Saturday, December 30, 2006

Discovering Indian Classical Music

Ever since I was a child, music has played an integral part of my life. I never compartmentalized myself to liking a specific genre or language of music. I always immersed myself in different genres; be it alternative, reggae, rap, rock, pop, R&B, Hindi, Arabic, or even Tamil/Telugu (yes my early A.R Rahman days). Being that music was very important in my life, I joined the school choir. I just loved singing and listening to music. Here I was exploring/listening to different types of music but still not finding a home; a genre that I could completely identify myself with. Until one day, my father took me to Pandit ShivKumar Sharma’s concert—I think I was 8 or9 then. I was mesmerized! Indian classical music was completely new to me in the sense that I never sat down and listened to it unless it was being played in the background during one of our parties but then at that age, I was busy playing the Rainbow Brite game that we kids made up. I was always envious of the kids who actually took private singing lessons…SA NI DHA PA was cool but I don’t really know why I never got my parents to enroll me in such things. Hmm…

Since this concert, I was always intrigued by this genre but never really gave much attention to it until one day, way into college, a few friends of mine told me that I should take singing seriously. I always considered myself a fantastic bathroom singer because I’d sing the best in my shower…the vibrations, the water running made everything sound perfect. When my friends told me that I should really think of it seriously, I actually kept it in the back of mind that when I finish the semester, I’m going to start taking lessons. Of course that never came about until one day my mother had gone to someone’s house and had met a lady who teaches Indian classical music in WESTCHESTER!!! My total dream was coming true.

A few days later, I met the lady and believe it or not, not only did she have an amazing voice, she’s is one of Pandit Jasraj’s disciples, one of my favorite and extremely famous Indian classical vocalists!! Not only was I excited to be able to fulfill one of my wishes of training in Indian classical music, but also to learn and be a part of the same gharana (school) that my guru was part of! I will never forget the night I met my guru in person for the very first time. Not only was he humble and funny, this 70 year old man didn’t treat me any different from his immediate students, his disciples. According to the school the relation between him and me was now established as me being his grand-daughter. Pandit Jasraj-ji was now my GURU NANA! How awesome and sweet is that! As I train by the day, I feel that I am finally connecting to a genre that not only is guiding me to develop a wide vocal range, but is also helping me to musically connect myself to different moods.

All I’d like to say is that I’m truly grateful to my parents for having them introduce me to this genre of music and in a way introduce me to myself.

Online Quarrels

So I read this blog the other day and I had to share! How can anyone resist! Read on and enjoy

Supposing ... There's only one thing worth debating online

Charlie Brooker
Friday June 2, 2006
The Guardian

Last week I wrote a load of nonsense about flags and idiocy; as well as appearing in print, it also turned up on the Guardian's "Comment is Free" blog-o-site, where passersby are encouraged to scrawl their own responses beneath the original article.

Some people disagreed with the piece, some agreed; some found it funny, some didn't. For half a nanosecond I was tempted to join in the discussion. And then I remembered that all internet debates, without exception, are entirely futile. So I didn't.

There's no point debating anything online. You might as well hurl shoes in the air to knock clouds from the sky. The internet's perfect for all manner of things, but productive discussion ain't one of them. It provides scant room for debate and infinite opportunities for fruitless point-scoring: the heady combination of perceived anonymity, gestated responses, random heckling and a notional "live audience" quickly conspire to create a "perfect storm" of perpetual bickering.

Stumble in, take umbrage with someone, trade a few blows, and within about two or three exchanges, the subject itself goes out the window. Suddenly you're simply arguing about arguing. Eventually, one side gets bored, comes to its senses, or dies, and the row fizzles out: just another needless belch in the swirling online guffstorm.

But not for long, because online quarrelling is also addictive, in precisely the same way Tetris is addictive. It appeals to the "lab rat" part of your brain; the annoying, irrepressible part that adores repetitive pointlessness and would gleefully make you pop bubblewrap till Doomsday if it ever got its way. An unfortunate few, hooked on the futile thrill of online debate, devote their lives to its cause. They roam the internet, actively seeking out viewpoints they disagree with, or squat on messageboards, whining, needling, sneering, over-analysing each new proclamation - joylessly fiddling, like unhappy gorillas doomed to pick lice from one another's fur for all eternity.

Still, it's not all moan moan moan in NetLand. There's also the occasional puerile splutter to liven things up.

In the debate sparked by my gibberish outpouring, it wasn't long before rival posters began speculating about the size of their opponent's dicks. It led me to wonder - has the world of science ever investigated a casual link between penis size and male political leaning?

I'd theorise that, on the whole, rightwing penises are short and stubby, hence their owners' constant fury. Lefties, on the other hand, are spoiled for length, yet boast no girth whatsoever - which explains their pained confusion. I flit from one camp to the other, of course, which is why mine's so massive it's got a full-size human knee in the middle. And a back. A big man's back.

Anyway, if we must debate things online, we might as well debate that. It's not like we'll ever resolve any of that other bullshit, is it?

Click. Mine's bigger than yours. Click. No it isn't. Click. Yes it is. Click. Refresh, repost, repeat to fade.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ustad Sultan Khan's Leja Leja

Recently, I came across a song by Ustad Sultan Khan called Leja Leja, sung by both him and Shreya Ghosal.

I'm totally in love with this song not only because of its mesmerizing melodious tune but for reasons that have far more of deeper meaning than just the tune touching your heart. Ever since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by Indian Classical Music and wanted to take lessons but never got around to until now. Just by the mere sound of a sitar or a santoor can develop different emotions and let’s not forget how different these emotions can be at different times. My passion for Indian Classical Music deserves a post on its own, so I'm going to get back to discussing why I like the song soo much.

First and foremost, I feel that ICM is a dying passion or almost as close to non-existent in the "younger" generation (I'm referring to Gen X and younger). Not that many appreciate its beauty, I feel. Maybe because I’m surrounded by people who question me as to why I like it; "it’s too old-fashioned". What’s wrong with Old Fashion...Doesn’t [Fashion] always repeat itself? Well I guess in relevance to this song, I like how he uses ICM and gives it a different cover that gives listeners today to both appreciate its classic feel and yet at the same time be something that’s fresh… Could we call it fusion of some sort or just a Remix? Calling it a remix I feel would be insulting the song and genre for fusion it is, or maybe New Age.

Connecting to a song when the words touch your heart is as if you wrote the song based on your own experiences. Whatever we write is a direct reflection of how we are feeling right at that moment of time. So what am I feeling as I listen to this song? The beauty of this song is that it takes you through a journey of woman searching for true love in her life via the different moods she feels, ranging from being sad to ecstatic. We, my friends and I, are all in that stage in our lives where we feel the need of a companion. Something to "complete [us]". It's not about finding a man or a woman that we want to marry and have kids with. Well that’s part of the equation but more like sharing experiences, or even as little as a cup of coffee. I know the latter u can share with a friend but I guess what I'm trying to say is getting the chance to feel a deeper connection with someone that shares and understands you on a higher level that maybe some friends might not just understand. And NO, Not just as a venting pillow, there is a profession that takes care of that; it's called psychiatry (or Blogging...ha-ha).

Alright back to life. Hope you enjoy this song as much as I do! Down Below are the lyrics to the song!

Leja Leja
Singers: Shreya Ghosal and Ustad Sultan Khan
Album: Ustad and the Divas

Shreya: leja leja re...haay haay leja

Ustad: li muiye...

Leja leja re mehki raat mein churake saare rang leja
raati raati main bheegun saath mein tu aisi mulakaat deja
Leja leja re mehki raat mein churake saare rang leja
raati raati main bheegun saath mein tu aisi mulakaat deja

ni muiye maila mann mera, kya karna aisa rang gora, jo piya na rijhaye

ni muiye mann maila, mann maila kya karna, hai aisa..
na bhaye piya ko, tann gora kya karna, hai aisa..
leja leja.. churake saare rang leja..
raati raati main bheegun saath mein tu aisi mulakaat deja..

leja leja.. leja leja re.. leja leja haan re..

chahoon paas paas aana, koi dhoondh ke bahana, tumhe apna maana
chahe ruthe ye zamana, chahe maare jag taana, tumko hai pana

ni muiye saari raaton ki, kahani koi to hogi..
jo jaage taare raaton ko, ya jaage jogi..

hoo.. ni muiye.. haay..
ni muiye hoti hai, kucch batein hoti hai, raaton mein
jo jaage hai jogi ya taare jage hai, raaton mein..
leja leja re mehki raat mein churake saare rang leja
raati raati main bheegun ...

ni muiye.. ni muiye... leja leja re..
bheegun re.. haai
ni muiye.. ni muiye.. ni muiye..
leja leja aa.. Re

P.S: Those who want literal translations to the song...umm send in a request and i'll try my best!

Most of you have been asking what Ni Muiye means. it translates to oh lovely girl.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Salman Khan: Phat or Fat!?!?!

This past weekend, I had died 'n gone to heaven but then managed to revive back to reality. It was a TOTAL Salman Khan fest weekend. First, I saw Jaan-e-mann, again. I swear, this man even at 41 years of age (turning 41 on December 27th) STILL looks DASHINGLY HANDSOME! Not only can he pull off any color with pizazz, he looks like a total rockstar! There are certain looks that only he can pull off. Those of you who have seen the movie will agree to the fact that when Salman Khan wears jeans, t-shirt and a leather jacket he looks like a heartthrob. But when Akshay Kumar pulls the same outfit, he looks like a fob trying to be cool. This is not a biased opinion of mine but a genuine remark. I will admit that Akshay Kumar is cute in his own way and really looks better in suits and that's it!

Then on Friday then went to see his newest release, Baabul with other hotties like Amitabh Bachchan and John Abraham. Now is it just me or does John Abraham always have one eye open. Notice in the videos, his right eye is always squinting. OK onto the movie. Overall, it was OK. I would say that it is an interesting concept and that many widows do face the consequences of being secluded from living a "happy" life. The problem with the movie was that it was very choppy. Whoever was the editor, should return all the money for doing such a poor job. There were characters that had no reason to be there. It was sort of like writing a paper without any evidence to back up your theories. Everyone looked okay i would say. the Jewelry was i will admit gorgeous but everyone's look was just off. Except for the two oldies. Salman, instead of looking his beefy self, he looked fat. Yes girls, he looked fat and not phat. There were scenes in the movie where he did blow me away with his good looks but even then was limited to a max of 3 mins. Quite depressing I tell you! On the whole, all i can say about this movie is, "Yaar dil nahi bhara!"

So on Sunday, I was hoping to see the old Salman again, the heartthrob that i know of him being at the GIFA Awards Ceremony. Little did i know that i would be so let down. Where is my super fit salman? Not only was he looking chubby, that is only face down (thank god), he looked tired and was about to fall faint. What's happening to my fitness inspiration? I guess this is the test of really liking someone...thru thick and thin till death do us apart. Salman I still LOVE YOU even with your newfound love handles!

A video that shows how obsessed some ppl can be of salman. Poor guy!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Choo Mantar Choo, Abracadabra Doo!!

A Post that I have been meaning to write for the longest time. I always started the entry but always managed to make it disappear!?! Quelle Irony! Well here goes...

Prior to visiting London for a dear friend's wedding this September, I was joking around with my friends that I thought that someone had done black magic on my family and me. This was because in the past months, well actually for almost a year, many bad things have been happening in my family. Our kitchen had undergone a freak accident where it got caught on fire, my mother, a super healthy women fell ill, so much so that we had to take her to the hospital a few times—and still don’t have the cure for her; my father had multiple hypoglycemic attacks, even with his regimented medication intake; I myself had fell ill quite a few times, I think you can figure that out with my blog entries, and the list goes on and on… You know when just a string of bad luck keeps on happening, you tend to stop and wonder, “What the hell is going on?” So like I said, I was joking around with my friends that something was up and it probably was black magic, because not only was my family and I in awe, but so were my friends. Little did I know that a mere joke that we were making was actually true.

So when I went to London, I met up with another one of my friends who had mentioned long time ago that one of his old friends, now his roommate, was into astrology and that now that I was in town, I should get him to read my hand. He, my friend, was telling me of all the predictions that his roommate had made that came true, which not only freaked everyone (including me) out but also the expert astrologer himself. (People, don’t ask me for his number or email because he’s very anal about it especially since he stopped reading hands after the last predictions coming true!—I was just lucky because I had my friend hound him for 3 yrs)

Now I’m the type of person who doesn’t really believe in this stuff but hey, wouldn’t you be curious to know. Curiosity kills the cat I know…BITE ME! It’s fun, right? Right. So like any other GIRL, I ask him when am I getting married and about my career and health etc…He first tells me about my mental status and what I had been going through, which was right on the money. At first, I was slightly apprehensive because, you know, he is my friend’s roommate, easy access to info right there. However, there were certain things he mentioned to me that I had never discussed with anyone, not even my best friend, so I guess that’s when I realized that he was the real deal. He then starts answering my questions i.e. when I’m going to find my significant other: By June 2007 and he’s going to be someone from my friend circle; What about my career: Going to be famous due to my super intelligent and creative mind; Health: no long term illnesses but will get gastritis and will have it all my life, and other stuff...yadiyadiyada…he then becomes very quiet. As he studies my hand and his reading materials, he remains very, very quiet. After a 5-minute silent moment, this is what happens…

Astrologer friend: Zee, do you believe in magic?
Me: depends
Astrologer friend: Ok, do you believe in people being capable of doing black magic on people?
Me: Yes…… (pause) why?
Astrologer friend: Because someone has done black magic on u and is preventing you and your family to move on. It is out of envy; they really don’t want you to succeed in anything and is causing a lot of harm and bad luck on u.

Flashback…Are you serious? Jokes were actually the truth?

Me: Do you know who it is?
Astrologer Friend: No but it’s someone nearby you and you know them very well. I suggest you get a very good hajji and get rid of this magic…

Okay now at this point, I am thoroughly freaked out. I have suspected a few people who can be the culprit but then I think, “Could this be true?” Could Black magic really be done? So after all this talk, I decided to do a little research on black magic. Of course, I then logged on to my favorite site, Wikipedia and this is what I found.

Black magic or dark magick is the branch of magic that is used to perform evil acts or that draws on malevolent powers. In the Inquisition, Christians were afraid of witches and warlocks practicing evil black magic. In modern times, people who identify as witches and warlocks will use the term to describe the bad magic that they do not do in contrast with the good white magic that they do profess to practice. Black magic would be invoked to kill, injure, or cause destruction, or for personal gain without regard to harmful consequences to others. As a term, "black magic" is normally used to describe a form of ritual that some group or person does not approve of. Not everything that is called black magic truly has malevolent intentions behind it.

If you want to know a little bit more on Black magic, log on to the site, it discusses various other theories of Black magic. However this paragraph alone is freaky. Why would anyone want bad will for others? Why the jealousy? If one is doing well for themselves, shouldn’t others be proud of it? Instances and people who believe in doing this stuff really bother me!

Now if someone told you that a person has done black magic on you, do you just take it with a grain of salt and move on or do you actually act upon it? I’ve just spoken to a peer who thinks has given us some remedies and let’s see if this works…

But if you were in my shoes, What would you do?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

RSVP Ettiquette

When a person invites you and asks you to R.S.V.P, what do you do? Like Normal people, you tell the host(ess) that either you can make it or you can't in a timely fashion. But recently, I have been noticing a new trend of RSVP'ing...

When You Don't RSVP at all:
(1) Show up anyway
(2) Don't bother about the invite or the host(ess) and disregard the act of making a courtesy call to let the host(ess) know what your plans are
(3) Don't RSVP but tell others that you are going and not the host(ess).
(4) Check the Evite everyday for updates and still not respond...Note to lurkers: we can see you checking the shows up when u "last viewed" it
(5) Disregard Multiple invites completely and when one does not invite you for one party, have the audacity to charge host(ess) for not inviting you.

When You Do RSVP:
(1) you say yes, and you don't show up last minute(i.e. day of or 2 hrs before party) because you just remembered that you had a million other things to do
(2) you say no, and show up, and you are the one with the dietary restrictions (i.e. allergies or just plain difficult)
(3) make a fuss with maybes

Now I will admit that I have committed crime #3 of when you do R.S.V.P. and have been a victim of all the above. My rule is I always rsvp immediately! Whether if I can make it or not, I make it a point to tell my host(ess) whether if I will be able to make it or not, not only because I know how it feels to not know how many people to cook for but plainly because it's just rude, rude, rude!!!!
When I'm not sure whether if I can make it or not, I ALWAYS call the day before of the party or for any other reasons warn my host(ess) that I will be running late. Now I'm the type of person who likes to plan ahead of time. So to me it's not rocket science to look into my mini-planner (aka Google Calendar) and figure out if I am free or not. I usually know the 3 days in advance if I would be able to attend or not because I plan just makes life much easier. Neurotic? OCD? Maybe but at least I don’t seem or am inconsiderate of others feelings. For those who commit the crimes of RSVP-ing listed above, I highly suggest you correct your ways because it’s really annoying and creates added tension that is not necessary. It doesn’t take long to say, “Hey I don’t think I can make it” or “yes I’m in what should I bring?”

Note to Readers: This blog has been inspired from an article I was reading and well the irresponsibility of my guests who have been invited to a recent bash. Please don't get offended if any of you do this...I'm only sharing my frustrations as a hostess that loves all her company!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Funny Pictures

In an attempt to bring back some of my posts from my original blog, here is one....(I figured i'll bring the easy ones back first.)

I swear, I didn't get him to do this....

Not my high school but what fond memories!

Comments that were posted on this:

Nowal: Oh Dear God!!!!
Anonymous: Lord!!! Haha!