Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Oh ! Kolkata !

Incident 1 : some days (weeks?) back there was a very moving story in almost all the dailies circulated in kolkata .... The incident was the brutal beating of a lady by her inlaws. Infact the lady was in Kolkata Police (Sub Inspector if I remember Correctly)!! The reason was the age old family feud and dowry issues . She was tied to her bed , and marcilessly beaten by her brother-sister-mother in law and may be by other members !!

Incident 2 : This may not be a single incident , but this is the almost regular killing of men - women - children , by a bunch of psychotic Kolkata bus drivers .

Incident 3 : .. well if you ask me the date and time when this happened .. or even the newspaper that reported it .. I wont be able to answer .. but .. trust me .. this happened sometime back , and it happens every alternate day in kolkata and elsewhere in the country . I think it was reported a few months back how a 22 year old girl was burned to death for falling in love with another guy ,despite being married !! ... it happend in the city ! and then there was this sick shop owner who attempted to rape a 9 year old gal !!!!

and now lets come to the latest issue ... the very hot "Rijwanur death ". I find everyday that someone says something about it ! Be it politicians (that's nothing new),writers, poets , artists, women right activists ,students... and the innumerable intellectuals of the city !!! They are staging dramas, painting graffitis,reciting poems and doing everything they can , to make sure that its recorded by the spice thirsty media !!! I feel disgusted to see this .. and in my perspective its "pseudo-intellectualism" .

I would like to ask those people, who are shouting now for rijwanur, where were they when all these above incidents took place !!!! where were you guys when a child was raped , a lady was tortured or even that girl was burnt ! What happend to your humane feelings then ????
So is it because Rijwanur case involves some glamor , a scandal involving a rich businessman , and the very spicy hindu-muslim marriage issue .. that you guys have suddenly become active !!

I sometime feel like deleting these bunch of pseudo intellectuals from the face of the city !!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Why the heck should I care !!!!

.. Why the heck should I care !!!! ......

This question has been haunting me for a long time now . It specially resurfaces whenever , every morning I open the online version of the good old Anandabazar Patrika (or as a matter of fact any news paper of that catagory). The "News" are few .. and there are a lot of "incidents" reported. Incidents which I sometime feel, are not even worth mentioning in the most widely circulated daily of our state ! After all what good will it do to you to know that someone killed his/her son by cutting his throat ! or how it would help the public conscience, if you report the sad (brutal) end of a triangular love story !....

.. Gradually I realise that may be its the reader who wants such news. But ask me ... and I will tell you .. its not at all a good feeling to look at the darker side of my homeland , sitting 1000s of miles away!! ..
A journalist friend had once told ... "Barbarism sells .. be it in sex,love ,life or even relationships" !!!.. But I feel its too high a price they are paying for it. After all you have to trade your logical reasoning, humanity and conscience, to find spice out of the most pathetic incidents in someones' life !!

The question again comes back .. "Why the heck should I care !!!! " .... but I cant help it ... it makes me sad ...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Cooking Calamity..

It all began with a desire... the most inherent desire of mankind. A desire for which we work in the office, for which we educate our selves and for which we create occasions in others lives!! … The desire to eat well!!!

I don’t remember the date (and don’t want to remember either) when the story began. It was one of my regular trips to the local Food Store, when I came across this stuff. Now, before I tell you what followed next, let me explain the psychology that drove me into this….

Recently back from an invigorating trip to Nashville and the Smokey Mountains, I was still loaded with the memories. Beside the natural beauty of the place, another thing that kept coming back, were the delicious preparations which my Scientist Friend Ayan and My Scientist big-sis Sudarshana di (I use “scientist” to mean that they are not Chefs in any Indian restaurant) had prepared at different time points, during the trip. While Ayan had a Keema preparation, Sudarshana di made Mutton Liver.

So, I had a hidden desire in me, to try and prepare these above items so as to satisfy my taste buds, which were still searching for those delicacies. Neways lets come back to the story now. So here I was in a Food Mart, with a burning desire to “eat Better”… and a hidden fantasy for Keema and Mutton Liver!!! Thats when I saw this thing, a cute white box in the “meat” section. I just couldn’t resist myself. It had those words written on it “G R O U N D” (which is basically keema). Little did I realize that it was neither Chicken Keema nor Mutton Liver, rather it was “Ground Chicken Liver”, and that’s not all!!! It had stuffs like Curd and Egg, mixed!!!!!! My confused mind, hidden passions and Scientist mentality (which never works in the lab), forced me to put it in my cart though :(

Back Home with a contended feeling for spotting the stuff that I wanted, I started with great enthusiasm!! Sudarshana Di had said, and ayan had made, the preparations very rich! Therefore with tears dripping, I finished chopping a mountain of onions,chillis etc etc! The cooking began with its usual good smell, when you fry onions with some Masalas (here I must say, I had a heavy dose of masalas put in , in an attempt to make it extra spicy).And finally It was time to open the pack and put the coveted “G R O U N D” stuff into the pan !!!! Like a child opening a box of Ferro Roche, I opened my prized catch!!! BUT… the first look of the stuff inside, made me sad.. it looked bad .. real bad!! I told myself “looks are deceptive”, and went ahead to put it , in my already fried onion and maasala mix !!!


The Gap signifies the shock, I got when I put it in the pan!!! .. It was like a Biological “smell” Weapon!! I was thrown back with the overwhelming (read nauseating) smell!! I had nothing to do!!! I gathered all my strength, and told myself “cooking make things better”.. little did I realize that I was a dumb fool to believe that !!! Even after sweating it out for 2 hours… there was no change in the atmosphere!! The smell was persistent and self generating!!!

That was it …. 2 hrs of my time, 20 litres of sweat, and almost $20 of Spices, resulted in an “alien” delicacy, which may b extra terrestrials would have liked.

So friends what did I do with my marvelous creation??? ..He he !! .. I am intelligent enough to keep it in -20.. who knows may b the smell will “freeze to death” !!!... someday ... :(

Moral of the Story : Next time when you have good food, get it packed …

I saw the Dark Side of the Moon (Roger Waters Live in Concert,Hartford, July 10th,2007)

As I start writing this, I just pray that I do not forget, those 3 hrs, in the years to come. Somehow I would like to hold those scenes in my mind, for the rest of my life. I will write what exactly I saw , felt and experienced. There may be many spelling mistakes and errors .. as I am writing in a flow…almost closing my eyes and remembering every moment of that DREAM…
Let’s begin …. The mega event was at the New England Dodge Music Center (a place where legends like Jim Morrison, Coldplay, metallica, GnR to the Beatles have played.). So the show was from 8 pm, and we started at 6 (hoping to reach by 6:30). We got the first taste of Pink Floyd hysteria, when we reached the express highway, just 6 miles from the center. Now here I would say, in my 1 yr of stay in US... I have never seen traffic jam in the express ways… not even in the busy NY express way … but mannnnnn... when we were just 6 miles from the center... We could c the line of cars!!!! It was crazy!! People were shouting... Throwing beer bottles... doping … from the cars!! There were all sorts of squads around...SWATS, Dog squads etc etc …. But the best part of police here was … THEY NEVER INTERRUPTED THE FUN!!!!!They didn’t even stop ppl from doping n boozing! They were just watching for vandalism!!!!
Neways... when we reached the arena, the magnitude got me!!! it was like entering a packed Eden Gardens, for the first time !!!!! Around 40,000 people!!! From all age groups!! Hippies … druggrs, rockers, wheel chair bound people, old, young, men women of all sorts!!!!! It was just overwhelming!! So we went and secured our spot… about 40-50 mts from the stage ….. Just below the overhead ceiling. And behind us, was the wiiiiiide lawn sitting area... it was like a hill... And completely packed!!!!!(Pic of this in orkut)
The show began with the trademark whiskey bottle and cigarette...on the screen... n then smoke came from the left on stage,as if someone was smokin … n thennnnnnnnnnn. .. a black figure .. in jacket & black pants .. emerged, with a guitar in hand.. accompanied by the euphoric thunder of 40,000 people … when they saw the living legend …ROGER WATERS was ON STAGE …in front of our eyes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! .. I could c people crying... when the first sounds of his guitar hit us... Those first strings from “in the flesh”… as he sang “so ya ..thot ya ..might ..”.His voice reverberated all across the arena,and we were mad . After that … it was just pure magic ….. He gave us one song after the other … in that memorable voice!!! And the awsm vocals of Dave Kilministr, synth of Harry Waters (Rogers’ son)…. With the GREAT Jon Cairn!!!!!!!!!! And Andy Fairweather (The Pulse Concert Guys) …
The Wall part 1 had its usual head banging affect!!!!! There were ppl everywhere... Doping n drugging!! … It was going on…With psychedelic lighting... This led to Syd Berett’s face on screen... “Shine on” was coming...N then when we reached ... “Shine on you”... There was the harrowing picture of Syd Berrett on screen ... and slowly a laser face of Berett appeared on the crowd!!!!!!! …Suddenly he started those famous lines ... “Remember when you were young … you shine like the sun” …. That was it... we were just hysterical!!! Every single person was singing! It was dark ... n everybody was lighting some light. ..And holding it up... And swaying!! It was a scene worth watching!!!!! There was a laser that also swayed with the song.
The lighting and special affects was throughout unparallel … during “set the controls of the heart of the sun” …. There was a fire on screen .. and then the smoke of the fire .. from the screen .. suddenly started coming out n spreading on the crowd !! such was the affect. It was pure psychedelia , and we were being hallucinated by music and machine !!!! While during “Time” and “Money” .. the whole video was on us !!! as if we were being grinded inside a clock …. I know , u wont believe .. unless u b a part of it .. but this is what each and everyone .. present there felt !!!!
After “shine on”, we could c a radio in the screen, some one was tuning … there was a silence in the crowd... We knew ... what was coming... “Wish you were here”!!!!! The moment those guitar chords sounded …. We just kneeled down in respect …. While Roger Waters said “So u think u can tell…”… the affect was heavenly!!!! Millions of small bubbles (like the soap bubble)… came from nowhere...And covered us!!!!! …. I must say here... something was soo emotional... it brought tears to our eyes …!!! Every one was just singing and swaying … everyone had sparkling eyes... tears dripping!!!! Wish You were Here, a song that had moved a generation .. was having its tremendous emotional affect !!! Following this there were other gems like, Fletcher memorial, perfect sense, animal (sheep)… and then was “leaving Beirut” … another masterpiece!!! He spoke again… “Thanks for coming… u have been a great audience”...He explained why he wrote this song ….and then sang it. Those of you who have watched the video of this song in youtube ..must know that its based on cartoons …. And there also it was cartoon, but the only speciality was .. sometime the cartoon figures came on the crowd .. from the screen .. thanks to the laser affects !!!!!!
After this song .. HE came near the crowd .. n said “Its been long .. will take a 15 mins break .. but will b back” Now the break was memorable... coz they left the huuuugeeee pig balloon from the stage... n crowd was passing it ... so that it can come out from below the ceiling area... To the open area ... n man... WE TOUCHED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was just AN electric feeling… n then it went behind us… to the lawn area ... finally into the sky!!!!!
The next part of the show was …the main Dark side of the Moon... and I really don’t have words to explain it!!!!! There was everything on stage!! Fire, smoke, moon landing, astronaut, and a huuuge moon!!! (Which became bigger from a small size, in that break of 15 mins) .
Part 2 started with “speak to me”,,Breath , great gig in the sky , on the run … and then came “brain Damage” . So before “brain damage” he thanked the crowd again … n introduced the band members. And then he started “The Lunatic is on the Grass…” and as it started... we could c that there was a sudden cloud on top of us … n then lasers were crazily moving on us …suddenly in the stage there was that world famous prism!! It was moving slowly on us!! It came on top of us,n a light from one end …entering the laser prism…And vibgyor coming out from the other end !!!!!!!!!! The whole “dark side of the moon” Prism logo was there on us... Made by lasers!!!!! We were all speechless to c that creation !! n the lines …“And if the band youre in starts playing different tunes,Ill see you on the dark side of the moon”!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I dunno wat happnd … but I was just overwhelmed by the music .. tears in my eyes .. looking at the greatest music innovator of our times !!! everyone was staring at the laser …. As he sang this song with impeccable precision , as all the other songs !!!!!
The brain damage song signalled that the show was comin to an end …. Then after a few other tracks like eclipse , break in the wall II, and bring the boys back home , Us n Them …. the stage darkend … waters said thank you … n he was leaving !! we were all shouting .. “don’t go” … there was a mass sadness !!! the show was over and we couldn’t accept it !!! BUT SUDDENLY out of the dark .. a ghastly voice said “Is there any body out there?”.. GOD that was like too much of a hysteria !!!!!!! N next that everlasting music .. from “comfortably numb” .. with a whitewash of light !!!!!! … all hell broke loose .. every single living being , must have shouted at that time !!!! .. Roger “God” Waters was singing “hello heloo .. is there anybody in there?... just nod if u can hear me” … the words from the god himself !!!... comfortably numb sounded as if , I was listening to the original track from the CD !!!!!!! ….. again .. we were lighting matches , candles , lighters , ciggerettes , torch .. into the sky !! .. swaying …to the music !! It was crazy !!! Listening to one of the most famous songs of this century .. from its creator ..!!!!!
With “Comfortably Numb” the stage was dark again … n this time it was permanent. We could not believe that the show was over … infact no one could !!! we didn’t even feel that we were standing /shouting and swaying for 3 hours non-stop !! ..
so after the song .. everyone was standing ….. speechless .. atleast fr 3-4 mins .. n slowly we realized it was over .. people started movin .. very very very slowly. No one wanted to leave the arena…. We cldnt believe that , we had seen the living legend .. we couldn’t believe that we were so lucky to watch the god himself !!!! Me anurag and Veda , stood there for almost 30 mins more … there were fireworks in the sky … n we were just quite … it seemed that we were just out of a dream …. N then slowly started moving with the crowd …..
I would like to specially add something here about the crowd .. there were ppl .. doping , drugging , boozing all around !! people were druggd out .. n u cld just c them swaying and dancing like a child. And the best part was , beers were being sold inside the arena itself !!! policemen were everywhere .. but what I like that .. 99 % of them didn’t had guns (which u c with every policeman here) .. !!!! they watchd ppl drugging n dopin .. but didn’t stop !!!! they just kept an eye …there were people of arnd 60-70 yrs age !!! am not exaggerating !!n there were wheelchair bound floydians too !!!!.... that’s why they say .. Pink Floyd is not a music group .. it’s a mass movement !!!
So that was my experience .. I may have messed up with the song sequences .. but mostly they are correct.. I cldnt explain every single lighting, and also didn’t talk about all the songs e.g Any color you like , Mother etc .. coz words can explain them .
But I just pray that these memories never die ….. AFTER ALL .. I FINALLY DID SEE .. THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON ..