Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Just like I do every third post or so, I'm cheating. This was actually an excerpt from a mail I had written to a couple of my friends describing something that had taken place in class at my MBA Institute. If you have a faint heart or an undying love for buzzing insects, please do not read any further...

"...I gotta tell you about this class here, its called Legal Aspects of Business, taught by this small, bespectacled DU prof. Its the most boring thing on earth, and to complicate matters, the teacher probably hates my guts after what happened today. I’ve already fallen embarrassingly, publicly asleep in his class before, so he knows my face. And then today this happened...
We're about an hour into a 2 hour lecture. I’m sitting last bench, rubbing my eyes, trying to clear the fog in my head. Out of nowhere, in flies this bee. As if fate had ordained it so, it heads straight in my direction, and after weaving in front of my face threateningly, dives behind my chair.
I look around to see whether it plans to sit there quietly. No luck, buzzes and shakes are heard. Girl from across the aisle, Monash, advises "Don't glare at it like that. Just hit it". I sigh. Killing insects is not something I’m very good at. Anyway, I ask for an economic times, roll it up and turn in my chair. The lecture is still continuing.
Missed. Damn.
I suddenly realise i should say something reassuring. "I'm sorry, Sir. There’s a bee here".
I decide that all this would be better achieved standing, so i get up. I see one tentative antennae of bee above chair level.
Bee dives down below. This is going to be tough. I decide to be patient and wait. After a longish pause, bee makes desperate bid for freedom.
Hmm. Not that good. Bee 6, Me 0. I turn around for support. Sir is looking at me with expression I can’t quite describe. I decide we're gonna have to use drastic measures. I go down after bee. Class watches in fascination as series of muffled thuds emerge from behind the chair.
By this point its not only Sir who's had enough. Monash gets up, takes her register, motions me to move aside, and proceeds to crush the bee against the wall. Effective technique, but hardly classy. Anyway, class applauds. No takers for my theory that bee committed suicide seconds before Monash killed it.
Sir, having kept silent uptil now, feels the need to say something, anything, on the subject.
"You know, its useless to kill them. They multiply geometrically. In fact, if you show no fear the bee will not sting you".
I shake my head violently. i cannot agree. Bees do not think that way.
"So next time, you should just sit still".
I decide Maximum Lawman will not get the last word.
"Next time, Sir, I’ll just change my seat".

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The 6 most underrated punk songs ever

1. Suspect device – Stiff Little Fingers
Its not unknown or anything. Its pretty damn famous, to tell the truth. But what bugs me is that I never hear it being mentioned in the same breath as ‘Anarchy’ or ‘White Riot’ while it is every bit as focused and angry and political as them. Everything about it pure punk – the aggression, the we-take-no-prisoners stance and the absolute refusal to recognize the existence of such a thing as a guitar solo.

2. Radio free Europe – R.E.M
Though R.E.M is rarely spoken of as falling in the punk genre, their early music could reasonably be described as folk-punk. Radio Free Europe, though, was pure punk in execution, even though the subject matter was interpreted as either cryptic (if you decided you liked R.E.M) or mumbled bollocks (if you couldn’t care less). Hear the single version, the album version has better sound and is much clearer, which is not what you listen to a punk rock song for.

3. Spanish bombs – The Clash

An example of how far punk rock can be stretched, by a band that pushed back punk’s horizons further than any one else. An amazingly ambitious song which time travels between the Spanish Civil War and the modern day troubles in Ireland, and in the process proves two things – one, you can name drop Garcia Lorca and still call yourself a punk band, and two, an acoustic spanish guitar chopping away in the background can sound deadly.

4. Rumble – Link Wray And his Raymen

The greatest instrumental punk rock number ever. It sowed the seeds long before the sound even had a name.

5. Teenage riot – Sonic Youth

A band that has defied easy labeling, and this song is a good example why. Its starts off with a simple guitar figure which extends for a minute and twenty-three seconds and cannot be called punk by any stretch of imagination. But then the loud guitars kick in, swirling and chopping and we are in punk territory, yet there’s something weird. Where’s the anger? Where’s the sloganeering? The answer lies in the album title – Daydream Nation – and in that marvelous line ‘it takes a teenage riot to get me out of bed’. A perfect example of where restless minds took punk in the ‘80s (and a private lament that no one took it further).

6. Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

I left this one for last, since I know all of you will be out of your seats yelling as soon as you see it. But I’m serious. Summer of ’69 may just be the Greatest Punk Rock Song You Never Knew. Just bear with me and hear it again. What sentiment could be more punk than playing your first cheap guitar till your fingers bleed? And listen to that damn starting riff. No matter how sissy you may think Adams is, who can take that riff away from him, that primal, straight from the gut, shut-up-and-listen riff.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Two Chord Ballad

She appeals to me
Sort of like Mata Hari
She avoids things flowery
She pointed out the dog sleeping on the car roof
Reminded her of a lion she once saw on safari
Laughs at her own jokes
Wrapped in intrigue and cigarette smoke
Wearing those faded jeans
Watching the world revolve around her
Watching the guys surround her
While she explains the consciousness of streams

She speaks to me
Says she’s cutting her hair
For some audience she knows is out there
But her audience is me, and I don’t care
She doesn’t need an analyst
She doesn’t need a guitar tuner
She tunes her guitar herself
Pulls books from the shelf
And wonders why she never bought them sooner

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Shepe I'm In

"...where XL persons had their lyvings, now one man and his shepherd hath all...Yes, those shepe is the cause of all theise mischieves, for they have driven husbandrie out of the countries, by the which was increased before all kynde of victuall, and now altogether shepe, shepe."

- John Shepherd, 1549

Friday, April 4, 2008


I walked towards IIT, cussing under my breath with each step. Why me, why this job, why the auto repair, why the scratched CD, and most of all, why rain all of a sudden in February? Then I did myself a favour and looked up. It was magical. A light drizzle persisted, but the sun had come out. It broke through the dense cover of trees overhead and streaked the dark green with shimmering fluorescent. Drops hung from the branches, wishing they were frost. The road looked shiny, sleek - a siren lying in wait for unsuspecting scooterists. There was a slight nip in the air, a cruel teaser considering the already soaring temperatures and the many months left for the Monsoon. I pulled out my Sony Ericsson and started clicking.

It was like Monet had painted the scene from inside a car with the windscreen wipers working furiously but ultimately proving ineffective. It was like Jefferson Airplane had sung it. It said ‘rainy day’ like nothing else.

I’ll burn every bridge that I cross. To find some beautiful place to get lost.

‘Black and White’
The day was bad. The moment when I looked up was good. Its not just that. In what has become a rare occurrence, my eyes were actually open to the beauty of the scene in front of me. If that sounds self-serving, I can assure you that most other days, I would simply have seen a wet road.

The wrought-iron gate cast ghostly white shadows, the sky was as black as a cadaver. Purple patches festered like small mushroom clouds. Even with all this, one’s eye kept returning to the small splash of red in the far right corner of the page.