Monday, October 31, 2011

Metallica dance!

We guzzle a few cans of KF strong before entering the concert, the usual ritual which we've been following for quite sometime now.  

The cops stop the vehicles randomly after the concert and smell your mouth, the usual ritual which they've have been following for quite sometime now.

Yesterday both these rituals coincided and we were stopped on Chord road by the cops, right in front of ISKCON temple, on our way back from the concert.  P3 who was in the driver's seat rolled down the glass and the cop was rather friendly to him.  He came close to his mouth but somehow couldn't sniff the beer which we had guzzled almost four hours ago.  He probably felt sorry for having stopped us and asked P3 "Yen saar kudidhe bari dance nodkond bandra?"  (What sir! Without drinking you just saw the dance and came eh?)

Metallica in Bangalore!

The stage was set, the lights were on, the ground was muddy and slushy, the air was impregnated with the sweet smell of Marijuana, the recorded music never seemed to be stopping - Ozzy, Pantera, AC-DC and some new age metal, every now and then outbursts from the crowd to start the show, few stray mortals kept walking on the lit stage once a while. Precisely at 8, the entire arena went dark and the famous "Good, Band and Ugly" soundtrack, "The Ecstasy of Gold" started playing and the crowd went completely frenzy - shouting, devil horning, clapping, yelling, singing along, banging their heads.  It was just a foreplay before the start of the act!  Within next few minutes "Creeping Death" was belted out by the band which made us wait too long for them.  Metallica was finally live and kicking in my very own city - Bangalore!

After their disastrous St. Anger album, there was a big chasm between Metallica and me.  I was just hoping that the concert shouldn't comprise of only their latest tracks and thankfully it didn't.  There were just two tracks from "Death Magnetic" album in the whole setlist and rest of them were all their classics.  The setlist was beautifully crafted with numbers like Fuel, The Memory Remains, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Fade to Black, One, Nothing else matters, Sanitarium, Enter Sandman, One, Master of Puppets, Seek and Destroy etc.  Times of India newspaper journalist somehow heard the track Wherever I May Roam in his reveries and falsely reported that they played that track! 

The energy of the crowd, which was as vast as an ocean (numbered about 40000), never seemed to diminish till the fag end of the concert and that, I'm sure, was a very big surprise for James Hetfield which was evident from his expression when the crowd hummed the extended backing vocals in The Memory Remains. He was absolutely stupefied and remained awestruck for a while with both his hands off the guitar. Kirk Hammet's solo was super mellifluous and it beautifully faded into Nothing Else Matters.  Fade To Black was a total surprise and very welcoming.  Roberto Trujillo's bass was brilliant and Lars Ulrich never seem to get old.  I so wanted them to play Four Horsemen and see Ulrich perform his drum stunt running around the stage!  Nevertheless I was happy with whatever we were bestowed upon by the Gods of Metal whom we grew up listening to.  The concert went on for almost two and half hours with three classic tracks in the encore (Am I Evil?, Battery and Seek and Destroy).  Ulrich ended the concert with a positive note by promising the fans to return to Bangalore again.  Metallica's name was definitely missing from the list of concerts that I've been to - Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Opeth, Black Sabbath - to name a few, now the list is complete.  Whatever now gets added are just the sides are just a bonus.

Better luck Delhi!  Beef up your security next time!

The complete set list is here:
1.     Creeping Death
2.     For Whom the Bell Tolls
3.     Fuel
4.     Ride the Lightning
5.     Fade to Black
6.     Cyanide
7.     The Memory Remains
8.     Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
9.     Sad But True
10.     All Nightmare Long
11.     One
12.     Master of Puppets
13.     Blackened
14.     Nothing Else Matters
15.     Enter Sandman
16.     Am I Evil?
17.     Battery
18.     Seek & Destroy

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Diwali 2011

Few pictures from this year's Diwali celebration.  Most of the ground level shots were shot using 50/1.8 while the sky ones were shot using 70-200/4L.  Also I've changed the layout of my blog to fit in 1024 pix wide photos to have a bigger and better view.  Let me know if you guys like it

