Aug 31, 2008

Random updates

  • What are the odds of a 28 year old graduate getting malnourished in a metropolis? Not too high. But the scary fact is that I might very well be. It has been over a week since I had some ‘sabji’. I have been eating dosas, noodles, home-made rice soup and coffee. And in this period, I have had two eggs, a piece of chicken and half a carton of milk. No wonder, why I felt rather tired and giddy yesterday at the gig.

  • Vinokur’s insomnia is worsening. The sedatives that were prescribed to him have seemingly lost their effect and he was prescribed a new medication. This time it’s an antidepressant, one which is not regularly prescribed for inducing sleep. Naturally, I’m worried to death. Nowadays, he spends almost 20 hours of day in bed. The other four is the time he spends with me. I’m trying to make him do something by asking my friends to ask him out. And guess what, he says ‘no’ to every such invites!

  • They say adversity is the most inspiring stimulus for an artist. It surely does seem to be for me. In the last week or so, I have been able to construct a few chord progressions and melodies. It came at the right time for me as I was really wondering if I had lost the art altogether. The only problem that is left is that I should try and write a few lines for these tunes. I really suck at poetry.

  • My good friend May committed something sinful last week. She had this crush on this rather successful, geeky guy from the states. She had stumbled on to him on his Facebook profile. Since then both of them had been chatting and exchanging messages occasionally. Without even thinking twice, she put across the question ‘Are you interested in me for a relationship’ clothed in a not-so-elaborate conversation across text chat. The guy, understandably so, was a little confused and conveyed that he didn’t think so. She’s sad. Oh I wish she had waited and played along the rules. What do you guys think? I say you should never propose over text-chat!

Aug 30, 2008

Three's company

Because of my amazingly narcissistic post about my own micro-celebrity status a couple of days back, the readership of this blog has skyrocketed from 1l.63 readers per week to an astounding 13.13 readers in over 3 days! Can you believe that! I mean if you talk about daily visits, it means that I have gained one more blog reader in the last 3 days! Thank you! Thank you!

Some of those 13.13 readers/week would already know that I’m an amazingly cool guy who’s part of two rock bands – Noise Market and Shoonyas! Now here’s the stunner! I think I’m about to join another band! [Pause for raptures]

Yes! I have been getting offers and stuff. But this one sounds really serious and fun. The curious thing is that the band isn’t formed yet nor does it have a name. I got this e-mail from my friend (who’s the reason for my micro-celebrity status) forwarding me a mail from his friend who was seeking for bass guitarist for his band. I’d responded with wariness.

I got an e-mail from the vocalist of the band; a very ambitious, confident guy, who is assembling a troupe of 6 people including two guitarists, a drummer and a turn-table/synthesizer player. The genre, as he explained the barrenness of bands in India, is rock-metal. Something like Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, POD etc. He seemed to have the firm idea of creating original compositions and using covers just for establishing in the first few months.

Curiously enough, this guy seems to have a fantastic sense of humor – in the campy, cheesy side; so much like mine. It might just be true fellas that in a few years time, you may find this in the annals of Indian rock history – … and they met on the stage of the biggest rock festival in India, Independence Rock. They have never looked back since.

We’re meeting tonight at I-Rock. Hope that it is as good as it looks!

Call from Sister - part 2

Yesterday evening, I got a call from my sister. It was the usual customary ‘How’s everything?’ call. She was getting back home from work. She was returning my call to her earlier asking if she could help me/us by getting us contacts of some college festival organizers and stuff. What I thought was a regular conversation suddenly changed course.

I don’t exactly know what the trigger was. But it just sounded the same bullshit to me. She thought that my life has lost its direction. She thought that I was not sure about what I wanted to do. Citing these examples, she tried to drive home the point.
  • When you fell in love with Vinokur, you wanted to go over to New York.
  • After that, you decided that it was better for Vinokur to come here.
  • Once Vinokur came here, thing’s weren’t all the ‘rosy’. He went back.
  • Then you say, he would come back.
  • Now you say, you want to go visit him.
  • You often get crushes on ‘other’ men.
  • You aren’t sure as to what to do – either music or medicine.
  • You aren’t happy now. That’s because of all these problems that you have.
She thinks that I should simply push back all the other things in my life and concentrate on my exams; Vinokur, Music and all of that. How easy is it for someone to say that huh? But then, there are weird things happening in my life. I’m going through bankruptcy; I’m worrying about Vinokur’s health; I’ve failed in my exams. The truth is that with all the things that I’m doing right now, I’m trying to forget all these negativities. And I think I’m doing a good job keeping myself upbeat and spirited.

She went on to tell me various other things like – Look, you aren’t giving your parents a priority in your life. You are just thinking about yourself. You aren’t thinking about some people who are suffering more as compared to you – you should try to help them and thus feel better! I told her that I would love to take care of my parents. But I didn’t want to compromise my life, my love and my happiness for anyone. We all need to be selfish, shouldn’t we?

I know that I’m not making a great job of studying right now and I’m ashamed that I can’t concentrate that hard. But then, I don’t want people to tell me be that I’m all fucked up – especially from my sister.

I told her that I thought that she was simply not seeing my side of things. I also explained to her that it was hard for either of us to comment on the other’s life as we live in totally different worlds. And I finally told her that, whatever her intentions are, she’s not helping me at all – instead she had just made me feel bad. I know that it was harsh on my part too.

Despite disagreements, she called me today morning to ask me if I was doing okay? I accepted her apology and returned the apology for being rather brash to her. :)

Aug 29, 2008

Hey There Alan - the video

For the sake of convenience of fellow bloggers, I did something nifty. I made a single slide on MS Powerpoint with some clever wordplay and embedded the song in there and made it into an avi before uploading it into blogger. Enjoy this as you can forget the rest of the songs in the earlier post! ;)

video

(PS: Alan is Vinokur. Vinokur is Alan. Just clarifying before you start alleging me of adultery.)

(PPS: Vinokur did shed some Jew tears when I made him listen to the song last year. Maybe he'll do an encore performance this year!)

Hey There Alan

I was chatting with one of our friends in the afternoon when we happened to talk about the Plain White Tees. They are an alternative rock band from the States with their famous hit song 'Hey There Delilah'. It was all over the radio and TV when I had fallen in love with Vinokur and because of the amazing applicability of the lyrics to our lives, I decided to do a cover. Nothing special. Just another lousy Kris cover.

As I mentioned, I was reminded about that cover and I decided to post that here. I don't know how to just post that song. Hence I posted the entire catalogue of my original songs as a widget.

Please listen to 'Hey There Alan' and let me know as to what you think!

The concocted lyrics are these.
Hey there Alan
What's it like in New York City?
I'm a thousand miles away
But man, tonight you look so pretty
Yes you do
Times Square can't shine as bright as you
I swear it's true

Hey there Alan
Don't you worry about the distance
I'm right there if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes
Listen to my voice, it's my disguise
I'm by your side

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
What you do to me

Hey there Alan
I know times are getting hard
But just believe me, man
Someday I'll pay the bills with this guitar
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would
My word is good

Hey there Alan
I've got so much left to say
If every simple song I wrote to you
Would take your breath away
I'd write it all
Even more in love with me you'd fall
We'd have it all

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me

A thousand miles seems pretty far
But they've got planes and trains and cars
I'd walk to you if I had no other way
Our friends would all make fun of us
and we'll just laugh along because we know
That none of them have felt this way
Alan I can promise you
That by the time we get through
The world will never ever be the same
And you're to blame

Hey there Alan
You be good and don't you miss me
Two more years and you'll be done with school
And I'll be making history like I do
You'll know it's all because of you
We can do whatever we want to
Hey there Alan here's to you
This one's for you

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
What you do to me.




Aug 28, 2008

The 16 rupee dosa plate

In the drudgery of daily life, we often fail to enjoy the wonderful things that you stumble by. We forget to take note of the beauty that our life has to offer and act benumbed shirking away anything that do better with some recognition. We run to the same bus stop every morning, catch the same old-bus to the railway station, board on an amazingly overflowing compartment of a local train oblivious of the smell of the guy standing next to you and reach your work place. Just to start another working day – eating, chatting, blogging, e-mailing and of course working.

I am strangely above such limitations. I don’t have a daily life. I don’t have a job. I don’t have a routine which takes the fun out of life. I have a truck-load of time which could be used in creative processes. But I don’t have the prowess to manage time. Yet, startling similar to others in the above category, I (hardly) eat, chat, blog, e-mail all around the day when I can. And the price that I pay is simple – poverty.

But with the money that I have, I am still able to enjoy the finer aspects of life that some other might not. For example, going across the road and eating this amazingly tasty dosa plate at a road side shack for just Rs. 16. Maybe it’s the hunger of not having had anything to eat for dinner or maybe it’s the memories that come flooding from my childhood when my granny used to make dosas for me – when the first bite gets chewed, I feel really good! In less than 7 minutes, I finish up 5 dosas (thin, medium sized ones) return back home content and peaceful.


For all of you people, who think that life’s getting too boring, try these shacks when you get time. They are on the Link Road, Andheri (W); on the right side of the road when you go towards Lokhandwala just after Star Bazaar and just before the turn to Veera Desai road. It’s simply an astounding experience!

The weekend of Rock

In the three years of my stay in Mumbai, the only thing that I look forward to with anticipation on a yearly basis is Independence Rock? This is the biggest rock festival in India; something like WoodStock! It's been going on for 23 years and this year it's going to be the biggest.

