Hampi:Archeologist's delight!  

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Last weekend, I went on a trip to Hampi with the Wanderers trekking team. Hampi, located about 370 Kms away from Bangalore is a UNESCO World heritage site. It was a group of 25 people who set out on Friday night from the Bangalore railway station. After a nightlong journey, we got down at the Hospet station, from where we took a bus to Hampi. After about 30 minutes, we were able to see huge stone structures on either side of the road and then we knew that we had reached our destination. As we walked along, we could sense that this was a place not at all spoiled by advances in technology or modernity. The high gopuras of the 7th century Virupaksha temple gave us a grand welcome. Then, it was a walk through some narrow pathways until we reached the banks of River Thungabhdra. Our resort was on the other side of the river and we had to wait for the boat to arrive. There we saw one of the most interesting characters in the whole trip-An old Swami clad fully in saffron and carrying a large clothbag. He always waves his hands in circles and points towards the sun. The only time we heard him speak some words were when some of us went behind him and made him talk. The foreigners' craziness towards Indian yogis was fully evident from the way some of them were seen crowding near him.

The resort was situated in a very calm area near some insanely green paddy fields. I guess we were the only Indians to stay in the resort. Even the owner told so. The ambience and arrangement of the restaurant there was likeable, especially the beds spread out on the floor and the slightly raised marble tables. After a short break, we set out on our first trip. A snake charmer was sitting on the riverside with 2 scary cobras(which according to some, looked cute). Many among us were seen posing for pics with this thing coiled around their necks. Me being very brave and a well known snake lover, stayed about 50 metres away and enjoyed the 'closeup' view. Our first visit was to the Achyutharaaya temple. The dieties and all the carvings were all defaced, thanks to the old Mughal rulers and Tipu Sultan. Still, the grandeur of the stone structures was one to behold. We had a tiring trek to the top of Mathanga hills right when the sun was at top. It was fun jumping over the rocks and then finally reaching the pinncale. The view of the temple from the top was one worth going all the way up. It was also very windy. Drinking water was a problem as there were no shops in the vicinity. We had to trek down and walk for some distance before we could help ourselves to some tender coconut. Then, We had a bath at a very rocky place in the thungabhadra river. Here, some gals from our group did some practice in 'accidental free fall into water'. The last destination for the first day was Anjaneyadri hills, the birthplace of Hanuman. We rushed to see the sunset but by halfway we all were tired and by the time we reached the top, the sun had already gone to bed. The autoride sitting at the back, facing the road past was real fun. At night, we saw many foreigners smoking weed in the restaurant thus reinforcing the rumours that Hampi is 'the' place for drugs.

The 2nd day witnessed one of the greatest events in the lives of many of us. Some eternal late-sleepers woke up at 4.30 in the morning and went to watch the sunrise on top of Anjanadri hills. 6 of us trekked to glory in the dark and reached well in advance for the sunrise. Even the sun was surprised that it came late by one hour at 7. 3 of us, including me was witnessing a sunrise for the first time in our lives. It was a perfect sight with the hills, the river, the temple and the sun -something straight out of the canvas which we used to colour up as kids. There was a big army of monkeys roaming around there. After this, we had a great bath in the Thungabhadra river. We visited the Virupaksha and Vittala temples. The architecture of Vittala temple was noteworthy. Sadly for us, the musical pillars here were closed for the public. All of us rented cycles and it was fun pedalling after a long time. The underground Siva temple was one of the highlights of the trip. The stone structure under the ground had knee deep water in it. Even the Sivalinga was half submerged in water. The Hazararama temple depicting the Ramayana in its carvings is an archeologist's delight. The Lotus Mahal and Elephant's stable situated closeby looked a bit more modern than what we saw until then. The big pond(Pushkarni) looked like a scene straight out of a movie. And thats where our trip ended.

On the whole, it was a great trip during which I met many wonderful characters. Some real funny, some real caring and some totally crack( :P ).

Thanks to Raja,Hiren,Deepa,Pavan for the pics. Most of the pics here are taken by them.