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Karanataka news brief

Some of the recent news brief from my state:
  • Deve Gowda sheds crocodile tears because Ashok Kheny built NICE road around Bangalore.  His futile efforts to empathize with the farmers who supposedly lost their land looked funny.
  • Reddy brothers got arrested.  CBI raided Janardhan Reddy's palace in Bellary that had few dozens of diamond studded gold bangles, Rs. 40 crore cash, gold plated phone, 18 crore worth chopper, 10 crore worth DC designed Volvo bus, 8 crore worth Rolce Royce, golden throne and whole bunch of other golden sundries at his place.  He's leading a humble life now sleeping on straw-mat and eating prison's uppittu for breakfast.
  • Yeddy got arrested too.  Surprisingly Yeddy, who is usually good at crying, didn't cry but bore a smiling face while surrendering to police.
  • Actor Darshan beats up his wife and holds his son at gunpoint for which he was put behind the bars. Since he couldn't promote his movie "Sarathi" at the time of release (for he was in the prison), he blocked traffic in Majestic area today to get blessings of God and his fans as a part of promotion.  News channels broadcasted his arrest drama so long that it outran all his movie length put together. 
  • HD Kumaraswamy was the only smart-ass to save his head from Lokayuktha/CBI despite owning the whole of Kumaraswamy layout.  Kudos to you Mr. KS!
  • Corporators are shit scared in Bangalore these days after a couple of them were assassinated in the city.
  • A new trend is observed in the state - the moment a VIP gets arrested all his hidden diseases surface and he is immediately moved from prison to infirmary.
  • The most lucrative business in the state currently is to start a news channel which telecasts 24/7 sensational drama and entertainment.
  • Namma metro inauguration is on 20th October, the very first line from MG Road to Bayyappanana Halli.  Finally it happened!  People are requested not to throw trash and spit inside the train.
  • BBMP is the most animal friendly organizations on this planet and has put PETA, PFA to shame by their animal friendly decision they took in the light of metro inauguration. They net all the stray dogs in MG road area for a smooth inaugural ceremony on 19th October and they're gonna let them free on MG road on 21st October!
  • Raichur is in a pathetic state.  2 of the 4 thermal towers have stopped functioning which has resulted in unscheduled power cuts and load shedding in the city.  
  • Kids in Raichur district are dying out of malnutrition almost on the scale of underdeveloped African countries.  Nobody has bothered about it yet.
  • Average number of pot holes in Bangalore still remains a constant.  Old ones are filled and new ones have just sprouted out.
  • Metro work in the rest of the city has disrupted the lives of everyday commuters with everyday traffic jams in the city.
  • The increased fuel prices has resulted in increase in pollution levels in Bangalore.  Auto drivers who used to mix petrol to kerosene in 75-25 ratio have just swapped it and almost all autos spit out venomous white smoke.
  •  Homestays around Bangalore are making quite a business since the oblivious IT crowd's weekend is pretty much spent there.
  • The traffic police just won't give a damn to control the traffic, he's just waiting at the signal constantly praying that someone makes a mistake and he can pocket his quick buck.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Ninn camera andre kelbeka???

As a photographer, quite often, you get this appreciation which is more derisive than cordial -  "Amazing photograph, what camera did you use?"

The immediate and appropriate reaction for it would be to swirl your camera and knock the person down whoever dare to ask that question.  Yes it's as ridiculous as asking your mother "The food's so delicious what vessel did you use?"   or asking painter "Your painting's great, what paint did you use?" or an architect "The building's great, what bricks did you use?"

So I came across this person who saw the album containing my son's photographs and he liked the photographs.  The very fact that he liked the photographs was satisfying enough for me, but he didn't stop it there.  He felt the desperate need to appreciate my work verbally and blurted out, "ನಿನ್ ಕ್ಯಾಮೆರ ಅಂದ್ರೆ ಕೇಳ್ಬೇಕ?"  (Your camera means unquestionable!).  

It's worse than asking "Amazing photograph, what camera did you use?".  It's as thought telling your mom "Your vessels make delicious food!" and the likes... He didn't even know what camera I actually use to shoot those pictures.  He spoke as though I had no role to play in those photographs...huh!  As though the camera magically composed, set the exposure, focused and shot the photograph! I was so tempted to give my camera to him and ask him to shoot but I resisted and gave him a lame smile since he was elder to me by two generations.  

Maze of my mind

I gifted myself a Parker fountain pen recently, that inexpensive student class pen.  I love scribbling - worthless words, technical crap, pseudo code, geometrical figures, stupid thoughts and mindless ramblings.  I have a dream of writing a novel with a fountain pen and I wish somebody gifts me a Sheaffer or an Omas pen someday.  Buying this pen had one creative effect on me, I penned down my very first poem and here I'm publishing talks about the constant friction between the heart and the mind.  Please do share your thoughts on it...

Maze of my mind

As I dig throught the labyrinth of my mind
With the hope of peace I yearn to find
The dirt and dust has made me blind
And left me deprived of love and kind

I start with good and drift to evil
I often wonder if its heart, the devil
Oh no she's too servile to be so vile
And she's the one who brings me smile

The maze of mind is infinitely consuming
Leaving me all devoid of feeling
Heart's lost, she needs some leading
To find the way out without much bleeding

This maze someday I hope to obliterate
Before it devours my heart, too late
And wish for better and beautiful fate
Restore good heart to her happier state

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Delhi Belly

Went to New Delhi after many years and I must say I just loved it.  The weather wasn't infernal, metro was too convenient, Chandni Chowk and Pahar Ganj were bustling with people, enjoyed good food and wine, the visa work was fruitful.  One thing that was missing was my camera, I carried my wife's cute-little-pink camera which saved a lot of of burden for me.  I could squeeze in Lotus temple, Chandni Chowk, Qutub Minar in whatever little time I had.  Have clicked few photographs and here they are...all are SOOC.  Since there was no raw shooting option in Canon SD1100IS, I didn't particularly feel like editing them in Lightroom.  So here they are: