Handling of Myanmar – 18 Indian Army jawans were killed in Manipur inside India. India’s response was, to enter the territory of another sovereign nation and conduct army raids there. Indians got a hashtag #56InchRocks, PM Modi became the No-Nonsense PM, Parrikar the bad ass Defense Minister. But, is there any point of view which could convince me that this was the ideal step to take, in such a situation. Instead of taking it as a national insult or a terrorist attack, this should first of all be seen as a huge failure of the intelligence agencies for people to come from across the border and stage such planned outrage. Second, what would happen in case some such attack comes from Pakistan or Bangladesh, we can’t storm in there. Congress inaction was a big no no but the BJP/Parrikar knee jerk reaction and chest thumping “We don’t keep the army to preach peace” isn’t much of a positive twist either. Even the mighty (read US) can’t sustain and succeed in the wars of this age, leave aside a lowly India. There was no mention of intelligence failure or the need to develop preventive, resistive capabilities and we got a chest-thumping-making-fool-out-of-himself-previously-respected-defense-minister. If Only!!
As soon as I conceived the idea of having album covers compilation, I had two things fixed, the no of albums would be 16 and each thumbnail 300×300 which would give me a collage of the size 1200×1200, a very comfortable size. My first list comprised 28 albums which condensed to 20 with only a little heartbreak. But the transformation from 20 to 16 was so heartbreaking and guilt inducing that I was quite tempted to have a 1600×1200 collage to have 20 albums. Finally decided against it, but the guilt, since then hasnt let me live in peace and thats why I am here with a list of 6 more albums, would have ahd 5 but difficult to have such a lopsided collage.
Of the movies that missed out in the first list, 2 have been the oldest surviving albums in my library, one is the sweetest music ever and me the proverbial good/sweet guy couldn’t be rude to that movie, another album, just one song of it was continuously on my play list all(most) all 24 hours during my UPSC Mains exam (comes out to be around 9 days), an amazing piece fo music, another is a cult classic with so many of my favourite songs missing out coz of its genre while the other was perhaps more of everything that Dev D was yet a few shades dark. So here I present albums list -2
Lakeer – If Saathiya is the oldest album in list, this one isnt much too new. Wiki describes the movie as “biggest disaster of the year at the box office” but A.R. Rahman, the magician is the only reason that this name hasnt ever slipped out of my radar. Offho Jalta hai in Asha’s voice is just sensual, Rozana by Viva is perhaps the only cheer leading song in Hindi and its as peppy as you would want it to be, Shehzaade in Kunal Ganjwala’s voice gives a magical feeling, nachley has Daler Mehndi at full pomp while the two soft songs Sadiyaan and Paighaam are exactly to my liking.
Fav Song : Sadiyaan
MTV Unplugged in New York – Everyone Nirvana story starts with Rape Me and Smells like Teen Spirit and then once you’re done with them, you explore some more of Nirvana. I too went on the similar lines and the first ‘other’ song of Nirvana I liked was Come as You are which was followed by Lake of Fire then came Plateau followed by Pennyroyal tea, Plateau, Jesus dont want me for a Sunbeam, the man who sold the world. Every song in this album is a grunge classic and I havent even mentioned Dumb, Polly, Where did you sleep last night. The one reason I didnt include it in the first list beside the scarcity of places was that I have hardly ever listened the album on a go but weighed on song to song, this is as good as an album can get.
Fav Song : The Man who sold the world
Raanjhanaa – I had fallen in love with the title track and never came out, I loved Tum tak and didn’t get bored, I was just amazed by Tu Mun Shudi, I had just absolutely adored the Rahman croon, Aise Na Dekho, Piya Mileneg was the perfect soul searcher, I thought I had enough of the album and then I discovered the song Banarasiya in December and it was magic unfolding, it couldnt figure out how I had missed out on this jewel. An album whose 3rd-4th ladder song could keep me captivated and calm enough during UPSC mains exam certainly deserves lots of kudos and definitely a mention in an all time list.
Fav Song : Raanjhanaa/Banarasiya
Saathiya – The first album to break into my albums compilation and since, has never had any scare of being pushed off the pedestal, the last movie kicked out of the last 16 list mainly because of being another Rahman movie in the list and losing out on a song to song basis to some heavyweights. The album has all that a Rahman album has, the soul-searching rahman crooning number, the different in every way songs, some great music and an absolutely magical song. The album came in our school time and I dont think many guys would have not imagined themselves riding an Enticer as Vivek does with the song O Humdum Suniyo Re playing on the earphones. Alas we were kids and all we got was cycles and scooties but the dream remained and so did the album in my play list.
This album was the sole reason behind putting up another list, my heart just wouldn’t forgive me for leaving out THIS movie.
Fav Song : Saathiya/O Humdum Suniyo Re/Chupke Se/Banjar/Aye Udi udi – just can’t pick up one
Wake Up Sid – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have given us a lot of great pop music, they’ve given us DCH,KHNH to name the least but the thing with pop music is (unless its Paul-the-love-sage-Mccartney) is that it doesnt have too long a shelf life in my library. The pop albums will rule my charts when they come but their magic wanes off until I only listen to selected songs. Wake up Sid doesnt have too many songs just 6 to savour but the gamut that S-E-L have put up, has a lot of soul, lot of softness and lots of feelings to just win me over for an eternity. Once you have seen the movie, it’s just impossible to not swoon over the songs which convey the same cool, loving and happy feel which the movie also conveys but even without that, there are some gems which stand on their own.
Fav Song : Iktara
Welcome to Sajjanpur – Amrita Rao is cuteness personified, Shreyas Talpade is the definition of a nice guy and they both meet to bring out an amazingly good and cute movie. The movie direceted by Shyam Benegal had intense message in the lightest possible way and the music by Shantanu Moitra does exactly that, when he talks of the message, it is done in a very rustic earthy style, when he talks of love its the sweetest ill you can imagine. I am yet to find an album with such rustic soul to appeal to such a metropolitan me. Sweet, simple and earthy just the perfect concoction for my top of tops
Fav Song : Ek Meetha Marz
And with this I shall finally conclude my album list although with an aim to remove any chances of guilt arising again, shall mention the other 6 movies that failed to make the cut even this time just for my sake more than any reading pleasure. The albums, as always in alphabetic order would be
Filhaal – A soft soulful compilation
Gangs of Wasseypur – At times feel the quality got diluted a bit over two albums but still part 1 is a path breaker, kudos to Sneha Kanwalkar
Gulaal – Only suffers a bit in terms of movie and album liking-hood due to the amazingness of Dev D released at a similar time. Another cult classic
Jaane Tu ya Jaane Na – Another Rahman album, another classic
Love Aaj Kal – Twist might perhaps be the only hep song played for my hearing repeatedly
Rock On – Sui generis in Indian cinema another memorable album by S-E-L
Through all these years, music has been my best and closest constant friends and source of strength. From the days of buying the cassette of DDLJ, first musical buy of my sister and me, times have changed, technology has changed. Individual songs have been many but whole albums which I listen on a loop have also been there. This listla is my collection which has preserved the transition from cassettes to computer to finally mobile devices and a lot of hard disk crashes. A reflection of my tastes, a heartfelt collection…
Aamir – Small men can cast the longest of shadows says Tyrion Lannister. On the similar lines, this is a small movie which casted theA longest of shadow. The movie was definitely top class while the music was bollywood beater to say the least.
Fav Song : Ek lau zindagi ki
Abbey Road – The last composition of Beatles albeit the second last album released. But if there is a concept of, last and the least, Beatles definitely didn’t believe in it. Full of love songs, soulful songs and some stories to tell. Abbey Road would definitely be my favourite Beatles album and thats a lot to say about the album. Definitely a chart topper, most played album of mine.
Fav Song : Here Comes the Sun
Band on the Run – Paul McCartney at his best, typical Paul album, lots of Pop, lots of love, happiness. Paul never gets too philosophical but the music is always top notch. You could observe this trend in the Beatles songs but when he finally got a chance to express himself singly, we get albums of this ilk. This, Flaming Pie and Kisses on the bottom can fill any heart with love and happiness
Fav Song : Band on the Run
Barfi – He might be a copy cat, he might steal the tunes but when Pritam gives the music to an album, so many times its freaking wonderful. The music of Barfi fitted absolutely well with the movie. But even if you listen in isolation, the music is sure to touch more than a few nerves. Absolutel amazing music, the latest album in my list. For one such album and another to come in the list, Pritam can be forgiven any number of music tunes copied.
Fav Song : Sanwali si Raat
Bridge Over Troubled Waters – Simon & Garfunkel are easily my favourite artists after Beatles who compare favourably due to the large catalogue of music. They again suffer out a bit here as my collection have most of their songs in compilations or Best of albums. BOTW is a kinda tribute to my love for S&G as well makes the cut due to its track listing, almost all of which are absolutely “Ek Number”
Fav Song : Bridge over troubled water/Cecilia/El Condor Pasa/Boxer (I just can’t choose)
C.I.D – In old bollywood music, there is only one favourite I have, that is the great S.D.Burman but if any other musician comes close in my ranking that’d be O.P.Nayyar. This album is the amazing combo of OP Nayyar, Dev Anand and Her Magician-ness Geeta Dutt. This star cast is enough to make me spell bound and the album doesn’t fall shy of its billing.
Fav Song : It’s so bloody difficult, almost all songs equally good with all songs in the album being stand out. If still have to choose one, it might be “Aankhon ki Aankhon mein Ishara”
Dev D – THE cult movie of our generation, DCH the earlier cult came while most of my generation were still tiny teenagers. We would be forever grateful to the movie for introducing us to Amit Trivedi. One movie i don’t need to talk much, everyone is more than aware of the awesomeness.
Fav Song : 18 Songs, every one of them a chart buster but I’ll perhaps go for Dev-Chanda Theme 2
Guide – India swears by RD, but there is only one Burman who I like, the one and only S D Burman. Guide, was cinematic excellence, recently its 50 years were celebrated in Cannes and the music by SD is fully fitting. It has hope, it has romance and sure enough melancholy which are the songs I like more in the movie.
Fav Song : Allah Megh de/Wahan Kaun hai both sung by SDB himself.
Let Go – My love of Avril started with my beginning of English music, I wonder who was that great soul who introuduced me to her music. Definitely not my music, Punk for a classic rock, generally soft soulful music lover. Definitely not my age, she’s the only English artist post 1970s that i listen to. But then she, I just cant take out of my library. Everything is punk, everything is mostly soulful and thoughtful and just adorable to me.
Fav Song : Complicated
Let It Be… Naked – There supposedly is a lot of differnce between the 2 versions of this album, this one doesn’t have the Wall of Sound of Phil Spector, is a stripped down version as was originally intended by The Beatles. The project was initiated by none other than Macca and no wonder that I like the music much there’s too much life in the music as compared to general Beatles/Lennon inspired music. For me one vital difference is that the original album (I had) didnt have the song “Get Back” which this one has and is definitely a song to favour. Thus my vote for Naked
Fav Song : Let it Be / Get Back
Life In A.. Metro – Probably the best music to have come out of Bollywood in this millennium. Pritam has again managed to bring out the magic by the virtue of just his music and nothing. Lyrics are decent, there isnt too much variety in the album unlike many in the list. There are too many unplugged versions, too many reprise. But the music is just so amazing that even one listening to them after other wouldnt bore you.
Fav Song : Baatein kuch ankahee si/Rishtey
Pyaasa – Another S D Burman in the mix. Definitely the most exhiliriating album. Every time I listen to the album it sends shivers down my spine. It has the haunting effect, it has amazing romance, it has fun and it is the Godmother of melancholy. Guru Dutt was perhaps at his best making this movie. SD also didn’t leave any stone unturned to give the music of the level of the movie. And last but definitely not the least Hemant Kumar (just one song ), Geeta Dutt and the unbeatable Rafi tell us what painful, colourful and romantic singing is.
Fav Song : Jane wo kaise log the.. The most played Hindi song in my last.fm library
Rockstar – If Life in A.. Metro is the best music of naughties then Rockstar is definitely my favourite album of this decade. A.R.Rahman,as always is in his elements. The lyrics, the depth, the vocals all are here but my favourite song in this album is the instrumental overtaking the usual Rahman sung, soft croon Kun Faya Kun. If only Rahman could give us more such albums regularly
Fav Song : The Dichotomy of Fame
Sifar – Lucky Ali is my favourite voice, his ethereal voice which I first heard sometime in school to this date remains the favourite voice till date. Although I would be more than happy to find another voice more pleasing to my ears than his, but none found as of yet. I generally wouldnt be able to live without any of his first 3 albums but still if I have to chose 1 out of his albums, it will undoubtedly be Sifar, contains my favourite Lucky Ali song Mehboob, my 2nd fav song Dekha Hai Aise Bhi and many of my most fav lucky songs
Fav Song : Mehboob
Slowhand – Clapton was a magician we all know, Clapton defeated Harrison in a duel we know, Clapton serenaded Patty Boyd away from George we know. And this album is what tells us (atleast me) why he was all the above. Love songs par excellence (and to think Layla and Bell Bottom Blues lie outside this album), Guitaring phenomenal, the song Peaches and Diesel is just guitaragasm.
