Posted in Pictures, Poem, Uncategorized

Shadow of Friendship

Shadow of Friendship

Between the shadow
And the light
Between the smile
And the grimace
Lies our Friendship.

Between the smoke
And the dust
Between the rubber
And the road
Thrives our Friendship.

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Posted in Poem, Uncategorized

Mansplaining Women’s Day

A Poem for International Women’s Day

Mansplaining Women’s Day

Listen, I am going to make it a special day,
You don’t know how much I know all that come your way.
So, I want you to forget all your strain,
And join me in my celebration of your pain.

Walk right through this door, watch out for your gown,
Oh, you didn’t tell me you were wearing cocoa brown.
I’d have asked you to pick something in burgundy,
To go with my tie, but who cares if we aren’t trendy?

Today is all about honor, so let me do you the honor,
And tell you what makes you the best in this corner.
Don’t yawn yet. With me darling? You still with me?
Do know that only you can make me the man I want to be.

Here. Here is a fine Syrah. Give it a try.
Any other night, I’d let you have your chardonnay, dry.
But tonight is your night, so experience the exquisite,
I bet you will thank me for this, till our next visit.

Where was I? Yes, honoring the fearless,
And those who stood up for your rights, no less.
For all that you are able to do now,
Many men must have sacrificed what and how.

Want another glass? Thought you’d be done with just one.
This Syrah, with its black pepper overtone, is strong even for men.
Always thought a lot of women wouldn’t have it in them,
You are special and I will never leave you, whatever may come.

Wish I could have some dessert with you and extend our stay,
But am so wiped out that I just want to thank you on this women’s day.

…Shall we….?

Posted in Poem, Politics - General, Uncategorized

The Next Step

A Poem for Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration

the-next-step
Each day as we go about our business,
tweeting past our older tweets, 
RTing some or not,
about to tweet or tweeting.

Each day we encounter each other in twitter,
words incoherent or ungrammatical,
incomplete or insulted,
words to consider, reconsider.

We know there’s something better down the road.
We gather our equality, pride, liberty and justice.
To walk into that which we cannot yet see.
To find a place which is safe for
Our intelligence, our rationality and sanity.

On the brink of twitter horizon, on the cusp of fake news explosion,
May we take that next step.

[Inspired by Elizabeth Alexander’s Praise Song for the Day]

Posted in Uncategorized

HBDARR50

I will confess first. I am a huge fanboy of AR. But I have also evolved as a fan over the years. From just being a blind fan of his music to a much more nuanced fan of the technicalities in his music (as much as I could grasp), his thought process behind his compositions, his philosophy in life and in general, AR, the human being.

To wish any icon on social media or on the internet seems like a vanity seeking attempt, especially if I don’t know him personally. But this being AR Rahman’s milestone birthday, I decided to do just that. The irony!

My interest in music, my half-baked (or quarter or 1/8 or..) knowledge notwithstanding, can be divided into 5 phases..

1) Pre-1990

I grew up getting soaked in Ilayaraja’s music (and MSV’s of course). And lots of carnatic music because of family surroundings and my own learning opportunities. The truth though was that most of my listening can be summed up as ‘casual exposure’.

2) Between 1988-1994

Serious listening. May be I was beginning to grasp the nuances better. And also because I was being exposed to a new world of music called classic rock. Thanks to the time I spent in Rajasthan during this time, I was exposed to more Hindi music than ever before (which doesn’t mean much if you spent all your time in deep south Tamil Nadu like I did.. till 1990). My half-baked music learning came very handy and I start analyzing. Even dabbled with making my own music. Just dabbled.

3) 1994-1998

Completely absorbed by this storm called AR Rahman. Roja brought out the curiosity but Pudhiya Mugam sealed it. I became a fanboy. I must have listened to every song from every album of AR Rahman during this time for about million times. Life changing in many ways. Suddenly, I felt like I am hearing my own inner voice in music. Even though it was only for fun, I started making my own music in a much more “complete” way. They sounded terrible. Especially the ones I created during this time. But I got a kick out of making my own music.

4) 1998 to 2008

Digital music still new. My CD collection filled my basement and my fascination for AR’s music/experimentation continued to grow multiple times during this time. Being away from the country just made the bond even stronger.  Also started listening to more contemporary western music, which internally made me appreciate AR’s music even more. And my own music creations got slightly better (even if I may say so myself).

5) 2006-Now

Music streaming has completely changed the way I listen to music these days. Good or bad I don’t know. But I can listen to any music I want at any time without much effort. Thus resulting in me listening to lots of world music. The honest confession is that my comfort music is still AR’s. I am sure it will always be his music.

Just as a reflection of my own AR Rahman musical journey, I put together this Youtube playlist with 50 songs. These are songs that aren’t necessarily chartbusters. Less obscure in some ways.

Happy Birthday AR Rahman!

Thank you for shaping my musical appreciation of not just your music, but of any music.

Posted in Satire, Uncategorized

‘Brex Pistols’ set to release its debut album

(Feat. 45th President Elect Donald J. Trump)

Nov 15, 2016
London — Fictional Bureau

The latest British Punk Rock Band “Brex Pistols” is all set to release its debut album on Nov 16, 2016, exactly a week after Mr. Donald J. Trump got elected as the 45th President of the United States of America. The album titled “Never Mind The Bollocks (In the Middle)” has already created a tremendous buzz across social media and as of this morning, hashtags #NotMyBollocks #SexitOrBrexit and #NMTBITM were in the top 5 trending topics on twitter in the UK.

Never Mind the Bollocks (In the Middle) – Album Artwork

The band’s lead vocalist and its frontman Nigel Farage had this to say..

