Saturday, November 19, 2005

The day before tomorrow

That is today and what is tomorrow? tomorrow is the big day! the great hunt, the D-day, the day the clock works at least twice fast for me. normally put, tomorrow is C A T (at this moment the "psycho shower scene" music keeps playing in my head over and over including the world famous scream) So a year and Rs 25000 later I ask myself am I ready? I don't have an honest answer. So will I rise? Shall I bell the CAT? I am about to face the longest few hours before the shortest two. As Mat Cauthon would have said...

"Dovie'andi Se Tovya Sagain - Time To Toss The Dice"



Thursday, November 10, 2005

Delays

Dear reader. If you are a regular (though for the life of me I can't imagine why) or if your coming here for the first time and thinking "what a lazy bum!" let me apologize. I have been murderously busy and will be until mid December. So no posts till then. Will be back with more sarcasm and depressing philosophy
-Yours Truly
Gandalf

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Free Speech For The Dumb

This is a Letter by Farhad Wadia sent out to rock music fans
regarding what happened on the 3rd of Sept at the Independence Rock
Venue







=========================================



Dear Friends,



What happened today at the Gateway of India is a travesty & mockery
Of Fair play & justice in our City. Today The Commissioner of Police
for Mumbai City did not just Stop Independence Rock He basically
told all of us that the police will control what Kind of Music can
OR Can't be heard at the Gateway of India; a monument that belongs
to all Mumbaikar's . In one stroke his Diktat didn't just cancel a
Festival that was about to celebrate its 20th Year at the Gateway …
but it stabbed at the heart of Democracy in our Country. As
certainly as that madman stabbed an innocent girl at the Gateway a
few weeks ago this unfair Diktat has stabbed all Rock musicians,
Fans & lovers who had come from Far & wide to perform & witness
History in the making ---- The 20th Year Of Independence Rock!



From over the last 15 Days I have personally been making the rounds
of every Government office in the City . We applied and got all the
following Permisions & Noc's :

1.) Maharashtra Government for the use of the Gateway .

2.) Cultural Secretary for the use of the Gateway .

3.) Archaeological Survey of India – NOC for the use of the Gateway.

4.) BMC - NOC after paying their Venue Charges & Deposits.

5.) BMC SHOW departments NOC

6.) Fire Brigade NOC

7.) PWD electrical & Stage Compliance report .

8.) Collector Mumbai for Entertainment Tax Clearance after Pre –
Payment of Entertainment Tax of Rs. 40,000

9.) Colaba Police Station NOC

10.) RTO – NOC

11.) RTO – Bandobast charges of 11,474 were paid for 30 - 40 Traffic
Cops

12.) DCP ZONE 1 & Zone 2 Clearance

13.) Rangbhoomi Permission for Lyrics

14.) Censor Board Clearance.

15.) Loud-speaker License issued by the Colaba Police Station



Along the way I got the runaround of a lifetime wherein I had to
beg, plead, cajole grovel, namedrop & Bribe at virtually every turn.
However I kept telling myself it will be worthwhile come the 3rd &
the 4th of Sept when the concert takes place. My friend & fellow
musician Hon Milind Deora MP helped and made a hundred calls every
time we got stuck … Vinod Shekhar Municipal Corporator for A WARD
too helped us immensely… However the last 2 permissions the Ticket
Selling License & The Performance License which are a mere formality
once you have the above 15 in place; were denied to us at the 11th
hour after being told all along the way that they were "just
awaiting Saab's Signature " After spending 6 hours at the
Comissioner's office at 4:30 p.m. I was informed that the Joint CP
Mr. Subhash Awate had refused to give us the permission, When I met
him he casually told me that he will meet me later… When I informed
him that the show began in 1 Hours time he just got into his car &
drove off.



I begged and pleaded with Mr. A.N. Roy's PA Mr. Kulkarni if I could
meet with him & plead our case … I was informed that Sahib did not
wish to see anybody. In desperation I dialed Milind's No and
apprised him of the situation he immediately spoke to the
Commissioner, who assured him that he will take a favorable view of
the matter and that he would see me. Milind Called me back
immediately and said that He was hopeful that the Commissioner would
relent .



When I went into the Cabin there was Mr. AN ROY ( Commissioner
Police ) , Mr. Patnaik ( Joint Commissioner ) & Mr. Naval Bajaj (DCP
Zone 1). The commissioner started by telling me that - How Could I
have wanted to stage a ROCK CONCERT at the Gateway? He kept
stressing repeatedly that the Gateway was an inappropriate venue for
this Kind of Music and told me that the Sound will Damage the
monument. I assured him that this was the same Contractor – Roger
Drego and the Same Sound system that had been used 4 times in the
past 6 months for 4 different shows at the Gateway and authorized by
his office. :

1. The Mumbai Festival featuring Al Jarreau & other Jazz – Rock
artists .

2. Shakti featuring Zakir Hussain & John Mac Laughlin another Jazz
Rock / Fusion Act

3. The Mumbai Mirror Launch function

4. Bal Thackeray's Book Launch .



To this he kept insisting that these were all Government Shows & not
commercial events. When I told him that the Al Jarreau Gig was an
MTV & VH1 Show which Charged an average of Rs 2000 & the Shakti show
was organized by my friend Shashi Vyas who owns a private event
company and had an average ticket price of Rs. 1500; & also the
Launch of a private newspaper is a Commercial event …. & that
Balasaheb Thackeray is a private Citizen with no official Government
Post . He said that those shows were all right BUT ours was not
Suitable for the Gateway .



