Friday, June 29, 2007

How Sukamal Pegu Got Chased, Got Bitten And Got 16 Injections - Part I

Dogs and I have always shared a strange relationship. Its not that I hate dogs. I love them and for most dogs, the feeling is mutual. Its just some dogs that I never really gelled with and that, more or less resulted in the title of this topic not once, twice or even thrice for that matter, but five times so far and still counting. Of course I didn't really have to take 16 injections all five times. Thanks to modern medicine, the last 2 times have resulted only in single shots.

Episode I
I lost my virginity at this act at a tender age of 2 years. Since I have no recollection of the whole incident, I will go with my mother's interpretation of the entire act. At that time a cousin of mine was staying with us and he had brought home a stray puppy. It seems I was also very fond of the puppy and was it's regular playmate. Until that one day when in play, I stepped on it's tail. I guess it must have been painful for the small puppy. Since I didn't really have a tail for it to step on, it went for the most well exposed part of my body, which was my right calf. Hooray!! I just earned my first 16 painful injections.

Episode II
I was 5 years old and curious about the world around. I used to ask a lot of questions, some of them really naughty but hey, I was an innocent little boy (still am). Also I love my food. I noticed for quite sometime that I was not allowed to have certain foods which my sister was allowed to have. It got me quite agitated and one fine day I decided to confront my mom about this. She gently explained to me that since I have been bitten by a dog, I can't eat certain kind of foods as they might cause allergic reactions. Hah! Nice try mom. And how did I get bitten? By stepping on a dog's tail? I might have been a 5 year old, but i liked to think that I was the smartest guy around. So I decided to prove my mom wrong. But unfortunately she was right. Dogs do bite when stepped on their tails. Second round of 16 injections.

To be continued...

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cultural Learnings of India For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Korea - III

Story so far...

After a bad experience with the Cultural Police, the Wongs decided to stay away from cultural and religious icons and focus on popular culture instead. Here goes...

Brought to you by Jugality - trashhead00

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New Pulsar DTSFi 220 Launced in Delhi

Good friend Anuranjan was there to cover the entire launch. Read more about it and also watch the video launch here

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cultural Learnings of India For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Korea - II

This episode dedicated to Mamoni on finally managing to get her degree from IIMC

Story so far..

The Wongs seem to have their INDIA 101 fundas covered very nicely and have managed to evade moral police disaster by not doing the 'cake dance'. Will they be second time lucky with the culture police? read on...

Brought to you by Jugality-trashhed00
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Cultural Learnings of India For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Korea - I

Another cartoon strip from the Jugality - Trashhead00 duo. This time the focus is on the Wong FamiLee on a trip to India. This strip will be go on till the audience lodges complaints against it. Have fun...

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Electronic Art

If you are a Windows user you must have at some point of time used MS Paint for some basic image editing. It is quick, fast and simple enough to get you started in no time. But to use it to create art is not something that many of us try.

Presenting some original art created by good friend and colleague Amish Chinai using MS Paint. It is very ghetto/graffiti. I don't know how he manages it. I can't even draw a straight line on Paint without using the tools.

1. Basketball

2. Acidity Attack

3. Jessi

And lastly, my favorite..

4. The Thinking Man finally gets up ( scratch his ass)

These pictures are high-resolution and can be used as wallpapers for your desktops

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Gary Lawyer Live in Mumbai

Trivia Question: What is common between Delhi based rock band Them Clones and Gary Lawyer?

Give up?

Answer: Both lent their voices to ad jingles for Yamaha. Gary did it for the original 'street' bike, the legendary Yamaha RX100 and Them Clones does it for the new Yamaha 125cc Gladiator

OK, slightly unfair question for all of you people born after 1988. Most old timers like me and Beni will remember Gary Lawyer from the 70's and 80's when he was in his heyday. With his signature rich baritone voice, Gary was hailed as India's answer to Jim Morrisson himself! On a slight historical note, Gary started his singing career in theaters and nightclubs in New York in the late 70's. After coming back to India, he was a great hit with the advertising community because of his signature voice and he lent it to many a famous campaigns like Yamaha, Thumbs Up, Wrangler and the recent Times FM one.

At a time when there was no concept of Indian rock, Gary organized a couple of The Doors concerts and toured across the country. After the advent of MTV in the country, he released a couple of rocking albums like This Cannot Wait and High Standards – Vol I. He tasted commercial success with his third album The Other Side Of Dawn. Gary's last release was Arrow In The Dust, which was a critical hit but not a commercial one.