The art of taking credit  

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Taking credit for the hard work done by others is really an art which requires a skin hard enough to make a buffallo head to the veterinarian with inferiority complex. Imagine a 1st standard student taking credit for his kid brother passing LKG with flying colours and saying-"He passed because I didn't give him the TV remote." Its the same with the congress now. Yesterday, they went into a self congratulating overdrive when they claimed the Chandrayaan and Slumdog's 8 oscar wins among its achievements. And, how did they connect all these achievements with the Government? With this simple statement-"conducive atmosphere with emphasis on good governance contributing to an achieving India". Conductive atmosphere? What the heck? Did Sonia Gandhi's men work on the acoustics in A.R.Rahman's studio while he was recording the 'slumdog Millionaire' soundtrack? Or did they work on maintaining the temperature during the launch of Chandrayaan? I got the answer from a comment in the TOI site- "This movie is a Congress product. If they haven't created the slums by their inefficient rule of over 50 years, how could this movie be made?"

It takes a huge amount of shamelessness to come out with statements like this. The scientists of ISRO or A.R.Rahman won all these accolades not by going to press meets and blabbering non-stop. Its through years of hard work when no one even noticed their work. And, when suddenly these men became world famous and did the country proud, we have some selfish men who cares only about the next elections and the money they can amass from the next hawala deal, coming down like vultures and snatching away the glory from them. Its like a tree taking credit for a king's victory in battle saying that he rested underneath it on the way to the battle. Its not even remotely related to whether the king would've won or not. Same with congress, Oscars and Chandrayaan.

Then there are others who make statements about things in which they dont even come into the picture. Kerala communist leader Pinarayi vijayan's idiotic remarks on some war happening in some corner of the world is the best example. His party even organised protests against Israel. Many wouldn't also have forgotten the Kerala hartal the day on which Saddam Hussein was hanged. It was as if Bush would shake in his shoes and pee in his pants when he sees these uneducated political posers take out a rally and organise hartals. This streak of coming into the limelight using issues totally unrelated to oneself is common nowadays. Just look at the list of statements in recent times on world issues by local politicians, it can sometimes make you laugh.

PS- Hope the health minister doesn't take credit for India's test tube babies :P

Ode to my Idol: Jai Ho Rahman  

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Yesterday, I tried hard to come up with an article after Rahman won the oscar. I couldn't do it because words been strangely deserting me off late. I tried writing a song dedicated to him yesterday night. Words were still hard to come by, maybe because no word in the dictionary is enough to describe this man. Its written from the perspective of a die hard fan.

*****Ode to my idol*******
You came as a small wish
in the dream of a kid.
He listened, all in wonder
at this new world opening up.

The wish stayed on, getting bigger
Yes, Its not a passing phase for sure.
He plunged in, full length
into the vast ocean of music.

His emotions always had a tune
He laughed, He cried
He thought, He wrote
All with a song for company.

Your music also grew, spread wings
widened its boundaries
to the remotest corners.
He also grew up, learned new things.

The seven notes were not enough for some
You made those seven look like a million.
The world swayed to those.
The heavens hailed those.

Amidst all those, you never flew up.
You held your feet firmly on the ground
And taught him to do the same.
Fame never was a bane for you.

Your achievements were his own.
Your losses were his own.
He swelled with pride
And screamed with joy.

Today, as you stand there
On top and smiling at us.
I smile back with teary eyes,
basking in the reflected glory.

PS-Am not at all satisfied with the above lines. But still posting it because am unable to come up with anything better.

This is just the start for the maestro. The world still has not listened to his old classics. And, there are the many more upcoming releases with which he's sure to rewrite history. Jai Ho Rahman!!! Your fan till death.

Somewhere back in time with Iron Maiden  

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The cutout outside the grounds

When I watched my first international rock concert 2 years back, featuring Iron Maiden, I thought no experience can ever match this. Last year's 'Rock In India' fest was great but still couldn't match the first experience. Then, to surpass it all, it needed Maiden to come again. For, the first maiden show, I had to be content with reaching the 7th or 8th row from front. No such things to bring sadness this time because I was right there upfront hanging on the barricade. There was no one's head before me to hide the happenings on stage. Yes, I watched the Kings of Heavy metal from the front row...
Bruce, Janick and Nico behind the drums