“I think frankly when it comes to chaos you ain’t seen nothing yet. I mean chaos in the music industry. During the (Brexit) referendum I said I want my country back. What I’m saying now is I want my music back, and it begins right now with this album.”

To a question if this album will have any reconciliatory tone at all given the prevaliling bitter atmosphere in the UK after the Brexit referendum, Mr. Farage and Mr. Kassam were quick to say “NO”.

“Listen! That goes against the fundamental pricinples of the very foundation of this band. We will continue to be nationalistic, racist and anti-immigrationary in our tone. And this album, in particular will be extra inflammatory in its theme because of the recent US election results. The highlight of this album is going to be a bonus track, which we in fact, just completed recording. The track titled “Anarchy in the world” features Mr. Trump. We can’t wait for the world to take a listen. Peace.”

The band also released this picture of themselves with the President Elect Mr. Trump, which they took while in New York last Saturday.

The “Brex Pistols” with Mr. Donald J. Trump
L-R — Gerry Guntser (Drums), Arron Banks (Bass Guitar), Donald Trump, Nigel Farage (Lead Nationalist, Racist and Vocalist), Andy Wigmore (Keyboards), Raheem Kassam (Backup vocals, but primary duty is to give an Islamic shade to this group picture). Photograph: Raheem Kassam/Twitter

*******************************************************************
Disclaimer: This is a work of satire published with the sole intention of humoring those who enjoy such posts. The album artwork was created exclusively for this post. The above picture of Nigel Farage, his partners and Donald Trump is an original picture as shared by Raheem Kassam.

Posted in Poem, Politics - General, Uncategorized

Staying’ up High!

017-abstract-trees-17-edit-d-njn667

Staying up High

Cracking at the dawn
The daylight that’s gone
Walking
down the lane
Felt a tingling on my cane

Pitching for a cutter
Forking up a dollar
Teeming with delight
Trying to stand straight


Weakening of my knees
And the trembling brings some trees
Bringing it Bringing it Bringing it down
The
Earth is Bringing it Bringing it Bringing it down

Running for my life
Jumping in Strife
Thrusting up my chest
I am giving up with no protest

Searching for one life
Looking up the dead

Losing all my hopes
Will I be tossing all my ropes?
Mangling of the steel hive
Pulling out none alive

Staying up Staying up Staying up High
We all (are) Stayin’ up Staying up Staying up High!!

Posted in Miscellaneous, Uncategorized

So Begins the Healing (Or Does it?)

Like all of you, I would like to believe in the goodness of America and Americans, no matter what our politics is, no matter which end of the policy spectrum we are on and no matter who the President is. But just hoping that “Everything will be OK” is not enough. It’s easier said than experienced. Everything is not going to be OK till you and I actually make an effort to make everything OK. Everything is not going to be OK till we collectively (and not selectively) call out all the “-isms” that seem to have started showing up their ugly faces in our society of late in the guise of “politics” or hidden as “personal freedom”. Everything is not going to be OK till all of us stand up against the “newly” infused boldness to make hatred mainstream.

I have created an album on Facebook to share what the Post-Nov08-2016 America is beginning to feel like for some of us. All these images/videos (and incidents) have been reported after Nov 8, 2016. By no means, this is a comprehensive collection of every single hate related incident that has happened around the country. Only those that came to my attention.

I am not naive. I completely understand that these incidents reflect a small proportion of a vastly diverse but a very kind and a beautiful country.

So, what is my goal and why am I doing this?

My answer is “I don’t know yet”.. Just spreading awareness for now. That’s all.

Before you call me out, let me call myself out first 🙂 Yes, this is every bit of ‘social-media-slacktivism’ as you think it is, but I don’t mind if it comes across that way because I believe if you want to stand up for any form of social injustices, you have to start somewhere. And No, I am not trying to exaggerate or blow anything out of proportion. Simply highlighting the “new” hatred that is real and that’s being experienced by real people of this country.

And my hope is that all these initial euphoric emotions will fade away in the coming days. And my hope is also that we won’t try to “normalize” these things.
Not now. Not ever.

I have tried to validate these images/videos and the locations as much as I can (but certainly have not performed extreme vetting ). So, I definitely don’t guarantee that every image is authentic or has an authentic story behind it. If I find out there is such an image/video or story that is not authentic later on, don’t worry I will remove it from here. And my intention is also not to share every “-ism” based rant on social media. My focus is to only share images/videos that corroborate actual “new” hatred fueled incidents.

If you live in certain parts of the country or if your lifestyle keeps you in a secure bubble, then all these might sound and feel too farfetched or unreal and I completely respect that. But if these images shake you up a little bit, then that’s exactly what will act as the first step towards having active and meaningful conversations. Not here on social media. But within your communities, with your family members, friends and neighbors.

Don’t we all want to exercise our First Amendment rights to the fullest in order to keep the country safe for all?

Note:
______

Right now this album is not public and at some point, if it is needed, I will have to make it public. I hope I don’t have to. But since I shared the above on Facebook, I figured it is worth sharing it on my blog as well because the sentiments that I have echoed above are valid even without any images.  Though some of you reading this may not have seen the actual images that are there in the album, be assured that they all are disturbing. The only silver lining in all of this is that there is no death or major injury as yet, as a result of these hatred fueled attacks.

Posted in Poem, Uncategorized

Tunnel of Time

Tunnel of Time

There is a tunnel I see,
A treacherous path to flee.
The tunnel is lonely and bare,
Yet full of people who are completely unaware.

A tunnel with an unreachable end,
With all its darkness to fend.
Wish they could see the light,
After they shed all their fright.

There is an instinct of hope,
Even if the terrain is aslope.
A journey over mounds of grime.
Through the “Tunnel of Time”.