a 2000 year old dead language.” it just happened that we heard a friend of ours sing something, we liked it and we added our own twist to it … I guess we just keep our eyes and ears open, and if we like it, we use it (after giving due credit and taking care of all legal angles)

Does the Indian Ocean idolize any singer (or band)?

As a group, No, we dont.  As individuals … the list is really long you see we guys are fairly mmmmmmmmm lets say mature.

Tel me something about your new album? When will you be performing in Gujarat next?

Our next album will be launched soon this year and will be available for free on our web site www.indianoceanmusic.com. These are the last songs that Ashim sang and the album also has a lot of songs that we composed for films (that never finished). So, we felt this is the best way to get music out and moreover, we wanted to bypass all the music companies. so, finally we decided to give it away for free.

We hope to be back in Gujarat soon.

A lot of youngsters these days want to follow their passion. But somehow they get into stuff they aren’t interested in-only because it is lucrative. Since you have braved such similar odds, what is it that you would say to inspire people who want to follow their passion?

For a lot of people money is a huge passion , just ask our manager hehehehehe … but seriously, if money is your passion then go for the thing that pays the best and if music is your thing then sing sing sing … basically just do what ever you want but it must put a smile on your face and don’t blame anyone else, but your self if you don’t do what you really want to do.


A movie on Indian Ocean…’Beware Dogs’ by Spandan Banerjee

Filed under: Uncategorized — prakash @ 5:05 am

Four musicians and their music floating through the corridors of a quaint old house in an old Delhi neighborhood is what the film Beware Dogs attempts to capture. The house is where the band Indian Ocean come together with their many moods. As they work and play the camera peeps into their world desiring to know the artists behind the familiar tunes. The artists are like characters in the film, glimpsed and known only through their music and the space they inhabit.

The journey, which begins with a known song, quietly leads the outsider into their little room where they rehearse and weave new music. As the known words fade, a new struggle is discovered.

The struggle to create; as they compose a new song for a feature film. In its narrative length, Beware Dogs attempts to seek the four musicians and share their travails of creating music as they laugh, grimace and sway tying the pieces that will go on to become a new song.

—Spandan Banerjee

My tryst with ‘The City’ by Parth Trivedi.

Filed under: Uncategorized — prakash @ 3:42 am

Parth had taken some snaps while we were in Mumbai. at that time, i had promised to upload them on my blog. And then i forgot about it. Anyways, am fulfilling that long forgotten promise today. This is for you Pappu!. Cheerio!

Taxi! a mode of transport that looted us for 8 days.


ChurchGate Station

Lights @ Mumbai University

Peaceful co-existence or struggle for survival? Mumbai's lifeline..local trains


Lonely Walker!

February 27, 2010

Luke…(inspired by Anurag Kashyap’s movie ‘Paanch’))

Filed under: Uncategorized — prakash @ 12:36 pm

Luke Morrison was one among the five members of the band ‘Parasites’- that was behind the serial killings in Mumbai between 1999 and 2003. A student of criminal psychology, doing research on the life of ‘Parasites’, found Luke’s diary, from the stuff the police had taken from his home, after his death. “The poem is incomplete. The lines that conclude the poem aren’t there. The page is torn.”, said the student who doesn’t wish to be named.  “Going by the content of the poem, it is likely that Luke wrote this poem as a teenage boy, on some day when his parents were fighting. It also talks about a priest who told him about God! Probably, Luke was very disturbed when he wrote the poem. And it seems like his disturbed childhood was the sole cause of his uncontrolled aggression; something that turned him into a criminal and murderer.”, the student added.

Here’s the poem…

“God is great”

The priest said, “He takes care of us.

He loves and nurtures,

And protects each one of us. “

There is no food at home,

No love, not a bit of care

The priest certainly lied

I don’t see God anywhere

They scream, they shout and curse and fight,

I feel they will kill each other, or me, today or some other night

That bloody priest, how could he lie to me?

Not once has God cared, or come home to protect me.

My life has turned into Hell

I feel angry, I can do nothing but weep

Cant that old Church man tell God to shut them up?!

I am tired of this, and I want to sleep!

Whenever I think about my miserable life,

I feel I should commit suicide

Wait! For all that rubbish about God,

Its that old bastard, not me, who deserves to die.

