Dec 26, 2008

Boxing day

I got up very early today; at 3.30 AM. I don't exactly know why. I guess I felt vacant. Soon, I was chatting to my lawyer friend (Mac) from down under. I recorded the couple of pieces of music that I had running in my mind yesterday night. During this process, I and Mac had an interesting discussion about how to make one of the progressions that I had recorded better. It's fun to discuss such issues with someone who is knowledgeable about music.

I had the final interview scheduled in the morning but that was postponed to tomorrow. I dozed for an hour or so after I got this news. In the afternoon, I went out to shop - determined to cook something. Despite the fact that my refrigerator was not working properly, I decided to buy a few essential vegetable items so that I can make simple stuff. I came back home and made some rice and heated up a Dal fry preparation that I picked up from the supermarket. It was a wholesome meal.

The afternoon went with me discussing more legal issues with Mac. We were about to commit one legal blunder. Thanks to Mac, that seems to have been avoided. Right at the time when I was getting to the shower to get fresh before the classical guitar recital that I was planning to attend, I got the information that we had a gig at Not Just Jazz by the Bay tomorrow night! That was a pleasant surprise mainly because the money which was due for playing a Saturday night gig.

Because of the same reason, I was unable to hang out with the sculptor and one of his friends in the night (we were supposed to go out on a date and sleep with each other etc.). Instead, after a quick drink of whisky, I came back home to practice with Shoonyas. The practice went okay. But soon enough, I suddenly started missing Vinokur once again. It's really a pain to know that he's just one click away. But I'm not logging on Skype. I feel it's too early to start talking to each other.

Instead, I'll try to sleep - hoping that tomorrow's gig will keep be occupied until late night.

The 12 days of Christmas



I just watched this Indian version of the 12 days of Christmas on You Tube. It was very funny but, it didn't make me laugh all that much. Nothing would, I guess after what transpired in the last few days in my life. When I fell in and out love and relationships, when I finally broke-up with Vinokur. I'm happy and sad at the same time and have been keeping away from this rather public blog so as to get some more time to get used to the enormity of the changes in my life. I guess I have come far enough to blog about it. So, here's MY 12 days* of Christmas.

  1. Sunday, Dec 14: The guitar class went great. I felt confident while imparting the knowledge that I had. So, too did the jam session with Noise Market. We are in the new-song-writing mode. One of the guys that I found out of the personals sites meets up with me at the Humsafar high and we go on to have a wonderful conversation and then sex. Felt wonderful having sex after a long time!
  2. Monday, Dec 15: The legal consultations and the band managment is taking a lot of time out of my schedule. One of my new-friends is a lawyer from Australia and we are hitting off big time on the interent - he's literary, articulate, funny and an amazing racounteur. Despite the fact that Shoonyas have two live shows coming up this week, we aren't practicing all that much.
  3. Tuesday, Dec 16: Ever since I have chosen to use the openness of the relationship that I and Vinokur were having, I have been getting a lot of responses from the personals sites. A few of these men seem to be very interesting. One especially so - A Gujju guy with flim-star (older) looks who wants a relationship is trying to get to me. He changed his ring-tone to a romantic one just for me!
  4. Wednesday, Dec 17: I go for my first ever job interview - as a content editor at KPO which deals with medical research. I gave the test and am sure that they will call me up for an interview soon. Shoonyas has a very lukewarm gig a Not Just Jazz by the Bay. The crowd has been on the downside after the terror attacks. Although I and Rob battled throat infections, we had fun. (For those interested, check out Facebook/Orkut to see pics).
  5. Thursday, Dec 18: Shoonyas played at the Ruia Colleg for a Peace concert in commemmoration of the victims of the terror attack. We were interviewed on IBN Lokmat TV channel and our shows were broadcast a couple of days later. It was a awe-inspiring experience. 300 odd Ruia-ites lighting candles when the night was still young. They sang in chorus! My best gig ever!
  6. Friday, Dec 19: Another day passes by managing the legal wrangles for Noise Market. We are getting closer and closer to the finalisation the addendum to the contract. I have fun at the Birthday party of a GB friend (again, pics on Facebook) by playing guitar and jamming with the crowd. It's amazing that the gang of 'straight' friends from my friend's office were more fun than their fag counterparts. I also meet this wonderful lady at the party who sang like a professional! Incredible experience!
  7. Saturday, Dec 20: My interview with the KPO goes well. They seem to be a little bothered about the fact that my gigs/concerts might call for more leaves/offs. I meet this Gujju guy and have a wondeful time with him. We have lunch at a hotel and then go for shopping for a set of Kurtha Pajama - I have to attend a wedding reception in the evening - the wedding of a family friend's son. After the shopping, we head of to the Gujju guys apartment make passionate love. To my utmost amazement, he offers to be with me for the wedding reception in the evening. We have the most amazing time in bed after that. I feel dizzy when I'm coming home - is this a future prospect for a relationship? Vinokur has already started feeling the discomfort. I know how it must hurt - but I still confide in him and keep the honesty intact.
  8. Sunday, Dec 21: I have a busy day with Noise Market pratice and my student. Once I got free, my destination - the Gujju guy. I go over to his place and we talk - we talk for hours. We know we are falling in love with each other - but we can't. The gujju guy makes the most wonderful tasting meal for me and feeds me in a most romantic setting. By midnight, I start feeling that maybe I need to take the decision that I have been holding off from taking all this time - breaking up with Vinokur. The gujju guy says goodbye and says that we won't meet until I'm 'free'. I come home and talk it out with Vinokur. I feel that I'm the most wretched person on the surface of the planet but I manage to say what I said. We decide to call our wonderful relationships quits. It was darn hard, but we do it. Vinokur assures me that he'll be there for me if I need him. I feel relieved, I feel anxious.
  9. Monday, Dec 22: I talk to Gujju guy about this and he freaks out. He says that he has thought it over and we can't be seeing each other any more - he cites some 'incompatibilities' in personalities as the reason. I feel that I am losing out on another relationship because of my 'near-virtual' relationship. He wants me to patch up with Vinokur and forget about him. I talk to Vinokur about it who seems to be happy to have me back but indicates clearly how humiliated he felt when he was 'dumped' for another person in so little time. We think it over, talk it over. It seesm obvious - our relationship can't go on like this. I will be seeing other people, getting attracted to them and maybe falling in love. If we are still 'lovers', then things are bound to be complicated. Hence, we decide to call it quits once an for all. The wonderful 1 and half year relationship - the most wonderful time in my life comes to an end - I and Vinokur aren't lovers anymore. We won't keep in touch at least until we get readjusted to reality. It hurts, more than you can imagine. But I'm glad we took this decision.
  10. Tuesday, Dec 23: I am feeling odd but music seems to distract me. I try to get back to the Gujju guy who's hurt that I'm trying to force him to reconsider. He pleads with me to stop. But I'm worried about him because he's alone and he's hypertensive etc. He assures me that I'll get to know if something happens to him. Other than that, my friends are there to help me - especially the Professor. In the evening, I get invited to the in-house party at the sculptor's. I meet a few new older men in there. We have alcohol and I get insanely drunk. I was stupid enough to do that on an empty stomach and as a result I threw up later on in the night. But at least, the first night is over with!
  11. Wednesday, Dec 24: The third leg of my job-interview is over - still positive. I visit the family-friend's place and share my worries regarding my Mom and Dad planning to visit me in Mumbai. He's my Mom's best friend since childhood and he, unlike my relatives, is more realistic about life. He and I bond (he's a very nice guy, I have felt) and agree to meet more often and to help each other in managing my Mom and Dad when they do visit. By evening, it's the birthday party of Dr. R! I was invited to be the surprise for the party and I travel all the way across Mumbai to celebrate the party her fiance's. Wonderful family, they were. Later on, we have dinner at a restaurant - I start missing Vinokur badly. I want to get away and start crying. I don't get to do that and I am relieved by a longish conversation with the Professor.
  12. Thursday, Dec 25: It's Christmas day and I get up rather late. Noise Market practice session becomes a memorable one as we work on a classical guitar motif that I had composed the other day. That shaped up to be rather different, more mature sounding pop-rock song. Evening time's the worst - I plan to meet a new guy - he was busy. I ring up the sculptor for a dinner-conversation date. It's just wonderful to talk to him - he used to be counsellor at the Humsafar. We have a wonderful mallu meal at restaurant and then walk back home. I am not quite sure if he was looking forward to having sex. I decide that the next time I'll make the move.

For all those who stood by me through the last year or so - especially people like the Well Wisher in NYC - thanks a lot!

And lastly, Vinokur - I know you will be reading this - hold on my dear! Let's just wade it across this time period. Soon, we'll start talking to each other - as friends - and until then, take care of yourself. Okay? We all love you!

(*The real 12 days of Christmas start on the 25th - I know! But this is MY 12 days of Christmas. Please do forgive!)

