Random images from my flickr stream...



Music in the world for the music in me!

I have been thinking of writing about this for a while now... just could not start but today when I was responding to some comments on flickr for a recent photograph I realised that I need to write about what music means to me...

I am very fond of Indian bollywood music, but not from the current times... more from the times of Mohd. Rafi, Manna Dey, Kishor Da... not sure if I like Mukesh as much as the other three... my favorite has to be Manna Dey.. some of his songs like Aayo kahan se Ghanshyaam, Phool Gendwa na Maaro, Chalat Musafir Moh liya re, Dil ka Haal Sune Dilwala are always on the top of my lists...
Kishor Da in my opinion can be worshiped for what he was as a musician.. I don't think someone like him will ever be born again...
And Rafi Sahab... well.. the simplicity in his voice and the flow of his songs is something that makes it sound like water flowing in a mountain stream...

And then the songs with Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, and likes from the 70s and 80s... the favorites of the re-mixers...

And songs from movies like Chitchor, Rajnigandha, Gharonda, and likes...

From the last decade or so, I listen to Fusion and Sufi the most with my favorites being Indian Ocean, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab, Abida Parveen, Shubha Mudgal, Kailash Kher and so on... I can listen to songs like Jhini, Khajuraho, Ma Rewa, Des Mera, Dama Dum Mast Kalandar, Tune Deewana Banaya to, Ab ke Saawan, Bam Badam, Teri Deewani, again and again and again...

The bollywood music of these days, I feel, does not come with age to it... you listen to it for a few days, weeks, maybe months and then you stop... Metro was amazing, Jhankaar Beats was beautiful, Dilli 6, Rules, Bombay, Roza, and the list can go on and on and on... some of them would randomly play on the ipod and bring a smile to my face !

With a lot of new bollywood music, I would like to dance... numbers from Oye Lucky, Race, Omkara, and a few more... Bhangra and Chichora music to be specific :P

Angrezi... I like to stick to the ones I like there too... Bon Jovi, Bryan Baba, Aerosmith, GnR, Boney M :), Micheal Jackson. Shania Twain, Celine Dion, U2, UB40 to name a few... and in the recent times, Green Day and Smash Mouth... Mostly I feel good with the movie sound tracks and Grammy Nominees... Ice Age, Shrek, KungFu Panda, Lion King, Madagascar (mostly animation I guess)

and then pure music... my favorites, Percussion... Dholak and Tabla come first... huge respects to Ustad Allahrakha, and his two awesomely talented sons Ustad Zakir Hussain and Taufiq Qureshi.. I wonder if there is someone today who makes the Tabla sound as good as Ustad Zakir Husain... Taufiq is more about percussion and including playing his own mouth ! Shivmani is another artist who gets so much respect... Not to forget artists like Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasiya... they make the world of music complete for me !

And how can I not mention the Bagpiper Drums Scottish Combo of Clanadonia here... they are the best !!!!

I used to play the keyboards myself when I was doing my graduation and I was not too bad either... but with time and the pressure of getting into a job, and earn money took away the time and dedication I had for theater and music... and today all I manage is listen and watch and appreciate... being on the stage a number of times and in the front row too, has helped me see and feel both sides of the music coin... Its magical to know how to play something and then play it well... its an experience that NOTHING else in the world comes closer too... and that is why when I see/hear a good performance I feel heavy in my heart and usually have wet eyes... I get overwhelmed !!!

Had not really planned this long a post, and I am sure I might have missed something that I like about music ! anyway... now that you have managed to read so much (or you just cheated and came down to this line) enjoy some of the photographs of people in a world different from ours !

Kailash Kher in concert in Infosys Campus, Bangalore

A local band in Camden Town, London who play covers for most popular numbers and are really good with it... the third photograph is an old couple who thoroughly enjoyed their music and danced like there was no tomorrow... and were amazingly fantastic as well...

Lead drummer of the Scottish Band Clanadonia... Not seen or heard anything this powerful EVER... and his energy at his age was unbelievable. Took this picture during the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland

Goga Singh at Jyotisar Temple, Kurukshetra, Haryana... He comes daily to the temple to sing Bhajans and has God in his voice... the interesting thing about his singing is that he sings at one corner on the pond at the temple complex into the water, and his voice resonates in the entire temple complex in a way that it seems there is music in the air... you cannot really figure out where the sound is coming from... Makes it a magical experience.. Papa had requested him to sing a Bhajan for us when we went there... I took his picture when he was singing Papa's request...

An old man enjoying his music in the town of Crawley, near Gatwick, UK

The latest of all musical photographs... a Violinist at the Grand Avenue Mall, Downtown Milwaukee... which triggered this post

and can I dare to forget mentioning Radha when I talk about music? :) Seen here are Radha, Aro and my german friend Martina somewhere between Chamba and Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand... Mostly my music (when I am home) is experienced with Radha and that makes her most important person of my musical life :)

Have a happy weekend everyone !!! Will see you around !

