Monday, February 27, 2006

On Second thought

Yesterday I thought I'll to stop the tagging chain ,but I guess I'll have to change my mind .So folks get ready: Mayank , Shuchika ,Frank and Indira.

I'm sure all you people will enjoy the 7 heaven tag series.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Check list for me

Well ...I have been tagged by Mandrake (Rajat).I guess this is one last thing you expect being a blogger.Here it goes ...

Seven things I plan to do before I die:
  1. Serve the humanity, to the best of my ability;and try and make a difference (seriously)
  2. Learn how to play guitar(honestly)
  3. Learn how to drive(it's a fact)
  4. Read, Read and Read
  5. Do something adventurous...i'm really sedate
  6. Be famous.
  7. Become a social Entrepreneur

Seven Things I can do

  1. Give some(loads) of gyan.
  2. Ride a Cycle.
  3. Irritate others.
  4. Be damn funny.
  5. Cut, copy and paste.
  6. Walk for long hours.
  7. Listen to music at any possible decible level.

Seven Things I can’t do

  1. Ride a Motorbike and drive car
  2. Get up early
  3. live without music,internet and newspaper
  4. tolerate hipocrasy.
  5. Watch Prabhu Chawla on Aaj Tak
  6. Go to Gym.
  7. Listen and read interviews of Actresses and Pg 3 celebrities.

Seven Things that attract me to the opposite sex

  1. Simplicity , elegance and grace
  2. Intellectual ability
  3. Humour
  4. Eyes
  5. Voice
  6. Hairs
  7. To be honest I think I like them all.

Seven Things I say most

  1. Ok.
  2. Accha.
  3. May be.
  4. I don't know.
  5. Hey.
  6. Really.
  7. Do you know ?

Seven Celebrity Crushes

  1. Salma Hayek
  2. Rani Mukherjee
  3. Alicia Silverstone
  4. Kajol
  5. That' it yaar

Seven websites I Visit

  1. Yahoo
  2. Sify
  3. Blogger
  4. Google
  5. Desi Pundit
  6. HR sites
  7. Blog links

Gosh this was really tough...I mean it's diffucult to recall all these things at one go.For a change I'm not going to tag anyone and let this saga end here itself.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Elusive Truth

I'll buy you a diamond ring my friend if it makes you feel alright I'll get you anything my friend if it makes you feel alright 'Cause I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love”

This famous Beatles song was written by Paul when the band was in Paris in January 1964 during their 18-day concert tour at the Olympia Theatre.

What was true some 40 years back is very much true even today.Life has some eternal rules ,which never change at all .Mankind’s quest for Happiness is one such elusive journey which every one undertakes but realizes that like life the journey may not have any destinations at all.

The reason I wanted to explore the relative concept of happiness is not because I want to be happy but the truth is that we find reasons to keep ourselves unhappy. “They say Ignorance is bliss” & “Knowledge is power” the knowledge of not knowing what you don’t know is what leads to the blissful state of ignorance, otherwise one will always strive to know more.

What leads to Happiness?

This is the questions being asked every now and then, from Gita to Bible, Koran to Modern Age guru’s everyone has an answer. Some academics have spent years pursuing the link between happiness and money. To some, the link is the keystone to why we spend. And spend. And spend some more. In a research work by groups of people from academics, psychologists, economists and social scientists from places like the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois, the University of Southern California, Princeton University, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia came up with some interesting findings.

Money doesn't really make us very happy. Not only do we want what we don't have, we really don't know what we want, and we think the things that we want will make us happy, which they tend not to do.

The Bhagvata Gita says “You have said that happiness is the highest object. I do not comprehend this. This attribute of the soul that (you say) is so desirable is not sought by the Rishis who are regarded to be engaged in something promising a higher reward. It is heard that the Creator of the three worlds, viz., the puissant Brahma, lives alone, observant of the vow of Brahmacharya (celibacy).
He never devotes himself to the happiness obtainable from the gratification of desire. Also, the divine Master of the universe, the lord of Uma (Siva), reduced Kama (the deity of desire) to extinction. For this reason, we say that happiness is not acceptable to high-souled people. Nor does it appear to be a high attribute of the Soul.Ultimately for true happiness, transcend, renunciation or acceptance. Both presuppose egoism and attachment which spring from ignorance.

The Bible says “Blessed (happy) is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding". Prov 3:13. Acc. to the Koran “ Absolutely, God's allies will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. They are those who believe and lead a righteous life. For them happiness in this life, and in the Hereafter. Such is God's inviolable law. This is the true triumph [10:62-64]
The real happiness lies in the truth and awarenss about the fact that the sheer desire to achieve happiness and strive for it, will lead to unhappiness.So the mantra is "accept your life the way it is" and always strive to make others happy ,I guess that will never make you unhappy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Guitar Story

No other musical instrument has had such a great impact as guitar on the mindset, lifestyle and values of generation across ages. To see a great guitarist play in full swing is a sight of immense pleasure and satisfaction for the soul. For some playing guitar is one form of playing tribute to the ultimate power and for few others it’s also a path to nirvana.