Dec 13, 2008

My first student

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to have my first official guitar student. This time, it's bass guitar student. He is Rob's cousin and is already playing in a band. But he wants to get better.

This is such a big event for me that I'm getting a little worried about it. I spent a lot of time reading up some bass tutorials on the internet to make sure that I knew all the terminologies and explanations to how/why bass guitar is to be played.

I'm friggin' tired too. Today was another brainstorming session for Noise Market. And I had to attend the engagement of one of the nicest persons that I have come to meet during phase of my life in the company of Xander. I'm heading to bed as soon as I hit enter here. So, wish me luck guys!

(PS: Did you know that Gujju faces were the prototypes of emoticons/smileys - they are so frigging rounded!)

Dec 12, 2008

My friend's birthday party

Today was so hectic that I don't believe what I ended up doing. I was invited to judge a rock-band competition in a nearby college by Tim. I and him were the judges. After this, Shoonyas were performing. This entire thing took about 6 hours of my day during which I was not able to do the co-ordinator functions of Noise Market properly.

This led to an unfortunate confusion which caused the postponement of a big Noise Market meeting. We finally had to meet later on in the evening to discuss out the ways to approach our situation with the record label. The discussion was very good - it almost re-injected life into the band which will start rehearsing this weekend.

But this denied me the opportunity to be with my college mates 30th birhtday party. He had been very good to me over the last couple of months. Inviting me for parties and taking me to movies etc. Because of the meeting, I couldn't attend his birthday party (for which Shoonyas were stated to play - later got cancelled because of lack of some clearance). I feel bad about this. But I guess, life makes us do weird things.

Dec 11, 2008

Busy days

I don't know how fast time flies these days. In the last 4 days or so, I haven't cooked anything (and I haven't eaten all that much as well), haven't watched cricket, haven't read newspapers and haven't even turned on the TV. The job hunt is already keeping me busy. Add to that the responsibilities of being the co-ordinator in two bands, one of which is playing 4 gigs in about 10 days.

It's not Noise Market of course. Noise Market is going through that phase of introspection. We are just going on figuring out if what we are doing with it. The record label still keeps on making deadlines and promises which would be broken again. We have been thinking hard about what to do to put an end to it. And, we are still nowhere near conclusion.

Apart from that, I'm starting to look up profiles on personals sites to see if there are interesting men who I could hang out and have sex with. But this time, it's not for money. Being a 'hustler' was a concept which just managed to last for a day, thanks to everyone in my life (including you bloggers). This hunt is to just help me enjoy the physical apects of being in a relationship which I'm not able to enjoy because of the fact that I and Vinokur are separtated by a few gazillion gallons of saline.

It's not going to be easy. People change. People get attracted to people. And this might be happening to me with some right person. Vinokur is very worried about something changing our relationship the way that we know it now. I know it. I know that I shouldn't hurt him and we both agree that we shouldn't let that be something which imprisons me from enjoying my life when I'm still young.

Dec 9, 2008

New horizon

The exams are over and I'm hunting for a job. It's almost like I'm turning over a new leaf in my life. Noise Market met up after Jodi came back from his wedding. It was fun to be back. Though our present circumstances leave us far from the state of happiness, getting back together felt good.

The day before yesterday, we had met for E-boi's birthday party. This was after the meeting with a young and engrgetic manager for the band. We celebrated a rather weird birthday party with the cake being cut in the apartment and all of us including Sumo going out for a dinner at a chinese joint nearby. It was wonderful eating something cultured again.

Dec 5, 2008

A new article

I wanted to write something on the way the media has fucked up the coverage on the terror attacks. I procrastinated long and hard, had an online debate with the Professor and decided to finally write something. The efforts (with some typos - I'm sorry) can be seen here.

It's coinicidental that my sister told me today that a job at writing for a magazine or something might be good for me. She thinks that I write well and I might be gifted in it.

The hunt becomes complex

It's really not funny when you think about the situation that I am in. I have spent the best part of my adult life working in hospitals while harboring a passion for something which could be labelled as nothing more than a hobby in our nation. Actually, music was never a hobby in my life and I have come to realize that it has possessed me more than anything else ever has.

When you start thinking about finding a job which will keep you involved with music with a touch of creativity so that your passion for writing and performing music can be sustatined along with it, it becomes far more complex. Especially because all you have been doing in your life has been attending to patients and their complaints in outpatient departments, wards and operation theatres.

Preparing a curriculum vitae, for example, becomes tough. I have been going through a few resumes of my friends to see what has been written in them and I have found that they seem to have had projects and assignments in their multiple jobs which they could elaborate upon; things like leadership, organizational capability, communication skills, team work and all that. Technically, I too have had experiences in this - while managing patients in the hospital. When it comes to sprucing up my resume, its considerably harder.

That exactly is what I along with my friends are doing for the last couple of days. When this rather innovative CV is completed, I'm hoping to apply for jobs which will utilise my skills at creative writing as well. Music and creative writing - the combination sounds good, doesn't it? But where? At a publication like Rolling Stone magazine? At a record label where I could prepare write ups for bands? At a life-style section in a newspaper writing about the up and coming gigs?

The right CV can take you places, I have heard. But am I a little too optimistic?

Dec 4, 2008

The first interview

Using a hastily prepared but decent looking resume, I went for my first ever job interview at a distinguished private hospital yesterday. It felt a little weird being in formals and putting on a show like an earnest fresher surgeon especially because my longish hair had been ruffled from it's preset position by the wet look look gel that I use due to the breeze during the transit from the apartment to the hospital.

I must clarify that I did not feel like I was faking the entire thing. A part of me still feels like a surgeon who can start working and perhaps make my way up. I would obviously feel much better if I had a tag of a full-time job working in a hospital. But the downpoint (in this position as well as most that are on offer in the private hospitals) is that I would have to work more than 100 hours a day with 24 hour shifts every alternate day. This would mean that I will have to forfeit my entire other life.

I'm disappointed to realize that I can't probably do 'work' in the field that I have graduated in while continuing my ambitious efforts in music. This has led me to the conclusion that such a heavy round the clock job at a hospital would have to a last resort. Right now, with a E-boi and Jay (from Noise Market) I'm trying to prepare a CV with which I will try to hunt for jobs in the music and creative fields. The next step will be something like a call-center job.

Today I am going to speak to a big music instrument vendor to see if I can get a job in one of their shops. Such a job has the advantage of giving me a lot of time with guitars even during work and probably meet a lot of industry persons. I am planning to start tutoring guitar soon probably at home too. It will be funny to try an explain everything to my parents as to why a surgeon should work in a shop and sell guitars. Ironic, it is.

Dec 3, 2008

Why Dostana is a must-miss movie


I don't know if I even qualify to give a critique on Dostana - I couldn't stand it. I walked out of the near deserted theatre yesterday, 5 minutes into the interval. The reason might just be that in the last few months, I've been keeping myself from watching anything but classics from Hollywood apart from those that I watched at the GB film festival and Humsafar highs.

Dostana as a movie is simply bad. I couldn't see anything which was good enough from the movie critic point of view. Bad acting, bad direction, bad screenplay, tepid humor - all ensured that I spent the time that I was in the theatre surfing and checking e-mail. John Abraham's butt was by far the most emotive amongst his body parts and I was reminded of an episode of Will and Grace where Jack plays a butt-double for a famous Hollywood actor during a shower scene.

I actually liked the Boman Irani character - which I thought was a dig at Meryl Streep's role in the Devil Wears Prada. Despite his character being effeminate and rather homo-sexual, he had the guile of an 'actor' to pull it off well. I haven't watched 'Fashion' yet and I presume I would like it better than this.

From the community standpoint, I suppose it was a positive move from Bollywood. In the campy jokes that fly around, I average homo-agnostic or homo-neutral person would become more familiar our presence. The kind of acceptance given by the Ms. Chopra's and her aunt's characters in the movie is refreshing. I was touched personally by the scene in which the character that plays Abhishek's mother has an epiphany about her 'gay' son.

I guess the other half of the movie has maybe another instance of such an instance which could touch an average gay guy who is comfortable with his sexuality and maybe I should have bothered to go through a couple of dozen pages of the Wikipedia at the theatre to pass time until such a scene surfaces.

After reading the positive reviews about the movie from inside the community, I thought this movie could be the one movie which I could coax my Mom and family watch before I come out to them. Now that I have seen at least half of the movie, I would not even dare to let my sister watch it for purposes of homo-acclimatizing - because it simply isn't a good movie.

Dec 2, 2008

Job hunt

I've been very busy these days despite the exams being over. I suppose I am rather 'off' the boil with the blogging scene now that I have been away for a long period now. The terrorist attacks sort of kept be busy at home. They sort of prevented me from going downtown to do the things that I most loved doing - watching movies and hanging out.

Now that I have given the exams, I have the liberty to actually search for job hunts. This involves a lot of time at the job portals and creating your own resume etc. I have never done that. Doctors in India usually don't do that I suppose. Anyway, I have started hunting for both medical and non-medical jobs. I really want to go and something related to music which would give me the flexibility to pursue my music career as well.