The extravaganza has a national level competition where bands in the major cities get to contest for a place to play at the grand finals in Mumbai. This year's competition is about culminate soon; Mumbai's regional finals taking place tonite and tomorrow night.


After that it is pure bliss of the big stage which also happens to be right across the road from my apartment building! That's over the weekend where the monster bands fo Rock will also be playing to the biggest rock audience; in thousands! It's huge! This year three of my favorite bands are playing - Demonic Resurrection, Zero and Superfuzz! I am looking forward to watching Scribe again (they won last year) and Agni, one of our competing bands!

As usual, I am probably the only person in my band(s) who's this excitable and I have messaged all of my bandmates asking if they are interested to join me at these venues? I don't expect anyone to turn up really. Trust me, I don't understand why they wouldn't. It's the biggest thing in Indian rock after all! I even asked a few gay friends of mine. Most ironically, Vikster who we are all familiar with dumped me. Again!
Kris: 'Hey Vik, are you interested in joining me at the Hard Rock Cafe tonight? There is a rock show going on there. It sure would be exciting!'

Vik: 'Nah, I'll pass! I just want to have drinks after 9.30 pm.'

Kris: 'Come on, you could still have drinks at the HRC. And besides we could spend the time together! You promised me drinks remember?

Vik: 'What? No! [.oO Not with you!] I'm not coming! You interested for a movie?'

Kris: 'Honey, the most important thing in my life is Rock. I could skip movies, food, lays etc for it. And I mean not the potato chips.'

Vik: 'I'm sorry, I am not interested.'
Hence, coming back to you guys, I'm asking you guys whomever who is in Mumbai if you were interested in joining me to have fun at the venues on the sidebar. First of all, all those who are interested in being kind and generous could buy me food and drinks. For those who are in awe of my recently adorned micro-celebrity status, I could give you autographs (on any thing) and that feeling of having spent an evening with a very nice guy!

Anyone interested?

Aug 27, 2008

Immodesty is my middle name

At least a few of you who actually bother to visit my blog and to read it regularly (the last time I checked it was 11.64 persons on an average week) might remember that I hinted about something related to being a celebrity. I said I am a micro-celebrity, or better one in the making. And I did leave that clichéd teaser ‘Watch this space tomorrow!’ To only those sincere readers, here is why!

So, I’ve been commenting about Queer Azadi march in many forms of electronic media – GB forums, TOI pages, blogs and some celebrity blogs – to be more specifically, one celebrity blog – Shobhaa De’s blog. I commented on her post about Shabana Azmi and other stars (all who happen to be muslims) finding it hard to get an apartment because of their religion. I had said that I had found it extremely difficult for me and Vinokur to get one in Mumbai and I had to even bring R. along to convince that I was ‘normal’.

And then, I commented about her Queer Azadi post saying that I myself don’t prefer to be a drag. I would instead like to portray the image of a responsible young man who is demanding his human rights to love and to live with his love. Since I’m a frequent commentator on her blog, she has taken pains to chat with me about such topics when she gets time.

Kris hears muttering voices say ”Okay, okay! Big deal, you are getting to chat with a celebrity! Get to the point, dick!”

Day before yesterday afternoon, I got an e-mail from our blogging friend Aham tell me that De has mentioned me in her column 'The Sexes'about the Queer Azadi march published in the Aug 31 edition of The Week magazine. I didn’t believe it first. So I had to confirm it with the horse’s mouth and I was surprised that it actually was about me. I went out and got a copy of the week to confirm my micro-celebrity status. I didn’t post it until now because I couldn’t have given the link to you guys as well. Here’s the link. And here’s the excerpt about me.
"I received emails galore from concerned gay friends who were worried they may have to face stepped-up hostility due to the weekend hoopla. One of them wrote how difficult it was to get a flat in Mumbai (his lover is a gora), till he produced a 'wife' (friendly female colleague). He preferred to lie low while members of his community bounced around in boas, puckered their lips and pouted inanities for the benefit of sensation-seeking journos. He said he felt sad, ashamed and embarrassed. Time to introspect before waving that seven- hued flag again, guys!"
Thank you De!

(Turns around and bows to an entire blog audience of 12.34 people per week.)

Noise Market promotion - requesting help

Yesterday evening, the Noise Market* band had an audience with our record label. We were worried why things weren't happening the way we wanted them to be. Believe me, things were really bad.
  • They haven't paid us the licensing fee, the stark evidence of which is that I am(for the second night in a row) sleeping on an empty stomach. I have some instant food at home, but I'm scared of using it up too soon. I'm rationing you see. If you are asking me how I manage to do what I do and buy what I buy, it's thanks to a credit card whose balance is now in the vicinity of Rs. 17, 000/-.
  • They haven't paid the studio. This would result in delays in mixing and mastering. This will eventually result in a delay in the release. The longer we take to release, the worser it is for everyone.
  • They haven't gotten us gigs. Most of you guys must think that bands survive by recording and album and sitting pretty on the money that is coming from sales. It's not true, we have to rehearse our asses out and play in concerts. That's where the real money comes from. So, if you don't get gigs, you are not going to make money.
  • We don't know about our future. Well nothing was clear. We were kinda weirded out. Natural, some might say if you put yourselves in our shoes.

During the meeting, for the first time in our entire history of meetings with them, we realized the woke up to our senses; we realized that we ourselves have to get more gigs. We will have to check out all the available gig opportunities all over the country (and abroad) and make at least some count. We will have to do promotion, marketing and publicity ourselves.

These are easy things to say. But without networking they are going to be extremely difficult. Thankfully, I have a rather wide-spread audience in the blogosphere. I urge all of you to help me and my band Noise Market here! Get us gigs! I'm talking about Gigs in places like Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Cochin etc. Promote us! Spread the word!

Currently, as you might presume, we aren't in a position to pay for this. But we'd be thankful and eternally grateful for your services.

For your convenience, I'll give you all the links that you can approach us by.
Please add as many friends as you can to all these social networking sites. Every word spread is going to make us more powerful and help me feed better. In a way, you guys are helping prevent poverty and hunger. Promote Noise Market!

Noise Market FAQ
  • Noise Market, what? - Noise Market is a hindi rock band based in Mumbai. We are incredibly cool as we won the western leg of a national level competition within three months of our birth. Rumors are that we didn't cry immediate post-partum. Instead, we strummed the umbilical cords and made music in the delivery room. And we were toilet trained at birth.
  • Noise Market promotion, why? - Well, the only real reason is that yours truly, the modesty called Kris Bass, is the bass (coincidence?) guitarist of the band. To sell Noise Market to others, please try the following catch lines.
    • We're cool.
    • We play original Hindi Rock.
    • We're amazingly hot. (Not just me, the entire band!)
    • We have attitude.
    • We have spunk.
    • We kick ass.
    • We kick everyone else's ass (especially all the cheesy music directors in the industry).
    • We rule the stage.
    • I play bass in the band.

  • Why, Noise Market, the name? - For the sake of privacy to the rest of the members of the band and to myself, I have chosen to use 'Noise Market'' as the pseudonym. The actual name is a translation of the same word to Hindi - or simply 'S-H-O-R B-A-Z-A-A-R'. This is supposed to be a cool thing to explain - Shor is the noise, Bazaar is the market!

Aug 26, 2008

Dating troubles *updated

I have been gearing up to post about relationships for a while. But I needed something juicy to write about. At the same time, I didn’t want to be mean or intrusive to anyone else’s life. Then, I had a talk to one of my friends. He is going to the worst time of his life in his dating life. I honestly wanted to help him and to cheer him up.

I asked if I could blog about it and get some advice from the most brilliant minds (of course, I’m kidding) on the blogosphere. Surprisingly, he said yes. He in fact wanted his name and his blog to be mentioned so that those people who felt sympathetic towards him could mush about in his own blog. But that aside, I suspect that he’s conjuring up devious thoughts and intends to translate the traffic that he would get to become a micro-celebrity like how everyone else (losers like me) is becoming these days. Confused? Check this space tomorrow.

Back to him - Let’s get the facts on the table here. He is a 32 31 year old, sweet looking guy with a trim, but not lithe, body. He’s got a gorgeous smile, wicked sense of humor and a plethora of pop-knowledge to charm anyone in a conversation; someone who would steal the show in a dinner-table conversation. He’s intelligent, educated (ex-Harvard Virginia), successful (believe me honey, all of you must have seen his ideas in the media) and rich (as compared to other losers, again like me). He’s a confident, out of the closet, a celebrity blogger and has readership from at lest 78 countries spread across the globe. All the women who have just woken up the realization of the warm sensation of wetness in their panties, can go to the rest room and change into a fresh one. Sorry gals, this one’s queer.

Amazing resume, is it not? Who wouldn’t want to date this guy? Let me see, women who are into women (Why am I into lesbian bashing these days?) and losers like me who aren’t exactly into young bubbly buns. Even those who have come back to join us after their panties-change, would realize that they can harbor this vulgar desire despite a null chance to consummate their relationship.

So, this Mr. Perfect is finding it hard to find his prey in the dating pool in Mumbai. The people he is attracted to get more attracted to someone else. There is this amazing repetitiveness to this fact. The people who hit on him are generally the kind who belong to the broad category called ‘dumb morons’. Hence, there is no luck on that front as well. Believe me, he has done a lot of real-life hitting on (ie. At parties, treks and picnics) and nothing has led to anything yet. It’s ironic to note that when he came from Bangalore to Mumbai, it was mainly because he thought that Bangalore was such a lousy fuck in general. Mumbai seemed greener and it actually is. Hard luck for him as is evident in his last post on his blog.