The word guitar comes from a middle ages instrument called a guittern.Here’s the Indian connection to guitar from Indo-European roots: guit-, similar to Sanskrit sangeet meaning "music", and -tar a widely attested root meaning "chord" or "string"..

The history of guitar is very interesting and it’s the only musical instrument which plays the most important role in deciding the genre and type of music being played. The history of guitar is very interesting to say the least .It dates back to the 15th century in Spain and this early instrument was a "four course" guitar, from which the ukulele is derived. The first guitars were very small, and were originally strung with four pair of strings. Each pair was called a course. During the Renaissance, the guitar never had the respect the lute enjoyed. It was not considered a serious instrument.

During the Classical period there were many publications, composers and performers. Fernando Sor, Mauro Guilliani, Matteo Carcassi, Fernando Carulli and many others wrote music, published methods and performed concerts.

Sor played the guitar as a solo instrument at the London Philharmonic Concert in 1817. At the end of the 19th century, the guitar had fallen out of favor, but was resurrected by Francisco Tarrega Segovia was one of many guitarists that were influenced by him. Tarrega began the tradition of playing with the fingernails.

Up until this point the instrument itself was small and narrow. Antonio de Torres (1817 - 1892) worked with the design and construction of the guitar. He increased the size and experimented with anything that would improve the sound, and was especially interested in volume. He was the first maker to use "fan" bracing underneath the top. He once built a Guitar with a spruce top and paper mache back and sides to prove his theory that it was the top that produced most of the volume. He was the father of the modern guitar.

Although Segovia did all these things, the real debt that we owe to him is that of making the guitar truly a world instrument. By traveling and performing throughout the world, he brought respect and recognition to the instrument.Nylon strings were a big improvement over gut strings. They replaced gut in 1946. The first amps came out toward the end of the 1930's. However, the main improvements were made by Leo Fender. The first electric guitars were hollow bodied models. Enter Les Paul. His first electric hard-body guitar was basically a log (it was even called “the log”) with a neck and two double-coil pick-ups set into it. He gave it its distinctive look in order to make it more attractive, and then sold the idea to Gibson. And they still make it. An then came blues, rock and roll and the rest is history…….Some of the legendary guitarists of all time have been profiled here

Strange but true

I gave this funny but exciting quiz and you can see the result. It’s true that the instrument you play, the kind of music you listen to and your basic personality type has very strong linkage.However most of times I find that the choice of music depends more on individual’s mood and particular situation than just one type of music. But I guess the choice of instrument one play's is definitely an indicator of one's individual's personality.

Monday, February 13, 2006

If music is the food of love

I am really excited since I’m going to prepare my recommendations for all time favourite love songs of all time. Initially I thought about coming up with a list of Top 10 but then I felt I would not be able to do justice to my favorite one’s .So finally I’ll put them under broad categories. This valentine day here’s my recommedation for the very best in music.

Top 5 oldies love songs

Stand by Me: Ben E King
Unchained melody: The Righteous Brothers
All I have to do is Dream: The Everly Brothers
Vincent: Don MacLean
Crying in the Rain: The Everly brothers

Top 5 Country love songs

Annie’s Song: John Denver
For You: John Denver
You are my best Friend: Don Williams
If tomorrow never Comes: Garth Brooks
Before the next teardrop:Freddie Fender

Top 6 All time Great love songs

Forever Young: Bob Dylan
Lady in Red: Chris de Burg
Wonderful Tonight: Eric Clapton
Everything I do: Bryan Adams
Sealed with a Kiss: Bryan Holland
Sacrifice: Elton John

Top 5 Love Ballads

Always: Bon Jovi
I live my life for you: Firehouse
Love Bites: Def Leopard
Love Hurts – Nazareth
Heaven:Bryan Adams
I never knew this was going to be so tough but I feel really unhappy since I have left out some of my all time fav out. But I guess coming up with a list of Top 10 or even 100 is very difficult because all great songs have something special about the them and it just depends on the mood and emotion of the listener, how one relates to it.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saint Valentine vrs Lord Kama

Sound's funny but this valentine day I'm going to play Cupid.Well it's not a deliberate decision on my part to play angel but part of my job.

Now some may feel it's a wonderful role to play but the sad part is that you end up having no valentine for own.....

Anyways the fact that some people are dead against the whole concept of celebrating a day for love and that it's against the so called Indian tradition has really made me curious about Lord Kamdeva.Here's what the I found about him.

Kama is the god of love in Hindu myth. He is a son of Lakshmi. Kama is represented as a winged youth bearing bow and arrows (similar to Cupid). Kama uses the cane of sugarcane as the shaft of his bow and a line of buzzing bees as his bowstring. He rides a parrot across the three worlds shooting his five flower-tipped arrows that arouse the five senses and enchants the mind with visions of beauty.

In the Rig Veda, Kama (desire) is described as the first movement that arose in the one after it had come into life through the power of fervour or abstraction.

In the Atharva-Veda Kama does not mean sexual desire, but rather the yearning after the good of all created things.

