A look at Indian mainstream music

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Here is an attempt to document some of the facts of modern day Indian cinema music which is a major subset of the ‘pop’ular  music in India.

In the historical context, Indian music has  its beginnings in sama-veda. And there have been influences from Persia in the case of Hindustani and this has had subsequent effects on Carnatic music as well. Also the colonial era has changed it from its temple and darbar(royal chamber) roots to concerts, let alone the content itself, which classical music has made it a part of. But what has been a major influence is the popular music of the west.

Lets look at it using the rasas (emotion)- way. For more, read http://www.ee.caltech.edu/~gowaikar/rand/navaras.html.

Sringara rasa has predominately been the focus of popular music. I think it is more to do with supply-demand, and definitely it is one rasa which is economically viable.

Hasya needs talent. period.

Bhibatsya and Rowdra– Well disgust and anger is now a function of loudness and music which has no melody. In fact the music angers and disgusts more. And the Scandinavian nations, the other Western countries (death, trash… metal) are really angry about something, what are we angry about?

Shanta– Tranquil. Again a missing emotion from pop music.

Veera– Yes, we could see this in some of the older music. Now that nationalism is pretty much dead, and so is this rasa in our music.

Bhaya- Sudden raise in octaves does not scare anyone, only startles them. Would recommend to these pop-scare ones Bernard Herrmann

Karuna– OK, this is used a relief. Again it is used in the face. No subtleties involved.

Adbhuta– Not available.  Even if it is, it is a fallout of the Sringara rasa.

The other 2 rasas, recently added Bhakti has no place in pop music and Vatsalya again is used as a relief from the main agenda.

Indian popular music is low on lyrical content as well. 400 regional language words should do the trick. Music is flicked from the West, throw in a few Indian instruments and we have the showcase-able Indian music. Add a few reality shows to this and the music has hit a new low.


The myth of end of the world

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This article spawned off from one of the FB discussions. Everybody loves talking about the end of the world.  Some say 2012, based on the Mayan calender. Some say that global warming is the one which will sound the final ode. How about nuclear holocaust? Or a World war III, which I believe is in human control.

Lets face it, earth has not been the same forever right? As I have read, it was inhospitable at first. Then some ages came in. There have been tectonic dynamics effecting the population, meteoric hits wiping out the erstwhile dinosaurs. And the pitiable dinosaurs did not even do anything to get themselves wiped out.

The guilt of Industrial revolution

The industrial revolution is the biggest culprit which has  created modern day ‘evils’. Look at education, recent times wars, global warming etc. The perpetrators of industries have been twisting these to accommodate their business. So lets shut down ford, toyota, boeing, microsoft, infosys and hold these industry people for the evils they have bought upon us. No. In fact they are our heroes, remember unemployment as an evil in our social science text books. And the recent recession where the media went haywire and claimed ‘Unemployment has been the highest since the middle ages’. And they also claim that pollution is the biggest problem in this world. The need of the hour is not campaigns against end of the world, but systematic investments in alternate sources of energy and scientific methods to mitigate the risks development brings in.


Everybody has an agenda and wants to fulfill it. What is expected out of climate guys? Give shocking statistics on how badly we have fucked the world! Media is worse. Dilute scientific  data to suit the understanding of the common man and voila better TRP ratings, increased circulation! The media is powerful and now they want to rub it in our faces. Play god! After Page-3, crime, they have found a new found love, nature. It works right, everybody wants to live in clean serene environments; use that, leverage that.

Of target consumers

This is the biggest fallout of the environment going awry. Scare the shit out of people.  Watch this for more

The various facets of liberalism and conservatism- An Indian Perspective

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Often denigrated, liberalism & conservatism have not been ideologies but curtains to hide behind. Umbrella terms as they are have been used at free will to argue to please a set who have a ‘common school of thought’. The sets (political parties & the intellectual groups) have made it their raison d’être to use these terms to be in power rather immaturely. Feudal families and autocratic individuals have had higher say in policy rather than a calculated, data driven and with excellent foresight approach.

Here is an attempt to document some of the definitions of what liberalism and conservatism.