So, what do y’all suggest? I suggested online personals and dating near strangers until he stumbled on the one that he’s going to be with for the rest of his life. I know I’m projecting my experience to everyone else’s (hopefully). But I thought it is worth a cheap-shot at least. He is so desperate that he’s planning to move back to Boston by the end of this year if he’s not getting lucky here.

Please pour in with your suggestions, tips and advice to Oprah, Oprah Winfrey show, California Chicago, USA. Also copy it on to the comments section and his blog here.

****UPDATED on Aug 26 at 11.00 pm due to popular request****

Our Mr. Perfect is Vikster (Vikram) and you can get in touch with him through his blog or his e-mail. I have corrected a few errors on the post as well.

Aug 25, 2008

Hetero-homo-phobia

I was watching the season 3 of Will & Grace on my 'puter the other day and I saw the episode in which Jack unleashes his hetero-homo-phobia. Whaaaa? There is this episode in which Will tries to organize a educational programme against homophobia and discrimination for police men. Through the episode, Jack continuously insults a lesbian couple who volunteer to be themselves in the 'play' that Will writes.

I was amused. Not because of the comedy, but as to why I sort of empathized/related to Jack's views. I'm not saying that I hate lesbians. But I couldn't put my finger on it. Today, I received an e-mail from the GB mailing list which decimated my confusion. It showed a rather lewd picture of a soap dispenser decorated by imagery with someone's hand having the dispensed soap.


How? What? Confused? Well, look I started thinking who could not be amused by this picture. All men, all men who liked men, all women who like men. But not women who like women.

Still don't get it? Penises. Yes, they are not involved in lesbian sex. That's why.

Pink

She was combing her hair, staring at her rather prolific curls at the mirror. She had tried to straighten them out over the past few months but had to give up the idea altogether. She remembered the time when she was not so sure about her looks. That had changed so dramatically after Manoj entered her life about a year back and she had fallen in love for the first time. ‘Maybe, I’m beautiful after all.’ she thought.

The ring of the phone was greeted with gleeful surprise.
‘Hello!’

‘Hey, how are you my sweet lady! Oh, I have been missing you!’

‘I’ve been missing you too. How are you? Everything going okay?’

‘Yes, everything fine. Lately, there have been some activity at a border post a bit north. But nothing here. Don’t worry.’

‘Oh, how can I not worry? I want to spend my life with you and you are out there shooting at terrorists! I have seen so many news stories in the channels about new attacks. I’m scared Manu, I really am!’

‘Come on honey… you know it’s my job. I can’t leave that. And I’m proud doing that. Don’t worry, I’ll be coming back to you intact. Just keep yourself pretty enough to surprise me.’

‘Oh, I will. I love you Manu… I love you!’

‘I love you too, honey. Talking about love, I’m getting some bad dreams lately. I dreamed of somebody coming and stealing you from my life…’

‘Aww, come on! You know I will all be yours. I love you and I mean it. Nothing could ever come between us. Don’t you worry about it, honey! I love you, remember!’

‘Okay, honey. I trust you. I have to hang up now and go back to work. I’ll call you tomorrow okay?’

‘Do remember to call me. I get scared if you don’t. Even a slight delay scares me.’

‘No, I will. I promise. Let me say goodbye. Love you!’

‘I love you too. Good bye.’
As she put back the receiver on the cradle, she was amused by the childish foolishness of Manoj. How could something threaten their relationship which was built in stone? She wanted to laugh it off.

She was at her office washing her lunch box. She turned on the faucet even more so that none could hear her gentle sobs. The last two days were unimaginably wild. She had run into her college mate at the mall the day before. Samuel seemed to have lost a lot of weight and gained a couple of decades of wisdom. He had initiated it, and one thing had led to another and they ended up in making love in his bedroom.

She had woken up earlier than usual to an intense headache. It must have been the extra drink that she had yesterday night at the pub. She looked over and saw his lithe body sprawled over the other side of the bed covered with the luscious fabric. He was everything that she had wanted but he was just a year too late. He had a day job and had an apartment in the nearby neighborhood.

She woke him up and told him about Manoj. He took it well. He said that it was okay and they could just be friends. They could just keep the relationship right there; stagnate it and not let it advance. She had felt guilty and hopeful at the same time. As she left the apartment, he had given her a light kiss on her lips…
‘Is everything alright?’ her colleague asked as he went past to the pantry.

‘Yes, I’m okay. Thanks!’

‘Hey, how are you?’

‘I’m okay. It is getting very cold here though. How are you?’

‘Well, I am okay. I wanted to know if you were alright?’

‘I’m fine. Is everything alright?’

‘Well….’

‘What’s wrong? Is your mother okay?’

‘She’s fine. It’s not that. It’s something else…’

‘What is it, Pooja?’

‘Well, I don’t know how to say this… I love you, more than ever… but I have a crush on someone else?’

‘Wha… ‘

‘Are you alright? I’m sorry honey. It was so fast that it hit me before I realized it. Are you okay? I’m sorry…’



‘Yes, I’m okay. A little scared.’

‘Come on, don’t get scared. You know nothing could stop us. You have my word for it.’

‘Who is it?’

‘It’s Samuel… my friend from college... the guy who I had a crush on while I was in my second year. We had gotten high and ended up sleeping with each other. But don’t worry. We have talked about it. We are not seeing each other any more. I’m sorry… I’m really sorry Manu. I love you!’



‘Are you alright? Was I mean? Did I hurt you?’

(sobs)

‘I love you, you know that!’

‘I … love you too… but I’m… scared.’

‘Please Manoj, forgive me. I have wronged. I need another chance.’



‘I’ll call you back!’ and he hung up.

He didn’t call her back. And there was no way that she could reach him. A few days letter, she received a letter from him.
‘Dear Pooja,

I respect your honesty and sincerity and our love. I love you and hence, I want you to be happier. I'm far away and my work commitments prevent me from being with you. I think that I should allow you to live your life with Samuel, who should be able to be with you and give you the physical company that you need. I want to end our relationship in a dignified manner. I’m sorry that you can’t take part in this decision. I wanted it that way, so as to ensure your happiness.

I will love you forever. Be happy.

Yours

Manoj.’

Samuel was reading the newspaper when he saw something familiar. It was the advertisement that had made him buy that lovely pink saree for Pooja. ‘I must tell Pooja to wear that saree more often.’ he thought as he dialed her number. It took 10 rings before someone picked it up. 

‘Hey Pooja, how are you?’

...

*static*

‘Hello? Pooja?’

*static*

‘Who… is speaking?’

‘Hello, hello… may I speak to Pooja please?’



‘Sorry sir, I’m inspector Ramesh speaking. We got this phone from the river-side yesterday night. It probably is the phone of the woman whose body we found yesterday night ...’

Aug 24, 2008

Narcissism to the fore, once more

The last time I posted something about my looks and stuff, I felt the wrath of criticism stating that I was just too self-indulgent and narcissistic. I was hurt. I went back and asked my mirror the question. But dammit, the mirror refused to answer my question if I was so. I spent a couple of weeks or so in isolation, silently brooding as to how to approach and solve this problem.

Finally I found it. It is a pimple. A small one on my right cheek (bone) really. I still have to pretend to ignore snidely remarks from my friends asking me if I was till puberty. But I have learned from my extensive medical academics that it isn’t always because of hormonal imbalances; diet, hydration, oil control of the skin and emotional state play a part

Since most of you already know that I don’t eat or drink anything worth mentioning and that my emotional state of turbulence will take another 78 years to subside, do you have some advice for taking care of my skin. Someone, from my famous ‘single pictures’ post had suggested moisturizer.

Honestly, every time I visit my supermarket, I walk across the scores of well-lit shelves of skin care products. I don’t have a clue as to what to buy. Could someone, please stand up and give me a tip or two? The more the detail, the more platonic love you can expect from me back.

Aug 23, 2008

Sweetness from New York - part 2

Last time I posted something about Vinokur’s sense of humor, people acted overly excited and emotional and responded with mushy comments. I was impressed both at my narrating skills and my fiance’s sense of humor. It made sense to pursue that angle and today, I got a little dose that I'd like to share.

To kick things off, my apartment was in total shambles! Again? If you ask how it gets back into such a state every now and then, I can only guess that if you just start being a little lazy and don’t tidy it up every day, it is prone to get dirty. Shoes, clothes, newspaper, dirt, the late-rat dropping behind stuff etc. Shit happens, you see.

Procrastination worked wonders until late evening when I decided to hang out with Vinokur on Skype. Don’t smirk! I know my life ain’t all that ‘happening’! It was Saturday-fucken-night, in Mumbai that is. Yet, I was at home, alone doing my chores! But, it does help when you have someone to talk to when you are doing that.

So, in about 4 hours of time, I did the entire apartment. I was interrupted by visits by Rob and S. We had to talk regarding the band and stuff, you know. And in between, I and Vinokur were talking about topics like how he was sure that all gods were Jews and hence, my delusion that he was divine looking was not so misplaced.

