Rock On!! (Music Review)

This is something I have been putting off time and time again. A cardinal sin by a rock music fan who happens to be a blogger as well! Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy once again breaks new ground with some awesome music. Last Hindi album I loved wasTaare Zameen Par. They haven't failed th yet again! There is no doubt Farhan Akhtar is a brilliant Director. But he is playing an unfamiliar dual role of the lead singer and the lead actor. The man has got some guts. Does he have the meat to carry it? Lets see!

I have been listening to the music for quite sometime now. Decided to play it in its entirety to get a feel of reviewing it.

The album opens with an awesome guitar riff. Reminds a lot of the classic guitar solos ala Jimi Hendrix. You get the hints of a different, yet rocking album. Lyrics are very different from the run of the mill Bollywood fare. Lot of English words thrown in the mix. Little existential. Even when the song is about love, it feels different. More sincere. More real. Music and lyrics are a bit raw, which has been the biggest criticism from the main stream media. But, I think suits the movie, which is about a young rock band (I haven't seen the movie, will be seeing it this week for sure!).

Reviews have been mixed, from both rock "pundits" and bolly reviewers. I will put my head on the chopping block and say that they are full of shit! Rock music is about rocking, not about Metallica or some other sell out band. Rock music is not about aping the west, go listen to Avial or Motherjane if you will. Its about human spirit, raw emotions, and guitar!

Following are my take on each song:

Socha Hai: Perfect opening. Cool Guitar riffs. Peppy yet thoughtful lyrics. Farhan has sang very well.
Pichle Saat Dinon Mein: My second favourite song (I am listening to the favourite now and its a little tough typing!) from the album. Felt very personal. Lyrics are good. Realistic to be frank. A good romantic song. Farhan is good once again.
Rock On: Frankly speaking, this is a rather weak song in comparison with the others. The title track should have been little more "rocking". Still, this is a good song. Well worth your time.
Yeh Tumhari Meri Baatein: My favourite. Trance inducing, surreal vocals by Dominique Cerejo. Exceptional music and beautiful lyrics. I think this is the first time I am hearing her sing. I really wish sings more songs of these kind. I wish there were more girl fronted rock bands. Girls and rock music are simply mindblowing (no pun intended)!
Zehreelay: When I heard it the first time, my eyes nearly popped out. Heavy metal Hindi song which is not only bearable but fucking cool! To be frank I have heard very few Hindi rock/metal songs, still this I believe is a trailblazer. I have to say it sounds a lot like Pantera on steroids. The song resembles classic Pantera songs like Walk and Cowboys from Hell. Groovy guitar and harsh vocals, with a guitar solo in the middle. Makes sense, since nearly all local bands worship Pantera. The lyrics also made sense at multiple levels. Although it is a little offensive to snakes! "Sabko saamp dusthe hain!" Poor snakes! What did they do?
Tum Ho Toh: Rock ballad. Good one. Farhan has really strained a lot to sing this.
Sinbad The Sailor: Tale of Sinbad. Never get to gets hear these kind of tales told in a Hindi song. Excellent music. Fantastic guitar solo. Good use of the keyboard. I need to listen to this more often! The song merges into Tum Ho Toh at a faster pace towards the end, which is pretty cool!
Pichle Saat Dinon Mein (Live Version): To be honest, I haven't listened to this one much. Feels like a real concert song. Excellent jam of the original.
Phir Dekhiye: Another neglected song. Deserves more playtime. Good one with great vocals by Caralisa Monteiro(?).

Final Thoughts: I would give the album 4.5/5 in the normal course. Since, this one is a trailblazer I would give it a 5/5, for the risk and effort!

Wait for movie review later in the week!

Alibaba and Country Thieves

Country in this context means the nation and not nincompoops like you! On to the topic. Just check out the map below. A horribly mutilated India.

Can anybody guess from where did this originate?

If you said China, you are dead on! Its from the India home page of the premier chinese e-commerce/auction company

I wonder whether the same is kept in the CPI(M) offices across the country! I believe this would be kept in Prakash Karats diary at the least!

Info from

Aakashagopurum: Castle in the Air!

Castle in the Air indeed! I would really like to write that it is an imaginary piece of indulgent crap by K P Kumaran. But in reality, its just crap. Let me spell it again CRAP.