Janick and Adrian

Unlike last time, since the list of opening bands were a big disappointment, we decided to go a little late. There was a huge cutout of Iron Maiden in front of their own plane 'Edd force one'. As we walked towards the entry point, 2 guys walked upto me and asked, "Dude, Got some grass to share?" I don't know what made him ask that. Maybe my 'extra decent' look. There was a round of thorough checking at the entry point. Still, many managed to smuggle in cameras, weed and cigars. All I could manage was my sony ericsson phone with a high end 2MP camera. By this time, 3 bands had already got over. When we walked in, the band 'Cyanide serenity' from UK were playing. The vocalist reminded us a lot of Phil Anselmo from Pantera with his looks and antics. They played a decent set and the crowd just loved them. Next came in the Bangalore band 'Kryptos'. Have seen them before at a couple of shows. Not a big fan of their music. They seem to be a bit over rated. Also, I don't understand why they were wearing that leather jacket when they were playing in the hot sun. 2 weeks back also, they were sweating profusely when they played at an indoor stadium here and still they never took off the jacket.
My fav shot- all four of the axe wielders together

The trooper-Bruce waving the flag
The next band was De-Profundis and their first song was an indicator for what was in store. So, we decided to explore the stalls put up as part of the fest. The bungee jumping was a treat to watch though doing it yourself won't be such a treat. The merchandise shops were doing brisk bussiness. The Romanov lounge had gaming pavilions for a vareity of games, especially that of Guitar hero. As we were having food outside, we could hear Lauren Harris's concert going on inside. We hated her 2 years back and today we hated her more. This is one gal who's hell bent on spoiling her great Papa's name. The Parikrama show was a decent one although I missed my favourite songs 'but it rained' and 'vapourize'. The band 'Brandon Ashley & the silver bugs' were one of the most disgusting bands that I saw in recent times. The lady who came on stage just to strip her jacket as well as another one doing a cheerleading act added to the disgust factor.
The crowd chanting 'Maiden, Maiden'

Time to cut the crap. The time for Maiden was getting near. The crowd had become sizeable in front of the main stage. We slowly started snaking our way through the crowd. By the time, Parikrama ended, we had reached the fifth row. For the next 30 minutes, we had an experience that can be described as close to 'hell'. Pushing and shoving were happening all around. There was not a single inch of space left. Many times, we almost fell down due to the constant pushing. We struggled to breath properly. After every push, we advanced by an inch. Then at around 8 PM, the lights went off. 'Transylvania' was played from the speakers and the giant screen showed a collage video of visuals from the Maiden tour. After it got over, the Winston Churchill speech was heard and scenes from the world war 2 were shown on the screen. That was the last we would see of the screen because with the next push we had reached the 2nd row. By this time, all who came with me were separated from me. I could see only Nikhil near me. As the speech ended, the blast started. The air raid siren sounded heralding the arrival of 'Aces high'.
Bruce bhai on top-Scream for me Bangaloreee!!!

Bruce talking to us!

You just have to bow your head to these bunch of 50 year olds for their longevity. I've seen some stupid guys commenting in various sites on how only the old bands keep coming here. I just want to ask these guys, 'Can you tell me a band which can play for 34 years, still stay together, still tour non stop and still release albums?' Or 'Can you show me a band which can perform with the same energy as Iron Maiden?' By the time 'Aces high' ended, I had touched the barricade. So had Nikhil. I had decided that once I touch the barricade I would never let go whatever be the cost. So we weathered heavy pushing and pulling and hung on to that. Then came '2 minutes to midnight'. The stage settings which were flown in specially in their own aeroplane was just huge. The Egypatian themed set resembled the 'Powerslave' album cover. The background changed according to each song. But the lighting equipments were less compared to the Edd fest 2 years back.
Adrian, Janick and Bruce

Adrian and janick in his trademark pose

It was an exhilarating sight as Steve Harris and Janick Gers pointed their guitars at us and did the shooting routine. Adrian Smith and Dave Murray at the other side of the stage also were a treat to watch.I just couldn't believe my eyes as I could see all all of their fingers moving on the fretboard clearly. I could even see the sweat rolling down their faces. Once Bruce pointed at us when he said 'Scream for me, Bangalore'. For a minute, I felt that time stood still. The 80s playlist was the icing on the cake. The 13 minute epic 'Rime of the ancient mariner' and 'Phantom of the opera' were highlights of the show. The way Bruce changed his costumes quickly for this was just astonishing and it looked just perfect. 'Children of the damned' was damn good. For 'Fear of the dark', the background artwork display changed to black. The whole crowd sang along and it gave me goosebumps. Before the show, Nikhil had said that 'We cried the last time. Hopefully will do the same this time too'. Yes, as I sung 'Fear of the dark' alongwith Bruce at approachable distance I could feel the tears welling up. Tears of joy for watching a band which we grew up listening to, so close, much closer than we could ever dream of. 'The trooper' was another highlight with Bruce doing his flag waving routine. The way he went on jumping and diving left us all astonished. 'Evil that men do' and 'Wasted years' were near perfect reproductions. Then, 'Hallowed be thy name' arrived earlier than expected. Atleast some of us had this fear that the show was gonna end. After the song, they left the stage only to come back with their classic 'Number of the beast'.

