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Friday, June 8, 2018

Namak (Salt) - Rajasthani Feature Film : Coming Soon

In contrast to a largely corporate-oriented film industry that dominates the mainstream popular culture in today's world, crowd-funding looks like a feasible, acceptable and more willful option in modern cinema. Also, it allows the audience a chance to have a choice in grounds of what he/she actually desires to watch in a certain philosophical orientation. That being said, 'Namak' also has a highly intriguing plot. 
The everyday lives of the economically downtrodden turned criminals, the role of female lives in such situations and the true image of extremely rural India reflects in the demure and melancholic sky that surfaces up in the scanty, saline waters of Rajasthan. 

Got a thought or two about independent filmmaking or the collectivised resistance accumulated in the Cannes Film Festival in '58? If you're not in connection with the French New Wave or other contemporary genres and movements associated with filmmaking but are interested in the content of Indian parallel cinema, this film might be of interest to you!

About the Film

Namak is an independent Rajasthani feature film. It is the story set in the fictitious place Kharpur. A small village of Rajasthan where salt is produced in saline water lake in abundant quantity. Therefore, salt and alcohol smuggling is at the peak due to the friendship of salt traders and liquor contractors. So, Kharpur is also famous for its hostility.

Bhairu is a smuggler. He loves Durga. Both want to get married, but Durga does not want to stay in kharpur after marriage. There is such a perception about village that there is salinity in the air and water, so the salinity of the outside is accumulated within the people, which never ends. Bhairu convinces her and they get married.

After the marriage, two incidents happen in and outside the house. Both plots are meet at one point in climax and proves the perception about kharpur village as true. Film ends with a note - We all are salty from inside.

The film is completely shot in a Jodhpur, Sambhar Lake Town and Nawa City of Rajasthan. The cast and crew comprises talented theater artists of Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

You may like to make a donation or share the link for the same cause with your friends in order to make this effort work in the longer run. 

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Poem, A Day : Until June 15th (Day 2) ⁓ 'Eclipse'

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This is the second poem in the challenge (apologies that I couldn't write yesterday) and to me, it's some sort of a down-the-memory-lane/ reverse coming-of-age nullified drama or a classic prog song or something. I don't know. It's a cocktail - I want you to drink it and talk back then. Maybe we would get over some greyness by then. See you there. 

Painting: A Corner of the Garden at Montgeron by Claude Monet, 1877

The storm that awakened the spirit of sighs 
And the pantheon of angels across the shadow across your eyelashes 
Parallel, distinguished ; 
Wrapped in grey smoke

The wrathful eyes of emptiness
Oceans that built the planets
A myriad of blues apart
Apart - detailed in shades of perforated nothingness

The crimson in your eyes
The void that you carried for so long
And who pretends, now?
A fleet of albatrosses parachuting their flight towards your feet
Rummaging a hidden grief for ages and ages to come
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Monday, June 4, 2018

A Poem, A Day : Until June 15th (Day 1) ⁓ 'Motion'

I have even begun believing - if you would believe me now that I am afflicted with passion in some threaded web of catharsis I cannot decode. It is nothing that I would even want to come out of, but it hurts. It hurts to write, it hurts even more not to write. These poems, written until 15th (which is when I was born) is something I am being compelled to write because I almost turn into a dangerous creature otherwise. Now, these poems are something I wouldn't love people to copy but if they're conveyed, understood and appreciated, a million rebirths born would be satiated in a lifetime. With love. In absolutely intolerable pain. 