One might ask, "Why so serious, Rockus?" Why am I serious? I had high hopes on this movie. I thought K P Kumaran was a serious (may be a bit indulgent) filmmaker with talent. Mohanlal is my favourite actor (across all languages). I was enthused by the quality team behind the movie (music by John Altman and camera by Santosh Thundiyil). I was awed by some brilliant promos and trailers. All done to death by some horrible writing and direction.

The movie starts of with some picturesque shots and some beautiful music. First scene is pretty good. Your spirits are up. Then as the subsequent scenes follow, you smell a rat and get a sinking feeling. After 10-15 minutes, you realise its hopeless.

Let me make it clear, the base story is terrific. Based on 'The Master Builder', a play by the Norweigian playwright Henrik Ibsen. From what I gather, the original play is a brilliant enquiry into human nature and inner demons faced by a successful man. What the movie ultimately transpires into is a mindless piece of crap. A word by word translation of the play into Malayalam. It does not feel like a movie at all, rather a play in some exotic locales. The dialogues are rubbish. No malayalee in the world speaks like this. Performers are helpless as the direction is clueless! Cardinal sin, since the movie boasts of awesome artistes like Mohanlal, Manoj K Jayan, Bharath Gopi, and Sreenivasan. The movie is devoid of the Director's art, which ultimately makes a movie watchable.

There are good points, though very few. Actors fit into the roles pretty well. Music is great. Camera work is breathtaking. The new girl Nitya is awesome. Looks damn beautiful and doesn't pale in the company of an actor like Mohanlal in terms of screen presence. She is a treat to watch and she is hot. She looks terrific. Yeah, yeah, she is my latest screen babe crush! :-P

Watch the movie for the visuals and Nitya. Nothing else matters.

Okay, first we shall go through what exactly is the blog title. It may not be visible to you. If its not thank the web standards for that. If it does and makes no sense to you, thank your below par English skills. /Mean Smug Asshole (MSA) look

Its an Interrobang. Check the link for more details. For you simpletons who cannot read more than a few sentences, it is an exclamation mark useful in places like 'What the fuck !?' /MSA look

Now, what does this obsolete English jargon has to do with me? I will be moving away from home pretty soon and was having a long idle chat with my mother. For her I am a near six foot toddler, who weighs around 200 pounds! So I shall not embarrass myself by providing the entire transcript. This stage of the talk involved around my journeys to (from) home.

She: I have heard that the air buses provide ample opportunities for boys and girls to do obscene things.

Me: Really??? Never seen that. Will travel only on buses from now on. Let me see if it happens to me! (Confession: Secretly wishing that. Bus journeys are so damn boring when its 18 hours long and the meatheads are hell bent on playing some idiotic Tamil movie!)

She: (Looking at me reproachfully.) I have seen that. While I went to Kasargod...

Me: Aha! Train! Its a train! So I will come by train!

She: (Looking at rather scornfully.) Yeah, yeah. Its a train. (Narrates the incident, which involved pretty indecent stuff to be done in a train. Shame on them!)

Me: Hmmm. (A little shaken.)

She: Its really tough to get a good wife these days. Who knows what girls are upto these days!

Me: Hmmm. (Slowly starts to get up. Knows which way discussions would go, which would end when I start yelling!)

She: I have an idea! You should start taking Thingalazcha Vratham (Monday Fasting)* from now on. Hopefully it would get you a good wife and make you have an exulting personality in front of ladies. /MSA look replaced by a Don't Want to Show My Face (DWSMF) look


(Seriously contemplating that now! Minor part being scared shit and major part being trying to control a rather reckless lifestyle. Convenient too. I never drink on Mondays! Who am I kidding? By the time I stop contemplating and start doing, my kids would be married!)

* The link says its done by women; but its also applicable, though rarely practised by men.

Just decided to ramble on and on. May be I will find the answer to the ultimate question through just rambling on and on. But what about the ultimate question itself? Ultimate answer is said to be 42. But what is the ultimate question? I hope we soon find out. Otherwise you will die reading this and I will extract your spirit. Then consume it to the prolong my madness. If that sounds like a death eater, you are probably potterphilic and that frankly sounds a bit perversive. Reminds of a fan art I saw with Harry and Hagrid in a rather compromising situation. That is a mild word since I want to make my blog as family friendly as possible. But that doesn't mean I give a shit about people who censor words like fuck!

Oh! Lesson learnt. Don't unleash yourself while you are listening to Syd Barrett. If you want to make any sense about what I just wrote, check the following links.

Answer to the Ultimate Question
Ultimate Question
Death Eater
Seven Dirty Words (if you are really interested!)

Title blatantly stolen from the Paolo Coelho book Like the Flowing River.

Playing it Cold

Hectic, hectic day to say the least. Will be the same the entire week and probably the weekend too. Day dreams are kind of far away now. Reality seems to be taking over me. To be frank it doesn't feel good at all! Its sort of like I have lost my passion and playing it cold. Longing for warmth and some fire to ignite my innards.

Fell in love with the Coldplay song Yes. Strangely soothing. Its about emotional and physical longing. About being tired of the creepy loneliness. Creepy in the sense, you have a dark void in spite of having people around you. Somehow the song makes a lot of sense. The lyrics are a dead giveaway, but more importantly the music itself. The chanty vocals and the oriental bridges blended with some soothing guitar. My favourite song from Viva La Vida, the new album.

A short preview courtesy of imeem.

When it started, we had high hopes
Now my back's on the line, my back's on the ropes
When it started, we were alright
But night makes a fool of us in the daylight

There we were dying of frustration
Singing, 'Lord lead me not into temptation'
But it's not easy when she turns you on
Sin, stay gone

If you'd only, if you'd only say yes
Whether you will's anybody's guess
God, only God knows I'm trying my best
But I'm just so tired of this loneliness

So, up they picked me by the big toe
I was held from the rooftop, then they let go
Dizzily screaming, 'Let the windows down'
As I crawl to the ground

If you'd only, if you'd only say yes
Whether you will's anybody's guess
God, only God knows she won't let me rest
But I'm just so tired of this loneliness
I've become so tired of this loneliness

Speaking of!

Why do I go through this phase over and over again? Sitting and doing nothing productive and going all blues!

Stopped writing after the above lines and does something "productive" finally. Some piracy. Aaarrr, matey!

Speaking of piracy. I was thinking of writing about the music of Rock On!!, a music CD I actually purchased! Someday, someday...soon.

Speaking of reviews, I am still to write about Dark Knight, Mummy III, Chronicles of Narnia (The books and not the movies. Soon Resmi, really soon!)

Speaking of movies, I need to categorise the movie collection and buy a good CD/DVD album like pack. Soon...really soon.

Speaking of CDs and DVDs, I should be working on some workaround to watch Taare Zameen Par DVD. It cost me frigging 500 bucks! Damn thing won't run on Linux and thats all I use. /elitist smug look

Speaking of elitist smugs, I should be working on some new story material and start polishing old ones. Working means actually writing a couple!

Speaking of stories, I should be reading the third Chronicles of Narnia (The Horse and his Boy) book, listening to some, hmmm lemme see Coldplay. Their new album sounds great and has started to grow on me.

Speaking of growing up, I saw Speed Racer (the movie) and loved it. Reviewers said only viewers under 10 would like the idiocy! So I need to grow up, I guess! Anyways, Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer, Go!

Speaking of going, I really should be going and read that book while listening to music. /elitist smug look

Media Bias!

American media like most other media is a prejudiced lot, but several degrees higher. Usually I get to read about the bias through Digg, Reddit etc, but just experienced it on MSNBC.

Check out the picture story about Russia-Georgia conflict. Wonderfully done. Enough to get the readers pulse working. But, think a little more and you will see that it is deeply biased. Totally demonising the Russians. No signs of the genocidal crimes committed by Georgia on South Ossetia.
Wow! Never thought that old boy Kafka was a fun guy! I read Kafka's Metamorphosis and became a fan of his morbid visions of humanity. For me, he came out as this depressed guy. I guessed the reason was his tuberculosis.

Apparently not! The man had a stash of all sorts of hardcore porn! Some of which beyond the acceptable "norms"! Check it out!