And I found the performance that I had seen in Edinburgh on Youtube (Went into that hour while seeing this)... The sound is not excellent but you cannot miss the energy !!! I don't have words to explain what if felt like, listening to this live !


St. Patrick's Day Parade in Milwaukee

One fine Saturday afternoon I left for Gaurav's place (which is more like a routine now for weekends) and was in the bus number 14 as usual to Southridge Mall...

When the bus was moving on the Wisconsin Avenue, I saw a lot of people on the road.. the number was too high for any Saturday that I have been here in Milwaukee and they were with family, food, dogs, chairs, blankets and what not and were setting camps next to the road...

I decided to get off the bus and figure out what was happening... and realised that it was the St. Patrick's day Parade day... Disappointed that I was only carrying my walk-around lens and not the long one, and happy that I was at least carrying the camera, I decided to stick around and watch the parade...

It turned out to be a wonderful experience and the first such in the US for this visit... Enjoy the photographs below...

A number of vintage cars participated in the parade... these two are from 1940s and still running flawlessly... I took a few pictures of the owner of the car on the right, and he has offered me to show around the town and even a ride in the 1945 Ford he has... I am really looking forward to that opportunity...

The guy on the right wanted me to take a picture of his... He told me that they manage the security in the Parade...I asked him if he has a gun, he said yes but refused to show it to me :) I told him I believed him and took this picture of his :) and his colleague...

This was the lad(y) of liberty posing for me :)

Was happy to see so many Harley's on the road... Milwaukee has the HD Museum which is really one of its kind in the US being the only official HD Museum !

A number of IRISH dance schools also participated in the parade with girls of all ages dancing a bit every few hundred feet for the crowds...

The man with kilts playing the Bagpiper... I love this instrument... There is a Scottish band called Clanedonia who do percussion and bagpipe fusion and they are amazing.. do find a CD if you can!

Many Manimals were there too.. oops.. Animals I meant ! Dogs (picture on flickr sometime in future) Horses... what amazing animal is a horse... very royal and the ones in the parade were huge ! Larger than life ones !

And this is me :) on a different day but wanted to post this picture coz I love it so much !!! Thank you Preet for taking this picture !!!


Prediction !

It was very cold, cloudy and very very windy when I walked to the office in the morning today... the only life saver being the amazing light at the horizon...

and I started my day rather dull than with a sunshiny mood...

Wanted to complain and crib about the winter still being here and no spring or summer to be seen anywhere...

but decided to tweak the thoughts a bit and instead of complaining, looked at some pictures of the years that have gone by and what spring/summer brings !

so right now I am not complaining, not cribbing, but waiting for the spring to arrive !!! I have a whole lot to look forward to...

So here is a glimpse of what is going to happen... I promise it will... believe me or wait and watch :)

This is from the Pestigo River in Wisconsin. US.. Went camping and rafting last year with Pritam, Lakhan, Suman and a few more guys! Gotta go there again this year

Wild Flowers clicked on my way to Tungnath, Uttaranchal, India, with Aseem, Tushar, Subbu, Anil, Manish amongst many others... Still remember that trek... gotta do that again too sometime !

A kid enjoying water in the Brahm Sarovar, Kurukshetra, Haryana, India... Went with my family and Aro (who is practically family)... Want to go to Jyotisar (birthplace of Gita) again sometime...

A flower clicked on a tour of Scotland with Abhishek... This was a one day tour and practically took us around half the country :)

If the last few years were so beautiful, there is no way this one is going to be any less ! waiting !!!

and talking of Spring... do go through this link for some absolutely delightful photographs.


For Autobots !!

In the list of movies I can watch any times over and over again... Transformers would probably in the top 10 maybe top 6 or 5 as well...

I just cannot get enough of the movie... small screen big screen anything works... but this movie is not really made for a small screen or regular audio... No screen is big enough and no sound system is good enough !!!

The character of Optimus Prime just demands respect, right from the first word he speaks, and that truck he transforms into... oooooooooooooo.... and bumble bee has to be my favorite of all of them... he is such a cool dude... and I so so want to have one of those junk looking crazy sounding mind boggling camaros...

And the line in the movie, "A driver don't pick the car, a car picks the driver." I guess thats what exactly had happened that September in 2004 when I bought my car... She picked me !

ok, back to the movie !

I LOVE IT... Period.

And I saw a blue Chevy Camaro today and was so so so so wanted to drive it... someday!

p.s. I think Jyoti had taken this photograph. I am not too sure.

And while we are talking about Machines and Cars and emotions, have a look at the video below...