So when it was Gary Lawyer live @ the Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai, it was an event not to be missed. And he did not disappoint.. at least not much :). The reason being him trying to sing Pearl Jam. C'mon Gary, we love you for your voice and songs. You don't have to do Pearl Jam to set the nights on fire man. Rest of the set was pretty standard Rock N Roll, with favorites like Mustang Sally, Rolling Stones, Dire Straits etc. Check out the videos.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Project Laya Live in Mumbai

The National Center for Performing Arts or NCPA as it is called, is a famous address for a lot of creative happenings in the city of Mumbai. Located in Narimaan Point overlooking the Arabian Sea, it is indeed one of the most beautiful locations in this cramped city. On the 9th of June 2007, it played host to the Live concert of Project Laya.

The Laya Project, born in 2005 is a project which sees musicians from six Tsunami-affected countries come together to highlight the traditional music and sounds of the areas which were wrecked by the 2004 tsunami. It is the brainchild of Sonya Mazumdar of Clementine Studios, Chennai, and Yotam Agam, a recording engineer from Israel. They had originally decided to collaborate on a folk-musical project; it ended as a unique amalgamation of folk sounds from the regions, under the label EarthSync. On the way, music connoisseurs from Malaysia, Canada and the Netherlands joined in.

The performance on stage was led by Paul Jacob of Chennai based Bodhi Muzzik, who has been working with folk musicians for the past 12 years now. He handled the bass and the keyboards sounds for the performance. Joining him was guest percussionist Chen Zimbalista from Israel. Rest of the artists were an amalgamation of classical and temple musicians from Tamilnadu, tribal percussionists, sufi singers and Buddhist monks from the Tashi Lhunpo monastery.

The sounds for the evening were primarily carnatic music fused with the vocal strains of sufi poetry. It was truly a mind blowing display of musical finesse by some undiscovered talents and the Laya platform has indeed done a truly commendable job.

The percussion piece by a group of tribal percussionists in the end was truly beyond compare and unfortunately I ran out of space to record that simply terrific performance. The Project Laya album (Rs. 500) and a documentary (Rs. 1200) is available in stores now and is a must buy. You can also place orders online on the site

An excerpt to give you an idea of the music in the album:

Two unknown singers from Myanmar croon a plaintive tune as percussion players from India lift the piece to a catchy beat; a Buddhist prayer cymbal chimes on the offbeat and the whole piece comes together as a song in the album, Laya Project. The musicians — a woman from a Maldivian isle, villagers of Polhena in Sri Lanka and Gayo in Indonesia, Buddhist monks from Myanmar, Tamil folk musicians from India and Thai islanders — are hardly known outside their sunny strips of coastal land. But they share a moment: the angst-ridden instance when the fury of the sea shattered their lives into smithereens, killed their children and washed away their homes. Laya Project is the sound of that pain, of wails waving across desolate shores, of the lapping of the waves against bodies half-buried in sand. It is also the music of survival.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Up Close & Personal with Orange Street

Presenting a video interview (at the end) of the two good men from Orange Street, Anirban (Ban) and Donn Bhat (Don). Orange Street have always been one of my favorite bands (please note I am not using the term Indian Band here). I have always found their songs, be it the lyrics, music or sound, very unique and very groovy.

Orange Street broke into the scene with their funk laden single 'Over N Under' on the very first Great Indian Rock compilation (Album on extreme right on that page and you can order for it). The same album also introduced Parikrama to India. Since then both bands have followed diagonally opposite routes. Parikrama focused on being a 'Rock Band' with gimmicks and showmanship, while Orange Street have always been about great original songs and music. Both have been very successful in their acts although I have a weakness for Orange Street (Subir if you are reading this, please forgive me. You are an equally good friend :P)

Orange Street have released a studio album called 'Drive Carefully For Our Shake' (available at leading book stalls) couple of years back and have toured Europe extensively. Lately they have been trying out a lot of Indian elements in their songs, a good example would be their song 'Morey Piyaa' which I have used as the soundtrack for the interview video. There has been a lot of changes in the line up, with Ban and Don being the only permanent members of the band as of now.

