Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Am... I Said

This is an absolute gem of a song that Neil Diamond wrote amongst his many gems. The lyrics of this song make a lot of sense to me at this point in my life. Hence, it's a situation song, just like Goodbye My Lover was some time back. So here's my version of a couple of lines.

Delhi's fine, but it ain't home
Bangalore's home, but it ain't mine no more


And now, here are the lyrics to the original.

L.A.'s fine, the sun shines most the time
And the feeling is "lay back"
Palm trees grow and rents are low
But you know I keep thinkin' about
Making my way back

Well I'm New York City born and raised
But nowadays,
I'm lost between two shores
L.A.'s fine, but it ain't home
New York's home,
But it ain't mine no more

"I am"... I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair

"I am"... I cried "I am"... said I
And I am lost and I can't
Even say why
Leavin' me lonely still

Did you ever read about a frog
Who dreamed of bein' a king
And then became one
Well except for the names
And a few other changes
If you talk about me
The story's the same one

But I got an emptiness deep inside
And I've tried
But it won't let me go
And I'm not a man who likes to swear
But I never cared
For the sound of being alone

"I am"... I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
"I am"... I cried
"I am"... said I
And I am lost and I can't
Even say why
"I am"... I said
"I am"... I cried
"I am"... I said

The Substance

So often, we get so caught up with the defining moments of our lives, the snapshots that will make it to our memoirs if and when we become rich and famous, that we very often tend to leave out the little details that complete our lives and give those snapshots the background, the substance that they need in order to be whole. So I'm going to take some time out and de-focus on the stars and focus on the extras.

I'm getting heavily into theatre here in Delhi, maybe a little too heavily. I'm acting in a play and I'm helping write and conceptualise another. The first scares the living daylights out of me, simply because it's going nowhere, and I've given them money! The second's a little better though and promises to get much better.

I've been trying to get tickets for Sivaji: The Boss since its release, but to no avail.

There are a couple of events happening this week, Friday and Saturday. They'll be good shows. Friday - Shiv Kumar Sharma and Rahul Sharma. Saturday - Taufiq Qureshi. It'll be my first events since I joined Music Today, and I'm looking forward to them.

I've changed my blog's appearance. Of course, that change brought about a whole host of other changes. All my ads that I had so painstakingly placed so aesthetically have disappeared. I guess it's for the best. I'm not putting them back on. My blog was, is and will always be sacrosanct. Also, the change has made me realise how little I've been writing. My blog posts suddenly seem so tiny. Must write longer posts. Must bore living daylights out of readers.

P.S.: If you thought this post was about mind-altering substances, you're right. Hasn't this post altered your mind?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Theatre In India

I went to watch a production last night. Apparently, it was a Hindi adaptation of plays inspired by the stories of Chekov. Anyway, even though the production was good, the details are not of concern to us. That production awakened in me the very important realisation of what theatre needs in India and where it is headed.

Theatre today ails from a lack of serious talent. Most people who participate in theatre are doing it because it is cool to be in college and do theatre. There are some people, however, who do it seriously as a hobby. My favourites are the 40-something executives of big companies. They bring in such an old-school view to theatre and its execution that all the hot-headed teenagers who think that theatre is their domain should actually take a step behind and observe innocent mastery executing its genius. Amateurs are welcome, but it's only to break them into the world of theatre, gently. To guide such amateurs requires a director of tremendous understanding, vision and talent.

Another thing of great importance is the Indianisation of plays. Make it real and relatable to the audience, else you'll just end up with an audience filled with Eng. Lit. Now for this, you require a scriptwriter with great talent. The essence of the original has to remain, but the form of delivery which the audience consumes must be different from the original. Watch Vishal Bharadwaj and be amazed at his masterstrokes in converting Macbeth to Maqbool and Othello to Omkara. Theatre needs that.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Die Hard 4.0



With the new sequel of Die Hard (and possibly the best amongst the recent deluge of Spider-Man, Shrek, Pirates of the Carribean, Ocean's, Rush Hour, etc, etc) around the corner, I stumbled upon this absolutely mind-blowing song that pays tribute to John McClane and the Die Hard franchise.

