Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ex-Lord of the Ring

Queen hit the charts with "Radio Ga Ga"...Raja "got hit" for going "Radia Ga Ga".

WackyLicks says: Don't try messing around with (2) may get too hot to handle if you loosen it...

Wishing everyone a belated Merry Christmas and a rocking New Year. God bless!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

my fight, my flight...

Magic has its moment
As it gives the mundane a colourful sight

The sun makes its moment
Night after night with its alluring light

Silence creates its moment
As the thunder loses its deafening might

Music feels its moment
As each note slips in thru the glorious glide

I wait for my moment, silently
To bask in the magic of the morning sun
For the music in me has not yet died...

Photo courtesy: NikonSniper 

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Time stops, others pass by
I wait to hear the chime at dawn
The ring of unbound sweetness
But the hands are still
And moments lost
As I wait to hear the chime

They say I live in a Pegasus dream
Winged, but to fly in a desolate void
Where no spring of inspiration flows
Only dreary hollows of stillness
I see Prometheus with grey strands
As I wait to hear the chime, eagerly

I see a dark star smiling at me
A deep scar with no visibility
I am running against the stillness
Leaving my footprints in the sand
The wind rides the blue waves behind
As I long to hear the sweet chime at dawn…

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Last Lullaby at God’s Gate

There was still a bit of chill in the April air as the first rays of the sun reflected upon the rushing waves of the River Ganga. A crowd had already built up on either side of the ghats (banks) of the sacred river at Haridwar even at that early hour. Some had already started their ritualistic bath. A holy dip at the Ganga is said to wash away one's sins to attain Moksha – freedom from the cycle of repeated death and rebirth.

Haridwar, which means the 'Gateway to God', witnesses a surge of devotees, pilgrims and tourists from all over the world during the Kumbh Mela. This is the largest gathering of people for a religious purpose in the world. Millions gather for this auspicious Hindu event.

But my visit to Haridwar was neither to celebrate the Kumbh Mela, which is being held after 12 years in this small Uttarakhand town from January 14 to April 28, and nor as a tourist. It was for a special purpose for someone sacred to me. I got lost amongst the ever swelling riots of colourful crowd as the ripples of the Ganga seemed to sing an eternal song of life and death.

The site of the Kumbh festival revolves between four locations on four sacred rivers and is celebrated four times every 12 years – at Haridwar on the Ganges, at Allahabad on the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical River Saraswati, at Ujjain on the Shipra, and at Nasik on the Godavari.

The fair also witnesses one of the largest convergence of sadhus (mystics or wandering monks). The attraction among them is the ash-smeared Naga sadhus – who renounce everything materialistic. It is a spectacle to see thousands of naked Naga sadhus march through the town before taking a dip in the Ganga on the occasion of the first Shahi Snan (royal bath) of the Kumbh on Maha Shivratri (the day that marks the marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati).

Commercially, Kumbh Mela is also a great opportunity for ‘green-seeking squeegees’. Hotels rates in the town can even put the Himalayan heights to shame, especially the ones along the ghats. There are endless rows of shops selling anything from flowers to the latest Cartoon Network merchandise. Interestingly, I noticed a number of shops selling pitchers, apart various other brass and copper items. The reason, which I later discovered, was that Kumbh is a Sanskrit word for pitcher. And mela means fair. I got the picture.

The many small bridges over the Ganga not only connect the ghats but also the many alms seekers and advertisers with the thousands that traverse to either side of the river.  Haridwar is a place to connect – with god, spirituality, inner-self, life, death, people, target audience, religion, history, nature...the list is endless. 

And there are the many babas ('holy men' and yogis) being sought after, some internationally renowned with large followers base. With the number of gargantuan hoardings of 'holy men' that greets you as you approach Haridwar, it’s easy to figure out why it is known as the land of babas. The stretch is an OOH advertising maze. 

I marvelled at the sight of humanity immersed in an ocean of spiritualism, questism and commercialism, wishing I had a proper camera to capture it instead of my cellphone. Next time is too long a time. I left leaving the Ganges to sing the last lullaby for a benevolent soul. 
(Naga sadhus photo: Courtesy Kumbh Mela official website) 

Monday, April 05, 2010

a darker shade of blue

Show me the stage
I’ll give you my play
Give me your players
I shall flurry them with new words
You don’t have to look out of the window
Can’t you hear the key turning on your creaky door?

Your room is moist with old grimy tales
Your furniture sits with a Medusa smile  
Let me clear the air and your wooden gaze
The street outside is dusty
But there’s light all along the way
Can’t you see there’s a full moon shining?

Give me your hand
And I’ll lead you to the cascade of liberty
There’s nothing behind left to shelter
Go shed your blue disguise and smile
For the time has come to let you run
Away from the cover of your desolate row!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


a bane
the pain
a moment
in time
a dark truth
a precious life

a bad dream
feeble cries
a thick void
a home beautiful tears

love’s gone
pure, eternal
a beautiful life...
                                                           a flower plucked
                                                           a garden shrouded
                                                           white, ember, dust...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Them Poo-luters

Fresh day, cool breeze and early morning joggers smiled past as the leaves scattered around the pathway crackled in mischievous glee. My not-so-friendly neighbour was wearing a stinking expression and carrying a miniature plastic spade wrapped in black polythene in one hand and holding the leech to his Faginesque mutt in the other.

The freshly painted writing on the wall said it all. I smiled too. ‘Things’ are finally ‘falling in the right place’. No wonder, the row of genda phools near the community park gate painted a Van Gogh-ish look – just the yellow you wanted them to be.

These little pleasures of life, aah...I make myself a hot cup of garden fresh Assam tea to go with my morning newspaper. Sip tea, scan headlines...STOP. Page 1...anchor headline read: “Every day, 1.1 bn people poo without a loo”. 

A WHO-UNICEF report said “globally, 1.1 billion people still have no access to toilets, with India alone contributing 638 million to the figure.” This is one No. 1 spot India would love to flush away pronto. But are the folks sitting (or whatever) in the right place doing the needful.

Lo(o) and behold! Just when I thought things were finally falling in place.      

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Hendrix Experience

I used to live in a room full of mirrors; all I could see was me. I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors, now the whole world is here for me to see – Jimi Hendrix

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the passing of guitar lord Jimi Hendrix. To commemorate the occasion, an album – Valleys of Neptune – of 12 previously unreleased recordings by the late icon releases this month. Jimi died on September 18, 1970 at the young age of 27. You can listen to a streaming version of "Valleys of Neptune" here.

My first ‘encounter’ with Jimi Hendrix was uncommunicative. It was hard for someone who listened to ABBA, Boney M, Beatles, Cliff Richard, Sonny & Bono kind of sweet ‘n peppy music to take to ‘hurricane blasts of noise’ easily. I, like many others, was a school kid trying to be hip, shunning anything considered uncool, especially local stuff. (North-East India has always been more inclined towards western culture.)

Anyway, I believe, most of us didn’t understand half of the stuff we pretended to be passionate about, especially the words. Brown Girl in the rain became Brown Girl in the ring. Trying to figure out lyrics was worse than maths. Obviously, there was no Internet, no Google. So, Dig in the Dancing Queen was Digging the Dancing Queen (god save the queen)...

Passing out of high school was like breaking out of our encaging mirrors and stepping into a world waiting to be dissected, out of a dictatorial regime. It was sweet freedom. College offered options to re-look into things once considered 'indigestible'. Like few of my mates, I too naturally graduated to higher echelons of music, if not academics.

We felt the Shakti of music. Dylan was god, Joplin was 'kozmic mama' and Hendrix was a mystic force – an energy that busted out from penury and white dominance to expand the vocabulary of the electric guitar more than anyone before or since. It even obscured Jimi's considerable gifts as a songwriter, singer and master of music genres. He was beyond our domain in every sense, but we could feel the blues. That’s what counted.

We lived by his words: “To be with the others, you have to have your hair short and wear ties. So we're trying to make a third world happen, you know what I mean?” We were rebels without a cause, flower children with Purple Haze all in our brains. We kissed the sky in our own little Woodstock. But that didn’t last long once we were out of college. “Even castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually,” Jimi had said. It was time to be a man and face the world – alone.

The First Rays of the New Rising Sun dazzled the Ezy Ryder in me. Out in the open everything seemed crazy and craziness no longer felt like heaven. But Jimi’s words kept me afloat: “White collar conservative flashin down the street, pointing that plastic finger at me, they all assume my kind will drop and die, but I'm gonna wave my freak flag high.” I did.

Jimi has given me something to dream on. Now I’m experienced, standing tall on Jimi’s Watchtower, looking at my Red House over yonder. I just have one burning desire – to feel the euphonic Fire before someone lights my pyre.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It’s All Bull...

The Himalayan glaciers may not melt by 2035, but this is how we might be using (as the picture suggests) our vehicles around then if we have more fruitless and carbon footprint-full rounds like COP 15.

Maybe the owner of this car is a greenhorn compared to all the ‘champions of climate change’, but he surely knows that cow dung, even though studies say 'emissions' by this domestic animal is more damaging to the planet than CO2 from cars, is as a viable source of fuel and a possible alternative to fossil fuel.

An unassuming ambassador for the fight against global warming, I say.