I will kill him, and kill her,

If they shout a moment longer,

He lied to me about God,

I should first go and kill that holy motherfucker!


I won’t let anyone hurt me

I will kill them, even if they try,

I will do what I want, no one questions,

I will kill them all, before they can utter ‘why?’

—Luke Morrison

The poem doesn’t end here. However, the rest of the page was torn.

photograph of Luke’s diary

Another photograph of his diary

These are pictures of Luke’s diary and the torn page that had the concluding lines of the poem. The last line scribbled was ‘God is great’. The words, however, were cancelled later.

Photograph of a wall in Luke's Room

The writing on the wall reads….VanGogh, MichelAngelo and Kafka were unrecognized geniuses in their lives…as i am now..recognize me..(Luke Morrison)

“we all know of him as a criminal and a serial killer. But Luke was also a very well read man. his room was full of books; a lot of them on the subject of occult. hadnt it been for a disturbed childhood, Luke would have been a great man today.”, the student concluded!

P.S. This is a work of fiction!

Some more ‘Music’..by Karan Desai

Filed under: Uncategorized — prakash @ 11:34 am

Once S. Shekhar and a renowned music director were sitting and talking. in the same room, there was a harmonium kept in one corner.  a kid came and started playing a tune. suddenly the music director lookd at him.not listening to what s.shekhar was sayin, he went to the kid immediately and covered the keys of the harmonium with a napkin and asked the kid to play again. the kid played the same tune again effortlessly. the kid was S.Shekhar’s only son, Dilip. We now know the kid as A.R. Rahman.

February 25, 2010

Mortals and Gods!

Filed under: Uncategorized — prakash @ 6:09 am

(This post is dedicated to A.R. Rahman, Sachin Tendulkar and Al Pacino)

Each one is born alike

Given:  one life to live

Eyes to see , a voice to sing

Ears to hear, a touch to feel

A power to create and a bit of luck

That can be used at will

A book of destiny which is blank

Its upto you, into it what you fill

Some hear birds chirp and get irked

To get rid of it, they walk away

Some hear loud horns as they walk

Still create melodies of them all the way!

Some see small troubles in a long life

And run from them in trepidation

Some see big troubles on 22 yards

And run towards them to score one big celebration

Some people let emotions rule them

They laugh, when others cry

And cry when others laugh

Some  people rule emotions

Others laugh, when they laugh

Others cry, when they cry

Each one is born alike

Given:  one life to live

Eyes to see , a voice to sing

Ears to hear, a touch to feel

A song is a sound for some

They think it robs them of their peace

For some, a sound becomes a song

A rhythm that brings world peace

Some never play a game, simply to avoid defeat

Some play and play all their lives,

And the world falls at their feet

Some simply talk, without emotion

There is no need for it-they feel

Some talk with so much passion

The world is moved, and many wounds healed

Each one is born alike

Given:  one life to live

A book of destiny which is blank

Its upto you, into it what you fill

Life is full of challenges,

You could run away,

Or stand and face the odds

Those who don’t- remain mere mortals

Those who do-turn into Gods!

January 15, 2010

Bills and Queues!

Filed under: Uncategorized — prakash @ 7:16 pm

one thing that’s common to all middle class homes are bills. Every month there will loads of bills to pay. Seeing the no. of bills, you would want to sing, “Here a bill, there a bill, every where a bill bill.” And interestingly, every month the bills bring in different reactions. Sometimes, it brings shock as if the bill werent a bill but an extortion letter with a large figure demanded as ransom. A few other times, it causes genuine frustration and sometimes it brings a sigh of relief. (very very rare). Now, I am saying rare because at my home it happened only two and a half times. half time was when my dad forgot to read the last two digits. What happened when he spotted them is a different story altogether. There’s yet another thing about middle class homes. Most of them tend to pay their bills at the last moment. And the end result is -A long Queue! So, in case you didnt know, middle class people spend a larger part of their lives working to make ends meet. sadly, the smaller part is used up to wait in long queues and pay bills.