Liberalism can be called the driver in chief for the polarization in ideologies. Conservatism has been the way the world works (barring India). There has been the Vatican with the goal of globalization of the religion it stands for. And then there is Islam which follows a less subtle way to globalize. They have replaced local cultures and civilizations. India on the other hand they could not conquer. They have converted a few here and there, but the civilization, ‘pagan’ as this kind is referred to has survived the various onslaughts of foreign forces. It has not stopped. As popular culture reflects, communism has become a major threat, using its common man agenda has created terror of a different kind. Only they call war- revolution.

Coming back to the original point, there are various facets of liberalism in context of India.

  • Economic liberalism- The Darwinian kind of economics, which is capitalistic. Inherently that is the goal of liberal economics, it has been often remoulded to socialistic ways, wherein the state makes ‘socio-economic ‘ policies and orchestrates how the market behaves. To put it more clearly, minority segmentation for sure shot fan following has taken over long term economics
  • Culture liberalism- Liberal arts or rapid aculturalization. Often it banks on judiciary to support individual choices of a few elite to twist logic to accommodate . Eg. Elite-Feminism…
  • Religion liberalism- Secularism as its called has been a bane to say the least. Religious identity has taken over talent. Equal opportunity has been replaced by reservations using lab-manufactured-history. Minority appeasement has become the means to send this message across.

Wider implications of these 3 include shallow understanding of the history, culture and religion creating fence sitters with no opinions. Worse, it is reflecting in our foreign policy as well not forget domestic policies. Even corruption, the hallowed crime in India is a fruit of Nehruvian socialism where the state controlled how business was done. As a result, Adharmic ways came into how business was done and not to forget the state with its employees. This created powerful families, rather than creating mature corporations. Mafia and crime became the means in chief to be in a position of power. Incompetence is no longer a problem as the state can accommodate everyone and in positions of power. National security has become an  issue and why? Our education is a no-brainer. The elite get good education and poor are told to reach the echelons of good education one needs money. And people who actually get decent(not too good not too bad) education are the ones who form the middle class aka the fence sitters; who have no say in anything.

If you look at conservatism, it has become what liberalism is not. I would say conservatism is a corrective mechanism to what liberalism has become. We need to understand that conservatism is not the rule of majority over a minority, but a way to correct the myopic ways of socialism.

Nomenclature of the IPL teams

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To clear things up, I have been critical of IPL, but I do watch it. Pushover? Nah, I am just a “sport enthusiast”.  Names of the IPL teams are the opposite of creative or they ones who came up with the names have highly concise dictionaries.

Lets start from the North.

Kings XI Punjab – OK, the name itself is not rib-ticklishly funny. But what is the message they are trying to get across? The ones who are not playing are ‘princes in the waiting’, like our Rahul Baba. (BTW notice that rahulgandhi.us. Political commentators please enlighten me if he standing for elections in Lousiana or Alaska. Yeah, Palin and Rahul have scored the same grades in the aptitude tests, according to reports). Coming back to our original Kings, do they come in chariots and say, Senapati, apna bat kahan hain? Is Preity Zinta their Queen Bee? Have to say amongst all the Bollywoody people, she seems to be where the action happens. Or is Yuvraj king? That would translate to Prince King, absurd!

Delhi Daredevils- Adventure sports has nothing to do with the team. They don’t jump off fighter planes and land at gully. Or they don’t face Shane Bond without helmets and the protective gear. But decent name nevertheless. So lets not bash them.

Rajasthan Royals– With Gagan Khoda the only player to get into the Indian team, with big influences from cricket administrators they are nothing short of being royal. Except they have a killing machine called Yusuf Pathan who is raw and puts Rambo to shame. Were they playing the good ol’ Book Cricket with an Oxford dictionary and voila, R came up, and the word they could digest was royal. R for Rajasthan. R for Rajahs, R for Royals. Ah, Marxist historians would be glad with the name. So just go  a little south to Saurastra and would they be called Saurastra Snake Charmers.

Kolkata Knight Riders– Karbo, Jeetbo something. Kkkkkk. Knight was how they arrived at the name. Unfortunately they could not come up with a winning strategy. Now they are pioneers in the advertising space. Kolkata Kings was the first one they came up with, but as the old saying goes too many kings leads to konflict, they said knights is the way forward. Riders was added to add to the Wiki entry . Kolkata Kirans, yeah right!

Mumbai Indians– Reinforcement that mumbai is the commercial hub of India? Or the sheer dominance of Mumbaiites in the Indian team. Making a statement eh? Or even the Ambani dominance of industry space in India. Scary and unknown waters. OK Aaamchi Mumbai. All better?

Deccan Chargers– Ok they do not charge down the track every ball. Or dear ol’ symmo does not do a Bhajji once in a while. In fact they charged down the points table in the first season and up the table the next. This time might do up and down, as they are not playing at home. Will they be split into 2 teams next year is the question. Telangana something and Andhra something?

Bangalore Royal Challengers– The biggest of the names and the biggest of the owners! Liquor baron. The conqueror of the Tipu Sultan sword. Type in the owners name, and there would be 2 nouns, royal challenge and royal challengers.  The ones who drink royal challenge are royal challengers! Again the word Royal.

Chennai Super Kings– Super is the superlative which can be added to anything which makes that modifier super superlative. Chennai Nalla Rajahs?

So East or West, North or South. We are Royal Indian Kings Riding Charged Devils!

Eagerly waiting for IPL 4. I P Losers. I Shit Winners!

What is Indian about IPL?

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This is heights. First there was movies which clearly had a western cut-copy-paste not even trying to understand the sensibilities of the audience or the movie makers. Now we have great circus called the IPL which is the showcase of Indian cricket.

Qualitatively we had nothing Indian in the IPL. We had Lionel Richie, total USA bred and has audience in the Arab world. So? Then there was the Scottish singer Ali Campbell.  The Indian connection? Singing in the genre of reggae. Most Indians can’t even spell that, even the educated ones. Then Bjorn Again. Well, satire in India is a rare resource. ABBA+ satire. Period. Deepika Padukone then performed for some medley, which had songs from pseudo-Indian movies with a pinch of Black Eyed Peas. Ah the symbolic chakra created by the Hoola Hoopla team, how many were actually Indians? Well that was IPL 2010 opening ceremony. What are we highlighting here, are lack of cultural depth in the mainstream entertainment or the sheer ignorance of what we have?

So we had IPL 2 in South Africa. Would you look at that, Zulu dance, African percussionists and Pantsula dancers. Now that is just respecting and showcasing the local talent. What happened this time? Ah, who needs to eat dal and roti lets eat the pastas and momos instead? If we go back to IPL 1, same story?

And we talk about pride?

Now coming to the matches. Women in 2 piece bikinis in hot and sultry tropical conditions in India. Huzzah! To hell with cricket! And guess what these cheer girls are not from India.

Coming to cricket now, 3 out of the 10 top scoring batsman, were not Indians, and in the top 20 the usual devils like Sachin, Dhoni, Raina, Yuvraj, Rohit Sharma etc. Even the high scores had more overseas players compared to the Indian players. Bowlers had an Indian representation. Before you call me a bigot, how many overseas players were bowlers? Also look at the amount of games played by these highest wicket takers.

Coming to the format, we are no indigenous game changers ourselves. Flick it from the English, add a Punjabi beat, call it Indian! And EPL, Champions League, NBA, NFL, blah blah. Are our cricket administrators PHD’s from Indian universities?

Pubs in a stadium, is what is IPL. The whole party atmosphere and the DJs. And we do it in the open, like election campaigns!

I don’t mind IPL, because it can never replace the old world charm of Test cricket. But also in the name of cricket we can watch skimpily clothed women and we talk about liberating them.Yipee!

Like Bollywood which has messed up the movie space in India, we have IPL to water down what remnants of good old cricket- the way it is to played.

Music, Indian? OK Ok. Even the commentators,  DLF maximum(are the contractors of the stadiums in India, who punish the ones who hit the walls, for obvious reasons), Shitty movements of success, Carbon Camal catch etc , sad to see Harsha Bhogle (a victim of circumstance, like most :)) actually say that. This is Indian for sure. Learn marketing and stretch it, kills its elasticity and see people cringe.  And we have the usual suspects Shahrukh Khan, Shilpa Shetty, Preity Zinta and others epitomizing the great Indian adventure of copy pasting but with a jockey-elastic stretch(not intended, but still pun)

Talk about feudalistic ways,  is this not the best example, call it business but be autocratic! Balance is what we lack, in action and to an extent even mental.

That aside what is Indian about IPL anyway?

Footnote: Will try and get more numbers in! More later.

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