Got this from Boing Boing. Check it out for the cool book cover!
Happy time folkses! George Orwell has decided to blog! If you do not know who he is, go hang yourself upside down from a neem tree! Hint: Animal Farm and 1984.

The Orwell Prize has decided to mark 70th anniversary of George Orwell's diary by publishing them on a blog exactly 70 years after each entry. It will be exciting to read the insights and interests of this genius. The first entry is up. Its about catching a snake. Check it out.

The Callback

He could hear the bell ring, ring, and ring. No answer. He felt all alone. Questions raged his mind. Did something untoward happen? It was getting really dark. Clouds had gobbled the moon with a wet hunger. Murky darkness fed his frenzy.

How could he be sure that everything is alright? It was the 4th day without answer. Did something else happen? Suddenly he became hated? He thought back. He could not see any reason. May be he doesn't remember. Was he that forgetful? May be he was schizophrenic. He did things beyond his control. Things he couldn't remember later.

He checked his phone. Relieved, to see the call times at the exact times as he had remembered. Short lived was the relief. What if he deleted those call logs? What if he went out and made a call from a coin box? He found the second option to be astoundingly absurd. By correlation he deducted the first as well. What was wrong? Why wasn't there a call back?

He decided he was thinking too much. As always. As its always said. But there should have been a call back. Shouldn't there? Last time it was legit. He wished it was never legit. Too scary to even think. Anyway, thank god nothing untoward happened. He reminded himself to stop thinking. The part of him who said that got an almighty jolt on his face.

The other part sneered, "Your face? You don't have one!"

The good part retorted, "Then how come you are sneering?"

"Ah! The classic yin-yang. This ought to be good!", the unified consciousness remarked.

Yin and Yang bowed to UC. The tirade started. UC watched on.

"All he wanted to do was stop thinking. And look where he is now", remarked UC.

Yin and Yang were literally going at each other with the merits and demerits of everything in existence. Everything that concerned him. And everything that didn't.

"Poor man. Living with three personalities. No wonder he turned out like this.", UC was getting bored by Yin and Yang.

"Wrong UC. Wrong!" UC turned to find the speaker. It was Fear.

"Awake, Fear?", UC asked.

"Had to. He is having hell of a time. Will probably kick me out now. He has started talking to that drunk man. Charm will be coming immediately and we never mix when drinks are around.", Fear said as he got ready to make an exit. "And yes.", Fear stopped. "When you count, count Pervert in. He is my best buddy."

"I am supposed to be in control of all of them. Yin, Yang, Fear, Pervert, Charm, Courage, and all the others he seem to harbour. Yet, I am never. He is so much in deficit of tactics that he never let me unify his consiousness. Will he survive?", UC started to lament as he tried desperately to pull the strings of consiousness.

The night sky started to clear. He looked up. He could see a couple of stars. He couldnt remember whether it was a shooting star or a star which when seen would grant a wish. He admonished himself for not looking it up earlier itself. He wished anyway. Never heard of a wish not coming true by wishing on the wrong star. He wished the same as always and wondered whether selfish wishes came true. He consoled himself that wishes wouldnt be wishes unless they were selfish.

He felt a drop of water on his face. Rain? The sky was clear enough. Dewdrops? Probably. He was walking underneath big trees anyway. Another talk struck him. Batpiss? Do Bats piss? Will he turn to Batman? He would like that. If only for the riches and cool gadget labs. Another drop fell. He glanced above. He could see a tiny cloud. It was not unified. It drifted as away as it could from the big clouds. It would die out before daybreak. He could hear it sing. A mournful song. A cheerful song.

Alone I float,
But above all others.
Spare me a thought,
But don't cry me rivers.

Effervescent I may be,
Chanceless to witness the dawn.
But reflectant never me,
That moment I would be gone.

I may shake and shiver,
With every wind and gale.
No less I am a giver,
Than the ones like a whale.

Today I live,
Tomorow I will not see.
Merrily I decline the reprieve,
Extension for a life with no glee.

He felt happy. Contented. His Unified Consiousness finally found the answer. Now UC started to worry about the question.

UC remembered the magic words. "You think too much." Suddenly UC felt a jolt. The daily jolt as he drifted into sleep. UC had little time to rest before the battles began. Battles with demons. UC wondered what was in store that day.