But tomorrow, I have an interview - my first ever at a hospital. I've prepared a make-shift resume and gotten it printed out. I am sure I don't have decent enough outfit to wear but I guess I'll have to learn to live with what I have. Lets see what the hunt has in store for me as the treasure.

Nov 28, 2008

And I am back

My exams are over. The last one, the toughest of them all, happened about a couple of miles from the places were random people were being shot. The couple of hospitals under attack were part of the group of hospitals where the exam was held. Yesterday morning, when I left my apartment at dawn for the exam, I wasn't aware of any bullshit happening. Ironically Vinokur had sent me a message when I was in a rickshaw saying that there won't be any exam in Mumbai revealing that the city was under terrorist attack.

I am sorry about all this; more so that some other I suppose. Why? Because of the inane sensationalistic coverage and analysis of this going on on the tube. Reporters, citizens, celebrities, victims ranting about the spirit and resilience of the city which has been finally 'broken' through. 'Enough is Enough - India's 9/11' is NDTV's tag line. Mahesh Bhatt says 'Sometimes, tragedy helps bring people together.' One piece of analysis made me sure about who our next prime minister should be - Sourav Ganguly: the analyst wanted 'proactiv leadership' and you have to 'constantly innovate'.

Ironically, all these channels proclaim to want help change the situation - to not create panic. How about not sensationalizing? How about asking people to remain calm and go and do the things that they would do otherwise. Okay, don't head to the Taj for a seven-star dinner. But you can go out to the Juhu chowpatty to have Pani Puri right? Instead - they have closed schools, asked movie halls to shut down and cancelled cricket matches in other parts of India as well.

Yeah, that's so encouraging. Show the terrorists that we are soft. That we can be affected. That they can control us. That's such a strong message.

Nov 22, 2008

Change truly is coming

You know, I have been procrastinating about doing something about a gift for Jodi and Sumo's wedding. I've been sitting on some of the wonderful suggestions that you guys had given me. Thanks to all of you. Well, today being the wedding anniversary of my sister, I finally decided to get my ass out of the lazy-chair and do something. I recorded a little audio message from both me and Vinokur and added it along with a cover of a song that I have always meant to sing for her. I hope my sis and BIL like it.

One thing does lead to another even in my world. This time I did something even cooler. A whole package of little jokes, warm wishes, greetings and a song (a Beatles classic sung lamely by yours truly) - by arists from two continents all produced, recorded, mixed and mastered in under 45 minutes. I sent it along to Jodi and Sumo. I hope they like it.

But something was missing - a photo greeting card. And since my relationship truly symbolises the hope which is manifested in the recent victory of senator Obama, we did something on the same theme. Here it is for you analysis and comments.

Nov 20, 2008

Would you vote for me?

Look, there are kind people out there. A few of them by the name Nita, Nikhil and a lot of others put up this blog with nominations for the best posts. I am honored to be nominated *twice* for the Best Musical Post. If any of you think that my posts are worth the award, go vote for me. That would definitely cheer me up!

Here's the link!

http://avantgardebloggies.wordpress.com/2008/11/17/best-musical-post/

Nov 19, 2008

David Cook

David Cook won this year's American Idol. Amazing really - his musical influences include Our Lady Peace, Alice in Chains, Big Wreck, Pearl Jam, Chris Cornell, Switchfoot, Bon Jovi and Collective Soul. Add to that he performed U2's classic 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For'. Check these videos out. It's not just the singing. This guy's hot. And he performed the most incredible version of 'World I Know', a song that I love originally by the Collective Soul.

'Day Tripper' - White Snake version



'World I Know' by Collective Soul. He cries so poignantly.



'I Still Haven't Found (What I'm Looking for) by U2



'Billie Jean' Chris Cornell version



What do you guys think?

Parvathi Omanakkuttan

I was never a fan of beauty contests really. I mean, come on - most of them don't even have males competing. Well, why am I talking about it? Because a Mallu woman won it this time around at the Miss India paegeant. Yes, I am proud of Ms. Parvathy Omanakkuttan. But I am not proud of her after reading this piece of shit. Apparently she won it because of this answer.
To the question “The rate of divorce in India is on a rise. What is the cause? Is western influence the cause or something else?” Parvathy gave the best reply and it goes “Divorces are not a result of western influence. At the end of the day, it is we who decide whose (sic) worth us. Marriage is not when one completes the other but is when both share their completeness.”
Now, isn't that corny? I mean you take a word and twist it around in a sentence and suddenly it becomes chic. Even if it makes as much sense as croc-poop.

Nov 18, 2008

A bright start

I had a very good morning and nothing could have made it sweeter than this article on the frontpage of Times of India - 'Gay Israelis get surrogate baby in city'.



I have already started dreaming about the same day in my life. It seems so distant now. Then again, every dream needs to be distant to be enjoyed when it comes true.

It's such a pleasant coincidence that the first thing that I saw today morning was the interview with my friend and fellow blogger on NDTV 24X7. He was giving his views about 'Dostana' and how it helped him come out to his sister. A few other friends of mine were in the background. One of them was supposed to be closeted and it was so poignant that he and his boyfriend were caught looking into each others eyes in the video.

(Picture courtesy TimesOfIndia.com)

Nov 16, 2008

Sound theory

You can't imagine how boring it is to seclude yourself to studying everyday. My seclusion has extended a few notches further with me minimising the conversations that I have with friends and going out as less as I can. Hell, it's been four days since I 'talked' to Vinokur. I don't know why I feel like I would do better by staying off contact. Just 10 more days before I can re-calibrate my life.

Anyway, to convert those boring low-productivity afternoons into something meaningful, I've taken up a little side-business. I am trying to figure out some songs and trying to figure why they sound so beautiful and interesting. For someone who doesn't understand music theory, this might sound weird. But this is actually fun.

To make things a little easier to understand, I'm figuring out the little motifs that are found in popular music and trying to figure out why they sound 'good'. Of course, most of music is not intentionally written to sound this way. But those songs we end up liking usually are weirdly interlinked. What do I get out of this? Some harmless, recreational, educative fun. Weird combination of words I suppose. Finally though, I hope to incorporate some of this knowledge into writing songs.

Nov 14, 2008

A cheap wedding gift

Jodi is getting married to Sumo in a little over a week's time. Considering the kind of fiscal situation that the entire band is in, I don't think that they are expecing any gifts. But it is a life-changeing event, something that I would love to experience myself. I'm wondering if I could get something rather special and cheap. If anyone of you has any idea, it would prove to be helpful.

Nov 13, 2008

Another deadline

The other day, after plenty of drama from their side, we had a one-on-one meeting with the record label chief. This is after a lot of shit; it took about 20 unanswered/unreturned calls and a few unanswered SMSes and three previous meetings when he didn't turn up before we had the balls to inform his sub-ordinate that we have had enough and we were looking at other options. Our record label makes the Indian sarkari office system look like a state of the art infrastructure streamlined for efficiency and productivity.

A concise report from Rob about this little meeting which was not too dissimilar to that between a husband and wife about infidelity revealed that the little affair between the band and the label will be extended for another week. At the end of the week, if we don't see them some of the 'promised' money, we would officially start looking for newer options.

Honestly, the future of Noise Market looks bleak either way. I don't see them keeping to this deadline. And if they don't, it would mean us walking out into the bizarre world of the music industry which seems to be an even more daunting task.

Nov 11, 2008

Music & Money

For a change, I'm studying well for my practical exam on the 26th of this month. Somehow, I'm being able to forget the miserable time that I had at the theory part of the exams. Just one more exam and it might be all over; in the good or the bad way.

On the musical front, we have finally talked to our record label and have informed them that we are looking for other options. In the last week, we came to know from different sources about the improbabilities in the future of this record label. We don't know what we will end up with but again, there is not much chance sitting back.

A few months back, we got an opportunity to make some money playing with a Pakistani artist as a back up band. Something like that might be coming up with a new and up-coming singer/songwriter (who also happens to be a model/actress as well) in the next few weeks. I hope I make some money to repay some debts.

Nov 9, 2008

Gays coming out: Is it Criminal? - video from IBN Live

To break this recent spate of self-loathing and sarcasm, I'm posting this video from IBN live.com which features a 30 minute video about Gay life in India. On a personal note, I would just like to say that Professor X looks gorgeous in this (the part which he is in).



(PS: I was sarcastic in my last post for those who didn't get it.)