They then unleashed another set including 'Run to the hills' and 'Sanctuary'. The band's title song from their eponymous debut album was the las song of the show. Towards the end, the giant eddy made his customary appearence and pointed his gun at us. Bruce said that this is one of the last shows of their 'somewhere back in time' tour. They are gonna start recording their new album soon and he promised that they would again visit here as part of the new album's promotional tour. He just loves the Indian audience and it was evident when he said that he doesn't know why Indians love Maiden so much. The show ended a little too fast for us. Then, that is the case with Iron Maiden. You'll never get tired of them. As we walked back, Nikhil, Pappu and the rest of the gang startedd describing stories on how they reached the front row. Nikhil even had a tear mark from the barricade to show on his arms, so had I. Many years later, when I sit listening to Iron Maiden with my grandchildren, I can tell them, 'Kids, Grandpa once watched the Iron Maiden concert of almost 50,000 people from the front row and had a sore throat from screaming all night'. These ageless old men will still be touring the world and releasing new albums. When I will be walking with a wlaking stick, Bruce dickinson will still be jumping all over the stage. They say, 'You are never too old to rock n roll'. Whoever has said that must've meant only Iron Maiden.
Me and Nikhil-all charged up after the show

PS- More than half of the photos are blurry because of the constant pushing and jumping. Could manage only a few clear snaps. As I type this at 3.30 in the morning, I just can't stop thanking God for blessing me with one of the greatest days of my life.

your crusader Praveen

Overflowing pubs, Maiden spirit & Death of the culture vultures  

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crowd in front of Le Rock pub. Checkout the cutout of Bruce 'Maiden' Dickinson at the top.

The spirits are at their highest point as I write this. Just got back home close to midnight after a hectic valentine's day. No, I was not busy kissing and holding hands with my girl friend all day. That has happened only in dreams until now. The pub bharo campaign was a grand success today as evident from the sea of humanity seen near the pubs in Bangalore. The fact that the Iron Maiden concert is happening here morrow added to the normal crowd in the pubs.

The Kingfisher heavy metal blogger's meet conducted by indiblogger.in was the highlight of the evening. Me and my friend Narayan landed up there and proving ourselves to be the new Gods of punctuality. Never have in recent times I reached for a program at the scheduled time. There was only a small bunch of about 8 people at the stone's pub in Indiranagar when we arrived there. The free beer started flowing from the word go. As the intros wen on, the music in the pub had already changed to the 'Iron Maiden' flavour. By 4.30 almost the whole bunch arrived and the pub was filled with only us, the bloggers who were familiar to each other only by their screen names. Today, it was a task of matching the correct face to the correct blog although to be honest, I haven't seen most of their blogs. It was nice to see many non-rockers too among the bunch, who just came for the blogging part of it. Special mention must be made of the guys who travelled miles from far away cities just for this meeting. The Iron Maiden quiz was a great touch from the part of the organisers. Spend quite a long time chatting with many of them. Hope to see them all morrow there at Palace grounds as we chant 'Maiden Maiden'. Also hope to see the non-rockers at the next blogger's meets.

After the meeting, I headed to brigade road to meet all those old rocker buddies from Trivandrum. It was another round of the 'pub bharo' andholan which happened there. The whole street was filled with Maiden fans wearing all kind of Maiden Ts. In between, I bought my special Maiden T for morrow's concert. Couples were out on full strength, holding hands and walking along proudly. The members of the 'Indian culture club' wearing saffron robes were nowhere to be seen. There were so many waiting to show them the middle finger, nut sadly they didn't make an appearance. To, Ram sene and your saffron bros, remain in the same hole that you hid today for the rest of your life. Don't ever dare to come out. Our shoes are ready to smash your faces and kick your asses. BTW, You are always welcome to the Iron Maiden concert. You will get to see a crowd of more than 50,000 'western influenced' guys and gals. And do shout a slogan against that. That will be the last you see of this beautiful earth...

So, Iron Maiden fans...Up the Irons...The day of reckoning is here...

Fear of the dark...Fear of the dark...I've a constant fear that someone's always near...
Scream for me Bangaloooooooooooooooooooooooore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

your crusader Praveen

Iron Maiden, Heavy metal blogger's meet and Valentine's day  

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Bangalore is in the grips of aero mania with the Aero India show starting in Yelahanka Air force base yesterday. F-16s, MIGs and their smaller counterparts have caught the imagination of people from all over India, who are flocking to see the shows. But on Sunday evening, another air raid siren will dwarf the combined sound of all these mean machines. It comes not from high power aircraft engines but from an exceptional human's powerful vocal chords. Yes, you guessed it right. The unmistakable air raid siren from Bruce Dickinson is here again to wow us on February 15th at Palace grounds. Iron Maiden are currently on the last leg of their more than an year long world tour titled 'Somewhere back in time', named after their famous 80s album. The tour which started in Mumbai in last February has covered previously unknwon rock destinations like Costa Rica and Columbia.

The memories of that day almost 2 years back when we all came down from Kerala for our first international rock concert are still fresh in memory. That day with Iron Maiden was pure heaven. And, last year India got its first day long rock fest titled 'Rock In India'. Megadeth, Machine head and Indian heavyweights like Motherjane, Junkyard Groove, Millennium, Pentagram, TAAQ and many more gave us a fest to remember forever. Though the sounds and scale of the fest were nowhere close to the previous year's Iron Maiden edd fest, it did leave a mark. This year, its back again with Iron Maiden and 10 other bands. The list of the accompanying leave a lot to be desired. Except Parikrama, Synaps and Kryptos, rest of them are unheard of bands. Its certainly a disappointment.
The iron maiden edd fest 2007 ticket

The lousy Ticket design for Rock in India 2009
Got the tickets to Rock in India this monday. The design of the tickets are no match to that of Eddfest 2007 though they have increased the rate by 100 rupees. But who cares..In the end, its all for Iron Maiden. \\m//

Now, about my Valentine's day plans. Not been a big fan of this day because I never got a reason to celebrate. All my one way loves usually break up atleast one week before the Valentine's day. Don't get confused by the word break up. It actually means that I come to know about the gal's 2 way love affair with some other guy just one week before the valentine's day. So, each year the Valentine's day comes and goes, alongwith it redifining my eternal single status. In a way, its better than spending a day and shelling out thousands of rupees for listening to utter nonsense. See, I always try to look at the positive side of things so that I don't feel bitter about something. Anyway, this Valentine's day is gonna be a happening one with the Kingfisher heavy metal blogger's meet at Stone's pub in Indiranagar. The agenda of the meet is to listen to Iron Maiden songs, sip beer(sprite for tetotallers like me) and discuss blogging. In a way, it will turn out to be a pub bharo campaign as metalheads from all over India are gonna be in Bangalore for the Iron Maiden concert. If ever Ram sena tries to barge in there, it will be the last pub attack in their life for sure. So, this is gonna be the first Valentine's day that am going to do something worthwhile.

PS- Those who are free in the morning can join this protest march against moral policing in Bangalore. Visit- http://ofsongsforthesoul.blogspot.com/2009/02/for-those-in-bangalore14-th-february.html

your crusader Praveen

Muthalicage in Moralore,Hail Yeddyulence!  

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chaddition v - the condition of receiving loads of pink chaddis in your mailbox everyday.

Muthaliage v - On the road marriage to your girlfriend without any pre planning.

Muthalicage v - On the road marriage to a stranger. This can happen if u stand too close to a person of the opposite sex, in public. Eg- Thankappan was muthalicaged to supermodel rakhi while he was begging on MG Road last saturday.

Moralore n - An Utopian state ruled by King Muthalik. Men and women in this place never have seen each other in ages. There are separate roads, hotels, shops, buses etc. for each sex. No kind of celebrations are allowed and everybody has to get in their homes by 6 PM. The curbs on the light life are extended to evenings, afternoons and mornings too.

Yeddyulence v - Silent approval and moral support given to antisocial activities and activists by a person in a responsible position.

The above words are the latest additions to Pravster's concise dictionary.

Lovearia Hua

Are you madly in love with someone? Are you facing stiff opposition from your family members against this relation? Do you have a future father-in-law who says 'I'll marry her off to a beggar rather than to u"? Then here's your golden chance to fulfill your dreams, an once in a lifetime opportunity. Just fix up a date with your partner on Valentine's day somewhere in urban Karnataka. Or simply catch a bus to one of these places, get down and walk along the road holding hands. Your saviour will appear from nowhere with his shiny bald head. Pramod Muthalik, the king of the masses and the protector of Indian culture is here to help you. Now, you don't have to fear anything. You just have to obey what him and his 'sena' says. You'll be taken to the registrar's office, free of cost. The garlands and the flower petals for the occasion would be exclusively from Muthalik's 'romantic' garden. According to him, they are even arranging for some video cameramen to capture this momentous occasion in your life. Your marriage will be solemnised with the blessings of 'head priest' Muthalik. After the marriage you'll be given a gift packet containing Muthalik's Valentine limited edition perfumes, free entry & free drink passes to high profile pubs in Karnataka and a stick to beat up young girls who frequent the pubs. Also the groom with be provided with a lifetime membership to the Ramsena and the bride will be inducted into the newly formed sitasena, for which they are currently on a frantic search to add new members. The National Women's commision member Nirmala Ventakesh, who conducted the Mangalore pub incident enquiry has agreed to be the CAO(Chief Attacking Officer) of Sitasena.
Now you may ask, why this godsend gem of a human being is doing all this for you. Yes, he's got a reason. Muthalik, a 5th standard drop-out had a crush on a 4th standard girl. Once, on a Valentine day they went to a local pub and was drinking 'foster' lassi. Little Muthalik slowly held her hand and asked, "Will you be mine? Here's my gift to you-a pink saree." There was a loud sound of a slap. Foster lassi was poured on Muthalik's head. He saw his hairs also flowing down along with it. From that day, he was bald. The girl was actually not in love with him. She just wanted to visit a pub. And thought the ugly fellow next door will be a perfect companion. Poor little Muthalik mistook it. From that day, he decided to be a gay and started a gay's association. Since it was unacceptable to be gay in India during the pre-dostana days, he named it after a God and fooled everyone. The sight of a couple drove him mad and he thought marrying them off can spoil all the fun considering the increasing divorce rates in India. He's also developed this habit of cross dressing and prefers pink chaddis. He's now ecstatic that he's getting so many pink chaddis to last a lifetime for his whole sena. Latest reports are that he has demanded some extra accessories along with pink chaddis.

your Crusader Praveen

The new monk  

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The red hot sun was making me sweat profusely. All I could hear on Highway 36 for the past one hour was the loud thud of my Harley. I was happy to see a tunnel in the distance. The road looked like a shiny black tongue stretching out from the face of the tunnel. It was ready to devour me and the monster on which I was sitting. The dark ride through the tunnel was a kind of solace for me. I felt it was a kind of reflection of my past. If I take the pessimistic view, this ride from the brightness of the sun to the darkness of the tunnel might be a way of telling myself that I could go back to what I was, anytime. But, pessimistic views are not for me now. That was in the other life, when doom ruled my thoughts. The new me has spelt doom for those old thoughts which had ate me up, almost fully. Now, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe, if I turn back now I could see the same on the other side too. The light which I failed to see in my troubled past.

Back to the burning plate of the sun again. I could see a sweat drop trickling down on my dark glasses. The long locks are swinging like hell in the wind. I rode on like this for 5 more hours. The train of thoughts and hopes made that feel like just 5 minutes. The 'Floyds pub' sign on the highwayside brought a smile to my face. I donnow, somehow I could feel the tunes of Floyd's 'coming back to life' running though my mind right now. It was time to rest the monster Harley. As I walked in, I thought about the many days I spent in a stoned state. It was needed then to steel my heart considering the kind of work I did. I searched for a lonely corner, unlike the olden days when it was always a place for 'the gang'. The place was brimming with youth and new age metal music from the likes of 'Lamb of God'. I was happy that I could still connect to the music as well as the youthful atmosphere there. They say, 'you are never too old to rock n roll'.