Don joined Orange Street couple of years back. We go a long time back. He played his first show at IIT Kanpur's cultural festival Antaragni way back in 2001. Incidentally, I was the student coordinator for the rock show and I also opened for them with my good friends Udai, Norbert and Joppu (good days man).Don was with Friday the 13th then and I have dug up my archive to bring to you a very are picture of him hiding behind his mass of hair (he thought it looked cool at that time). He will of course deny that. Great guitar player. Lately he has been experimenting with electronic sounds and they can be sampled here

Somebody has even made a video of one of his songs called 'Your Song' and posted it on Youtube

I hooked up with the dudes at the Hard Rock Cafe and I managed to get their ugly mugs on my camera and talk about their plans, sounds, albums, Superfuzz and of course, women and porn. They are also part of the Sahi Bol album, which will be released in a week by Sa Re Ga Ma. The compilation will showcase the best of bands from Delhi . Orange Street have a gig coming up on the 27th in Delhi and all you Delhi people should check out the show (will update on the venue) and buy the album which will be a 2 CD compilation.

Before you check out the video and the song, many thanks to Pratish and Dubey and for making this video possible. You guys are great.

If you liked the song, you can download it from here (right click and 'save as')
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Channel V Launchpad

PS: Previous coverage of the Channel V Launchpad can be found here

Last Saturday was the last night of performance at the Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai. After 7 grueling weeks of hard rock action, the last 2 bands took up stage to perform in front of a packed audience. As usual judges were Amit Saigal (RSJ), Luke Kenny (Channel V), Gino Banks (Helga's Funk Kitchen) and the original grand daddy Farhad Wadia (extreme left in the picture). Farhad has a long association with Indian Rock, being the founder of the cult Independence Rock 21 years back. He set the standard for Indian Rock. It was good to see him up there in the panel

First to take up stage was Human Abstract from Mumbai with their brand of arena and rap-rock. They looked a tad uncomfortable and as the judges pointed out, came across more as a school band rather than a rock band, which was a little harsh considering that this is a pretty big competition for them. They started off with their version of Bob Marley's Stand Up, which was just about OK. They followed it up with a mix of covers and originals. They need to work more on their sound and stage presence. Also their vocalist needs to work on his handling of the microphone. They got a lot of potential and they just need to concentrate more on original music and build a good sound

The last band of the competition was Frequency from Delhi. They play very contemporary rock in the format of Linking Park and Distrurbed (they even started their set with a Disturbed number). Heavy guitar riffs over the DJ's electronic samples with the bassist and drummer providing a solid rhythm, gives a very crunchy melodic sound. It was an energetic performance leaving both the crowds and the judges happy. They have a pretty good guitar player and their drummer was also excellent. They just need to work more on creating original numbers

The evening ended with Farhad doing the vocals on the Mustang Sally song by Mack Rice. Very nice. Enjoy the video

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

How To Get your Girlfriend Into Gaming

Disclaimer: No women were hurt or injured during the tests.

OK guys, this is the ultimate weapon to hit back at all the womenfolk who despise our gaming habits and simply can't understand why we are willing to give up our sex lives (well some of you must be having one right?) for our gaming consoles. In fact all women's magazines agree that the most effective way to stop your horny partner from humping you all the time is to give him a gaming console. You can then have a peaceful night's sleep, but you will have to give up sex forever :).

The gaming console market is dominated by the 3 biggies, Microsoft (the Xbox series), Sony (Playstation series) and Nintendo (original big daddy). Unless you have been living in the Himalayas, I am sure you know all about the latest generation of consoles to hit the market. All of them claim to the be the ultimate gaming machine or whatever, but the idea here to choose the best one for your sex life. So without much ado, the contenders

First of all, the biggest and the baddest of them all. Ladies and gentlemen, standing in the top

right corner, weighing at 5 Kgs and wearing black shorts with white strips is the true 'Master of Disaster', the Sonyyyyyyyy Playstation 3 (PS3)! Trained by the reigning heavy weight champion the Playstation 2, PS3 has the deadliest graphics and processing power in the business. High Definition (HD) Blu-ray disc player, killer games, true style and muscle, this bad boy has it all. Currently facing birth pangs as his trainer is still more popular than him but he plans to change all that very soon with his brute force and sex apeal. Truly a product fit for the stables of Mercedes and BMWs.