'Music' by Gustav Klimt, 1895 

At dusk - courteously ; 
Smothering the sense of eternal dystopia
Crawling up on your spine
Like treasured love
Stored in caskets and star maps
Have found hope in the cityscapes

You step out of the horizon
In shades of oblivion, in paranoia
The rebel in your eyes
The sunset in your submission 
The glory of galactical whirlwinds wrapping your bosom
Like a million albatrosses surrounding your spirit 
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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Letters To Vincent : Volume 3

Atop the stove, there are fireflies ringing tunes of flight, rummaging into jolting volcanoes, cascading the sheer vengeance of heat, echoing the gallows that persist beyond mankind's reach. The planets were humming tunes of resonance. Shower, shower down despair and the secrets of the deepest of woods, the clumsiness of the sea, the upper hand at the storm, the distress in the sea, the heart of a lighthouse. We'd only gain, since now out aching bodies and sullen spirits have nothing to lose. Like a wild goose escaping the nightly hunt of predators, running a rat race inside my veins - and inside yours, the spirally echoing tones of nothing, a vast nothingness occupying nothing at all in a land of everything is too much contrast at a single blow.

The sky is hanging low, as if its spirit is drooling over a stagnancy that reaches far below this world, beyond walls and beyond the enigmatic shower of trivial pain. How they wanted you to swirl around trapezes. The volcanic zeal of amphibiotic gathering, the call that reaches across taverns and tapestries of forsaken hymns. A hymnal silence is grasping the breath today. How the rugged walk across paltry smooth fields would feel deep down the bosom, you'd think, wouldn't you? Vincent, the, sailors and the hunter gatherers, the fire that rests at the core of sedimentary rocks and metamorphoses to spirit when rubbed together....for a while, for a would that reverberate across gallows? Who calls us in driven dreams and lucidity of sleep? At the moment when the moon touched your skin, as the kith and kin of ecstasy, of faith, of descendance and serenity of the moonlight and the words unsaid, how much and how far did the knife reach?
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Thursday, May 24, 2018

On Bob Dylan's 77th Birthday, On My 7th Year of Love-Making

When Bob finally won the Nobel Prize last year, I was intensely sad, sickeningly sad - almost frowning at myself in the mirror in disgust. "Hey Bob, that sick ball of shiny metal's not for you, Sartre compared that bag of shit to a sack of potatoes, and Barrack Obhamma won it for no reason in 2009...Bob,don'" I earned a chance to interview an Irish musician who was contextually actually very impressed by that Gothic, almost spiritually ambivalent article o' mine. Now, let me tell you the truth about that article. That was a formal piece of my eloquent arrogance I just couldn't pen down in frustration back then. Now I know, now that I have the patience and the containment, now I'd want to. 

So, I used to walk around this mighty yet petite, dying river of ours and I would imagine how the moon could melt down into its bosom straight from the core of the sky, leaving a vacuum - an unfathomable, spirited, reverberating sense of vacuum. That was when I was just climbing the ladder of his music, I was listening to 'Dark Eyes' very often, coupled with 'Like A Rolling Stone' and other tracks. At this point of time, I was also developing into a woman, I could see the bodily changes, and even though I was confused whether or not to be too fond of whatever was happening (cause I didn't understand what, at the first place was happening), I chose to grasp the music instead, the elan vital, the progression, the hunger for passion. 
Often at night, I would feel like unlocking the walls and heading straight to the river, and closer, closer to the water still. 

As I grew up into a more mechanical, apparently tidier, posh being, the instincts clung to music, arts and especially of the revolutionary kind. Dylan was a magician to me, a man with a spine, as straight as the rectilinear motion of light - a messiah, a saviour, a different creature in the times of nothing altogether. This was when I was 14 and by the time I was 15, I was in love for the first time, possibly. And succeeding heartbreak like an expelled citizen, I dwelled inside his songs. 'Daddy You Been on My Mind', 'It Ain't Me Babe' in Joan Baez's voice, 'Don't Think Twice It's Alright' among others. 

It took me time to age this much, that now his revolution turns into love every time I listen to these songs on loop, every time the eerily long lines around the stores on his birthdays over the past 50 years, maybe. Idols are as fragile as remnants of a decapitated civilization, waiting for the worms. It reminds you of visions from Dali's 'Destino', the lucid eloquence of time, of gravity, of portrayal, of truth and of the portrayal of the several kinds of truth that persist like an eternal air of vicinity around your naked palm. Dylan now would also mean a reminisce of what ceased to be from times before I was born, but have subsequently developed ideals about (which, contextually are not as fragile as idols). That hurts, deep down in the core - that stings the heart and the soul and the mind. It makes me want to find refuge in Joan Baez's life, only to find her accept lesser sins than Dylan himself. It is sad that now she too, would choose to walk the stage with someone as much of a nothing as Taylor Swift whereas Sinead O'Connor would anyday refuse to and instead shave her head and sing 'Oró sé do bheatha 'bhaile' with as much arrogance as burning pain, rage, spirit, and love. 

The last nail on the coffin was his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in 2016. It tore me apart, honestly. It reminded me of the Vietnam war, it reminded me of Joan's broken heart, it reminded me of Barrack Obhammaa receiving it in the name of peace in 2009, it reminded me of unfed children in Afghanistan and how "the saviours of the world" sit in the Pentagon and operate joysticks to terminate millions of lives - human as well as the several diverse species that constitute the flora and fauna, in a word - life on this planet. It reminded me of Guantanamo Bay and it reminded me of Kashmir. It reminded me of Syria,Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Gaza strip and Nigeria. It reminded me of Ghana and it reminded me of Kenya. It doomed me, it took away most of the love I had so securely stored in my heart for the poet whose poetry now belongs to millions of people. It reminded me of the time I'd spent in the north-eastern part of this country, it reminded me how pop-culture can be sculpted in the favourable sense, coupled with the dynamism and beauty of the eloquence of original, spirited poetry. It reminded me how, this generation never is or would be able to find out a path, an illuminance that sparked between words, in intellect, in understanding, in compassion and empathy
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Letters to Vincent : Volume 2

April rain is the saddest of times at the heart of this old, empty planet. Emptied, it seems to grow older in its current enthrallment, flashing back in the winter months in caskets and shrivels in the skin. The folds at the core of an ageing tree, the melanchloia that clings to the tattered ends of a dragonfly's wings, the drizzled streets, the empty chairs in the amphitheatre sets sail in the robust times of gunshots and vengeance. How old are we, eh - with all our brown suits and ash hair, livid at the spectators for the burden of performance that sets us soaringly caged, day after day?

Vincent, how long did they torment you? How far did they tear down your idea of time, procurement, vicinity, error and elongation? Vincent, what is love - what did you cling to, in that dirty old overcoat of yours, your unbathed body, the essence of ashes and galaxies far away, the enchanting tale of centuries and millennia at the expense of a hand, a genuine urge to succumb to your own terror, did love hurt...or were you setting sail, preparing to transcend from this dimension to
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

An Exclusive Interview with Parvaaz - 'India's Most Exciting Rock Band Right Now'

The interview was scheduled to be conducted at 4. I had been waiting almost for an entire week for this slot, I was superbly excited, I hadn’t even slept well the night before and I wanted to do this before everything else that day. I had interviewed people before – including Noam Chomsky (of course not a telephonic one, though) and I had interviewed George Murphy (which was telephonic) and ‘Ships Have Sailed’ among others. I have done live interviews in the past. But the music created by these magicians were driving me so ecstatic that I was confused if I’d be able to do this at all.

I have been fanatically addicted to their music ever since (only like I’ve been to Pink Floyd prior to this) and I swear by, I would put them above Led Zeppelin on my top 10-ers list from the progressive perspective any day – Like, who would imagine a progressive rock “prog” band working this brilliantly in an industry and world like ours were people prefer ‘beats’ over indulgence, ‘beats’ over lyrics, ‘beats’ over tune and ‘beats’ above anything else in their lives? Beats, for sure are rhythm and Nikola Tesla once remarked that if you have to gain an understanding or two about this universe, you have to first try and feel it in terms of frequency. I have not been so flabbergastingly terrorised of beauty in music many times in life and for all the intuitive-natured music lovers waiting out there, get ready to get assured that Parvaaz is definitely the one ultimatum for your eccentric search towards a kind of distinct satiety that quenches your thirst in music like nothing else ever has previously (and I am not exaggerating a bit).

After a few minutes of breathless waiting, the band members were all finally there, connected to the call.

