Sep 30, 2009

The Circles of Life

The gig at Hyderabad was wonderful. It felt really good to be performing on a big stage in front of a sizeable audience. But even more important for me was my life had completed a circle - one that had started in Y2K.

Back then, I was in Kerala, was in my Final year of MBBS and I had been playing guitars for a couple of years. S. was studying in Kochi and I had gone to visit him. S. took me to meet his friends from the band named Evergreen. We had gone up to their rehearsal pad - a room on the fourth floor of the building in construction that had been converted into a cozy jam pad.

I still remember standing (and in due course, sitting) in awe at the professionalism with which the band was doing their rehearsing. The drummer sounded like a metronome, the guitarists were playing on fucking huge amps, and the bassist was trying to pen in some lines - right in front of me!

I was mesmerized by what I saw and was inspired enough to make me feel that I too needed to reach this level of musicianship and professionalism. This, somehow coincided with the demise of the music TV channels from not just my life, but from our entire generation.

 

Thankfully, I found an immensely satisfying replacement in WorldSpace, the satellite radio service that had infiltrated majorly into my life. I was a big fan of - I still am - the modern rock station BOB. I was listening to Linkin Park, Nickelback (the good old days of the Canadian band), and Coldplay.

Around the same time, I heard a compilation CD called the Great Indian Rock. That CD featured the song PSP 12'' by the band Zero. That was the first time that I had fallen in love with an Indian alternative rock song. It reminded me of what Indian rock music could do – make groovy modern rock. Suddenly, things fell into place. I wanted to write songs like that - I did actually, not quite the same standard, but that's beside the point - some of them are online!

That song was written by the drummer of the band - the multi-talented musician/comedian, Sidd Coutto. Ironically, I hadn't realized that until really late, from the horse's mouth actually, on one night when he was performing at a gig in Mumbai this year.

Now, how does the friggin' circle get completed?

At the Hyderabad gig, I performed on the same stage with both Evergreen and Sidd Coutto (with the band Ankur Tewari and the Ghalat Family). Not only did I perform, I drank, ate, fooled around - all with my rock idols, who inspired me to be what I am.

Now, isn't that sweet!

I'd like to take this opportunity to credit all the idols/icons who I've performed/played with or shared the stage with, in the order idol-hood attainment:

  • Rex Vijayan (Avial, former Motherjane)
  • Sunil and Evergreen (the entire band band)
  • Sidd Coutto, Bobby Talwar, Rajiv Talwar (from Zero)
  • Jai Row Kavi, Johan Pais, Sidd Coutto (Helga's Fun Castle)
  • Teemer Chimulkar, Aniket Waghmode, Janus Sayal, Gilroy Fernandez(Sceptre)
  • ZomB Menon, Sheldon Dixon (Metakix)
  • Tony John, Rex Vijayan, Mithun Puthenveetil, Naresh Kamath (Avial)

Thank you all for inspiring me me and making me realize my dreams. I hope I can inspire someone to be/do something someday. I'd love to be tagged if you decided to write about it!

Sep 26, 2009

The irrepressible Sun

I've always wanted to write - bestsellers, preferably in the Asimov mold. I, unfortunately, can't. This title is dedicated to that dream. If you are wondering WTF - I'm at Hyderabad for a gig with Shor Bazaar and I have just come back from soundchecking under the blistering sun. I almost had a heat stroke. This gig brings my life down another circle - I'll explain that next time. Now, however, lets get me back to the only thing I'm really good at - lamenting.

Once my good friend Dennis had said a decade or so back: 'You've got to be extensively-read to start writing, Kris'. I had nodded, albeit in part-disagreement - I hate being told I'm not good enough - it reminds me of my childhood, when everything about me was judged by performance at academics. 'Son, the only reason why we are proud of you is because of your scores and otherwise, you are just a bag of shit'-type comments plague me still, you see.

I had been forced to fall prey to the sleazy educational system and my conservative lower-middle class upbringing, where the only goal in life was to score well in exams. On top of that, I chose something - I must confess that I love Medicine and Orthopedics, but they are just too restrictive - which wrecked any chance that I had to explore the loopholes in the system.

