Friday, February 25, 2005

The Urban Design Thing

transferred from

Countless (a silly figure) number of alumni, mystic traders of archi. items, some professors of earthquakes and some more alumni have lectured us on their subjects of expertise, shown us their pretty buildings. Some tried to inspire, some inspired, some failed. A few presentations were nothing more than a chai-biscuit session. I lied. MOST of the presentations are nothing more than a chai-biscuit session.

So you see,architecture is an interesting aspect of my life. It has its ups and downs (called mounds and depressions). A few subjects will force you to notice some rationality in the senseless gamut of terms and concepts, while the rest will drop its ratings by 63 (another silly figure) and you'll realize,like your C.G.P.A, it is never going to come up to the same level again, ever...

Along with 12 other batchmates, I have come across a variety of these courses. A few titles reveal the irrationality to be experienced, others hide it and the rest flaunt it (sequential revelation of elements, anticipation and perception) - Urban Design, Landscaping, Disaster Management, Human Settlement etc. Each had its unique flavour - hors d’euvres for feasts of the next semester. Forgive the expression - but the BAAP of it all is the first one. Welcome to the world of URBAN DESIGN.

What is Urban Design ? I don't really care at this moment. So no inputs from my side.
See, architecture isn't what you really expect it to be.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Week 3

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Hot News ! I've started taking Guitar Classes for a Professor's son (12 yrs old). How I got picked is a short boring story. Lets just say a CAT in hand, is worth a guitar class for another. Last week, I had my first class. I love the subtle management techniques we apply. The prof. enquired over the phone, "When would you like to take the class ?"
I put some thought into it and said, "When would you like me to take it?"
He said, "Anytime time is ok".
I said, "I think 4.30pm is fine."
He asked, "How about 5.30pm ?".
I sighed, "ok fine. 5.30pm." What was the point of the whole exercise ?

I also had a hard time broaching the whole subject of payment. When I finally had the perfect line ready and began my performance, he interrupted and said we should wait for Aunty. Aunty came from the temple and did all the haggling. I had first thought Uncle ji was subservient and hence Aunty had to do the job. A more sensible friend made me realize he's a professor and it's not right for him to do the job. aah..enlightenment. The final price is decent, considering I did all the bargaining.

Today was the 2nd class ( Today should be February 16th, or I should be more regular in blogging). Aunty kept insisting on 'Ajeeb daastaan hai ye' or 'Chura Liya' - they are known to the masses as guitar songs. Of course, the boy is of the generation where Shaan and Strings signify good music. He kept sulking and insisting on the pop dudes. Finally we settled on 'Dil Chahta Hai'. His statement amused me a lot - "Bhaiya, wo JAZZ music sikhaiye na". I said, "Jazz matlab ?". He said "Wohi jo rock-jazz-western music hota hai". I instantly knew what I was dealing with. I will slowly infuse sensible guitar music into their household.

Its been a while since I've seen a home (other than my own and Deepali's and Jaspreet's). I haven't ventured beyond the drawing room and the puja-cum-shivam's room (yes thats his name, and no, Puja is not a female's name. It's "The Puja" room). I enjoyed the colour combinations of the cushions and the curtain colours -one enormous sofa set, an unimposing setti placed in the corner, an untouched showcase with tiny toys and one large mickey mouse.

I relish the tea they serve. Today I was offered plain water (Shivam got the mediocre steel tumbler and I got the guest glass). Tea served in the end seemed like a last minute decision. Hope the catering doesn't die down as I become less of a guest/mehmaan and more of a guy-in-the-house.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Eastern Groups

transferred from

Yes. It's been a while. I don't know what held me back -A strong lack of motivation, lack of content, lack of a lot-of-things-for-which-i-can't-find-a-stylish-word. I'll choke a bit, maybe wander off into irrelevant details. Forgive me - it's been a while.

Movie reviews are cliche'. Love stories are non-existent. Political gossip I am not aware of. Technology is taken care of by Kshitij. So all I am left with is this little slice of the pizza - Eastern Groups. Lets stretch it like cheese, add some spices and make a tasty dish.

HJB Hall
I'll keep this short. I didn't listen to them quite intently. We were busy jhaapoing their instruments for our performance and encouraging our 2nd years about 'stage performance' - look confident, if you go besura let me take over, yo patel and all those management techniques we failed to apply ourselves. - I think they did a decent job of 'Allah ke Bande' and 'Maaeri'. Some singers went off scale. The bassist was cute. A good effort.

Patel Hall
heheh...How can I modestly praise our team ? Let me just say we did a decent job - a good job. But some of the teams which followed did a much better job and hence the result. With a lot of guilt I had agreed to repeat a few songs from last year <2 to be exact>. 'Kya Maloom' by Indian Ocean is a tough number and I am truly proud of it. We butchered 'Chale Chalo' - I am proud of that too :)

Nehru Hall
They always impress me with a thorough proffesional approach - an efficacious dress code, excess mundus to handle lights and other paraphernalia, a guitar stand (my god ! what extravagance) and good songs. Sure, a few were repeats (3.5 to be exact. .5 for the medley songs). But this year they seemed to lack a bit of zeal. Maybe thats because they are at the other end of the GC line.

RP Hall
I don't know what holds them back. They have been blessed with good musicians over the last 2 years. A lot of ETMS dudes living in there. But the end result is very bland. Except for the thrice repeated Lakshya song, I don't remember their stuff. I suppose talent isn't everything. Actually, it is everything. Guys - sort out your problems and have a good show for Western Groups.

RK Hall
A performance that made people sit up and take notice. A show that took an exceptionally long time to commence. A show that proved that a double bass pedal can be flashed smoothly in a hindi song. A superb assemblage of singers. The only negative point I can fish out is that there were too many people on stage clapping all the time. What was that all about ? Anyway, a superb show, and a questionable 2nd position...

LLR Hall
Dipanjan my man....He swept the floor with raw enthusiasm and brilliant vocals. Their generous white kurta-clad tabla guy made quick shifts between the tabla and congo (boy ! can he move fast !). They did a lively Indian Ocean number (Hille Re), a classical 'experiment' with raag Yaman Kalyan and some soft numbers. Overall grade B+.

I won't dilute their show with boombastic praises. They were simply perfect. A fresh approach to showmanship. Mellifluous sounds from the instruments, truly happy faces, a surreal performance by KT and Pawar and Shayak and Rathod and everyone on stage. An undeniable 1st position. I love you people.

MS Hall
I missed it. I won't cook up stuff. I heard there was some entertaining stuff put up by them - and no, I am not talking about the music. A 70's film style confrontation between the singer and the guitarist. Unbelievably besura singers, incomplete drumsets. A Reality TV treat - no tinku burger is worth missing this.

SN Hall
Did you know that 52% of statistics are made up on the spot ? Also, that 90% of SNites learn how to play the drums - they divide the work such that no female plays more than 2 drum pieces. An active musical chair game running parallel to their show - democracy allowing everyone to play everything.
Ignoring all the silly analysis, I think they put up a good show. A great improvement from last year was that it wasn't a single person oriented show. Apart from showing slight disrespect for classical music, they crowds cheered for all other songs - 'Do lavzon ki hai', 'Mere Khwabon mein jo'. Kudos to the females for winning 3rd place.

I sat through the chaos that happened after the show. But out of true respect for the G.Secs and fear of writing something stupid, I won't document my views.

My it already over ?
I hope not.