Price: Rs 39,000 (around 500 USD in the USA)

Standing in the middle right corner, weighing 3.4 kgs of pure muscle in a white and florescent green shorts is the 'All-American' boy from Redmond, the true inheritor of the great Xbox mantle, the Xboxxxxxxxxx 360! Trained under the watchful eyes of Michael Moore and the original master himself, Mr. Bill Gates, the 360 is a true Microsoft (MS) product, with a windows core OS, HD-DVD upper cut, wireless controller punch reach and a huge suite of killer game titles. It has been performing consistently across the globe for the past 1 year since he turned Pro and has built a solid reputation as a serious contender to the Heavy weight title. It has also built a serious network of Online partners using it's 'Xbox Live' service to train with users regularly on the internet and also share tips and tricks in the form of movies and other digital content. Drives an All-American Chevy

Price: Rs 19,000-27,000 (depending which version you want and 300-400 USD in the USA)

Standing in the bottom right corner, weighing 1.7 kgs in white shorts with blue stripes is the 'Ninja Ka Panja', the Kamikaze itself, the Nintendooooooo Wii! Trained in the original school of console gaming, under the watchful eyes of former masters, now comes this warrior. Armed with the stealth of the Ninja and moves of the Aikido, this tiny powerhouse will get you moving to its grooves the very first time you pick up the “Wii-mote” bokken (the game controller), you are literally in the dojo, playing tennis, boxing, golfing and even fighting a light-sabre fight with a fellow 'Jedi'. The secret weapon of the Wii is it's controller, the “Wii-mote”. This unique controller puts the gamer into the game, where his character plays out his moves in the real world. It allows the user to jump, shoot, box or serve simply by acting the motion out and the Wii-mote takes care of it after that. This Japanese machine might not be eye candy, but it surely is fun playing and working out at the same time. Since turning pro, it has been beating its much stronger rivals. Pretty much like its cousin, the Suzuki Swift

Price: 250 USD in the USA (not available in India at the time of writing this article)

We decided to put all these consoles to the ultimate test. We lined them up one after the other and asked the women folk to play them and rate them. Here are the verdicts:

PS3: Very Hot looking dude. The games look really cool and almost like real-life. Ummm... how do you make the car go forward??.. ahh this button.. i see.. and how do i go back?? (pretty much the conversation for the next 1 hour)

Xbox 360: Neat looking. Hey I can chat with Anjali with it. Nice!! Brad Pitt looks so much hotter on the HD-DVD and the 5.1 surround sound makes me feel like Boyzone boys are performing live for me. Ohh.. it can play games too? Whatever... laterzzzz I am busy chatting now.

Nintendo Wii: Hey! Who is this cute boy? You mean I can play tennis by simulating a real shot? And I can play with 3 other people just like a real doubles match? Sounds like fun.. lemme try it. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (Also pronounced as Wii). Click on picture & video for proof

So there you have it guys and gals. If you wanna game together and also have a robust sex-life, you need a Wii. Ladies, you can gift the Xbox 360 and PS3 to the husband of someone you really hate. You will have the last laugh :P

Lastly check out our 2 studs Sharan and Rajesh slugging it out..

The above videos were brought to you by

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Aerosmith Caught In The Act

Every year the city of Bangalore organizes an Aero show showcasing the pyrotechnics of the latest aerial fighting machines. This year there was a slight change of plans. They had an Aero show all right, but all pyrotechnics were in the form of blazing guitar licks, thundering drums and vocal missiles spewing from a certain rubber lipped gentleman. I am talking about the one and only Aerosmith, performing live at the Palace Grounds in Bangalore.

The 'Bad Boys from Boston', performing in India for the first time, gave a taste of why they are one of rock music's most enduring superbands ever. Every move they made was signature rockstar, be it vocal excesses, tasty guitar riffs, dazzling light play and other Aerosmith staples. Whoever said that rock music is bad for your health should be sent to the nearest mental asylum. These 50+ gentlemen of rock can put any 20 year old to shame with their energy and stamina.

They played a strictly arena friendly set list, with all-time favorites like Cryin' (with the Alicia Silverstone video on the giant screens), Eat the Rich, Jaded, What it takes and Livin' on the edge. Notable big misses were Rag Doll, (Dude) looks like a lady and Crazy.

The opening (with Taste of India of course) was weak, with the tuning sound of the guitars jarring the anticipation and also the ending should either have been the brilliant Janie's got a gun or Crazy instead of the sugar-pop fare of I don't wanna miss a thing. But hey, I ain't complaining :).

Enjoy the pictures and videos. The videos are a little shaky coz of all the 'rockin' but the sound quality should make up for it

Trivia: Although they are called the 'Bad Boys from Boston' none of the band members are from Boston!! nobody knows how they got this name.

This part of the program is brought to you by:

Please click on the thumbnails to enlarge:

1. Starting Act - Sweet Taste of India

2. Livin' On The Edge

3. Cryin'

4. Jaded

5. Dream On

6. Walk This Way

7. Don't Wanna Miss A Thing

8. Acoustica