अंग्रेजी की पाठशाला (Angreji ki Paathshaala)

A for Aalu ki Sabzi

A for Aero-plane

B for Bells

B for Buddha

B for Boat

What else is

A for?

and B for?

Simple simple please... no big big words...


and then....

It was cold, and it had been raining all day... and all she could see was black... pitch black... no light nothing !!!

All she could hear was her own heart pounding, and she just could not think either... it was like she needed light to think... it was too dark for her thoughts to come into her mind as well...

and she could hear were some faint creaking sounds, and breathing of the people who were left with her in that darkest of darks...

and then...

the power came back on
the elevator reached the lobby
everyone smiled at each other
and they (hopefully) lived happily ever after !


Need of the hour...

is some more time !!!

and Mountains...

mostly Mountains actually... I can manage the time with a bit of tweaking... but no amount of tweaking can make the mountains appear as of now !!!

I need to get out of here... when is the next weekend please?


छिछोरगर्दी फुल टाइम ! (Chhichhorgardi Phull Time !)

With the music of Gulal, there is one more song that has been added to the list of my favorites... the ones where you need atleast space for 3 people, have a gamcha in your neck, your lower lip between your teeth, and dance like there is no tomorrow :)

राणाजी म्हारे गुस्से में आये, आइसो बल खाए,
अगिया बरसाए, घबराए म्हारो चैन

जैसे दूर देस के टावर में घुस जाये एरोप्लेन
जैसे सरेआम इराक में जाकर बस गए अंकल सैम

Actually two songs :) the other one is

बीड़ा दूजी थाली का लगे बड़ा मसालेदार
मन बोले चक मक हाए चक मक हाए चक मक हाए चक मक चक मक चक मक

खाई तो मचल गई रे ओ कजरारी नार
मन बोले चक मक हाए चक मक हाए चक मक हाए चक मक चक मक चक मक

The simplicity in lyrics and music is something that bowls me over EVERY single time with such songs... Thank you Rekha Bhardwaj for rendering it in a way that it touches the heart!

Thanks Geet for the post on Gulal... Good music and some very strong lyrics! I am looking forward to the movie as well...

Oh and talking about the title... here is the last video from my trip to Minneapolis... the gang enjoying with Billo Rani !

The best part is that Papa also likes this song a lot and there is no time when he listens to this song and we do not put it on a repeat :)

Another random thought, I need to prepare a list of songs for my bachelor party, whenever that happens :D

If you are not able to see the embedded video, click here to see it on youtube.

You might also want to see some photographs of these guys HERE.


Flowers !

Sahil : I sent you flowers !

Purvi : What? Why?

Sahil : Oh, because I love you and because you told me you were not feeling too well and because you are alone there...

Purvi : How many times do I need to tell you that I don't want you to send me flowers? I think they bring bad luck to me

Sahil : I am sorry but you were not well for the last few days and I could not think of something else...

Purvi : Whatever !

Sahil : Anyway, but the hotel that you told me you were staying in, says that there is no one called Purvi checked in there...

Purvi : Oh, yea, I checked out ! forgot to tell you !


Kuarterly Kleaning !

I dive when I want to... if pushed I may fall !

I am going through my quarterly evaluation phase these days... for some reason every few months I start questioning myself on what am I upto and what are things around me all about...

The ones that add value, Stay
The ones that don't, they go away

Call it a 3 monthly cleaning of the mind ! Its a tricky situation to be in because I get into a very critical and analytical mode where I question myself a lot, and at times feel bad about doing certain things or not doing them ! However the end result is usually a "sunny spring" after a "cold winter" kind of a feeling !!!

As as result of this quarter's activity, the working out sessions at home have stopped and I have joined a gym which started well yesterday with about a mile of running and some free weights!

There is a lot more going on the li'il brain of mine.... later maybe !


Happy Holi :)

Holi hai bhai holi hai
Rang Birangi Holi hai

Pictures from Holi'06 at Home :)

And what is a Holi without this song?


For the Women I know and I don't

I was in a meeting today... and most of my audience was Director level decision making stakeholders and I am glad to say that most of these were Women... Just the right reminder to Women's day .. I am intentionally keeping myself away from the word "International" because I have doubts that it is truly an international thought !

But here on Chai Ki Dukan, which has seen three continents (Bit of international eh!) in the last few years I had to write my dedication to Women... I associate Women with a few words.. here are some of them that I like to remember ...















And my limited vocabulary and lack of time is making me stop here, however I did make a set on Flickr to put together all the photographs above and more. Please do see a slide show here, when you have sometime.

Hope for a better tomorrow, for the WOMEN of the world !

Amen !

And a big thank you to every woman who has been a part of my life, big or small and I know this for sure that I have learnt from everyone of them!

I wanted to write names here first, but chose not to - Jealous is a word that comes to my mind in addition to the ones above ;)