Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fireflies in the night

Fireflies Music Festival, Fireflies Ashram, Off Kanakpura Road
6:00pm, Saturday, Feb 22, 2008, through to 7:00am Sunday morning, Feb 23, 2008.
An all-nighter music concert featuring assorted Indian and foreign musicians. Nowhere near the scale of awesomeness that Vasantahabba used to be, but it's something. I tagged along with my Shro and friends and we spent quite a fun night at the open-air jamboree. Musicians performed on a stage under a big, beautiful banyan tree.
We had Kabir's poems in Hindustani folk, we had Oikyotaan, a folksy-Sufi-somesuch band from Bangladesh (thumbs up to Karthick Das Baul), we had mediocre but extremely entertaining qawwals and there was a Mr Glenn Rogers on classical guitar. Special mention for the qawwal troupe. They really got the crowd going. (Although I was laughing in amusement having grown up on the genius of Nusrat Khan saheb, the Sabris, Abida Parveen and the like.) This troupe was something else, but I liked the main man. He had charisma. He hit the high notes alright but really lost it down low. So cute.
video

Nice nippy night, excellent bisi belle bath and bhajjis as full meals, and barring the many rascal, rowdy type elements that always mar such occasions, 'twas a pleasant night sure. (These abberrents got pissed drunk as soon as they sat their bottoms down, laughed and talked loudly in the middle of perfomances, did the cringe-inducing pelvic-thrust kind of dances while religios songs and qawwalis were being performed and screamed out things like, "Eyyy, refugees!" when the Bangla band came on. These are just a few for instances.)
I enjoyed like anything. It had been a while since I had been to one of these cultural dos. Maybe not top-notch, but definitely a good thing.
And now back to Vasantahabba....
Why, oh why,
Did Protima die?
And leave the suits to say "NO MORE."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

“The mullahs of the Islamic world and the mullahs of the Hindu world and the mullahs of the Christian world are all on the same side. And we are against them all.”

-Arundhati Roy

Don't nitpick about 'mullah'. You know what she means.


The Start of Small Things



I have just finished reading Arundhati Roy's collection of speeches and essays, 'An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire,' on the very sound recommendation of an Avehi Menon.
Can I just say that Roy's writing is very much like Animal Planet: It Grabs You.
I am a fan. I loved 'The God of Small Things' when I read it years ago, and moving from her fiction to non-fiction has been a nice journey.
I have been seething ever since I started reading (racing) through her book. It's because she speaks clearly, see, not the bumbling, mixed-up mess the hoi polloi like you and me churn out daily. The world is in a shite state. Most blame can be attributed to Ugly Bush and his government, and his 'buddies' who are with him, not against him, mind. A substantial bit of the rest can be attributed to human beings' inherent shite-ness. Sigh.
Careful observers of human nature may notice that I am writing in a bitter vein. It is too true. Roy's work has stirred up in me a terrible fury, and, being an impotent fury, it is all the more frustrating.
What I already knew but didn't have clearly writ facts to back this knowledge up with, but now do, ha ha:
Empire- sucks
Media - sucks
Bush - definitely sucks
Politicians - suck
World - in a very bad state and it's all downhill from here

I mean really, who is going to to start global civil disobedience that will really hit out at Empire's guts? No one. Blechhh.
Anyway. Next plan of action. Get my grubby paws on all her works, read them thoroughly, spew venom at the world, create a sandalwood-incense-d shrine dedicated to Roy, and live out my life as a nonentity. I mean, continue to live my life as one.