Saturday, June 27, 2009

You are not alone

(Michael_jackson_bad_cd_cover_1987_cdda.jpg )
As the television beamed footage of a moonwalking Michael Jackson fading away from the real to the unreal, my memory tripped and my mind flew back a couple of decades.
The year was 1984 and I successfully managed to persuade my dad to buy me the 'Thriller'. It has been 27 years since that album changed the way music was perceived the world over but for me then, my first acquisition, that cassette, seemed to be the world.
Having heard my friends croon and some even imitate the now famous dance routines -- though I am not a dancer but I must admit I did try one or two steps on the sly -- I had to have that cassette.
What followed next was endless days of earsplitting music, where 'Beat it' became a regular part of the diet. The music had quite a different effect on my mother... a classical music exponent, who failed to fathom Jackson's catholic sound and decided to split my ears instead for playing for loud.
Undeterred, I managed to get a poster of the King of Pop, dressed in a red leather jacket, hair falling by the side and freeze-framed doing the moon walk. I almost adored him, at a time when I was slowly warming up to western music.
"Bad" followed next and 'Liberian Girl' and 'Man in the Mirror' became a part of my lexicon... as I would croon for friends and those whom I would chose to impress.
By the time "Dangerous" arrived on the scene, I had already graduated to some serious stuff... a transformation was taking place and 'Blowin in the Wind' was leading me by the hands to where Jimmy Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Joan Baez lay. Still, 'Heal the World' captivated and left me drained while the world danced to 'Black or White'.
Thereafter, I lost count before Lisa Marie Presley flirted with my imagination in 'You are not Alone'.
As I grew up, Wacko Jacko faded from my mind -- his many indiscretions taking a toll on my memory -- but the music remained, lingered and often left me clamouring for more.
An occasional footage from an old MTV show gave rise to a range of emotions. He left without saying a word, without music, without his fans by his side. He left quietly, leaving us to deal with his loss... and it's only music we have to fill that void.
Man in the Mirror... RIP!
You never said goodbye,
Someone tell me why
Did you have to go
And leave my world so cold
You are not alone
Though we're far apart
You're always in my heart
You are not alone!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Shine on you crazy diamond


Pedro is a Spaniard. Born in Madrid with a heart that swears by Barcelona. Cate is from the Czech Republic. But on Thursday night, at the Blues, these two individuals, from two different cultures collided on a platform fuelled by music.
The crowd had considerably thinned by the time my friend and I reached Blues. We were on a binge, the night was young and there was no stopping us. We had already blown up considerable sum (let's not disclose the amount here for who knows my mom could be prying on this and use it to blackmail me into marriage with someone of her choice!!!) at All Sports Bar on tequilla. But we were still some way to go before tequilla sunrise.
So we landed at the Blues and once more it was back to tequilla. By midnight there were just another group left besides the two of us. None wished to bother the other, busy in chit chatting and listening to whatever was being played in the name of music. Wih the night drawing on and time for departure looming up (more so coz we had spent almost a fortune by then) I managed to convince the DJ to play Pink Floyd's 'Shine on you crazy diamond'. Thanks to the Dj, he obliged.
As the guitar licks filled the air, my senses took wings.
With the music flowing through the veins, Pedro and Cate got up and slowly twirled their body, matching steps in a slow ritualistic dance that held us in raptures.
The path near the bar was cleared as they were caught up in the song, swaying and swinging, moving hips and body, getting close but soon to move apart... a dance that kept me alive the rest of the night, the pain of spending so much money nothing but a blur.

Remember when you were young, You shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, Like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire Of childhood and stardom, Blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, You cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, And exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome With random precision, Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

Shine on!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The FIFA World Cup for real

In a first of its kind, theofficial World Cup football trophy will be on display in Indiain April next year, it was decided in a meeting on thesidelines of the ongoing 59th FIFA Congress in The Bahamas. For football lovers in India, starved of seeing thenational team at the World Cup stage, this could be theirfirst chance to catch a glimpse of the trophy which shows twohuman figures holding the earth. In 2004, India had managed to witness a replica of theFIFA World Cup but according to information received from TheBahamas, this time it will be the original trophy visiting thecountry on April 20-21. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valeke and Director ofMarketing Thiery Weil along with Amber Steele, DirectorMarketing of Coca Cola, held a meeting with officials of AllIndia Football Federation -- senior vice-president SubrataDutta and treasurer Hardev Jadeja -- on the sidelines of the59th FIFA Congress yesterday. "There it was decided that from September 2009 the trophywill start touring all the 54 African countries beforetravelling to 32 other nations including India," Dutta toldPTI over phone from Paradise Island, The Bahamas. "The trophy will be on display at the Capital on April 20before moving to Kolkata the next day. From there it will beflown to Japan," Dutta informed. South Africa, the hosts of the 2010 World Cup will be itsfinal destination. All cost for the event in India is likely to be borne byCoca Cola, the official partner of FIFA. A Coca Cola spokesperson confirmed the official trophywill indeed be on display in India. "Yes, it will be the real FIFA World Cup which will be ondisplay in India and not the replica," said the spokespersonof the company's India chapter. Among matters discussed with AIFF officials were ways to
promote the event and display the trophy. According to Dutta, a massive celebration is beingplanned at the airport when it reaches here. There is likelyto be media interactions, dinners and event promotions duringthe trophy's two-day stay in India. An opportunity for football lovers to take pictures withthe trophy is also being explored. FIFA's decision to bring the official World Cup trophy toIndia also shows the importance football's governing bodyattaches to the country's development in the game as part ofits 'Win in India with India' project which has seen FIFAalready allocating 10 astroturfs to the country. The FIFA World Cup is made of 18 carat solid gold and hasa base of malachite. The cup, which first came into existencein the 1974 World Cup after Brazil won the Jules Rimet trophypermanently, was designed by Italian Silvio Gazzaniga andweighs 6.175kg.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A poetry in motion

(Picture: CBS Sports)

When Lionel Messi outjumped Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic to head in Barcelona's second goal in the Champions League final against Manchester United late Wednesday night, it seemed as if time stood still. The smallest man on the pitch that night in Stadio Olimpico looked like he was suspended in air for a few seconds, hanging by an invisible thread whose other end was at tied to the finger of God himself, before he connected to Xavi's perfectly weighted cross from the right and placed it to Edwin van der Sar's left. It was like watching in freeze frame before it gets sucked in motion.Comparisons would be hard to find for this goal. The closest I could come to was the 2005 film Goal, when Santiago Munez scores the winner for the Magpies against Liverpool with that free-kick. Just before he takes the shot, time freezes, as it did the other night for Manchester United and millions of their fans worldwide.It was a combination of imaginative play, technical brilliance and Pep's reading that did enough damage to Sir Alex's proud record. He erred in not playing like Chelsea did against Barcelona in the semi-final -- a match even die hard Barca fans would admit was won by default.Allowing space to the dangerous Messi, who was shifted to the middle of the troika, whose other arms were Henry and Eto'o. With Iniesta and Xavi orchestrating the midfield and Puyol marshalling the defence from an unaccustomed right full back position, United looked completely out of depth, something they have rarely been these past few years. But Rome was different. Barca and Pep took football out of the confines of the drawing room into the realms of poetry. That's what it was that night, a poetry in motion.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sen & sensibilities

Well, in this world of technologically advanced people, would prefer to call myself a bit of a bluggard??? (no idea what it means or whether it's got any meaning or not, but rhyming has been a curse i have been carrying since the roses are red violets are blue, you love me and i love you days... sorry for digressing again, fact is i thought of 'bluggard' for someone who -- not evrybody has to conform to it, it's me that i am talking about -- writes blogs rather infrequently! U can call me a blue-guard as well, won't mind!!!)
Uff! have worked up such a sweat already. Why am i here?
Remember Aung San Suu Kyi, offcourse you do... a lot of storm had and is still being created the world over for unlawfully detaining her. We Indians have protested the death of democracy in Myanmar...
But what about Dr Binayak Sen?
Binayak who?
A doctor, who left the world of riches to work with the poor-- providing them with healthcare, friendly counsel besides becoming a champion of civil rights. The last part was what the Chattisgarh government didn't like.
So, they put him in jail and like Suu Kyi and others before and after her, declared him a threat to the state.
He was released on bail yesterday, after almost two years.
While cyclone aila ripped Bengal, sardars clashed in Punjab, the Congress government fretted over portfolios, Gilchrist and his band of super chargers were speaking about turn arounds, Dr Sen walked out.
Talk about democracy and this is where it leads one to. But Dr Sen's ordeal isn't over yet with the Chattisgarh CM still baying for blood. However, one lives in hope, cliched though it may sound.
While we remember Suu Kyi and the greats, do spare a thought for this unassuming doctor.