5th dec, 2009
its frustrating when you have just finished an exam the previous day and the very next morning, your parents send you out to pay bills. Well, it happened to me and i can strongly say that it was really very frustrating. Nevertheless, i gave in (i had no choice!). i had to pay the house tax and hence i reached the municipal office to find the obvious scene..A long queue. Now, i had paid telephone bills and electricity bills before, but this was the first time I was standing about to stand in a queue at a municipal office. And the sight was pathetic. It looked like the hideout of the villains shown in the Bollywood movies of the 90s. There was filth all around, two roadrollers, a couple of handcarts and lots of square stones stacked together in an untidy fashion all over the place.
The first person i saw there was the watchman. he was an old man with a wrinkled face and a crooked nose. The crooked nose wasnt a problem but what came out of it was seriously a problem. If not for me, at least for the owner of the bike who had parked his vehicle next to the watchman. That s because everytime the watchman sneezed, he would wring out the remains into the handkerchief and would nicely place it on the rear view mirror of the bike. Yuck! He also had a gun that was as old as him. the butt was broken and there was a gumtape wrapped around it. But i got the shock of my life when i saw that his gun had no trigger. the entry was enough to reveal the sad state of affairs in our government offices.

Once i got into the queue, there were no other thoughts except the want to get out as soon as possible. “Khaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. thu”…That’s what i heard next. the man standing behind me was spitting right beside my leg. I wanted to give him a stern look and box his nose but a quick glance at his overblown dimensions made me change my mind. He was triple my size and with two more exams left, i didnt want to take a risk. The line progressed sluggishly.
It was too hot and i had nothing better to do but look around. I saw an uncle searching for his car keys all over the ground, only to realize later that they were in his pocket. There was an aunty who cursed Sonia Gandhi and said that she shouldnt have been made the Prime Minister. I wonder which newspaper she read. There was a guy who struggled to drink water because his mouth was full of pan. Later, he spat the pan to drink water. The pan landed on an aunty’s shoe and she shouted. He wanted to reply but couldnt because this time his mouth was full of water. Right in front of me was an interesting couple. They were talking in some language i couldnt understand. But they occassionally spoke in English and i could hear random words like menace, poison, kill them, etc. my first impression was as if they were planning a murder. So, i decided to overhear them till the time i figured out who they were planning to kill. Fortunately, for them they started their conversations in Hindi and i realized their house was rat infested. “Khaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. thu”. The man would just not stop!

It was almost an hour and my interest to find something interesting had waned. I just wanted to go home. There were still about 8 people in front of me and i realized i had a clear view of the people and things inside the municipal office. There were stacks and stacks of books, registers- all of them rotting beneath cobwebs. I wondered whether the men and women inside had ever heard of a word called ‘computer.’ I was sure they had heard of it when i found an old dot matrix printer lying above some of the books. The entire office had just two computers and both of them were used for billing. it looked a little weird though. if i considered that the queue had only about a hundred people (yeah! the queue was longer than that. I am not fretting just like that), then at the rate of 2000 Rs. house tax per person, the government must be earning 200000 Rs. Cant they buy computers then? Where does the money go? Ha, never mind. But you have to agree that our government is strong willed. Despite sever criticism(a nice way to say swearing), they never built roads and ultimately the car companies started getting tyres made for indian roads. when i thought about this, i wasnt surprised that there werent any computers in the office.

with such mixed thoughts, my turn finally came. I paid the bill and went back home happily only to find the telephone bill at the doorstep. It never ends!



Sunday Secrets!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — prakash @ 7:03 pm

6 days in a week, i am in constant touch with a lot of people in this world. i meet almost 100 people each day, talk to at least 30 of them, wave to many more and smile at countless others. And every day i notice a variety of expressions on their faces. Some have bright smiles spread across their faces while some faces speak of deep sorrow. Some faces gleam with excitement while some seem bone-dry with frustration. Every new face has a different story to tell..

And then..comes Sunday…a day when I am at home away from the drudgery of the weekdays…completely disconnected from the world. The day is meant for me…..24 hours that i spend with my own self.

The next morning brings Monday along with it…and heralds a new week. And once again, i connect with the world. But its very weird. Just within a day,the faces spin a different tale altogether. The happy faces now seem sad, the gloomy eyes of the previous week are suddenly sparkling with enthusiasm and some faces are just the same.
Its difficult to understand how a single day can change the lives of so many people; how 24 hours can make the happiest people cry and wipe off the tears from the faces of many other people. And no one explains this sudden shift of emotions. They just carry on with their work and wait for yet another Sunday.