Nov 8, 2008

Why I am an asshole

The few readers of my blog take precious moments from their wonderful lives to give me insight on why I'm a loser and an asshole. I think I am depressed enough to post a list of such abomiable qualities in me.
  • I am not passionate about most of the things that I do. Especially being a doctor, being a musician and being a lover.
  • I never plan for what lies ahead and even if I do I hide behind excuses to not carry out the plan.
  • I suck because I don't see the wondrous joy that life provides us with.
  • I am ungrateful and graceless in my friendships. I don't really care about what my friends do to make me feel better.
  • I don't have the drive to do well in life.
  • I don't try hard enough find a job and lead a life.
  • I am very selfish and self-centred.
That wasn't all that hard. It was quite easy because of I get this almost everyday in the comments section. Wow, it feels so wonderful being an asshole. I'm looking forward to new additions to the list.

Nov 7, 2008

Sweetness at Powai

I admit that I rarely sing laurels about my band mates. Not because they aren't bad, just because they aren't just my type. They are different in various ways and somehow or the other, I feel uncomfortable when I'm hanging out with them especially not while jamming.

I will at least have to change that stance today. My band mate from Noise Market Jodi and his fiance Sumo threw a little house party at their apartment at Powai. It was also supposed to be a meeting about the future of Noise Market. It was a very very nice gesture. There was nice juicy chocolate cake and home made chicken and paani puri along with some alcohol.

But one thing stood the way it was; the way I felt uncomfortable being with the gang having 'fun'. The jokes weren't all that cool. The things they were enjoying (like the movie "Deewaar"), I wasn't really enjoying. Half the time, I wanted to get back h ome and spend some time with Vinokur. I guess it's natural.

Here are some photos.




Nov 6, 2008

This time, last year

This time last year, I was at a great restaurant in Bandra having a party with almost the who's-who of my life then. Life was great. Vibrant, full of hopes and expectations. My friends Dr. R., Sandy, E-boi, Xander, Parry, his girlfriend - all took turns to wish Vinokur his birthday.

Tonight, I sit at my computer trying to wonder what really went wrong. I feel like run-down by a train - a train of responsibilities and challenges that I was not able to keep up with.

Today's exam was the worst ever in my life. Apart from being reporting about half an hour late for the exam thanks to a slow wrist watch, I couldn't answer even one question out of the 9 ones with any semblance of quality. I think any of you (non-medicos) would have fared equally with me in this test. Needless to admit, but my confidence and self-esteem, upto the barest of minimums, has been deflated. Anyone, any fucking person in this world can defeat me now.

As expected, the only fun of this month has passed. It was the gig at Not Just Jazz by the Bay - Shoonyas gig, that is. These are a few pics.

Nov 5, 2008

Fucked up, more than ever

After two days of exams, I have come to realize that I don't even have the kind of knowledge that is required for an undergraduate to pass the graduation exam. I could not remember anything significant for today's exam. Halfway through the exam, I felt like tearing up the answer sheet and screaming out of the exam hall.

I have lost all the confidence that I had. Now, I'm sure that I will not pass this time. And this means almost an end to my medical career. Looking back, I guess I have only myself to blame. And I guess I'll suffer the consequences.

Nov 2, 2008

Exam dates announced

Finally, a day before the exam started, the university has published the dates. The written exams start on Monday and go on till Thursday. I finally have the hall ticket and a 'renewed' ID card for the exams. During the trip to the hospital, I got hold of some of the prepared notes for the theory exams. These are the crtical stuff for the exams. I had been trying to get a set of notes for myself. But because the Xerox copies amount upto a couple of grand rupees, I couldn't.

I begged one of my juniors to lend me his copy just for the exams. Now, I am hell bent on covering the notes (once more after the last exams). That's all I'm going to read. Not the text books that I have been reading, rather unsuccesfully, all these days.

It's incredible really. I'm practicing and playing a gig right in the middle of the most important exam of my life. But that's what happens when you work and study. And besides, that gig is the only 'fun' thing coming up in the next month!

Nov 1, 2008

Tremulousness

I had a dream. I had a dream of settling down with the man of my life having a career in music by the time I was 29 years of age. I dreamt of earning enough to live happily with him enjoying the little pleasures of life. I dreamt of learning something new; like a language - Vinokur is an expert in Spanish; a new art like photography - Vinokur is a professional photographer; the history of art - Vinokur is also an expert on this.

As is widely known, that dream has crashed. I'm going to turn 29 in a week's time. And my life couldn't have been more worrying. I guess it's easy to push you down when you are already dead.

Vinokur is showing signs and symptoms of Parkinsonism. He is loosing his expressiveness on his face. He is have akathesia and tremors. His posture and gait are also suggesting the onset. It's probably drug induced as he's on antipsychotic medications which induced such a syndrome. His psychopharmacologist is aware of it and trying to workout a away to at least minimize the damages.

That leaves me with my pipe-dream flushed down the toilet.

(PS: Just to make sure that no one misunderstands me. I love Vinokur!)

Oct 31, 2008

Rock on for Humanity

Yesterday, I was glad to get out of my apartment to go for the Rock On for humanity concerty. How could I, you might ponder, with my money situation. Well, Shoonyas' band member Tim got me and E-boi passes. I was almost depressed without having an avenue to go out and enjoy myself until I got a very late call from Tim informing me about the passes. And I am glad that I went.

It was a fabulous night. I mean, the stage and the setting was international class. The sound quality might not have been up with the best that you could get, but the rest was superb. Who's who of Bollywood was there. But I wasn't for that. I wanted to watch just three bands. Them Clones, Avial and Parikrama. I missed the first hour and hence, I didn't get to see Them Clones play. But Avial and Parikrama were very good. The Raghu Dixit project was also good with Raghu playing a wonderful sounding acoustic guitar.

I got tired of all the bull-shit going on stage with Zayed Khan, Shaan and the rest of the bollywood superstars and I didn't stick long enough to watch Shankar Ehsaan Lloy play. Besides, I missed Farhan and the gang do the Rock On version. Apart from Zayed Khan, Saif looked dumb. Shabana Azmi has uncharacteristically outperformed by Javed Akhtar because she chose to over-talk.

The point was that I had fun. I had fun at shouting 'We want Yuvraj Singh' when Preity got on stage and 'I DON'T miss you so much, because it hurts' when Saif started playing the guitar! Jodi was there with his fiance and so was his overspoken loudmouthed friend. We all had good fun!

I got back home and spent some time being happy with Vinokur. Just for one day, my miserable life had given way to something to cheer about. Next up is the gig on the 5th!

Oct 29, 2008

I cried in the middle of the night

Yesterday night, I woke up after a bad dream. I was still sleepy and I cried for a few seconds and went back to sleep. The dream deserves a mention as it's only one amongst the many nightmares that I have been having. Most are related to my life, poverty, failure in exams and generalized 'loserhood'.
I had just woken up and I saw my cousin standing next to my bed. Like how I used to do back in Mumbai in my apartment, I had gone to sleep wearing nothing. I got up and and started talking to him. Although he was not acting weird at my nudity, I was getting uncomfortable. As I was in a new room in the new house that my parents had moved into, I was not aware as to where my clothes were. I tried to cut the conversation but my cousin was not interested.

Soon, another cousin came in. And then an aunt came in. All were more or less interested in a gently probing as to why I was not earning and why I had not passed my exams yet. I wished to not be talking to them anymore but I had no escape routes. My sister came into my room and I asked her to give me something to wear so that I could be more comfortable. She nodded and went out.

In a few more minutes, the room was almost full of most of my aunts and uncles and cousins who tried to not leave any possible stone unturned in my miserable life path. Then, my father came shoving the other around him and was surprised to see me naked. He started acting weird and asking me why I was naked. I said I didn't know where my clothes were and that I had asked for help. He started shouting at me saying that I was as useless as I always has been...
I woke up to realize that my nightmare almost parallelled the ones that Vinokur had. The nudity, the helplessness - it was as if we had merged into one mind which was churning up the same dream in different versions of the same movie. I cried for a few seconds hoping to fall back to sleep again. I slept only to have more of such dreams.

Oct 27, 2008

Shoonyas - the lifeline

These days, I dream about a lot of stuff. In the nightmares, I mostly end up with me on the 'loser' side technically. In the other pleasant dreams, either gigs or cricket is involved and I have a happy time in there. Coincidentally, I have a better time in the evenings and night thanks to the easing down of the relentless heat. Perhaps, the noisy kids in the building with the 'phatakas' are a reason as well.

These days, the worst days are when something or the other reminds me that I'm in the financial dipshit-situation of my life. And the most recent ones are between Noise Market Vs. the music instrument shop from where we bought some gear for the recording and live performances. We were supposed to pay on EMIs after the money from the record label would come. Since the record-fucking-label is not showing any intent of this, the shop is asking us to pay up. I get the calls and SMSes from the shop personnnel. These things freak me up!

What we plan to do is that since 3 us in Noise Market are members of 'Shoonyas', the money that comes from Shoonyas gigs will be used up for this. Shoonyas has suddenly become the lifeline for us. Coincidentally, I have a gig on the 5th of November at 'Not Just Jazz by the Bay' at Marine Drive. That will give us the money for the next month's payments. Despite this gig being on the day of the exam (the exams start on the 3rd of November) I'm happy.

Oct 25, 2008

In the past few days

  • I have been keeping my mobile phone switched off for long periods so that there will be fewer distractions to me while I'm studying. That really is helpful as I won't get any disturbing calls from anyone and I don't have to explain to whomever I would have had to talk to why I'm not doing better.
  • That, in turn, led me to feeling even better. Hermit-hood works for depression. Technically, it shouldn't. But I suppose I don't trust anyone to be gentle with me and leave me feeling good/okay after a conversation. Vinokur is the only one really. Only one.
  • I've been cooking more stuff. I made more vegetable dishes using cabbage, beans, carrot, onions and tomato over the past 5 days or so. I usually have them with rice and curd. Along with that I have had great tuna sandwiches, oat meals, french toasts and various varieties of eggs. This also has meant that I have not been having instant noodles for about 6 days now.
  • Mentally, I'm in a much better state for the exams after starting to eat well. Feeling a lot better and rising in confidence. My study sessions somehow have become more pleasant and there seems to be a distinct purpose with which I'm covering my portions.
  • Whenever I feel rather weird (this happens especially in the afternoons and sometimes in late nights), I resort to watching some movies on the tube. I watched 'The Birds' and 'Psycho' and 'War of the Worlds' during such periods. They rate 4.5, 4.5 and 3.5 in my ratings.
  • There was an internet outtage in the last couple of days and that's the reason that I haven't been blogging.

Oct 22, 2008

Amidst the chaos

The title was meant to be related to what's happening to our dear Raj Thackeray sahaab and the violence and the tension his arrests have caused to our bustling metropolis by the side of the Arabian sea. Ironically, it also reflects what's happening inside me. I mean despite realizing as to what's going wrong, it's getting hard to fight off the demons you know.

There are a few things that make me feel good. One of those is that wonderful dish of scrambled eggs that I made for lunch yesterday. You know when you have troubled sleep the duo of Paul Newmann and Robert Redford could do a good job of entertaining you in the dead of the morning with their movie 'The Sting'. But the really powerful thing is some time spent with Vinokur. Especially when he just had his haircut/beard trim. It coincided with mine too. I don't have evidence of what happened in Mumbai but I do to what happened at the Big Apple. Here it is, in a pictorial demonstration.





Ah, how coy and cute can someone get! I'd advise you all to stop looking at the pictures and to work out a way out of the envy/jealousy that's creeping in. I have my Vinokur!

Oct 21, 2008

What I did yesterday

After getting out of the rut, I did the following.
  • I went out and shopped for some vegetables and I cooked some dish with beans, onions and tomato. I felt really good to get back to cooking something to eat.
  • I got a couriered package from one of the readers of the blog (who I think will prefer not to be mentioned here) which had four cans of tuna and one package of oat meal. Thank you! Really, I mean it.
  • I watched 'Shoot On Sight' on a cheap early morning show at a multiplex nearby. I thought that the movie was good (3/5 on my rating) with a couple of very hot older men to ogle at - Naseeruddin Shah and Brian Cox. The plot was just okay and the story was kinda overdone I felt. I was impressed with the Mr. Shah's accent though.
  • I had a 'regular' conversation with Vinokur after about a couple of weeks. By 'regular' I mean one where I felt I needn't hang-up immediately to not make him feel bad about how I felt.
I hope to get back to blog-trotting sometime when I get bored of my studies. That would make me happy. Anhedonia simply didn't work.

(What really got me out of the rut was 'Body of Lies', the movie. I saw that over the weekend. I loved the movie. 3.5/5. Really fast and a crafty plot and stuff. I was a little dismayed at the physical appearance of Crowe - someone who should have matured into something much more handsome. Leo, gee... is good!)

Oct 20, 2008

The mistakes that I made

First of all, I finally feel a little better and am happy. A lot of self-loathing happened, a lot of loss of self-esteem grew in. I think I have found the reason why I felt so bad. A month back, I got a lot of negativity on this very blog which did me in. Whatever the intent that was, I got a lot of 'You are a jerk, an ass! You don't know what to do in your life. And you simply are a coward an shy away from responsibilities' crap.

I fell for it. I was already weak with all that was happening with me. Poverty, exams, lack of progress with my music and the lack of a 'definitive' physical future in the relationship with Vinokur etc. Weirdly enough, I fell even lower. I started searching and letting out demons within me. I denied myself of all entertainment and fun and tried to study.

That led to another abyss. For some reason or the other, I decided to break out of it and watched a couple of movies in the theater. That along with some other movies that I watched on the tube made me realize what it was like to be free of my anhedonic state.

I realize now that I am the best person to decide what is right and what's wrong. I have been stupid enough to ride on other people's points of view to supercede mine. That was stupid. That was weak. That was insanely inane. But now that I realized all this, I'm feeling better. I'm going to do the things that make me happy from now on. Enough of planning! You will fuck your future if you don't even let yourself be in a state to think straight.

Oct 19, 2008

What...

What do you do when you realize that you had suddenly dissolved into the earth and need to resurrect yourself without anybody's help... when all you wanted was to be with someone at a place and there suddenly is no place... what do you do when you dream about being there and wake up thinking that you gotta book tickets to this place... what do you do when you don't feel like not talking to anyone... not even on this blog?

Oct 17, 2008

Another video

This is the second part of the video of the gig with Shoonyas two months back. A little more of the wiggling me is seen.

Oct 16, 2008

Driven under

There is a song from Seether that sort of sums up the way I'm feeling now. My efforts to isolate me from entertainment and fun sort of have driven me under the weather. Studies going on, slowly. Hoping the temperature to cool down to make the long hours in the morning easier.

Oct 15, 2008

Back home in B'bay

Despite it being a whirlwind trip to Delhi, I felt really tired and jet-lagged. That's why I took this long to post and update.

The gig itself, a weird private performance for A. R. Rahman and a select press audience went okay. The news is that this talent-hunt/travelogue show to be telecasted on Doordarshan will be on air by the end of this year. We are expected to be a part of it. But that doesn't mean that we are competing in it. Our music, apparently, will be showcased along with the other artists on our record label.

Nobody is really sure about the money yet. We will have a meeting with the record label chief tomorrow and hope to get some more info.

Oct 14, 2008

The facts revealed

After a day full of suspense and no information, we are at the venue - Taj Man Singh hotel in Delhi. It's a big function! It's the launch of A. R. Rehman's talent hunt show called The Big Band. Our record label is teaming up with the maestro for this. We are here with three other bands to perform. Check the link out at http://www.bigbandindia.com. Hoping to have a good performance.

Oct 13, 2008

Leaving to the capital

We are leaving today afternoon to Delhi without much awareness of what's in store. We'll be there until tomorrow evening. I'll try to catch up what's up in the blogosphere when I'm in Delhi. Cheers!

Oct 12, 2008

Update

It's totally weird, really. We still don't have much information about the gig at Delhi. The record label guys have informed that it's going to be a small private event which will be attended by corporate people. Something to do with their artist promotion and investors and stuff, I presume.

Hence, I presume no guests can be allowed. So, Chandni... you will have to wait longer.

The band as such is planning to have a deadline on deciding what to do about the future if this crazy no-mony, no-gigs, no-releast situation with the record label goes on. We'll probably arrive at a conclusion at Delhi after we have a word with them.

Oct 11, 2008

The Tehelka special

Incredible it is, really. I knew that Tehelka had something coming up when Professor X asked me to watch out for his article on it. But I didn't expect this much. Seven articles? Cover page of a couple of bears in embrace? Whoa!


Here's the list of articles


(All the articles and the picture are from Tehelka.com)

Shoonyas live - video

This happened then. I wasn't aware of it's web presence until someone e-mailed me about it. I haven't watched the whole video yet. But from what I watched, I don't think there is even a single shot of me in there.



(PS: Tim is singing. Rob is on Tim's right and E-boi is on the drum behind Tim.)

Oct 10, 2008

Live at Delhi!

News just in! Our record label has just confirmed that Noise Market will be playing live at a yet undisclosed location in Delhi on the 14th of October alongside a couple of other bands from the roster. No further details available. I just wanted to post this for Chandni who has been acting kinda vehement at us not touring Delhi! I'll update you further as and when the fog clears up. Back to my studies 'Fractures of the Wrist'!

(PS: Ramby, UnsungPsalm etc - this goes to you guys too!)

Gay friendliness in the media

If you guys are expecting rather detailed, personal posts from me, I'm afraid it's going to take a while to do that. I'm not finding time with my studies taking most of my awake time. Hence, until my exams are over sometime in late November, I'll post in short bursts.

Today morning, while watching the cute Allan Border on Neo Sports sharing his opinion on why Australian team is kicking the Indian ass, I stumbled on two more stories in the newspaper relating to the gay-decriminalisation issue. I'm gonig to present them here along with a song that I heard on the radio. My gay friend Firebolt is probably going to love it!
  • Do you think gay people should be imprisoned? (from TOI Mumbai edition page 11)

    Reema Kagti, director of the film ‘Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd’, says that it’s time we asked the right questions about homosexuality

    The debate on de-criminalizing homosexuality gains momentum in the wake of the ongoing public litigation challenging article 377 in the Delhi High Court. The question “Do you think homosexuality should be legalized in India?’’ is increasingly being thrown around in the media. An opinion poll by NDTVDoctor had 69 per cent of those polled saying “NO’’.

    Vivek Divan, a friend and lawyer, pointed out that it is not enough to just ask questions, it is important that we ask the right questions. The right question in this case is: Regardless of your personal views on homosexuality, do you think that if you or your child or sister or brother or
    friend is caught in the privacy of the bedroom performing a sexual act with a consenting adult of the same sex, he or she should be imprisoned with a life sentence?

    It is this question that does justice to the issues that the debate on Section 377 throws up. An average Indian has been brought up to believe homosexuality is an aberration and saying that it yes should be legalised is synonymous to saying yes to deviant behavior. This debate is not about the Indian people’s personal prejudice against homosexuality or the lack of. This debate is whether India is a democratic nation or not. A truly democratic country upholds the rights of minorities.

    There are anywhere between 20 to 40 million people with alternative sexuality in India today. Article 377 of the IPC violates every constitutional provision to uphold their right to equality and non-discrimination. It encourages persecution on the basis of sexual orientation, flouting the constitution of India and United Nations and Human Rights Watch norms.

    On this pertinent human rights issue, India is out of step with nations like South Africa, USA, UK, the whole of Europe and South America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Korea. India’s discriminatory stand clubs her with unprogressive countries like Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Cases of homophobic police officers using Article 377 to create obstacles for legitimate HIV prevention has been so rampant that the UN and Human Rights Watch have sent directives to the government regarding this. The union health minister of India, Mr Ramadoss, has openly supported repealing Section 377 because it is stunting India’s fight against AIDS. The home ministry opposes decriminalisation saying it will lead to a decline in morality. I do believe none of the people responsible for the Home Ministry’s report really know a single gay person. My advice to them is to make friends with a few because it will help them do their jobs better.

    I, unlike them, know people of alternative sexuality from different walks of life. There are gay film-makers, lawyers, doctors, journalists, industrialists, artists, teachers, activists, curators, students, rickshaw drivers, migrant laborers, tailors, dancers, critics, writers, shop-keepers, politicians...the list is endless. Each of them is somebody’s child, somebody’s sibling, somebody’s
    friend. They are not two-headed monsters who live underground emerging only to wreck perversion and debauchery. They are completely normal, productive and sometimes even tax-paying people who are a valid and an integral part of our society. Their daily pre-occupations are no different from their heterosexual counterparts: Are prices ever going to stop rising? Am I safe standing here next to this dustbin or is it going to blow up in my face? How best can I provide for my family and loved ones in this world of chaos?

    The government and judiciary of India will in no way be doing any harm or demeaning to themselves by restoring and upholding basic fundamental rights and freedoms of 20 to 40 million Indian citizens promised to them by their constitution. Instead, repealing this 148-year-old law will prove to citizens and the international community alike that India is truly committed to upholding the ideals of freedom and equality.

    To judge whether the people of India are a truly democratic people you will have to put yourself through the litmus test. So here goes...Regardless of your stand on homosexuality, do you think that if you or your child or sister or brother or friend is caught in the privacy of the bedroom performing a sexual act with a consenting adult of the same sex should he or she be imprisoned with a life sentence?

    If your answer is yes, then before we go announcing to the world that we are the largest democracy, it will serve us well to examine whether we are a democracy at all.

    RULE OF LAW: Article 377 violates every constitutional provision to uphold a homosexual’s right to equality and non-discrimination

  • Wedded bliss for Bengal’s same-sex couple - From TOI Mumbai edition 19th page

    Howrah Families Accept Marriage Of Daughters Who Fell In Love & Eloped To R’than
    Pinaki Das | TNN

    Howrah: Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss’ concern for gay rights in India seems to have paid off. Two families in remote parts of Howrah district have agreed to accept their daughters’ decision to live together as man and wife. The parents of one of the girls have also decided to adopt a child later to make the marriage complete.

    Rinku Mondal, 20, daughter of a motor mechanic in Nayachak village, and Tanusree Manna, 21, of Shibtala in the Panchla police station area, had eloped on September 22. A letter recovered from Tanusree’s house said they were in love and wanted to marry. “We know our relatives and society won’t accept this alliance. We’ve decided to leave our families and live elsewhere as man and wife,” they wrote.

    Both families then lodged missing diaries with police. In addition, Rinku’s parents filed complaints against Tanusree’s sister Mithu, her husband Badal Das and friend Rupali Hyt. The police arrested Badal and started looking for Mithu.

    Rinku and Tanusree had met during Mithu and Badal’s wedding a couple of years ago and fallen in love. The two started working at a zari factory to keep in touch. Rupali apparently knew of the affair.

    After leaving their homes, the two girls set off for Rajasthan. On the way the two got married, and Rinku started sporting sindoor and conchshell bangles like married Bengali women. While in Rajasthan, the two learnt of Badal’s arrest and decided to return.

    The two turned up at Panchla police station on Tuesday and declared they were adults and had left on their own accord. On Wednesday, they gave their statements before a magistrate. Both Rinku and Tanusree’s parents were present in court. After their statements were recorded, the two families decided to accept the marriage.

    “The two are inseparable and we don’t want them to come to any harm. We’ve decided to accept Rinku as our daughter-in-law. The only problem is they will not have children. At a later date, we may adopt a child to make the marriage complete,” said Tanusree’s mother Moya. Rinku’s father Arun Mondal also said he had no problems so long as his daughter was happy.

Here's is the video that you people can check out. It's a song by the American artist Kate Perry who is alleged to be a bisexual. Check out the lyrics!

Oct 9, 2008

The world finally accepts the truth

For all those people including people who enjoy repeatedly taking a dig at my fondness of elderly men - grow up! Grow up before the the rest of the people start making fun of you! The proof lies in Times of India story here! Grey hair (scalp, moustache, beard, chest...) is sexy!

This reminds me that I really have to update to the 'With Him, I'd Like To Have Sex' (WHILTHS) list. I have a lot of contestants in the last few days. I'll do that very soon.

The Big heist

Everyone who's anyone must have seen and been intrigued by the 'See you at home soon' ads that have been going on in TV channels and newspapers. Well, okay. It was not the coolest of teasers. But still, it created enough curiosity inside me to wonder what's gonna be seen at home soon.

Yesterday, I realized that 'Big TV' was going to be seen at home soon. The ad sort of seemed to be a little hastily done (underdone) and reminded me of the rest of the Reliance stuff that I get to see.

Ysterday, as I was browsing through the Times of India when I casually stumbled on this news article. I have to say, I finally have a newfound respect for Reliance group. They have the spunk to go hunt down a competitor like the Mountain Dew Vs. Sprite fight!

Confuscious

I did something weird. I submitted in an entry for Ideat Savant at the IIT Kanpur festival 'Anthrakshani '08'' for taking part in a band competition called Synchronicity. It was an online entry which you can find here. I just wanted to see if people would find my music interesting.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail confirming that I was short-listed for the competition. I need to reply within a week to confirm my participation with the details of band members and stuff.

Now, as you all know, I don't have the actual band lined up yet. Jay from Noise Market offered to play for me. But what about the drummer and the second guitarist? If I find them all, what about practice and stuff? Crazy, it is. I feel I should just forfeit this and hope to make it next year. What d'yall say?

Oct 8, 2008

A song for literacy

Yesterday, after much resistance from my side, I sat down to work on a song that we were asked to write for the national literacy campaign. It is actually something arranged by our record label to promote us - something that is probably making them a little less guilty of goofing up with money.

The lyrics are written in Bhojpuri and is going to be sung by a famous playback singer whose website is accessible here. The secrecy is because I'm not even sure if I'm supposed to make this public. We get to write the song, arrange it and then record it at a professional studio. A video will be made for the song and it will receive good promotions.

Today, we got around to re-writing the song thrice. We were happy with the first one's demo but our clients were not. We made a second one which was unanimously voted out of contention. The third one is taking it's final shape at Rob's home. We will get the nod on the demo version and will probably hit the studios again next week.

From my side, I'm happy with what we made despite the song being rather unlike our usual stuff. The weird thing is that this project is probably going to turn out to be our first single/video - the first dose of Noise Market that you guys are going to see/hear on television and radio. We hope to not convey the wrong first impression!

Sweetness from Chennai - part 1

Today I received an SMS from my sister. That was probably the sweetest thing that I have heard from her. Ever. You judge the rest.
Good to hear that you are doing well in studies. And I want you to know that I love you in spite of the increasing lack of understanding between us. You'd remain my dear brother even if we don't talk, meet and irrespective of what you become in your life.'
Vinokur needs to get his act together. Finally, he faces stiff competition from India!