I was winding up my routine by mopping up the floor. For a poor southerner like me who is used to such routines since childhood, mopping is done without a regular mop – the long stick like thing with fabric at the end. I use a cloth and dip it in a bucket of water with some cleaning solution and do it with bare hands, squatting. Yes fellas, I do that!

As I was mopping up stuff and getting closer and closer to the computer, I suddenly felt naughty. Well, I and Vinokur like doing role play and stuff. No, not too kinky. Just the master, slave thing; he the Gora master and I the Indian slave. Fits in perfectly, believe me. I asked him to describe what he was seeing through the camera hoping that he would say something exciting that I can work with. And he said
‘Honey, you look funny. You look like a duck. An oversized, but thin one with brown skin. And you do know how to quack!’
I looked back at him on the Skype video window and saw him struggling to conceal a gorgeous smile.

Unbelievable day!

Some days can’t be just topped. Yesterday was another awesome day in my life; one in which I actually lived the dream of playing on the same stage as Zero. I might be repeating myself when I confess that one of the reasons for me to come to Mumbai was Zero. They made me dream; dream of being in a rock band and play live to thrill the audience. And did Shoonyas ever!

I still cannot believe the crowd response to our set. The hall was packed with about 250 people. Despite the goof-up from the event management side which sliced our performance into two short stretches separated by an hour long gap, we had a successful gig. We played well and impressed one and all and in that process, we did bring the house down! The comments that we got after the show were heartening. A few people even told me that I sang well!

It was so strange really! About four days back, Noise Market gig was such a disaster. And at Shoonyas’ gig, with whom three of (the five of) us from Noise Market play, was professional and quality stuff. The Noise Market guitarist was there to check out our show and he was totally impressed. I even think that he felt bad to realize that Shoonyas were sounding better than Noise Market.

In a way it is kinda obvious why it is so. Noise Market is full of work and pressure. Shoonyas is more fun in a relaxed manner. There is no one breathing down your neck forcing you to play and hence the performances get better. Ah, how I wish things would go back to the original ‘fun’ state in Noise Market as well.

But the best part of the evening wasn’t that. It was the Zero gig! Man, do they rock! It was promoted as one of the last gigs from the very famous and popular band. And maybe that’s why they sounded extra special! They got the crowd up and chanting and played spontaneous jams sandwiched with tight original masterpieces like ‘Roxanne’, ‘Ayaya’ and ‘PSP 12” ‘! It’s a sad thing that half of the band have to go abroad to pursue their regular careers! I hope I don’t end up doing that!

But the best part of the entire day came from a totally unexpected source. Since I don’t have the permission to let out details, I’ll be a little clandestine. A famous author/critic sent me an e-mail saying that he loves reading my blog. In the exchange that ensued, where I revealed to him the desire to write a book someday, he said ‘If you are the kind of person who believes in working hard to make dreams come true, I see at least one book coming from you!’

That’s it! What a day!

Aug 22, 2008

Parallel-Olympics

Earlier in the day, I watched the semi-final bout at the Olympics that Vijender Kumar lost. I felt a little sorry for him but I guess he gave his best. A couple of days before, when I first saw his footage from the earlier matches, I went; 'Man, India can finally feel proud!' I mean this guy is fast and looks so damn professional when he does his pugilistic work.


Paradoxically, in the media and at least in gay circles, Vijender is getting more attention because of his looks. Everyone's opining on his cuteness and poster-boyish looks. To live up to his week long reputation of India's latest heart-throb, Bipasha has offered him a date with her. Frivolous publicity perhaps? But guess what, Shobha De herself acknowledges in this* post that he's the one with the potential to knock of Dhoni from the endoresement throne.

I beg, with a guitar case and my jacket laid on the streets, to differ. For me, he's just another cute guy to pass. The real man is our wrestler! The remarkably hot Sushil Kumar who sent even my gerontized sexth-sense to shivers of excitement. I mean, check out the body! And he has that typical North Indian 'I don't care' bear look. I'm not even mentioning his finer assets! This is exactly what I had in mind when I had posted about travelling all the way to Delhi or Pakistan in search of such men to get laid with. Well add a couple of decades and you'll get Mr. Perfect-for-Kris!


For most of us in the blogging world, the closest that we get to playing sport is to sit on a couch, watch the tube and scratch our own balls. If you are the kind who would let your imagination run wild, maybe our partner's balls (too). But I think we shouldn't be ashamed of it! Scratching balls, in my opinion, is a respectable thing to do. You pay homage to something which deserves to be idolized. Also, it tends to make us think, imagine, dream more!

That is exactly what happened to me. I started thinking about disciplines in which I could compete in a parallel-olympics and win a medal for India. I'd say I could win a gold medal in sex with men over the age of 50! Mabye I could also win a bronze in Long Distance Relationships. Definitely a gold in going to a supermarket and not buying anything after spending 2 hours! What would you guys win in?
Q: Which custom-made event would you strike gold in for your country had such an event been allowed in the Olympics (in a parallel universe)?
Examples – Blogging, Sex (any type of), Sleeping, Being Lazy, Love, Networking, Chatting, Baking a cake, Knitting, Shopping, Movie watching, etc? Remember you could be part of team events as well. If you want to comment on someone else, go ahead and do it?

This photo, although not totally related to the post, is actually from the Olympics. Wouldn't it look great on a Mills & Boons gay edition's cover?



(Image courtesy: Vijender - Tribune India, Sushil - Mumbai Mirror and the last one, Internet)

(* - Updated on 3.13 AM on the 23rd of August, 2008. Thanks to Oxy for pointing it out.)

The fantabulous Indian family - for the gay guy

I and my sister have been great friends from childhood. She has been very, very supportive in everything that I indulged in. That changed since she married. It was an arranged marriage and she had a lot of problems. I tried my bit to help her out but soon understood that she didn't want me to try and help. We had a couple of years of are rather 'cold' phase in our relationship. But we managed re-bond in the last couple of years or so. I happened to come out to her around this time as well only to find out that she and my brother in law have been snooping around in my blog for a long, long time!

Anyway, she called me yesterday after a week or so of inactivity. As usual, we were catching up on each others lives with the occasional update about our parents and our relatives. Pretty boring stuff you know. Suddenly, I remembered that I had not told her about the pride march and my interviews to the press.

‘By the way’ I said, ‘I attended the gay pride march last week. And guess what, I gave interviews to the press. I even gave interviews to a Malayalam channel!’

‘What?’

‘Didn’t I tell you that I was going be there for the pride march? Oh, you aren’t aware of what a pride march is actually?’

‘No, I know that. But, when are the interviews going to air?’

‘In all probability, it has already been aired. Nobody has called me yet.’

‘Well, be prepared for the consequences.’

I asked her ‘What?’ In my defense, the cell phone connection wasn’t all that great. There was a lot of noise at both ends as well. She repeated the same sentence. I didn’t understand the word at all until the third time. When I did understand it, I gathered my defense mechanisms up and said

‘Well, I guess I am willing to face them. But I must confess that it’s weird to receive a threat from your sister.’

I tried to change the topic and asked her why she isn’t coming to Mumbai to visit me. She said that she was busy and can’t find time to visit me. The conversation withered from then on and we hung up soon.

This led to me thinking what atrocity that I'm receiving just because I'm gay. To contrast it to those so-called 'normal' straight peoples lives, answer these. For the average straight reader - What would your sister do if you have fallen deeply in love and you wanted to marry this person? Wouldn’t she want to meet up with this person? Wouldn’t she want to spend some time together with you two?

The facts - It’s been more than a year since I fell in love and it’s been more than a year since I saw my sister. The only time that Vinokur has talked to my sister is when my mobile phone was stolen and I wanted him to inform her that it was the case. That too, because of my persuasion. The couple of e-mails that Vinokur had sent to my sister were never replied to. When Vinokur was here, my sister didn’t even bother to talk to him. And my brother in law has visited the US at least thrice without bothering to meet Vinokur.

Welcome to the fantabulous Indian family (for the gay guy)!

And to think that this happened on the same day as I saw this wonderful artcle about gay marriage. Hmmph!

Aug 21, 2008

A Reminder - Shoonyas Live!

For those in Mumbai, who have all their evenings barren with nothing on their agenda (the sorry souls), might find this useful. My English rock band Shoonyas are playing tomorrow at D’ultimate in Andheri (W). We will be playing along side a couple of other bands, one being Zero. If we don’t offer you any attraction, at least Zero should.

If you are wondering what we play – well we play acoustic covers of songs by Police, Aerosmith, Duran Duran, Metallica, U2, Oasis, Nirvana, Hoobastank, Nickelback etc. All kinds of people (yes – men (24), women (19), adolescents (12), old people (2), midgets (1) etc) have attended our gigs and felt satisfied (mildly, at least).

The entry is free. We show is scheduled to start at 7.30 pm. Feel free and drop by to enjoy some good music. Plus you could always watch me strike weird mouth positions (and gestures; like this) while attempting to sing (in vain). Just give me a buzz on the blog/e-mail after you decide so that I can prepare myself to meet you. (Add this event to your FaceBook.)

(PS: For your convenience, I have started a gig calendar on the side bar so as to avoid such embarrassing posts.)

Hair fall solutions?

I come from a family of men who are bald, obese and generally ugly. The obesity part is manageable with some dietary adjustments, exercise and wisdom. Ugliness is subjective really. I’m not saying that I think I’ll pass of as a model or anything but yeah, I look decent. The only thing that I am scared of is getting bald.