I have seen this happen for weeks and I realized that Sunday is more than just a holiday. There’s always something more happening during those 24 hours. But neither me, nor anybody else knows about these events. And no one dares to ask. Perhaps its some sort of unspoken, unwritten understanding that needs to exist.
I guess the life of a lot of people on Sundays will always remain a secret..and somehow i feel it better be that way–The Secrets of Sundays!!!



Talking about laziness

Filed under: Reasons — prakash @ 6:59 pm

…Imagine you wake up before sunrise everyday. How wonderful it would be to listen to the birds chirping and feel the moist wind through your hair. But imagination is hardly close to reality. What I just said are things that we dream about. The reality is just the opposite. For me (and several others), the day begins with a scream…a scream that pulls us out from the heaven of imagination to the scary hell of reality. We try to resist this pull…we hold on tight to the walls of this heaven but the scream is to too powerful to fight against. The sounds that follow are Slap…Thud…Crash!!!

The subsequent events of walking to the bathroom, eating, getting dressed for school/college (lets assume that working people aren’t lazy…Yeah Right!!) are all spent amidst sounds of words you’ve been listening to everyday. I can’t recall the entire sentences (was too sleepy to listen) but some of the words I’ve heard were… lazy, irresponsible, nonsense (hello!!) etc etc. If we react, the sounds get all the more louder. And when we don’t react, people give us the ‘you are the limit!!’ kind of expression.

But once you reach college, you are comfortable because here you will find many more people from your brotherhood. Almost everyone has been through the lazy morning routine before reaching college. The talks that follow are anything but relevant, but what’s interesting is the gap between conversations that’s filled with a wide yawn and the stereotypical line, “God, I am soooo tired!” (Oh Really!!)

Well…Finally the day has begun and we are expected to concentrate. Instead, we sit on the last bench, with our palms supporting our entire body weight and staring at the plastered artificial sky. And then suddenly we remember—there’s a party tonight. And then, our body gets to work. Fluids surge through our nerves and we sit erect. Our eyes sparkle with new awakenings and we smile like never before. The world had just begun to seem beautiful when a small blue chunk of chalk comes and knocks you down. Sigh! That’s the afternoon pull from imagination to reality. As usual, the lecturer fires some rounds of abuses and we are lulled back to sleep.

The rest of the day progresses at a dawdling pace. But as soon as the evening is born, our day begins. Yes! That’s when the fun starts and that’s when we wake up. Let’s see it in a different way. The entire world wakes up at 6 am. We wake up twelve hours before that.

People criticize our populace of being irresponsible. The world says that we have time for parties, for picnics, for friends and for fun. But what we feel is that we live to have fun. When the world works through drudgery, we pull through it lazily. And when the world complains of drudgery and everything around them, we set boredom on fire. At the end of the day, it’s all about perception.

There’s a very interesting quote which states, “I’m lazy. But it’s the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn’t like walking or carrying things.”

That’s all that I have to say. I leave the rest to your perception. Cheers!!!


Filed under: Uncategorized — prakash @ 6:45 pm

He kept staring at the guitar for minutes together. He saw the six strings, the well spaced frets and the carved wooden body. He had never held a guitar before. His elder brother wouldnt let him. But today was different. His brother was out and he finally could pick up the guitar.

Although he had never held the guitar before, he held it in position with amazing grace. He pulled the first string with his index finger. Nothing happened. it simply vibrated. Then he struck the first three strings. They vibrated too…No sound.

He looked at the frets for a few moments and then placed his fingers on the second fret and struck all the six strings at once. No sound..but when he turned he saw his mother standing there with tears in her eyes. And his brother was smiling and staring at him in awe. his brother had never seen a kid play so beautifully. He smiled back, shifted his fingers on the frets and struck the strings once again. His brother came and gave him a big hug.

it was the happiest day in his life. he finally.. had a family.

he was just 5 years old…an orphan. he had been adopted a week ago. He was deaf and dumb. His ‘new’ brother hated him for that. But today it all changed. His family gave him a new name. They named him.. Beethoven.



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