Change of fortunes

I think I have succesfully battled the trough of my depressing wave. Yes, thanks to Vinokur, Professor X, my sister and all of you, I am finally feeling better. Happier, to be precise. I had a really wonderful day of studies today when I finally found the groove. I hope it isn't too late. Now with a little bit of money in my bank account, it's a good time to go back to the hospital to see some cases. I have talked to my friends and I will start that probably starting this Monday.

Vinokur, on the other hand, is not as improved after the the consequences of reality sunk in. Despite having a great time at the museum with his ex-boyfriend, he felt sad that he won't be enjoying such times with me. It's probably harder for him with his age and frail health. I realize that I should be the stronger one supporting him and should take care of him through this phase. I hope to be strong enough to do that.

He underwent the first of MRIs for his neck and shoulders 2 days back. For a claustrophobic person like him, such a simple test is burdensome. And in his own michievous way of finding a way out, he consumed extra sedative pills to make him groggy. Yesterday, when we were talking to each other, I didn't know what to do. I am and will be unhappy that he is still not taking responsibility of the situation. There are times when I feel that I am the reason why he is getting addicted because I am unable to prevent him from doing so.

The only questions remaining are - how long can I hope to take responsibility? How practical is to hope to take guard of someone health from across the oceans?

Oct 7, 2008

Another one for us!

The positive wave continues. It was Mumbai mirror's turn this time. It featured a huge article on the statements made by the National Human Rights Commission chief. I can't get you a link for the same and hence, I need to post the article here itself. Check it out!
Legalise prostitution, homosexuality

NHRC chief says that if two adults want to be together, then why should anyone have a problem

NEW DELHI: Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss may not have found support in the government for decriminalising homosexuality, but India's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chief S Rajendra Babu is on his side. He says the NHRC not only supports gay rights, but is also in favour of legalising prostitution.

"If two adults want to be together, then why should anyone have a problem? The commission, in this regard, has a broad outlook," said Babu, who is the former chief justice of India.

"The commission inquires into violations of human rights. The right to liberty of expression is one of them," Babu said, while charting out the various responsibilities of the commission.

The government told the Delhi High Court last week that gay sex was "against the order of nature", and that Western values could not be blindly aped in India. "We cannot compel our society to follow the trend of Western society," additional solicitor general PP Malhotra told the court while countering the submission of the gay activists' counsel, who cited laws in various countries including Canada, South Africa and Cyprus. The counsel was making a plea to decriminalise gay sex in private among consenting adults.

Ramadoss is facing stiff resistance from the home ministry for his efforts to do away with Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which terms homosexual acts an offence and provides for punishment up to life imprisonment.

Strongly supporting the legalisation of prostitution, Babu said such an initiative will protect women instead of exploiting them. "Sex workers should be given licences to practise their trade, because with that, they will also get a health licence and other benefits which will protect and benefit them. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act has failed to abolish prostitution and, more often than not, makes the victim look like the accused," he added.

Minister for women and child development, Renuka Chowdhry, had on an earlier occasion said that India will not consider legalising commercial sex or giving licences to brothels. However, civil society groups like the Bhartiya Patita Uddhar Sabha have been demanding the legalisation of commercial sex workers since 1984, in an attempt to ensure better health and education to the 54 lakh children of sex workers.

Khairati Lal Bhola, president of the Sabha, while pressing for legalisation of prostitution, said: "Not only will the government earn a tax on their income, it will help in chucking out agents, middlemen, goons and corrupt police officials who take hafta (protection money) from them. Sex workers can earn more to provide education to their children, who can be prevented from inheriting their mother's profession."

Bhola said a survey conducted during 1990-96 revealed that there were more than 75 lakh call girls, 23.8 lakh prostitutes, 1,100 red light areas and three lakh brothels across the country. Now, more than a decade later, the number has gone up manifold and the condition of sex workers is still vulnerable, especially due to the threat of diseases like AIDS.

IANS

S Rajendra Babu, chief of National Human Rights Commission
All this inspires me to compile a nice post about such articles and post it on Mutiny. I'll try to work on that tomorrow.

Gay friendliness on the rise

This Sunday was a great day for gay rights activism in India. NDTV 24X7 aired three back to back gay-friendly programs in prime time. I did not catch any of these programs. In fact, I got to know about this on the GB mailing list where there were a lot of e-mails about this event. It's really heartening to see this. And it's relieving to note that it's not sporadic. Even Priyanka Chopra, one of the very few women in Bollywood that I like, claimed that she's more comfortable with dancing with gay people than straight ones!

More seriously though, the media attention that the movement is more tangible than ever. Here are instances that I found yesterday.
  • Today TOI had an editorial article One for Ramadoss which strongly supported Health Minister Ramadoss's statements to decriminalize homosexuality.
  • Today's Mid-Day also had an article 'One night at a gay gala' about how gay friendly the party scene is becoming citing the Salvation Star parties as events which the straight community were dying to participate in.
  • Mid-Day's internet portal had a poll about legalizing gay marriage. I was totally surprised to see that the voting results (at the time that I voted) were in favor for it!
  • Mutiny.in, a popular community blog went to print for the first time earlier this month. In the first edition itself, there were a couple of very good gay friendly articles written by my internet-acquaintance Sanjukta. Here is the link to the entire magazine. The two articles are titled 'Stand Up For Yourself' and 'Coming Out'.
Maybe we will win our rights this time around. Check them out and spread the message around. If anyone lives in Chennai, take a print out of these and send them over to my sisters. (I was kidding, of course!)

Oct 6, 2008

Homo-eroticism

Today was a better day for my studies despite a dull, hot afternoon which went to waste thanks to another episode of sleepiness. I'm beginning to wonder if this exaggerated tiredness is due to depression or some nutritional deficiency. It could very well be and I guess I'll have to deal with it until I get the record label money comes in. What made an otherwise drab day were a couple of incidences of homo-eroticism.

I had gone out to buy my Rs. 20 dinner and on my way back I saw a middle aged man wanking his member by a pavement on a busy road in the heart of Andheri. Being a naturally trained voyeur, I was captivated by this 'show'. Initially I thought it was just another act of micturition but I'm sure it was more than that as this probably continued for about 3 minutes or so. I don't want to go into a vivid description but there was visible evidences of pleasure in what he was doing.

Don't drop your jaws. I'm sure everyone has a voyeur hidden inside. It's just that I'm honest enough to admit that I have fun doing this. My interest in it stems from the numerous exposures to the male genital organs in various settings during my childhood. In Kerala, this seems to be a norm; something the society happily accepts without protest. Not just men, but women too. But then, I never had a thing for women.

When I was having my dinner, I was browsing through the TV channels and I stumbled on to a Professional Wrestling show on Star Sports. Yes, I do enjoy Professional wrestling. Again, don't drop your jaws. I know it is all scripted and stuff. But, it has hot men. It's a treat to the gay eyes. Big muscular men with athleticism, power and grace.

Then I dropped my jaw. I saw a wrestler of Indian origin called 'Sonjay Dutt - The Guru'! I'm sure the media in India haven't caught up with the developments of the wrestling world. Judging by the hype that the Great Khali gets - full interviews and features of serious channels like NDTV - such a name should have got some attention.

2 becomes 3

Yesterday, I hope, would be marked as a day in my life where something changed it forever. Amongst the two major events that were scheduled to take place, only one did. And it went well. Confused? Cut to a couple of weeks back...

I had just made the Ideat Savant page for showcasing my own music. I had invited a bunch of people and bands that I know to become my friends on MySpace. Amongst them was a big band, somebody who I respected. After adding me as a friend, their front man gave me a message if I was interested in auditioning for them as a bassist. I had only awe for them as a band (they cover Alice In Chains) and I clarified that I am willing to give it a shot but I already had other projects. He said it was okay and asked me to turn up for an audition.

That audition was yesterday. And I'm happy to say that I passed the 'audition' and am part of the As Of Yet Untitled band. But don't get all excited! I'm not playing for the original band. They have decided to disband (this happened 3 days back) and start a new band. This band, as the front man (who also happens to be a Mallu) says is something experimental. We will jam over the period of 6 months or so to come up with a few tracks which we will record as an album and play live. I'm very happy and hopeful that this band can provide that hard edge that I'm missing in Noise Market and Shoonyas.

The major event that didn't take place was the re-union of the ex-Shade members. Well, don't drop your jaws yet. I and Xander have not yet reconciled in a way to accept each other as friends. E-boi's dream of him, Xander and me playing together in a band still shines bright inside him and he has talked to Xander and Vik (at whose place we used to jam at earlier) about a cover band. They had agreed and I had also agreed (despite the fact I vowed to not get involved with Xander again in music) because I think this might be a monetarily viable project. But as it always has been, the reunion never took place. I don't know for what reason, but just like the older days when everyone was so unprofessional and lazy, it didn't happen. I don't know what's coming up next in this front.

So, instead of 2 becoming 4 (if you consider Ideat Savant as well, it's 3 becoming 5), it just became 3 (or 4). I'm happy deep within.

Oct 5, 2008

The wrath of the Professor

I had a long lecture on the phone with Professor X yesterday night. He virtually scolded me and asked me to get back to my senses. He drove home the point that I was living in a dream inside my head and I needed to wake up; wake up to realize that Vinokur will probably be never coming to India and that I needed to get to NYC.

For that, I needed to get my act together in India and pass my exams and earn some money. He also pointed out that I have been struggling to live with the tougher decisions that I had made. He suggests that if I can't execute them, maybe I shouldn't be taking them. Medicine Vs. Music, Love Vs. Everything else etc.

Interestingly enough, that helped me. It helped me to realize that I am the one who needed make things happen. To pass exams, to earn some money and to make my endeavors succesful. Today, I could only spend a few hours of studying because of the practice sessions that I had lined up. But I felt I was able to concentrate well. I was able to feel so much more at ease after the scolding from Professor X. I thank him for that. I'm grateful to have such good friends.

Among other interesting things in my life, my article on the movie Rock On got published at Mutiny.in. It took a long time, a couple of weeks actually, for that to happen. But it did. I was feeling rather bad to not have written anything new which is interesting enough to be posted on Mutiny.

As the dream crashes

It is hard for be to confess that my dream of living with Vinokur is going to at least be postponed for a year or so. In a recent interaction with his sister who is his caretaker, she has clearly stated that if Vinokur visits me in India, she is going to withdraw all support for him. She thinks that Vinokur is not fit for travel and that I should make a move if we want to be together.

It is true in a way. Vinokur is still shaky and is most probably still addicted to sedatives that he is taking. But I feel that the only way that he can get out of this if he's with me. Since I can't leave my life in India to the US and because we both can't support both of together at the present momment in India, it's not possible to live together.

I feel sad and angry at myself. It jsut adds agony to an already depressing situation at my end. I feel like being questioned if I have made my decisions right or not. I feel like if Vinokur's sister's trust in me is minimal. She must still think of me as just one of dudes that her brother chats with online.

Already Vinokur has proposed the restarting our open relationship. For him it is not going to change either way. But for me, sooner or later, I'm going to succumb to the desire of being close to someone physically.

Oct 4, 2008

To just take a break

Today was a good day for my studies. I got up really early and did put in a lot of hours with my books. But there were many a moments during the entire day when I felt like going out and having some fun. Watch a movie. Hang out at a party or something - two parties were happening; one GB party and another house-party that my friend had invited me for.

I wanted to watch HellBoy 2 desperately and I took up the paper and decided on a show at least twice today before deciding against it. I procrastinated the decision for going to the parties until it was too late to. The reason is simple - even though I have some money with me I feel that I don't have the rights to have fun with borrowed money. I feel guilty of being luxurious. Similarly, I can't think of buying myself anything better than a Rs. 20 meal.

The only way out of this is to 'earn' my own money. And that seems like a long way off!

Simpson for Obama

I read about this on the Times today morning. Decided to check it out. It's really hilarious. Makes me wanna watch Simpsons again!

Frame in a frame


This was one of the photos taken by the Rolling Stone magazine photographer Hashim Badani. I found this on his photostream on Flickr.

I thought it was an interesting photo to share with you all. Clockwise from 12 O' Clock are Rob, E-boi, Jay, me and Jodi.

Oct 3, 2008

Entry submitted

I have finally submitted the entries for Toto Funds the Arts competition. I went over to the Only Much Louder record label's office and submitted it. This means that I am going to stop making edits and fine tunings to the recordings. I'm kinda relieved that it is over with.

I'll post the first of the three songs that you guys haven't heard yet. This one's 'A World Full of Lies'. I'll post the other two in the coming days.
















A World Full of Lies

I could look at your face and
Tell how long I have hated you
And leave you feeling dazed
But that would be too easy on you

I could wipe the dust of the pane and
Show you what lies inside
But is there a point in all of this
If you are blind to what you have done

But I can't do anything
To wash out the dirt that's inside
And I can't do anything
I am burning, burning from inside

I could list all of the lies you said
And still be short of breath
But why are we wasting time
On something that was so easy for you

I could have seen through the veil
That you were wearing all through out
But is there a point in all of this
If I can't wipe this scar away

As I can't do anything
To wash out the dirt that's inside
And I can't do anything
I'm still burning, burning from inside

Buring inside, Burning inside
(PS: I'm feeling a little better and haven't consulted my shrink yet.)

Oct 2, 2008

If you are wondering...

  • Why I'm not blogging as much as I used to
  • Not responding to the half a dozen tags and stuff that I have received over the last two weeks
  • Not doing anything for the Avant Garde awards
  • Not spell checking and stuff (my little post last time around had three major typos including 'Avant Grade')
  • Not chatting with my friends
The answers are attributed to the fact that I'm feeling depressed again. And the consequences are perilous enough as well.
  • I'm getting pissed with everything.
  • I'm getting pissed with Vinokur for things like not remembering what I talked to him about and the fact that he is sleepy.
  • I'm getting pissed with myself for getting pissed at Vinokur and not being able to concentrate as hard in studies. I'm also pissed at the fact that I'm not able to study in the afternoons. I feel terribly sleepy.
  • I'm getting pissed with Noise Market because the song-writing process for the second album is getting tardy and boring. I honestly believe that instead of 'wasting' time sitting together and 'screwing around' with a tune without any structure, we should work on a scaffolding.
Even though I have taken anti-depressants before and Vinokur believes that I should as soon as I can, I feel that I should wait a little longer. But what if this gets out of hand?

I currently feel like I'm a 'bad person'. And although I'm sure that I'm not, I need some reaffirmation. Excepting Vinokur, nobody would ever be kind enough to do that to me. But I can just reaffirm one thing - I love my Vinokur!

Oct 1, 2008

Avant Garde Blogger Awards

Nikhil forwarded me this link. I thought it was worth posting. I was just wondering if I'm the only person who has a problem in reading a few of the lines. For all those people who think that their blog deserves an Bloscar, go apply!

Sep 30, 2008

Them Clones - unplugged - part 1

Today afternoon, as I wound up the last rites of my recordings, I remembered that one my favorite bands in India Them Clones are going to be performing on a double-header unplugged gig in town. I was all excited and after informing Vinokur that I had to leave for the gig, I left. Being the poor Mumbaikar that I am, I reached there about 2 hours earlier than the gig to avoid cover charges.

Understandably, I was alone without company without money to enjoy. I looked like a fool. There were hardly any people except those who were having their exorbitant meals. I envied them. To make me feel better, I decided to ring up Vinokur using the international calling card. We had a nice conversation despite the ambient music that was being played. I remembered what comfort meant with air-conditioning, easy music, a wonderful smell, good food and some ambience - something that Vinokur has grown used to, something that I can never get used to without feeling guilty of unaffordable luxury.

I happened to run into a friend of S./E-boil's colleague. But then, it was not that interesting and I spent a lot of time checking mail and blog entries of my blog roll. Soon I was bored again and I had talks with Professor X. and Vinokur. But by the next time, the music was a little louder and I found it difficult to listen to what they were saying. After hanging up with Vinokur for the second time in an hour, I settled into a high stool on a table in the middle to get the best sound possible. I happened to chat up with the vocalist from the band Scribe about jobs in the creative field.

Soon, the band started playing. It was simply super-fantabulastically-unreally-cool! They started with Jeremy (acoustic) which sounded even better than Pearl Jam's own 'unplugged' version excepting the lack of Vedder's vocals. My reason to go there was to listen to Alice In Chains being covered. They did cover three of their classics 'No Excuses', 'Would?' & 'Down in a Hole'. Apart from these they played 'Man who sold the World' by David Bowie/Nirvana, 'Pardon Me' by 'Incubus' etc. They were smart enough to play some of their own originals including the beaautiful Zephyretta twice!

There were inexplicable snags at the sound part of it with guitars going dead. But apart from that, the sound was amazing. The bass guitarist from the band was using a Washburn acoustic bass guitar which was sounding fabulous! Despite my hunger and craving to eat something there, I was able to enjoy the gig. At each and every moment during the set, I felt I belonged in the stage. If only the Xander, E-boi and me band had worked out.

On my way back I talked to Vinokur again on the phone. We were happy to realize that Vinokur sexual prowess was back to normalcy for the first time after the 'stroke' that he had sustained while he was in India. But all fun was spoilt after I came home when Vinokur took an unncessary 3 tylenol tablets for shoulder pain. He was being extremely careless again. Despite me asking him to not take anything other than what was required, he took something which could have been avoided. We hung up soon afterwards.

I am very pissed andy angry at him. I love him far too much to lose him to drugs. Again.