In spite of me repeatedly reminding him that Our Show had all INDIAN
BANDS, & no Foreign Acts… Our 20th year Anniversary… and a Ticket
Price one 1/10 th of the other events he had allowed … he still told
me that he would not permit it . In desperation I told him that not
only did I stand to loose over Rs. 10 Lakhs that I had spent on the
event but also 3000 kids who showed up from all across the Country
would be disappointed , he told me that this was not his concern. He
rejected our application on the grounds of Sound Pollution & Law &
Order problem.



This too me reeks of a simple prejudice that Rock listened to by
Middle Class Non-Affluent College Kids is Sound Pollution & Jazz
Rock Or Fusion patronized by the Page 3 Crowd was Sweet &
Appropriate Music …. Once again a Government Official who has been
invested with these Absolute powers by the Government has let his
personal taste in music / perception of Rock Music influence his
decision.



Dejected & shattered by this unfair decision I made my way to the
Gateway and informed the Huge Crowd that …Once Again Rock Music Had
been made a Scapegoat Of and asked them to disperse quietly &
peacefully .



What happened next Amazed me … Rock Fans who have been stereotyped
as violent & abusive & other unflattering adjectives by the Police
quietly left the venue . Had this been a Ganesh Utsav, Durga Pooja ,
Or Navratri Celebration there would have surely been a riot there !



The question's we need to ask ourselves now are:

1.) Are we going to let the Police decide what type of Music can be
played at a National Monument?

2.) Are we going to have one set of Rules for Jazz, Indian
Classical, & Fusion and a different set of rules for Rock?

3.) Are we still suffering from a Post Colonial Hangover that
Foreign / White Bands can perform at National Monuments & Indian
Bands don't have the same Rights ?

4.) Are we going to have Separate rules for Big Newspapers & TV
Organizations , & Politicians and different ones for ordinary
citizens like me ?

5.) Are we going to let Government officials whose Salaries get paid
by taxes that we pay cause irreparable Loss of money Time & effort
to citizens like me?

6.) Are we going to let shows get cancelled after 14 different
Government Departments have okayed it, just because someone did not
like the idea of the Gateway of India to be used for a Rock
Concert ?



What has happened today thus is not just a Concert that has been
cancelled. It is an infringement of our Constitutionally Guaranteed
Fundamental Right to listen & enjoy different types of music without
interference by Police Officials.



I would thus like to request the Court's of our Country to intervene
and correct this Gross Miscarriage of Justice and ensure that
Independence Rock 20 Happens at the Gateway Of India towards the end
of September!



Please forward this to your Friends & ask them to forward it to
their Friends … Somewhere along the Line some one in a powerful
place might wakeup to the fact that an injustice was done here and
it should be corrected!



On a dfifferent note all those who bought tickets .. they will be
valid for the concert which will take place sometime this month.



If you want a refund you can get this too by emailing SAHIL - THE
DEMONSTEALER



Hey, Hey, My, My Rock & Roll Can Never Die !!! – Neil Young





Yours Sincerely,



Farhad K. Wadia


___________________________________________________________________

Spread the word. Forward this to all your friends who are intrested in rock or infact just value the freedom of expression and speech. Don't let the fucking bastards win.

Stereotype fools,
Playing the game,
Nothing Unique,
They all look the same....

We Will Rise!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Flash and bang!




Yay!!! I'm soooo happy right now. My website is coming along G R E A T! I've changed the complete interface to flash. And boy does it look good ( Yeah I'm gloating. If you have a problem then FO ). But what's so special about today? You may ask. Well gentle readed today I learnt and implemented two great things. First I learnt how to access XML files from flash thereby making my site content dynamic and the flash file a lot smaller. Also I learnt how to make this dynamic text scroll. You may be thinking huh that's not so cool. But believe me when you get down to it, it's bloody frustrating. So I'm happy tra laa laa laa laa! You'll get to see my baby hopefully by next weekend.

Signing Off..

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The meek shall inherit the earth...

However it seems that it's the "reserved" who's doing it. Recently the SC (supreme court) questioned the quota in private institutions (home SC minding the SC. The irony!). As expected the political gentry of our fine country screamed foul. They used big terms like "Social Justice" and "Social Responsibility" and justified the distribution of seats in higher education on the basis of caste rather than merit. A few weeks before this "monumental" hearing, a topic on reservations was doing rounds on dcetech and as I troll the boards so very often, I jumped into the thick of it.

The scenerio was that some poor soul who didn't get a seat in the CEE or didn't get a subject of his choice immediately blamed the almost one fourth of the seats being reserved instead of his own lack of preperation. People were very vocal and some outright rude. A lot of people ganged up against the quota people. Now being an admin it was my sacred duty to keep the forum free from such delicate issues. So I tried to moderate and elaborate the problem from the quota people's point of view (I'm not one, by the way). However another guy saw this thread and what do you know! He turned out to be a quota guy. He started whining about how tough is it for the shuds and how he was a second generation student and yada yada yada and then he went on to justify the quota system. Stating every few statements that he doesn't want quota and then justifing it in the very next. Now when I found out who that guy really was I was quite nicely annoyed. He turned out to be a classmate who is certainly not "opressed" well not anymore than any third world middle class joe. Rides a nice bike wears branded clothes. Now that really got my goat. I mean how can a person who comes from the same economic background as I do call himself opressed and discriminated against? These people say that it's the supposed "upper" caste who discriminate. But as far as I know it's these guys who write their caste on every enterance exam form with glee.

I don't say that it's the SC/ST people are bad. Had I been in their place I would have done e x a c t l y the same. My grudge is against these bastard politicians. The vote driven bullshit must stop. The downtrodden should be uplifted. I don't say that out of morality. It's only logical. economic divides only result in anarchy. But do circumstances detoriate only for the quota people?

My take is that reservations should be on economic backgrounds. On grass root level ie the standard education up to twelfth class. Give them economic aid until they can fend for themselves but never compromise the merit. Later give the meritorious students who happen to be economically unsound backing in the college. Because if merit is compromised where would it stop. Even as I type people are clamoring for a quota in the private sector hiding behind the same "social justice" bullshit. If that happens ,then rest assured, there won't be much left for the meek to inherit.


you can find the full muck slinging battle here

Monday, August 22, 2005

Didn't turn out the way you wanted it, did it?





I'm really really depressed right now and the funny part is I'm depressed because I got a job! TCS came to college for campus recruitments. I was amongst the hmm... lets see... 160 odd joes who got it. The package was the usual IT firm package you expect and well I was kinda OK for a couple of days. I thought well what the hell it's only a fallback. I'm really aiming at the "A" companies The pay a full 3 lpa! Yeah!!!

But the bubble was quiet convincingly pricked today morning. I met up with Bombay while we were going for the Mock CAT. He told me his cousin got a job worth 8 lpa at NSIT. I presently hold a job worth 2.2 lpa which may go up to 2.5. so when I see the differance between 8 and 2.5 and 3 it's nothing! just a measly 50K! The thing that hurts the most though is the fact that the person I'm talking about is like us. He likes to have fun, playes videogames and is certainly not the geek. That's what hurts so fucking bad! I mean man where did I go wrong? I am supposedly in a top college of this country. Where did I fuck up? Because in the end I proved that I'm just mediocre. The whole TCS/Infy/Cogni placement frenzy is a celebration of mediocrity. I'm just another face in a throng of dickwads. A life less ordinary my ass!

just a reflection
just a glimpse
just a little reminder
of all the what abouts
and all the might have
could have beens
another day
some other way
but not another reason to continue
and now you're one of us
the wretched

the hopes and prays
the better days
the far aways
forget it

it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to
it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to, did it?
it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to
it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to, did it?

now you know
this is what it feels like
now you know
this is what it feels like

the clouds will part and the sky cracks open
and god himself will reach his fucking arm through
just to push you down
just to hold you down
stuck in this hole with the shit and the piss
and it's hard to believe it could come down to this back at the
beginning
sinking
spinning

and in the end
we still pretend
the time we spend
not knowing when
you're finally free
and you could be

but it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to
it didn't turn out quite the way that you wanted it

now you know
this is what it feels like
now you know
this is what it feels like

you can try to stop it but it keeps on coming
you can try to stop it but it keeps on coming....

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Feed





"Big words, small minds.
Behind the veils you will find a

Scavanger of human sorrow..."





These words are a fitting tribute to one of the most irresponsible branches of the Indian industry. Media. They truely are the scavengers. They rush to a bad news, like a vulture to a carcass, and rush twice as fast to spread it like a disease. "We have just heard the reports of bombing in Assam" says the news caster with glee. "We'll get back to you as and when we know more" you could practically see him rubbing his hands with anticipation. They always, always capitalise on the bad news. The good news comes only if it's just too big to pass up.

The problem with our media is that it is too powerful and hardly answerable to anybody. They have the ever useful free media lever to pull. I you try to stop them they'll yell opression and stifling of the "truth". What truth? Truth varies from person to person.

The media trumpets that they are making people aware of the bad things in this world so that they are better prepared to face them. But they make such a propoganda that it makes the public too aware. Take the MMS scandle for an example. The rampant abuse of MMS technology in India is more a result of the media hype around it than the voyeuristis streak we Indians are blamed for. The average John Q with an MMS enabled phone would have been too scared to use his phone for such purposes but he sees this on TV all time! So he says hey that's cool everybody is doing it. Why can't I?

Media has been called the right arm of Satan and it rightly is. It aggrevates strife by showing the tragedy again and again and again..until even the most passive person involved explodes and they get more fodder. It divides people, It revels in tragedy.

Sadly we live in such a screwed up world that everyday is a feast for these vultures and even more sadly, as things are going, they shall feast for a long time.