Live Free or Die Hard!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Let's Roll In The Benjamins, I Say!

If you've been visiting my blog regularly (or if you visited it eons ago and dropped by again yesterday), you would have probably noticed a few, albeit major, changes. You would have seen advertising. But no worries, it is meant to be non-intrusive contextual advertising. This means that my all-over-the-place personal blog will now be supported by some advertisements and pieces of communication that will be all-over-the-place and that you will not notice. All this not-in-your-face of-no-interest-to-you stuff is courtesy Google AdSense (I'm not hyper-linking this because there's a referral ad for the same at the top of my blog posts; click on that). I had held out for the longest time against installing Google AdSense on my blog because I didn't want to sell out. I was writing this blog for my own personal satisfaction, to satiate some inner creative urge; not to make money. But then, the Music Today website had to get Google AdSense on it, and since I am in charge of the website and all that is associated with it, I decided to set out to understand, learn and explore. My blog was the guinea pig. All in all, it worked out pretty well; I developed more than a basic understanding of HTML, I know how AdSense works and I'm teaching the IT guys a thing or two. Truth be told, it's like a rock band. It's all about the music, not the money or the fame or the chicks or any of that. It's always about the music. Now, go and click on of those ads.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Work And Home

Right! I really haven't been able to come up with anything to write about for over 2 weeks now. So I decided that before I needed to make a It's Been A While: The Trilogy, I had best write about something that I ought to have long back, considering that my entire life has changed thanks to this. As some of you would recall, or probably already know, I have been employed by Music Today, the music label of India Today, and I have relocated to New Delhi. So, I now have a new work place and a new home.

Work is good. I have a sweet office, some very nice colleagues and a really good boss who wants to take time out to ensure that I'm being guided properly, a rarity today. It is also a fairly decent profile with some good work waiting to be done. You would say I've got it made, right? Wrong. There is a small lingering doubt seated deep in my heart. Something remains unsatisfied. This is not what I had signed up for. I've done 4 months of advertising and 2 more months during my internship. Even though I wasn't in a decision-making position and didn't have to report and meet targets, I loved it. Maybe it was because I didn't have to do all those things that I loved it. I don't know. And that is precisely why I want to go back to it. I don't know if I'm supposed to be in advertising. I must give it a shot, a serious shot. I must know.

Home is good. I've found myself (well, actually my parents found it for me) a nice little room. It's pretty spacious and well-maintained. It has really made my life much easier and has smoothed my entry into Delhi. I've been telling people it's a PG, but I now realise that that gives off the wrong impression. Allow me to express correctly in order to give the right impression. A sweet elderly couple have a nice big house. Their children have gotten married and moved out. They have now given their 2 rooms on the ground floor out for rent (each with an attached bathroom that also serves as a separate entry/exit!). The ground floor also has a little common kitchen. The couple lives on the first floor. Now, they had a cook who would cook for us. He of course decided to take off to his native village for a month or two as a holiday. We don't know if he's ever going to return. That forced me to start cooking for myself, as I presently do. I live in a nice area as well - South Extension I. Add a couple of lovely colleagues who live nearby and who I auto-pool with, and you'd wonder why I'd ever want to move, right? Wrong. My friend Anirudh has come to Delhi to work with Hindustan Times, and if he gets his final posting here, then we look for a flat and move in together.

I miss home. Home home (I'm reading Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, loved the movie). In moments of weakness, I feel like packing up and going back to Bangalore. I mean, screw the independence and the freedom and all that. I want to go home to my parents. Now that my brother is moving out (good news - he got through MICA, just like I did 2 years ago), my parents finally have an empty nest. I'm sure they'll enjoy the solitude and each other's company for a while, but after a while, all the friends in the world can't replace children at home. Now, my brother will probably do trips home for a week every 3 months. My trips will be spaced even further apart. This leads me to my current situation. I want to quit work, I want to go home; but these are the easy options. Another option is to look for advertising jobs in Delhi. And that seems to be my best option at the moment, although not my current option that can be pressed into action immediately.

This is a dangerous post. If my office or my home reads this, I would have landed myself in the proverbial soup.

Love and peace.