Fav Song – Wonderful Tonight/Peaches and Diesel.
Swades – A. R. Rahman is just a maestro. The undoubted king of contemporary Bollywood music. The fact that his albums are spectacular is universal knowledge. But the one song that I look to in his albums is the one soft crooning song that he composes and is generally sung by the maestro as well. In this movie the song was “Ye jo des hai tera”. A gem, a song to hum your whole life. BUT the biggest success of Swades music (for me) was its background music and the album called Swades.Background with 37 songs that I have is perhaps only a bit more valuable than the actual album.
Fav Song : Ye jo des hai
Indian story in most fields is of a rebel coming over, changing the ways for the masses and bringing about some changes, good or bad. From Buddha to Gandhi, Pataudi to Ganguly and Dhoni the leadership has mostly succeeded only when the things are done out of ordinary, shouldered by someone extra ordinarily determined and different. Talking about cricket, I was obviously not born to be able to comment much on Pataudi.
Ganguly was the first time Indian cricket got an arrogant, in-your-face “Prince” to give back to the cricketing world what was recieved, mostly along with interest. Indian cricketers, just like the Indians were supposed to be spiritual, calm and composed, and sure we did have many such legends over the years. But the first major international success was achieved under a Haryanavi, while a phase of global respect came only under a person ready to antagonise anyone to serve his purpose.. So Not Indian, so many noses quivered and too many questions were raised over Ganguly, he just haughtily shooed them away. Until ofcourse age caught up.
Dhoni was the other rebel, coming from a small town, a wicketkeeper who was the example of crude and power… Sooo Not Indian, where went the wrists and blades and glances, the powers of Indian batsmen, we all sighed. And yet did he come and conquer all, the Captain Cool with his calmness won over most of the critics and earned grudging respect from the critics who still couldn’t accept him. Until, of course, time caught up.
Cometh Kohli then, DTC (Delhi ka Typical Chutiya) sala, bursting into 5 min abusathon at the flutter of a bird or the flying of a fly. The violent, the aggressive, the wild. The one we all dont want to be in our lives, the one about whom our parents have warned us all our lives. The one who was supposed to fail sooner or later due to his anger and violence.
I never really liked Ganguly much since the beginning, he was a puny batsmen compared to the other legends. Dhoni and his batting or his keeping I never liked. Kohli, the brash DTC , I never liked his attitude. Another reason for disliking Kohli was the fact that my then girlfriend had a crush on him when he was rising. :P
None of the three I liked much in the beginning. Yet, two of them have proved me all wrong, writing their names in the pantheons of Indian cricket legends. Proved me all wrong and earned the grudging respect. Kohli as a batsmen has done all he couldve done to prove me wrong. As a captain, I can only hope to again shower grudging respect on another player who wants to do things his own way and yet succeed belying all and sundry.
His captaincy at Bangalore has never inspired much hope but we all know IPL is his undoing and its the national cap which brings out the best in the fiery lad.. I still don’t appreciate such a player but in the end, what we want is runs and wins from him.
Here is wishing the New Crown Holder a glorious reign.
The pages of History which I go through
One of the biggest gain I find
The joy of marvel, the awe of being humbled
When I get to meet the giants of past
One such super cool, Bearded Suave Rockstar
One whose speeches India first heard
Was our dear old Surendranath Bannerjee
Or as I like to call him, SNB
Raja Rammohan Roy,the first modern Indian
Nehru might after all be the first independent one
But, my dear friends, talk of the Indian who was first free
The one who stood as Indian, our SNB was the one
Surrender Not Banerjee was what the British would call him
A fan of Mazzini, Garibaldi, the first Indian ICS
This was the man who scared Hume
And thus we got our own Congress
He was the one who started mutinies and won them too
Fought and won the post of ICS once
Until they couldn’t but dismiss on whim
And thus was born the first radical
Buried in the pages of Moderatism
The free Indian got blown by Tilak
The Rashtraguru faded into oblivion
But not before he had made the mark
Years countless have passed since your birth
Almost a century since your death
And yet this one son of your nation
And a lover of your extremism
Shall always remember you
The one with poise but too the swag to push it up
The one who started it all for us..
The one great grandfather we all forgot
Lets talk of a unification great
Of an empire that once was supreme
Lay sprawling in the dust
The nation of Italians which once was foremost
A king sagacious, A statesman peerless
A dreamy Revolutionary and A hero of two worlds
Emmanuel , Cavour, Mazzini, Garibaldi
Four names I hope Italians still do adore
Sardinia was to be the core of it all
State of Emmanuel with the guile of Cavour
Became the shining light of Italy
A leader to all, the guiding force
Napolean,the other one came to the rescue
Nationalist at heart,a carbonari he once was
Melted away at the plight of a nation old
At Plombiers he vowed, To deliver the birth
Won the war Napolean did for Italy
But stopped short of the desired victory
Lombardy they got from the clutches of tyrants
But the fratello Venetian lay still under the foreign yoke.
Parma, Modena, Bologna, Tuscany then
People all stood up in the name of their nation great
The British bulldog came to Cavours help
Keeping Austrians at the bay and Napolean could just watch and wonder
Turn of the two Sicilies it was next
Up in arms they stood against the Bourbon French
Cavour, hand tied due to the Catholic effect
Brought along the sword of Italy to fight the battle rest
Expedition of the Thousand rode across the kingdoms
Garibaldi and the Red Shirts won the piece missing
The kingdom of Italy thence was made
Emmanuel the King, through a republican sword.
Rome still with the Pope, Austria lorded the Venice
Bismarck,the Champion provided opportunities two great
Snatched Venice from the enemy Austrian
Drove Napolean’s armies away from Rome
King Emmanuel never the fool
Death of Cavour couldn’t deter
Fall of 70 he made Rome his own
When Cadorna crossed the Papal frontiers
Garibaldi tending his field in Caprera, Cavour in his grave gone
Mazzini the scholar lost, King Emmanuel who wore the crown
Four men who made the Italy
Could finally that day, have taken rest
Indian win over Pakistan to win Gold Medal in Hockey.Dream come true for so many Indians who wouldn’t have known names of perhaps 2 hockey team players (Sardar Singh might be known because of being flag bearer). The era of 1948,1971 and the ages of percieved equality in 80s and 90s are gone. We have surged ahead of Pakistan. We are an emerging global power, Pakistan is a failing nation, the competition ended years ago.
Pakistan is a separated brother, agreed they are temperamental, hostile but which younger brother is not hostile to seemingly harmless actions of a big brother because of the fear of domination. I saw the fear in eyes of my 1 year old nephew. Kids are kids, my older nephew came and snatched away the toy from his younger brother and played away to glory. We the elders were left to pacify the younger one distracting him away from the toy.I wouldn’t comment too much on Pakistan but India (hopefully) has matured over the years. We are a young nation with the famous “Dividend” , not a toddler. Age of brow beating and toy snatching is gone. India’s vision, as too that of India’s youth, should be higher, better and suitable things rather than the joy of beating Pak to win Gold in a second grade competition against a similarly woeful opponent.
I would have liked atleast one to say, “This should be a building block, India should now aim for greater glory in Olympics”, it wasn’t even a celebration of India’s victory, but a defeat of Pakistan. India has moved beyond 90s in many things, this is one of the vestiges which need to be shed soonest.
With the vested interest making up political leadership in both countries, any chances of peace and brotherhood are limited for India-Pakistan. More than Pakistan, India needs a peaceful Pakistan and good relation for its benefit. Its our prerogative to offer the hand of friendship. Diplomatically its a tough nut. Only way out is “Dil Milna” of the aawam of 2 nations. When I see, some of the most politically correct, unbiased of my friends celebrating Pakistan’s loss. I can only pray for “Man ki Sawchchhata” of some, just to make a beginning. Brothers can fight but shouldn’t kill or humiliate..
Someday before I die in a world seemingly impossible hopefully realistic, I would like to able to shout the slogan “Hind-Pak ek maa ki santaan” without any brow beating or violence.