Why, all of a sudden? Well, the story is that in the past few months I have been losing hair. Not in the typical androgenic balding pattern. But I think I’m getting generally thinning. It is evident in my apartment clear white tiles as I broom everyday. It is evident in the bathroom drain sieve as it gets clogged every now and then. A scary thought – my father who’s entirely bald and almost Mr. Weatherbee-esque had hair like the Parachute ad-models until 30. One deluge of hair and he turned bald.

I have reason to believe it is rather wide-spread and not necessarily limited to the scalp as there are much shorter, curlier hairs in my dust pile after brooming. Aaargh? Nope, wrong there. I’m a semi-hirsute and it must be from the pectoral region.

So what do the wise men and women of the blogging world have as suggestions to me?

(Stats: 28 year old, non-vegetarian who hardly has enough money to eat. Don't smoke. Hardly has alcohol. I drink about a litre of water. I sleep irregularly and worry a lot. I prefer coconut oil to anything else for hair. I use conditioner and shampoo (regularly) about twice every week. Pantene and Garnier are my preferred brands. I used to use hair gels when I went to the hospital.)

Aug 20, 2008

Gerontophobia

I’m tired of people saying stuff like ‘Hey, look at that ‘uncle’… he looks so gross. I don’t feel like bathing (in the pool) now. I wish he weren’t here.’ & ‘Look at her, she’s half dead. I don’t want to be talking to such an old woman.’ & ‘You know what, I saw this band from Kolkata. They are all ‘uncles’ and they play classic rock.’ & ‘Arrgh! How can you even think of having sex with an old man/woman?’

I have heard a lot of this stuff, believe me. Yes, I’m predisposed to such comments because I like older men and I have relationships with them. But I have a question – How could you be so judgmental/critical/biased about a particular subset of the society? What if it is your uncle/aunt or your father/mother? Even better, what will happen to you yourself when you get older?

In the gay circles at least, it is hypocritical to say something like that. Why? Because we demand the rest of the society accept us for what they consider as weird/abnormal/unnatural. So how on earth can we say something like that to an elderly person? Aren’t we discriminating because of age just like we are being discriminated because of our orientation?

Because of this conundrum, I’m skeptical about telling people about Vinokur’s age. That’s okay compared to taking him out on a party. What kind of comments will people make? More importantly, wouldn’t he get affected by all that? He claims that he can ignore such comments? But can I? Can I stand the insults to someone that I love more than myself?

Random updates

I do realize that the frequency of updates of my blog per day are sometimes more than the number of times Britney Spears checks in and out of rehab per week. I also know that it isn't funny. The Britney Spears part at least. Come on, she's also a human being. We can't make her the butt of jokes always. Only on select occasions like this scene when Leonidus kicks her into the Spartan Pit of Death. That is funny! Digression over.

To save me the blushes of having to post posts (1 , 2) about posts, I have added a new widget titled (as cornily as ever) 'Recently Engayged'. Geez, I do hope you don't get tired of my sleazy word play. Digression over.

The actual Random Updates:
  • My fellow band mates have done some tweaking of the template etc for the Noise Market blog. I would like my esteemed blog audience to take a look there, and post comments about updates here. Honestly, I didn't like it. And I want to make sure that I'm not the only weirded out one. Be candid please.

  • For those who want to check out some more pictures of the Queer Azaadi pride march last Saturday in Mumbai Check out these - Albums 1, 2 and 3. If there are generous souls out there, please spread the message around.

  • My girlfriend May recently joined one of the most reputed hospitals in India as a resident of Clinical Haematology. It is really cool. It was her ambition for a long time. But the really cool part isn't that. She gets Wi-Fi all around the campus. Yesterday I saw her Facebooking and G-chatting while she sat at the OPD. After she finished her patients that is. Ain't that cute?

  • I managed to detect the onset of attraction towards another man and nipped it right in the bud. Yes fellows, that's how it is done. I confessed both to this new guy from Bangalore and Vinokur yesterday and all have agreed to keep things in check. The actual culprit is a photograph on his Facebook profile which triggered the feeling. And this is what he said "Thankfully, we are both bottoms! And far enough from each other to keep it platonic!" In another message, he added "Am into hard core stuff. So you are pretty safe!"

  • Yesterday night, was a bloody homicide in my apartment. Well, maybe not technically. It happened while I was sleeping. The blood is splattered all over the floor. I didn't call the police. Instead, I picked the corpse up, put it in a plastic bag and dumped it. Nice and easy. Totally professional. Now, I'm mopping the stains up. :)

  • For those who actually started shaking in dread, the rat's dead.

Call from Mom

I got a call from my Mom yesterday. She and my Dad had just read the Rolling Stone magazine story (post) about Noise Market. Mom said
'It's nice. I'm happy for you.'
There, not too elated. Not too happy. It sounded more like
'Ass, look you were much better off being the average doctor than a rock star.'
She continued
'Your Dad's saying that his name is coming on the newspapers and magazines without him doing a thing.'
There are two issues here.
  • For one thing, folks from down South in general, refer to their spouses in third person. Why do they need to do that?
  • This, by the way is the problem with people from South India. 'Kris Bass' is actually the 'Kris' from 'Kris Kum' (which actually is my name) and 'Bass' is my Dad's name. In mags like RS, they have to have a surname. In my case, my Dad's name.
She added
'Your father didn't recognize you in the photo. He says that he doesn't think that it's you. I recognized you immediately!'
That's the only heartening thing really. At least my Mom recognizes my bearded-moustached-long hair look. Maybe she would also relate more to my coming out.

I actually expected them to say something about seeing me in the pride march on Mallu television. But then, I came to know that the television set at home is under repair.

Aug 19, 2008

The Disparity

Have you ever felt scared of reality? I am beginning to suspect that I am. It is easier for me to be at my computer chatting with my friends and Vinokur than going out there and being with real friends. Damn, it’s easier for me to be with myself and write on this blog and be with virtual friends too. Is this something that I’m going to get used to as I’m growing old?

I think it’s the levels of stress and hurtful things that I’m avoiding when I’m being with real friends. Real people could hurt you by their vicious comments which are almost always uncalled for. On the internet, people seem to be serene and a lot funnier. Besides, the stream of thought seems to relate too. Obviously you see snidely remarks online as way. But somehow or the other, there is this coating of well-mannered humor in there.

The easiest way to get around to facing the god-forsaken happenings of reality is by using humor. Most people would argue that humor is the best defense mechanism. It helps to get used to it. For me at least, laughing at practical impossibilities is the only way to deal with them, when I can deal with them. Most of the times though, nothing really helps. That’s when I think of getting anti-depressants.

Anyway, in a weird way, the two bands that I play in fit to the analogy between reality and virtual bliss. Of course, they both are ‘real’ bands with living musicians playing ‘real’ instruments. But there is a big difference.

‘Noise Market’ is much bigger and hence more of a pain. Despite the members being funny, it feels more work than pleasure. There is a sort of impending burden when there are scheduled practice sessions or recording session. I fully expect to get hurt and feel bad during sessions with them. Yes, we have a recording label and have cut an album and we are going to be celebrities if things go well. But this professional attitude has definitely taken almost all the ‘fun’ out of being in the band. Since we indulge in original stuff, there is a lot of ego and there are always more arguments and misunderstandings. In short, it feels like real life.

Shoonyas, on the other hand, is almost comical and purposeless. We hardly indulge in regular practice. We don’t have any formed agenda for our future. Of course, there is a lot of talk about how we should become bigger on the scene. But nothing comes out of it. The songs are entirely covers (until now). Hence, work-load is less as well. But it is always fun. Even while goofing up, there are hardly any edgy moments. There is definitely less ego and less pressure.

Tonight, as I type in, my life feels so much better. Why? Maybe because there wasn’t any Noise Market stuff going on - just a fun-filled practice session with Shoonyas.

Priceless


I'm short by nine hundred and ninety nine words for this picture. Maybe you guys can fill in!

Mucho mejor*

If you don't know what rapid cyclers are, then you can observe me. Yesterday night and today morning I was neck deep in depression. Tonight, I'm back to normalcy. A few darned posts and a lot of blog-commenting in morning set the tone for the day. Since then, I discovered the criminal rodent infestation zone and I managed to clear it.

Believe me folks, cleaning rat-excreta isn't all that cool. It is unfortunate that the rodent chose its abode as the corner at the foot-end of my bed. That's the reason why it stank that bad! Just that gave me the motivation to finish up the rest of my chores and voila, the apartment smells much better now.

In the evening, I went out to pay my Vodafone bills. Much to my surprise, I had a little 'machine trouble' at the kiosk and I was pleasantly reminded of this post by Nikhil.

Tonight was Noise Market's first practice session after the gig. We practiced well for an hour or so and then sat down to dissect our performance at the gig. It was a very productive discussion and we managed to plan our strategy for the coming months. We are focussing on getting slots at colleges (IITs et al) on a national stage. (I would be grateful to anyone who cold help us find the contacts of the organizing persons for these gigs.)

Tomorrow onwards, it's going to Shoonyas practice. Yes, it's been a long time. About 2 months since we played live. But this time, it is going to be special. We are playing along with Zero, the biggest rock band from Mumbai. Unfortunately though, Zero has announced that it is probably going to be their last gig together as they want to go their individual ways.