Kashif, Khalid, Sachin and Fidel - Hi, Hey, All of us here? Hello…

Me - Good afternoon. So, all the members are here. Is that right?

Parvaaz - Yes, we are.

Me - So, let us begin on a very positive note and I would be indeed very obliged if I’m allowed a chance to actually blabber about how flabbergasted I am at the moment and how brilliant your performances actually are. The lyrics reek elegance, you can literally smell it from a distance and the visuals created are just out of the world. How you could, really jeopardise a poet’s life is a matter of concern, you know?

Parvaaz – (Kashif chuckles in the background) Thank You…

Me – Alright, let us begin with the questions now and some of them are going to be asked specifically to the lyricists. I hope nobody will be offended in that case?

Khalid – Yeah, sure…go ahead.

Me – Yeah. So, the first question is who came up with the very idea of a “prog” band ; like you don’t get to see a lot of progressive rock bands if you dive into the history of rock music in India. How was this done at the first place?

Kashif – Well, I think there was no plan as such to become a prog band. That was not something we had specifically made up our mind about. We have just been playing music that we all connect with. And as for the genre, we’ve left it out for the audience to decide. We play what suits our time, way of playing…Yeah…that’s what I think (Chuckles)

Me – How was the band formed? Did you belong to the same university or was everyone an existent musician back in the time you connected with each other?

Sachin – Well, I think Kashif and Khalid were childhood friends and when they came here to Bangalore to study in the same university and that’s how it actually started. And me and Fidel, we used to play in a band, yeah? That was basically how we got together!

Me – That’s intriguing, even if it’s brief. Would you guys be able to name your favourite bands if I ask you to come up with the names one by one? Each one of you will have to tell me your names for reference because I will not understand otherwise.

Sachin – Yeah sure. Should we begin?

Khalid – Go ahead.

Sachin – Hey, I’m Sachin here and I think there would be a lot of favourites but Foo Fighters and Radiohead, yeah – these are the two favourite bands I guess…that come to mind. Fidel?

Fidel – Yeah, I think it’s like so many oldies, but if you’re talking favourite, Led Zeppelin is what comes to mind. And of course, Radiohead is doing immense amount of pathbreaking work,so…going on

Khalid – Kashif?

Kashif – I would mostly mention the same things as they mentioned. Floyd is a big influence, so that’s one that comes to mind right now…

Me – Yeah, your music seems to reflect that, you know?

Kashif – Yeah…

Khalid – I would mostly mention the same things as well…

Me – Where are the band members initially from? Like, say from the geographical orientation perspective?

Kashif – It was like Sachin said…

*Khalid laughs in the background.*

Khalid – Hey, Yeah I’m sorry, go ahead

Kashif – Sachin?

(Photograph : Shahid Nissar)

Sachin – Yeah, as I said – Kashif and Khalid are childhood friends. They’re from Kashmir and came down to Bangalore to study. Fidel is from Mangalore (not to be confused with Bangalore – say, Mangalore with the ‘M’) and I am from Bangalore.

Kashif – So, yeah…we all met up in Bangalore.

Me – Okay…Yeah. So, the lyrics part of your songs is really interesting. As in, who would dare to combine Urdu, Persian and Kashmiri – as in Kashmiri signifies a lot of Persian words, so how did you get the confidence to do it at the first place? And now people are listening, you’re getting better everyday.

Khalid – Kashif, yeah?

Kashif – Khalid, yeah go ahead…

Khalid – In our releases so far most of the lyrics have been written by Kashif and me and some additional songs have been written by a friend of ours named Umar Alaie.
The idea to write in these languages came naturally to us, as in – it came with a lot of poetry that we had to study in our schooldays and we wanted to include the influence somewhere in our work.

Me – Yeah, a lot of poetry is indeed visible… 

Khalid – Yeah...It’s a poetic land, so that’s where it comes from

Me – Are there any Kashmiri or Urdu poets that you draw inspiration from? Would you like to name a few of them?

Kashif – Yeah, there are many…there’s Mahjoor, there’s Allama Iqbal, and many others…

Me – Ah,so there’s, alright, so what I was talking about was that in the history of Indian music, there have hardly been bands that understand the concept of rock, so…what is the key ingredient on which this genre survives?

Kashif – Ah. Ow, good question, guys. How does rock survive?

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Letters to Vincent : Volume 1

Introduction - This series is a compilation of 10 letters written to Vincent Van Gogh, as an ode to his poetry (you heard that right). 

When a man is lost, what does he take with him? Shadows, flutters - of lashes and leaves, of bygone days, times and music, of...burnt roses and ashes in the clouds? The opportunity cost of losing yourself is just a cultural reference in a certain time frame. Gallows and caves reverberate footsteps, and the planets echo each other's name at times of nightfall. Cloudless, you draw the nebulae, the waves, the transition in spiral ecstasy. 

(Photograph Source: Medium)

The world was a burning pyre, in the summer months of grey. A
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Friday, May 11, 2018

Press Release : Thoda Bing Thoda Bang by RaOol!

Disclaimer : This is a sponsored post. However, opnions expressed are honest and of my own.

Auto-Pilot mein dil udne do' with 'Thoda Bing Thoda Bang' - the breakout single by international Aussie/Brit composer/rapper RaOol from his forthcomming project entitled 'Year of the Wolf.' Produced by Naamless & DJ Pain 1, and featuring bass heavy 808 drums and a sensual saxophone topline as cheeky as the lyrics, Thoda Bing Thoda Bang is guaranteed to bring zyada swag and zyada bang to the dancefloor!

If urban hip-hop and rap is your cup of tea, then add some interesting flavours to your cup – some extra swag to the platter served since this summer, RaOol is here to help you rock on and that extra oomph to the overall look of the party. In just a matter of 24 hours, it has garnered around 1 million views on YouTube!

UK Born and Australian raised, RaOol is an hip-hop artist, song-writer, lyricist, performer and the first NRI rapper to enter the Indian music industry. RaOol has the industry buzzing with his international sound complimented by his English-Australian accent.

The song will not only set the party mode on fire, but might as well help you add that extra touch of coherence and plain entertainment on your road trip with the special one in the weekends. If you’ve had a very tiring day and you want some enthusiasm and have no idea, where to gather it from – you might very well set this in no more than Vol 40 on your laptop and you’d see the difference it makes to the ambiance almost instantaneously. 
RaOol is the rapper behind Abhishek Bachchan's rocking performance in the box office smash hit Housefull 3, the theme song of Star Plus's flagship show DancePlus and DJ Bravo’s Tum Bin 2. RaOol is also the music-director for the item song ‘Malang’ in the Huma Quereshi starrer 'Dorbaara'. RaOol set a storm with his own single Desi Girls Do It Better #DGDIB, featuring Punjabi superstar Jaz Dhami. The single released via T-Series has now amassed a nearly 5 million views on YouTube.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Coming Soon : Parvaaz in Conversation with The Perspectives!

Parvaaz, in my eyes, is the first South-Asian band who understand the concept of rock totally and completely and have a pungent, rich Kashmiri essence to all of their performances. 

People who have a propensity of reading Urdu poetry - Shayris, or just free verse scribbles by the amazingly appealing Sufi poets, people with an interest in Hindustani Classical Music or instruments associated with the same, people who love prog, psychedelic rock, the classic blues...Parvaaz has and will find lovers amidst loads of highly varying groups of people with vivid preferences in art. 

Most bands who have tried to form a 'rock band' in or around this subcontinent till date have either ended up making extremely mediocre music or have successfully made avid rubble out of nothing and reached nowhere. One very intriguing attribute about Parvaaz is that the members realise and at least Khalid Ahmed (their lead singer) is trained in classical music. The subsequent blend of 'classic' and 'cult' is indeed, brilliance drenched in spirit. 

You can listen to two of my personal favourites - 'Beparwa' and 'Gul Gushan' on YouTube. 

We are having a conversation about music soon and the update will be up on the blog on 15th May.
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