Later Kama is simply the Hindu Cupid. While attempting to lure Siva to sin, he was destroyed by a fiery glance of the goddess' third eye.

Thus in Hindu poetry Kama is known as Ananga, the " bodiless god." Kama's wife Rati (voluptuousness) mourned him so greatly that Siva relented, and he was reborn as the child of Krishna and Rukmini. The babe was called Pradyumna (Cupid).

He is represented armed with a bow of sugar-cane; it is strung with bees, and its five arrows are tipped with flowers which overcome the five senses. A fish adorns his flag, and he rides a parrot or sparrow, emblematic of lubricity. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911)

But Kama is not worshipped. He has been identified with the principle of desire that entraps the soul in samsara. In fact, in Buddhism, he is called Mara, the demon, and enemy of all enlightened beings.

I guess after reading about Lord kama one can draw his own conclusion.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Stuck in the Moment

One of my favourite bands U2 U2 won big. The Irish rock act upstaged everyone by picking up five awards, including Song of the Year (Sometimes you can't make it on your own) and Album of the Year (How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb).

The band also won awards for Best Rock Song, Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group, and colleague Steve Lillywhite was honoured as Producer of the Year.

After "Beautiful Day" won three Grammy Awards in 2001, in 2002 U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind received eight nominations in seven categories. Both the song and the album, Bono said, were dedicated to his late father, whom he thanked 'for giving me the voice and a bit of attitude to use it.'

A year after the band won three awards for Vertigo, the first single from How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, tonight the album itself and the next two singles stole the show.City of Blinding Lights won Best Rock Song while Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own took Best Vocal Rock Performance.'I don't know what to say,' said Bono, on one of several trips to the stage. 'This is really a big, big night for our band.'

The charismatic frontman, wearing a cowboy hat and shades, thanked everyone from Paul McCartney (cryptically, 'for discovering this country') to Gwen Stefani, but summed things up as he accepted the Song Of The Year trophy: 'If you think this is gonna go to our head -- too late!'

One of the best all U2 favourite happens to be stuck in the Moment and One.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

In the Name of God and Civil Society

Mankind always finds strange reasons for confrontation and what is even more surprising is the fact that few themes for confrontation are common. What started with a mere cartoon in a Danish newspaper has now taken mammoth proportion in terms of arousing public sentiments and hell lot of debate on Press freedom and religious icons.

Historically we have seen many such debate and protests over few symbolic issues of religious faith. We have had the famous case of Hindu god’s images being depicted on undergarments by American Fashion designer, Sikhs being disallowed to wear turban in French schools. However the debate here is the freedom of expression vrs the religious sentiments over the world and every society undergoing transition has seen such conflicts. Infact yesterday I saw a news report in which M F Hussain the legendary artist was been asked to apologize for depicting Mother India in an offensive manner semi nude way.

Now the question is how fair it is for artists, journalists, writers and media to take such liberty with religious symbols. The Danish newspaper's culture editor, Fleming Rose, says he intended simply to test cartoonists to see if they were self-censoring their work, out of fear of violence from Islamic radicals. He cited a Danish comedian, who said in an interview that he had no problem urinating on the Bible but that he would not dare do the same to the Koran.

"Some Muslims try to impose their religious taboos in the public domain," said Mr. Rose. "In my book, that's not asking for my respect, it's asking for my submission."

Mr. Rose wrote to the Danish Cartoonist Society, inviting cartoonists to depict their interpretation of the Prophet — whose likeness many devout Muslims believe should never be depicted. Some refused on the grounds that the exercise was a provocation, but a dozen complied.

"It wasn't meant to insult or hurt anybody's feelings," Mr. Rose said, drawing a distinction between criticizing religious authority, "which goes all the way back to Voltaire and the tradition of the Enlightenment," and the "far greater offense of denigrating a specific ethnic group."

Well such experiments have resulted in protests and violence all over and it has also led to boycott of Danish goods in Islamic Countries. Rather surprisingly NYT has decided against depiction of these cartoons.

Here’s what the editor had to say “The easy points to make about the continuing crisis are that (a) people are bound to be offended if their religion is publicly mocked, and (b) the proper response is not to go on a rampage and burn down buildings. If Muslim organizations want to stage peaceful marches or organize boycotts of Danish goods, they're certainly within their rights.

The pictures, one of which showed the prophet with a bomb on top of his head in place of a turban, violate a common belief among Muslims that any depiction of Muhammad is sacrilege. The paper that first published them did so as an experiment to see whether political satirists were capable of being as harsh to Islam as they are to other organized religions. If that sounds juvenile, Americans still recognize it as within the speech protected by our First Amendment.

The New York Times and much of the rest of the nation's news media have reported on the cartoons but refrained from showing them. That seems a reasonable choice for news organizations that usually refrain from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols, especially since the cartoons are so easy to describe in words.

Now that’s what I think is responsible journalism, and any artist, public media or even govt. needs to take into account the likely fallouts before coming up with something sacrilegious .

He came, He Banged,He Conquered

To read more click here

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wheels of Life