It is bitter-sweet really. When I came to Mumbai, Zero were one of my inspirations. In the first two years, I could only dream of playing in a band. And now, like an anti-climax to the realization of a dream, I'm going to be playing alongside them at their last gig! I'm proud!

For those interested, you can catch Shoonyas (which of course is a pseudonym) & Zero at D'Ultimate in Andheri (W) on the 22nd of August from 7.30 pm onwards. This is a little snippet about the gig in today's Mumbai Mirror.

(*Translated to English as 'much better' - courtesy Vinokur)

Aug 18, 2008

Updates

I've been blogging rather helter-skelter in the last few hours... filling up the voids left behind due to business and tiredness. Since I posted them in their chronological order, it might be difficult for you to find the stream (especially if you are using a reader) of posts. Ergo, I've compiled the list of updates here. :)

The trans-atlantic wave of depression

Don't blame me for getting into a this sullen mood. The reality is so. Everyone in my virtual blog world knows how badly I want to live with Vinokur and lead a family with kids and stuff. For that to happen we have to have a few things ironed out. And those seem to impossible.
  • Me to the US - Well I don't have a VISA. I don't have money. I don't seem to be getting any significant money in the near future.
  • Him to India - He has a VISA. But his savings have gone to null after the hospital admission and his private nurse salaries.
  • His health - He seems to be crippling due to the maladies that are infesting him. And as you know, the health system in the states is very weird.
Yesterday night, we spent a lot of time crying. On Skype, that is. It just seems so improbable that we can live together. If you think of the odds, its miserable. I know a lot of people who would be willing to give anything to find a love and partner(s) like us. Yet, for us, living together is all but a fantasy.

Apart from that, the rats, the state of affairs in the band and the exam situation aren't helpling me a lot either, you know. After posting this, I'm planning to get rid of that unforgiving stench rat-excreta stench. I'm already two rat-kill cakes down. There seems to be no respite. I am seriously considering getting a cat. They always, seems to make me feel better. Another thing that would make me happy is a lot of commenting. All of you, who want to help a soul, please do drop in comments.

Cross-linking

Since the time that I posted the depressing Rat-a-hatee post, I'm feeling much better. Blog friends do help me with their posts and their lives. Since I'm the one who maintains the Noise Market (?) blog, I needed to update it after last night's gig. It was a kind of difficult post because I was in a semi-depression. Plus, I needed to be funny/sarcastic whilst being critical of our own performance. I managed this.

I'm hoping to see comments.

Aug 17, 2008

Brilliante Weblog Award - winner

My conscious, conscience-forsaking bragging paid off. I have received the Brilliant Weblog award. Thank you ladies, gentlemen and the sexually-challenged. I know that my design is nothing to write homo about, but at least somebody identified with my misplaced sense of humor. Unsungpsalm, I'm truly honored!

I have to thank Chandni - for giving the award to UnsungPsalm in the first place, and UnsungPasalm - for co-conspirating with Chandni for giving me the award. I'm not going to give it back to those guys who have already got it so as to keep this chain moving on.

Ze Award

I'm no wiz on any design, but I too would like this stamp to be made better. More importantly though, the purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere. Here are the rules to follow:
  1. When you recieve the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back.
  2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
  3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Brilliant Weblog’
  4. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).
  5. And then we pass it on!
I choose to pass it on (in the order of appearance in Kris' blogging world)

Rat-a-hatee

You know that you aren't doing well if...
  • You spend more per day to 'feed' your rats (rat-kill) than to feed you.
  • Your apartment smells worser than a public urinal.
  • The urine is that of a rat.
  • The faeces of the rat(s) adorn your apartment like pattern on mosaic
  • You have to spend the entire day at home for want of better things to do.
Folks, please forgive me for being a tad depressive. I know I have a lot to post about. The 'Brilliant Blog award', the Queer Azaadi pride parade and the Gig. But I am not in a state of mind affairs to do such creative things. Hence, I'm taking a recess. I'll be back in a day's time (I hope).

The gig - report

The day at the gig didn’t start out very well as I had the problem is setting the mix right on my monitor speakers really. I thought I wanted the basic mix loud (the drums, rhythm guitar and lead vocals) on my monitors, but I wasn’t able to get that. It might have been my fault but I could have gotten off better without accusations that I was not doing my job properly. In my defense, I thought I was doing what I had been doing at previous gigs. It just didn’t work out I guess.

As I came back from the pride march, I wasn’t sure of the reaction that I would get from my fellow band members. Well, as always S. did manage to act homophobic and mean which didn’t help. I wanted the band to wear some of the stuff that I had got from the pride march. I think it was too much of an ask really, but anyway I was disappointed to find that they didn’t think it was important to push the message across. What could be a better stage than the day of the march at a college gig when you are with rainbow hats and masks? Yeah, in a parallel universe perhaps.

I am very glad that Dr. T., and a gay friend of mine (a DJ) came as my guest invitees. The DJ though managed to make me feel weirder by giving this lecture about why we shouldn’t have signed on to a label. He apparently thinks that they label thing restricts our freedom to choose what we want to play, where we want to play and when we want to play. He also thought that we shouldn’t charge as much as we do citing the example that he himself was not getting ¼th of what we normally charge for a gig. Well, whatever.

The bands which opened for us were two ends of the spectrum. The band called ‘Wehem’ were very unprofessional in their mix and performance. Their English was heavily mock-accented and the songs that they chose to cover were a tad on the sillier side. But despite that, the crowd were on their feet cheering and dancing. Fair, you could say. But come on, you have to be demented to appreciate mediocre music.

On the other hand, Prayag, our friends from Mumbai were simply brilliant. Everything about them sounded just right. They played brilliant cover songs and executed them professionally. Their original songs were even better. While being backstage getting ourselves warmed up, I felt good listening to them play. I thought maybe we would also sound good.

When we took stage after a fire-dancing performance, I was all excited and high. But the turn-out was disappointing. We had expected about 500 plus but there were hardly 200. For some reason or the other, our singer took some time to get into stage. I did my best to get the crowd active by cheering them on. But that didn’t really work out.

We started off brilliantly with our first single (hopefully). The band seemed in place and we played well. But from then on, at least my performance, flagged. I made mistakes and was not feeling all that great. I don’t know exactly why. The most prominent reason was the mix that I was getting. But I was also kinda tired with the lack of sleep, good food and the exertion in the morning and afternoon. And hence, I really didn’t give too much of a stage act.

The only thing that did help was the rainbow hat which I chose to wear in the latter half of the show. It apparently looked good and was very well accepted by the crowd. Our singer was a little off-color for the show and he forgot to mention the hat and the reason for me wearing it. We also fumbled and chose not to play one of our best songs. We actually managed to get only half the amount of time that we were promised and hence, we were a little shaken because of that I guess.
The crowd was weird. They were dancing in a weird way to our songs. And they protested against playing our favorite songs. This was one of the points that I was arguing against in our band meetings. But I was proven wrong. I guess we’ll have to resign to the reality that no-body really cares for music and all of the audience would only want to jump up and down to a fast beat.

Post-gig, I was bluesy. Some of our friends stripped down our performance and gave wonderful critiques. I’m very thankful for them. We had to hang out at the college until they managed to arrange transportation for us. That made me feel even worse. All I wanted was to come home and spend time with Vinokur. Instead I had to hang out with friends who were having a great time joking about. No offense to them really, I was not in a mood despite having come out to them during the process.

I learnt a lot from this experience. First of all, I learnt to eat and sleep well before performances. I have learnt the lesson to make sure that I get the mix right at my monitors. I have to get my new bass guitar adjusted so as playing is easier for me. We also have to figure out a way to get the entire band interacting with the crowd. One man show simply doesn’t work.

Anyway, the grim reality haunts me. 3 months into the contract, the record label has not paid us. They seem to be lackadaisical in everything that they seem to be doing. Besides, I’m not really having a great time with the band these days. I’m not so sure about this being the primary career path anymore. I badly want it to be though.

Aug 16, 2008

The Queer Azadi pride - a report

The day had begun well despite me not getting enough sleep overnight. I was with Vinokur very late, you know. I had a very long day. First it was the sound-check at the NM College before the gig. I was very thankful about the fact that for the first time in about 6 months, we got help for transportation of our instruments. The festival organizers were gracious enough to send us a couple of cars so that the actual lugging of instruments was reduced to a minimum. The actual sound-check didn’t go all that great. Again, some professional mishaps from my end, as I was convinced by my fellow band members.

Feeling disappointed but hopeful that the parade will cheer me up, I headed home at the strike of noon. I knew I was going to be late. I had to shower, dress and go half the way across Mumbai on a hot and humid afternoon. I tried calling a couple of friends to see if they were passing by my apartment. But everyone was already half-way to the destination. After my shower, I decided on wearing the one of the new tees that I had purchased for the events of the day. That went along with a pair of Levi’s L 531 jeans which reall y are discardable.

Thankfully, I was able to get to the station rather quickly. I carefully surveyed the stations for groups which might be going to the parade. I couldn’t find any although I did see a disparately high proportion of well dressed women on the platform. As always, Mumbai’s suburban trains were brilliant and I managed to reach the destination about 10 minutes before the starting time for assembly. I had to walk from the station to the August Kranti Maidan as I was not able to coaxe cabbies to drop me; I suspected sexual discrimination before I realized that the distance was rather miniscule.