Now, I'm staring down the hill, with the best part of my life over, with very few memories that I can cherish and carry forward. I have a pathological uneasiness to get into discussions with others about books, music, paintings, movies because I feel ashamed to have not read/heard/enjoyed/watched them. I have self-esteem issues and am pathologically approval/attention-seeking and depressive.

The message is this - please choose to have better childhoods.

Sep 24, 2009

Confessions of a chronistically-challenged soul

Here's what I do in life: (a) Full-time day job which is interesting but taxing on the brain, eyes, and my time (b) Full-time musician who plays for four active bands (c) Full-time PR guy for at least two of the bands that I play for.

This amounts up to one thing - Bull-shit personal life. From no time to talk to my friends to lack of sleep, from not running errands for weeks to not getting time to read the newspaper, from closing the browser when someone pops up on chat with 'Hey, long time!' to not getting time write/rehearse by myself.

People, I'm sure, must have made a wonderully elaborate explanation about me and my excuses. There are a few people who I promised to meet up (for dates) with after a telephone conversation. They must think that I'm acting pricey. My friends who call me up when I'm in the middle of something and end up getting an answer 'Hey look, I'm really busy now. We'll talk later.' Well, this is how you lose friends.

Sooner than later, this will take it's toll. I realize the need to be away from the knife's edge. My schedule needs to ease out. I don't want to break down. It's my only life!

Sep 21, 2009

My latest goal in life

Most of who know me know that I'm a teenage girl trapped in a man's body -insecure, weak, and terminally depressive. However, there are times when I turn into this ruthlessly aggressive persona, and use my words like curare darts and end up hurting people who I love. That's probably I relate to Fiona Apple's 'Criminal'. She's so fucking honest and brutally naked in her lyrics. My latest goal/aim in life to be as cool as her, write such songs, and sing them as well as she can. (Sigh!)
Fiona Apple - Criminal (1997)
I've been a bad, bad girl
I've been careless with a delicate man
And it's a sad, sad world
When a girl will break a boy just because she can

Don't you tell me to deny it
I've done wrong and I want to suffer for my sins
I've come to you 'cause I need guidance to be true
And I just don't know where I can begin

What I need is a good defense
'Cause I'm feeling like a criminal
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I've sinned against
Because he's all I ever knew of love

Heaven help me for the way I am
Save me from these evil deeds before I get them done
I know tomorrow brings the consequence at hand
But I keep living this day like the next will never come

Oh help me but don't tell me to deny it
I've got to cleanse myself of all these lies 'till I'm good enough for him
I've got a lot to lose and I'm bettin' high so I'm begging you
Before it ends just tell me where to begin

What I need is a good defense
'Cause I'm feeling like a criminal
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I've sinned against
Because he's all I ever knew of love

Let me know the way
Before there's hell to pay
Give me room to lay the law and let me go
I've got to make a play
To make my lover stay
So what would an angel say, the devil wants to know

What I need is a good defense
'Cause I'm feeling like a criminal
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I've sinned against
Because he's all I ever knew of looooooooooooooooooooooooooove
Yeah yeah yeah uhh uhh uhhhhhh...

Hey hey hey haaayyyyyyyyyyyyy yeahhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhhh hiyee ehhh...

(PS: If I ever were straight, I would totally make a pass on her.)

Sep 19, 2009

Dates

What's there in dating, you might ask? Most of us have achieved varying degrees of satisfaction in finding someone, and being with that person, in a relationship. Some of the lucky ones still are with their special someone. For the rest, there is a choice.

A person with relatively high self-esteem might sit back and hope that some magic will happen and justify 'When you look for something, you won't find it.' A person with the same level of self-esteem, but with a desire to reach the goal, might re-start dating and still have sufficient immunity to heal the process of emotional wounding.

However, for people like me, with varying moods and a whole extra-large pack of depression and low self-esteem, it's a minefield. Every date is a potential dagger being thrust into your back, so that when you fall, the dagger can go no way but in.

I'm like a decorticated dog in a Pavlovian experiment - which failed to get de-conditioned to love and pain. I wish I could stop this vicious cycle. I can't. So be nice to me.