Monday, July 06, 2009

Going back to

'tis time for some change ... this blog started as a "thinking" journal for my Creativity class in grad school ... just continued and never went back to my original blog.

about time now ...

so going back to ... where all future musings will be.

रूकावट के लिए खेद है :) ... see you around the corner

Friday, June 26, 2009

Working for Retirement

Such a conundrum ... work hard now so that you can retire peacefully ...

At first glance that may seem like a solid and clear target but it's not ... you don't know how much you need to work (ergo money to save) ... you just work till you HAVE to retire ... primarily guided by the scale of age - 56/60/65 whatever the "policy" states!

but you may have saved more than you needed to and then get hit by a bus on the first day of retirement ... whaaat?? it happens ...

So whats the point of running blind ... we think we know where we're headed ... but don't.

no really.

like Charu summarized so well - we're running on a treadmill ... we run and we run but we don't get anywhere ... and don't burn fat either!!!

So what is the solution you ask me? I wish I had one ... the solution may lie in the answer to the question - "How much money do you need to retire?"

Simple as it may sound the answer to this question is bloody hell complicated and deviously twisted ... and then some more!

The quest for the answer wanders through the murky paths of material delights, the sinful crossroads of indulgence, bylanes of vacation, gardens of family and education and the footpaths of simplicity ... and to add to all this, the ground keeps shifting underneath all the time with crashing economies, rising inflations, growing families, failing health ... ... ... you get the picture.


ya ya I know I got carried away with the analogy ... pffffft !

No wonder we took the simple route - pegged an age for retirement and hoped that by the time you're 60, you would automatically have saved enough and more for the rest of your life ... not having to worry about such complex calculations.

Simple solution but the nagging feeling that you could have partied earlier and longer keeps nibbling at you ... much like the thoughts that come to mind on the way to the airport - "Did I lock the door properly?", "Did I remember to close the windows?" ... not much you can do at that point - so you ignore, curse the traffic, move on and hope for the best ...

so the point of all this ramble ... not sure myself ... just suck it up Venky and work as long as you can and don't think about retiring early ... its a bloody myth! something we all talk about as kids and then eventually grow up!




A Sudden Moment of Clarity ... just explained all those old people sighted ambling about in expensive resorts all around the world ...

chalo - there is hope in all this.

Michael Jackson ... Gone to Soon!

Like A Comet
Blazing 'Cross The Evening Sky
Gone Too Soon

Like A Rainbow
Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon

Shiny And Sparkly
And Splendidly Bright
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like The Loss Of Sunlight
On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon

Like A Castle
Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon

Like A Perfect Flower
That Is Just Beyond Your Reach
Gone Too Soon

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like A Sunset
Dying With The Rising Of The Moon
Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon

Just like his song ... he's gone too soon.

I would be lying if I said that a part of me is gone because his music and songs will last forever ... but something is missing ... can't explain it ... I just can't believe that MJ is dead ...
I'm secretly hoping for a Kauffman'esque reappearance sometime soon ... oh well ...

Was very excited at the "This is It" tour ... hoped to see the genius in action a second time around with front(er) row seats ... sigh .... now I'm just glad I caught his show in Bombay.

Thank you for everything Michael ... you were a solid part of our growing years and will always be the Thriller for a long long time to come.

... wherever you are.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Umeed-e-Sahar by Laal

Now I'm not sure how I stumbled across the song or the band but I'm glad I did.

The first song I heard from the band Laal was titled "Maine Usse Yeh Kaha" - .very. intriguing lyrics - based on politics and governance - that piqued my curiosity and after some research I discovered that the band Laal is made up of a couple of Marxists (one is a Political Science lecturer and the other is an Economics grad student!).

And then the second song "Umeed-e-Sahar" ... Wow.

I must admit that the first hearing was all about the composition and vocals - the lyrics were a bit too urdu-heavy for me to follow ... and now thanks to the Youtube video with translation - the song is much, much more enjoyable. (the U-tube has a bunch of other stuff from the band as well - worth a look)

Laal - Super band,

Umeed-e-Sahar - Good album, good songs

... worth a listen. Once again another wonderful Pakistani band rises and produces a gem of an album ... Bollywood - how I hate you for this!

And this is what I was able to fish out from the dredges of the internet - interesting read on the band

Luanda on Top

like Chandler Bing would say ... "I KNEW IT!!!"
Now I'm not one to swear by statistics but this Businessweek article on the most expensive cities on the world validates that feeling you have when you live here in Luanda ... that Luanda is the most expensive city in the world!

Yaay ... I'm happy to be here ... after all its worth some bragging rights ... no? :P

Interesting statistics at the bottom of each panel ... mostly true for Luanda - altho not the complete picture. One glaring price-point missing here is accomodation ... and for the uninitiated, a 3-bedroom apartment rents for anywhere from US$12,000 to US$25,000 per month ... go figure!
Thank You Oscar for the pointer.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Congratulations Pakistan

.Very. happy that Pakistan won the T20 World Cup 2009.
I guess the country and the people needed this ... a LOT.
Congratulations to Sri Lanka as well.
I pray and hope that these events are catalysts for a better future for both countries ... in whatever manner possible.

A long long time ago I would have looked at myself quite strangely for saying all this ... I guess the old adage of wisdom and age is true after all - and about time some would say ;)


32 and counting ...
another day ... another year ... another birthday ... another day


Friday, May 29, 2009

New slideshows and a point to ponder

Have been wanting to write for a while now but ... oh well ...
Performed some cursory cleanup on the blog ... played around with slideshows in the right pane and added Saara's pics for all of you hounding me - look at this spot for newer pics as and when they roll (ha!)

Now for the point to ponder ... ... was generally pulling Mom's leg yesterday ... asking her to define God - you know ... almighty and all :)
After some mumbling and several attempts she came up with this super-analogy
God is the force that powers everything ... much like electricity that powers much of what is around you - yet you can not see/hear it ... you can feel it but you can not explain the feeling to anyone else ... each has to experience to get their own feel :)
Try describing an electric shock to someone - yeap.
Now I typically stay away from analogies - you know - but this one was too good to dismiss.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thank You

Thank you God for

~ a wonderful partner for life. I love you D.
~ our little angel Saara
~ our families for enabling us to be where we are
~ and last but not least - a superb group of friends who are always there ... good times, bad times, fun times or roll-up-your-sleeves-to-work times :)

.Thank You.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Amit Trivedi

... Dev D ...
... Aamir ...

common Element = Amit Trivedi
The only two albums that I have heard from this amazing composer - but I think this young guy is here for good ... I was super impressed with the music in Aamir (movie too!)- glaringly unconventional and so refreshingly fresh - sometimes dark and reminiscent of the music in Karam ... highly recommended for lock-the-disc-in-your-player-and-loop kind of music.

and then comes the music for Dev D ... what can I say - WOW.
Anurag Kashyap better live up to the standard of the music. There I said it! first.

The first track 'Emosional Atyachar' sets the pitch for the album and from there on it is one joyride with Duniya, Nayan Tarse, Pardesi, Saali Khushi all the way to the Dev Chanda themes which let you relax, catch your breath ... and give you with something to hum along.

I mean this is a true soundtrack - 18 tracks ... not 6, not 7 not 10 ... but EIGHTEEN.
If you're expecting a conventional or slightly unconventional soundtrack then this is not it ... this is for the 'true' soundtrack lovers - like the soundtracks of Pulp Fiction or Natural Born Killers ... (sorry can't remember another true Hindi soundtrack) ... where the music and tunes grip you with the sheer energy and strength - not so much with hummable tunes or sweet melodious voices.
The soundtrack has it all ... rock, pop, soul, electronica, fast fusion, bhangra, two step, folk, hints of bluegrass, western classical, bebop, country, enigma ... very VERY colorful Smörgåsbord ... get the picture.

I really like his arrangement ... - very simple - very intelligent - 3 or so instruments to set up the backbone of the song - a kicky drum and a tight bass to support a basic riff and then additional layers and effects to give volume to the song ... The guy sings in almost half the album - his vocals are grungy and perfect for such tunes ... and then there are other songs with other 'interesting' voices ...
and its his own vocals that are more captivating at times - the sheer attitude of the vocals makes it perfect for a soundtrack.

And I take back what I said earlier - I have heard this guy before ... apparently Amit Trivedi is a part of that fantastic fusion band from Chembur called "OM" ... now there is another fantastic album ... but we never heard a follow up album from them ... yet.

Note to Anurag Kashyap - "You better do justice to the music man"

Random searches on Google told me that this is the "baap" of all soundtracks ... not sure who really said that but I couldn't agree more.
Go now ... listen to Dev D. again. and again.