Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Nimoli – Hindi jazz at its finest

I came across this on a friends newsfeed on FB. And now I can’t seem to get enough of it. The tune is so infectious and addictive. I have been listening to it three or four times a day. And much to the annoyance of those who travel with me frequently in my vehicle as well.
I love the treatment which has been given to it Dhruv Ghanekar a well respected Jazz guitarist in the Indian music indutry. Nimoli has been a folk poem which he has put to music for the MTV Coke studio program. Nimoli is the fruit of the Neem tree. Kohomba to you and me in Sri Lanka. This lady is singing about the bitter sweet nature of love. Just like the neem fruit. The song also features an appearance by Bobkat a rapper . He performs the role of the completely unromantic idiot who this lady is in love with and who thinks she is quite nutty to be comparing him to a fruit. In fact when he had been asked to write the lyrics for his part he had been surprised on how love can be compared to a fruit. And his rapping captures his confusion perfectly.
“hold up, hold up
just hear me out yo
now gimme just a one minute let me figure it out
nimoli or lemonade, whats that all about
got me wondering if i could be loosing my mind
coz everytime i think about it
i be hitting rewind
lets take it one step at a time with my rhyme
i am wearing a suit but your talking about a fruit
i am trying to communicate but you dont give a hoot
kinda reminds me why everything is moot
stop getting philosophical
don’t give me that rhetorical
just give it to me straight coz
i don’t need that psychological
nimoli is bitter with a little bit of sweet
but you'll have to tone it down if you wanna meet”
I suggest you look at a more detailed video on the background to the video here if you found this an interesting post.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Panther - Chhimi Tenduf-La

First I curse the traffic. Why can't it be more congested?
Then I curse Chhimi Tenduf-La. Why couldn't he have released his new book on Kindle?
Then I curse myself. Why the hell am I writing like him? In short punchy sentences.
I have started reading Panther. The second novel by Chhimi Tenduf-La. Of The amazing racist fame. As usual I can't put it down. Sadly I have to. I have three free hours ahead of me. Three hours I could have spent immersed in this great story. But you can't be seen reading a book at a wedding can you? Even if you don't know anyone else there. It is considered rude. Not acceptable. Unlike staring into your phone. Only if his publishers had allowed him to release the kindle version at the same time he released the hard copy of his book in Sri Lanka.
Life is not fair.
So I leave the wedding early. Tell the driver to take the longest route possible. Pray that there is loads of traffic. Sit back and slip in between the pages.
Panther is a great second novel. Far more powerful than the first. A dark and complex tale. A story line with unexpected twists and turns. And amazing funny bits which has become a trademark of this author.
"There is great value in shaving one's legs if one's legs were female."
This much is true. You have heard that. Most nights. Most mornings. Sometimes over lunch or with a cup of tea. Sometimes while in the car.
Amma never listened but Appa let it go. No complaints. Hell, one physical fault was nothing to worry about for a man as chilled as your Appa.
Things they say started to go wrong when your amma found a waffle iron in a bombed out restaurant.
You had no electricity, so Appa tapped into the local army camp's generator. A military policeman caught him. Appa bribed him. With waffles.
But he was running short of ingredients, so he used his van to spy for the army. They paid in him in flour, jaggery, eggs and milk.
The gossips say Amma fell in love with waffles. Thought of waffles first thing in the morning. Dreamt of waffles at night. With this obsession came rapid weight gain.
And once your amma hit one hundred kilos, your Appa could no longer ignore her body hair, so they say.
Appa like most men in this parts had needs, and if people in these parts had needs, they visited the hairless wife of the unemployed film critic."
Isn't this irresistible? To me it was. So much so that I copied the entire passage manually. Laboriously typing in one word at a time. Whilst being jerked around in rush hour traffic. Squinting hard to see my screen against the morning sun.
Chhimi says this book is about terrorism and it's impact. And he has (very wisely) created a fictitious terrorist organisation called The Panthers to do so.
But to me it is also about racism. Not the brown vs white that we read about in his first book. This time it's about the haves against the have-nots. The well educated against the poorly educated. The do-gooders against those who accept their charity. And worse of all Sri Lankan against Sri Lankan.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


The two exes hug each other closely… they look fondly into each others eyes... and smile.
“It’s been a long time” he says.
“It’s good to see you” she answers
They never parted as lovers but things have changed.
Burning desire has been replaced by the warmth of friendship. Caring by concern. Fierce passion by affection. Romance by respect.
They slip into a deep conversation with the ease of a duck sliding into water.
They talk and they talk and they talk.
She tells him of her new love. He talks about his life. His work. His health.
They talk about the good times and the grand times they have shared.
A glimpse of light reflecting off a band of metal catches his attention. It takes him back in time to a blur of a memory. Where he places a ring on her finger and says “no matter what happens I would like you to wear it as a symbol of the special bond we shared”. She hugs him close and whispers “yes”.
He suddenly realised that even after all these years she has not broken her promise.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Washing one’s dirty linen on Facebook

After all Facebook can be considered the new public and guess old idioms need to adjust with the times. And washing ones dirty linen was exactly what I saw happening on my Facebook news feed a couple of days ago.
It all began with this guy who has a reputation for writing incendiary articles publishing something about women also being responsible for rape. How females should dress more conservatively in order to not invite rape. As expected this created a huge uproar among Sri Lankan netizens. What was not expected is that this also resulted in his step daughter accusing him of abusing her 20 years ago. Due to the sentiments expressed in his writings and the tone of his articles and his overall aggressive and confrontational personality it was quite easy to see him as a monster quite capable of such an act. As far as the netizens were concerned he was already guilty of the crime and cries of rapists were being cast at him even though there was no legal conviction.
The purpose of this post is not to say who is right or wrong. I believe that should be only determined after a proper investigation. Most definitely NOT by public opinion.
Coming to think of it there is no purpose of this post other than to express my sadness and disappointment at everything and everyone I guess. 
Because everything spiraled downwards from the moment these allegations were made. What was worse was that it was on a public thread. The accused too had commented on the thread revealing some salacious information not only about the young lady concerned but also about her late mother and father. Information which was no one’s business as far as I am concerned. All of which was lapped up greedily by the readers who I am sure were getting some kind of voyeuristic pleasure out of this whole incident. I decided not to post links to the articles which lead to the furore, or the fb link on purpose. I believe the intention of the articles was to create controversy. To raise ones hackles and to obtain some kind of negative reaction. And I really don't want to be contributing to a person's misguided cause. Though I believe he has the right to express his opinion. And as far as the fb thread is concerned because what happens on Facebook should remain on Facebook ideally in a private thread.