I saw a bunch of media trucks in a row with reporters with cameras and microphones standing anxiously at the gates. Inside the maidan, I was surprised to find a lot of people and most of them seemed to have forgotten to dress. My judgement was proven wrong when I found that more than half of them were assembled there for something else going on in one of the two vacant spaces separated by a walk-way. On our side of the ground, I see a group of transgenders getting ready with make up dresses, facial paints etc.

The one thing which attracted me most was the rainbow-hat that I saw a few wearing. I wanted to get one and as I searched for some familiar faces, I was able to locate its source. I chit-chatted with a group of women who appeared to be straight before buying the hat from one of them. It costed me a mere 100 Rs. The women were pleasantly surprised (or so they seemed) to find a regular straight-looking guy with beard et al was sporty enough to buy a hat.

As soon as I wore the hat, things seemed to change for the better. I found a lot of my GB friends walking in with some of them wearing gorgeous outfits. A few minutes later, I was requested by Nitin and Vikram Doctor to give interviews to the media channels. Apparently, I was a good candidate and I was the only Mallu amongst the group. I wasn’t sure of this really. I was surprised to see myself standing next to Nitin whilst he gave a press interview in Hindi to a group of cameras and reporters of almost all the major Hindi news channels. Thankfully I was not asked to open my mouth. I just kept on smiling into the camera.

There were masks, flags, stickers and t-shirts (the only things which were way too expensive for me). I got all of them and decorated myself. By 2.30 in the afternoon, the group had grown to a sizeable crowd. The spokespersons of the various groups and alliances started giving speeches to the crowd. Lakshmi and Celina Jailed took all the attention of the media as you would expect.

Soon, we all set for the march. The group must have been over 500 by then. I chose a wonderful friend of mine as my date for the march. We held hands almost for the entirety of the march. I was holding a poster of the rainbow-torch almost throughout the march. We chanted slogans, sang rather frivolous parodies of bollywood hits and enjoyed the entire march.

In between though, I gave interviews to a couple of newspapers (TOI, Today group and a gujarati newspaper) and a Malayalam TV channel (Manorama). It was a hard decision to make initially. But I decided that it was time to be brave and to come out to the media. The questions were clichéd and apparently no one seemed to believe that I was gay (strange!). They also worked at the doctor angle and the partnership/marriage angle. The weirdest part of the entire thing was this feeling that my Dad and Mom would call me to ask me ‘Why didn’t you tell us first before announcing it on national television?’

The march ended at the Chowpatty where we hung out for half an hour or so. Some of the group with more limber bodies even danced to drumbeats. At 4.30, the police asked us to disperse. And I had to get back to the college for the gig. Hence, I walked with a few friends of mine to the station.

I got a lot of strange looks from people for my hat and the banners that I was carrying. But it really felt liberating to sit in a crowded Borivili local in the evening with splatter of colors. The public didn’t give me the smirk or the rude comment. Yes, Mumbai is growing up.

To end my little mal-written report, I would like to say that I was not really happy with the entire thing. It looked more like a circus rather than an human-rights march. And the media, well they really want just to sensationalize issues. They probably are not really looking to help us by covering this march.

The aftermath

I don't know why I'm typing this now. My head hangs in disappointment after an average performance at the gig. My arms ache from all the lugging of the equipment for the gig. My fingers are sore with all the excessive plucking of the strings. My heart is proud but wary of the consequences of my 'coming out' on press and television. My stomach feels a tad empty because I'm lazy to make/order/eat anything (substantial). My legs are tired of walking for the pride march.

Tonight would have been ideal for me and Vinokur to be spending a few quiet hours together, in each others arms: him running his fingers through my hair, gently massaging my scalp as I caress him and snuggle my nose into his furry chest. This is the day that I miss him. I love you my Vinokur!

Two polls - the results

I thought it would be a wise idea to record the results of a couple of posts before I take them off the side bar. Here!
Should I indulge in less criticism?
  • No way, you should do more! - 4 (33%)
  • You are perfect, keep it up! - 7 (58%)
  • Maybe, it could hurt you later on! - 0 (0%)
  • Obviously, you are crazy not to have realized it earlier! - 1 (8%)
Well, I am surprised at the result of this poll really, but in a pleasnt way. I will keep the snide in me alive then!
Should I merge my private and public lives/blogs?
  • Yes - 7 (63%)
  • No - 3 (27%)
  • Don't know - 1 (9%)
Again a little surprised. The good thing is that I'm already doing it in phased manner.

Aug 15, 2008

Tomorrow's gig

FYI, Noise Market is headlining at NM College's Umang 2008 tomorrow night. The details are given here. The band has been given about 10 - 15 guest invites and there are a few left now. I am in a fix. I can't invite people from the hospital because there are just too many people. I could have invited my gay friends but most of them are busy attending the Queer Azaadi march in the afternoon and after that, the GB party in the night.

I tried inviting a few people from my real life (Parry, Sandy etc.). But no one is free. Dr. T is the only friend of mine who has agreed to come (along with a colleague of hers). Ergo, I could still get a couple of people in. I never imagined that I'd be doing this, but here I am ... Anyone interested?

If anyone happens to be, I would need to know that by tomorrow morning 9 am. So, hurry up.

Dreams from a weirdo mind/brain - part 2

I'll continue (read part 1) my series on dreams on this fine Independence Day morning. I must thank Vinokur for making me do this. He thinks recording dreams is one of the coolest things to do. This one is about about hydrophobia (or maybe aquaphobia as this Wiki article suggests). Not the kind that is associated with rabid dogs (or men for that matter).
The dark, menacing clouds were looming high over my head. It had been raining all throughout yesterday and today. The whole town was flooding. I knew I had to escape this. As I was pacing through the dirt-path, I remembered that I needed to cross the river; the angry, violent force of water. Across it lay the land of peace, happiness and freedom.

Soon, I’m greeted by the haunting sound of water. I knew that it was near, it was the test of my life. And I saw it! The wide, brooding body of water which had turned into a wild monster after all the torrential downfall. I was scared of reaching near enough to take a closer look at it. I ran for a mile or two along its side. It only got more threatening.

Then I saw it. The rope bridge strung across the couple of miles of madness was swaying in the wind. I walked slowly towards my destiny. I had to be strong. I had to prove myself. Soon I found myself walking on the rope bridge clinging to my life. I tried hard to not look down. The river seemed to have widened to the dimension of a lake but retains its ferocity. I wished if things were not so tough in my life.
Wondering what this is all about? Well, during my childhood, a traumatic one at that, my weekends were more painful. Incredible for a kid who goes to school, right? I'm not talking about you brats who enjoyed a memorable growing-up-time with a warm household to spend it in!

My mother had her share of problems with her in-laws to the extent that she had to go over to her folks place and spend the weekend there in order to 'enjoy' it. She used to take me and my sister along without even passing a thought if our lives were getting affected. I had to miss all of my regular friends who listened to music (yes, I used to listen to music when I was a kid!), played cricket and hung out with.

I was stranded at this godforsaken, conservative part of town with kids who liked chanting hymns to reading comics. No friends and extremely boring. My giant, forgettable grandfather and the dysfunctional conversations that my Mom used to have with her folks used to scare me (they still haunt me). I used to try in every way to get away from all this to find something better to do.

Strangely enough, I chose something that I was scared of. Right next to this place was the biggest river in Thiruvananthapuram (Karamana river - Wiki, Map). I would go sit by the river, throw stones at it etc, despite my phobia. The 'good' part of the town lay across the river and I always wished if I could cross over and be with my friends and be happy.


Apart from this, I remember that I was stranded in a boat in the middle of the Thekkady lake during a vacation trip. The light was dimming and there was the risk of not being rescued. I really thought that I would find myself in the obituary section of the newspaper the headline of which would be 'School kids drown in the lake'.


Coming back to life - I still have problems with large bodies of water. And I can't still swim. I have real problem in bathing on streams/waterfalls etc. And I don't even know how I will feel on a cruise ship.

(Image courtesy 1 - SkyScraperCity.com , 2 - Keralamist)

Are you a male or a female

I was about to go hit the sack, when I jittered on to this cool web application through this blog. It tells you the odds of being a male or a female based on your browser cache. Pretty cool, ain't it?

My results were kinda revealing.
Likelihood of Kris being FEMALE is 60%
Likelihood of Kris being MALE is 40%
Okay, okay. It shows that I am a fag!

You can check your probabilities out here. (This works tardily on IE. Better jump to Firefox/Opera)

Aug 14, 2008

Interesting blogs and more

I have been doing a lot of blog-hopping and I stumbled on to a few interesting posts I would like my readers to take a look at.
  • Joel Derfner: This blog is what inspired me to start blogging in the first place as is evident here. His latest post is so ironically true.
  • Aamir Khan: I like the way he writes and stuff. The design is also neat. But, can you believe that he wants us to log on to his website with username and password to post in a comment? Do you agree to this shoddy stand?
  • Amitabh Bacchan: This latest post about one of his fans complaining (bitching really) about him and his team of 'stars' not fulfilling 'promises' is very interesting. And you can see how the Big B annoys even his fans by using uppercase for a couple of lines. Curiously enough, my comment criticising this has not been published on the page!
  • Jabberwock: You should read this post about the reaction from the Indian public to Bindra's gold. Remember the TOI comments about the repeal for section 377. This is even worse!
  • Miscellaneous blogs: Very interesting posts about straight relationships
Believe it or not folks, I have got a couple of offers from other sites/blogs to write there. I really don't have a friggin' clue as to why people would want me on SiliconIndia.com or Mutiny.in. Especially in the former as I may find CEOs of tech corportations like Intel reading my posts about why the Greek soccer team should be awarded gold in the Olympics just because of their sex appeal.

So, do all of the 8* readers approve of this significant step for the GayKind?

(*as assessed on the 14th of August. Miss Quested's extensive commenting gave her/him/it a status of 1.78 readers which was rounded up to 2 in the final standings.)

Sweetness from New York

For those of you who don't know me well enough, this might not be boring. And the rest, well, you will just have to act cool and pretend that you enjoyed this.

Since I and Vinokur fell in love a year or so back, we wanted to meet each other badly. Fair, anyone would say. Even animals would want to do that. [But, do animals fall in love?] We made our initial plans to meet up for our common birthday which falls in early November. But that did not work out and the visit was postponed to late February this year. Since I'm a brown, Indian boy with a beard but without savings in the bank (read 'no VISA'), we decided that he would fly down to Mumbai first and live happily ever after with me.

For that we had a masterplan; new apartment with the faintest tinge of luxury etc. But because of his extensive back-ground of health problems, the three week stay in India was far from memorable. It included hospital admissions and resulted in an extensive period of amnesia. These days, during our conversations, I periodically check if he has started getting back those memories. Yesterday, I asked him which was his most memorable moment during this visit.

He said 'The first time we kissed each other at the apartment.'

As you would expect me to, I asked him to elaborate his version.

He said 'I kissed you passionately!'

I was shocked. I wanted more background, more build up and attention of minor details like the lighting, smell etc. I asked if he could be more descriptive, like a writer. What he said in response startled me. And it made me laugh hard.

'My lips met yours. Mine were below my nose and yours were below your nose.'

This is the kind of humor that he has. It's hard to get I know. But still, what can you do to such a guy but love him!

Aug 13, 2008

Who is Miss Adela Quested? The investigatory report

[Why are we talking about Miss Adela Quested? Because he/she/it started commenting on my blog a couple of days back and has indicated his/her/it's desire for me, Kris Bass, in multifarious, nefarious ways. Here goes.]

Let's start from the name. Vinokur gave me the first hint that he remembered it as a character from the book 'A Passage to India'. Miss Adele Quested is the British Woman in the book who guided on a visit to the Marabar caves by the bearded Dr. Aziz, an idealistic, youngish Indian man who has befriended some English people. In there, gets confused and disoriented and apparently runs out accusing Dr. Aziz of assaulting her in the cave. Here's a still from the movie of the same title.

 
I don't know if this is a metaphor or analogy. I can see the smimilarities between me and Dr. Aziz. I'm bearded and I too am a Doctor. I'm youngish (28) and idealistic (maybe) and I have befriend English folk (not exactly, Vinokur is a darned American. But still he speaks English.) Since no one is sure about the sex of the character here, I'm going to refer to it as 'it'. Does 'it' adopt the aforementioned nick to drive in the point about lusting towards a bearded doctor? Perhaps. Let's carry on.

The first intended metaphor is drawn between Kris Bass and Jason Patric in 1987 horror/comedy The Lost Boys (IMDB). Jason acts the role of Michael, the elder of the two brothers who becomes a vampire after drinking blood mistaking it for wine. I'm not sure if I actually look as cute as him or that I am a vampire.

 
Then comes 'I haven't seen this much cuteness and naivete as the War of 1912.' This is by far the toughest of all the references. Here is the link to the Time magazine article. I guess we will need it itself to explain this analogy.

Throwing out Pet Shop Boys CDs comes up next. Well, I can sort of relate to that as I am so cute and sexy that Pet Shop boys are of no match to me. That's a wonderful compliment as even I love Pet Shop Boys.

It goes on to claim that it's the Darkman (Wiki) (from the 1990 film titled 'Darkman' - IMDB). The character is a scientist who after being attacked, turns into half-crazed, masked vigilante, known as Darkman who decides to get revenge on the criminals. This is interesting as I'm sure he is talking about taking on FlyGye as is evident from the interaction between the two.

 
Then it goes on to compare ourselves to the characters from the movie 'Weekend at the Barnies' (IMDB). It is compared to Andrew McCarthy who plays the character of a young employee in an insurance company whose Boss Bernie Lomax (to which I'm compared to - Shocking!) is involved in fraud of stealing money. In the final parts of the movie Andrew McCarthy uses the dead Bernie Lomax's body so as thugs can't kill him. Now, this is scary. I feel that the Darkman is after me!

 
Immediately though, it corrects itself by saying that it is more comparable to Ducky, an exchange student, with Chinky looks, in the movie 'Sixteen Candles' (IMDB) who in a alternate ends, wins the cute girl protagonist Molly Ringwald in the movie. Here I'm confused whether it is referring to its looks or the characters. Does it mean that it will win me over from Vinokur at the end of it all, perhaps in an alternate world? The plot thickens. Here is a clip from the movie where you can see how dorky Ducky, acted by Geddie Watanabe is.

 
Just to give the bait, it addst the twist of Malluhood, Kerala, incest in the reference of Arundhati Roy's 'The God of Small Things'. Although this led to me admitting the fact that I haven't read the book, I was able to get a review of the book which will give you an idea as to what it means. And it did hit me at one of my weakest points: incest!

To add the bollywood twist to the story, it compares me to the apparently blind Rakhee in this video. A point to note here is that it has taken care to confuse us with immediately giving us the alter-idea of it being tall, dark and handsome like Amitabh Bacchan after the dorky impression of Ducky. It has also acknowledged that I can sing and the fact that it likes my singing.

Then comes this analogy where it compares itself to Rachel Ward in the movie 'Thorn Birds' (IMDB). In this movie, Rachel Ward's character lusts for the priest in the family. After early setbacks, they reunite with tragic consequence for both. Scary as well.

 
Shift to even gorier analogies - to Linda Blair in the movie 'Exorcist' (IMDB). It claims that it feels like the character Regan MacNeil who has unnatural powers. The famous lines 'It burns. It burns.' are quoted and it compares burning to the feeling that my beard does to it. This really sounded interesting. Well, until I saw a picture of the Linda from the movie. Here it is. :O

 
Time for another Bollywood twist. Here, it compares itself to Rekha in the movie 'Silsila' (IMDB) who has to separate from Amitabh Bacchan who has to marry another woman because of commitments. But finally, Rekha unites with Amitabh. It got really confusing here. First of all, I was Amitabh here. Elsewhere, it was Amitabh. Secondly, it compared Vinokur to Jaya Bhaduri (then, now Jaya Bacchan). Now Vinokur is bald, has a beard and has balls and stuff. How could this analogy work?

Then we get to see the inner-happening of it's mind when he confronts Fly by comparing alleging that Fly likes movies like 'Birdcage' (1996, gay comedy, 6.5/10 at IMDB) and 'Juno' (2007, comedy, 8/10 at IMDB). A scathing attack, one would presume. The reader is led to believe that this person could very well be a self-possessed witch or something like that.

This is when I intervened. I was overawed by all these references, almost all of which I had no clue about. I requested it to give me some time to understand all the analogies.

It responded by analogies ranging from apartheid politics (Winnie Mandela using a machete to cut a message in the dirt about it's infatuation) to pop culture (Lil Wayne's song 'Lollipop' (video) with direct usage of it's lyrics). We understand its frustration in its apparent resignation at wooing me by comparing its efforts to the likes of Cyndi Lauper and her works (Girls Just Want to Have Fun - video).

We also were able to see the glimpse of it's mind where it longed for love and care. It can't stand unrequited love. When I asked for permission for a detailed post about it, it's used metaphors and allegory, it responded rather despondently that it's efforts were not a publicity stunt but true love. Still, it gave its evil intent out by comparing myself to Rosemary Woodhouse from the horror novel 'Rosemary's Baby' (1967) by Ira Levin. We are led to believe that it curses my fate to be similar to Rosemary's whose husband signed a contract with the Devil to be able to impregnate her with Devil sperm in exchange of a successful career. But it urged me to go on and do what I wanted.

Despite all these analogies, we are confused. What does it look like? Is it a he or a she? Confusing. I put my data through the supercomputers at the 'Indian Society of Character Identification'. The results that came were astounding. It could be either this, this, or one of these.

But it's still cloudy, isn't it? It called for more detailed analysis of the clues that it left. And yes, I did find incriminating evidence of at least its sex. It is actually a male as evidenced by this line 'Listen you may have to move that score to the male side ;)'. To confirm it I searched methodically for all my frequented blogs for further evidence.

And finally, I found this comment on Pepe's blog. 'As you requested - blog address - from Quested as requested.' This was the blog that I was linked to from Vikster's blog yesterday. It was hilarious. And I had left a comment on it. I smelt victory. I went to the blog to check out the blogger's profile. But there wasn't one. The name was 'Joy Division'.

I went and checked for replies to my comments. Yes, there was one. From someone called 'ben' who sounded so much like Miss Quested - 'anything for you kris bass, I'm a sucker for laughs. Consider it an early Christmas -- check back tomorrow and there will be more funny.' It's a shame that Ben's profile is not public.

The closest that we can come to identifying this person is this. He's a male. He's called Ben. And maybe, just maybe, he looks like this. Even this is fine. I hope not this.

What do I feel about this 'dude' after all this research? I feel curious. I feel like knowing him more.