My throat got wet, thanks to the 'old monk'. Suddenly, I could feel a discordant note. No, it was not the music. One familiar stranger just took his seat opposite to me. His style and demeanour reminded me of myself of the old. But the face seemed quiet familiar, only the expression on it was just opposite to what I could relate to the face.

I was startled when he asked, "Ever heard the final countdown?"

That's the dialogue so often blurted out by the old me. And the ones who heard that never lived to tell the tale. Did I make a mistake somewhere?

"You just asked me the question. You never let me hear the song"

Yes, I had made a mistake. Sometimes overconfidence can make you careless. Now, this is it. The result of one such overconfident job staring at me when I least wanted it. Because, this is the new me. Just then I heard the music in the pub change to 'The Final countdown'.

"Countdowns are best enjoyed when you have a pistol in your hand".

Yes, It was his time to enjoy.

"Pistols can save lives. One such thing in your hand saved mine 10 years back. I always wanted to say thankyou"

That was when I realised, I haven't uttered a single word until now. Is the 'new me' a coward? Will the 'old me' forgive the 'new me' for this? No, am gonna speak.

"Pistols can take lives too. One such thing in my hand 10 years back is gonna take mine now."

He smiled at that. He leaned in towards me and put the pistol in my hand.

"Some things are best left unsaid. I meant to say thank you."

That was the last I saw of him. I was again left with a pistol in my hand, the same size as the one which I threw in the river yesterday night. Is it back to the 'old life' for me? I was walking out when I saw them, a group of rogues beating up and molesting some helpless girls. I could see the cameras flashing and crowd looking in anticipation, but not a single soul to raise his hand. I just thought of the man's words, "Pistols can save lives". I had one such thing in my hand now. Yes, some deaths can save a lot of lives.

Thud!Thud!Thud!...The job is done. Before the hungry vultures from the media could devour me I had got on my monster. The thud of the Harley blended well with the still ringing echoes of the bullet. The 'new me' has done his first job. The first one in a long line...

PS- Was starved of subjects to write on. So I started something meaninglessly from one end. Still donnow why I wrote this.

your crusader Praveen

The Image Tag  

Posted by Praveen in

Been a lot busy this weekend. Watched 2 movies -Dev D and 'Naan Kadavul'. Dev D has brilliance written over every frame. Anurag Kashyap is certainly one of the best filmmakers of our times. 'Naan Kadavul', with some bad cutting by censors, ended up with some editing chinks. But still its another class apart effort from Bala. Am also damn happy that A.R.Rahman won another award-This time the best composer award for 'slumdog millionaire' from BAFTA. Now, the Oscars are left.

So many tags are pending for me now. Here am taking up the easiest of them all- Been tagged by Usha M'am and Sashu. The rule for the tag is that am supposed to be pasting an image for every answer of mine,from the first page of google image search,with minimal explanation.

1. The age you will be in your next birthday: God, from last year am getting this weird feeling that am a lot older now.

2. A place you’d like to travel to: Khardung La in Ladakh. The highest motorable road in the world.

3. Your Favorite place: Home. Regular readers and my workmates know how I take the first available opportunity to head home. (Not my home's pic)

4. Your favorite food/drink: Kerala Sadya and Sharjah Milk shake

5. Your favorite pet: I love dogs, but am scared of them. So I keep lions

6. Your favorite color combination: Red and black. All my T-shirts are black in colour. :D

7. Your favorite piece of clothing: T-Shirt and Jeans. Prefer black heavy metal T shirts.

8. Your all time favorite song: I hate this question. I don't want to choose from my 1000s of favourite songs list. But, since I had to, am going in for 'Dil se re' by A.R.Rahman. His awesome vocals, the arrangement and the breathtaking cinematography makes this is a classic.

9. Your favorite TV show: Not much of a TV addict. Just watch news daily and some music channels. I used to watch 'Headbanger's ball' Fridays on VH1.

10. Full name of your significant other: Still unknown. How can you name imaginary beings?:P

11. The town in which you live in: Bangalore

12. Your screen name/nickname: Crusader

13. Your first job: My present job itself- Design engineer.

14. Your Dream Job: Being in a world famous band like Iron Maiden that will still 'wow' audience 30 years after its inception.

15. Bad Habit you have: Uncontrollable anger. If I get angry, I'll tell anything in the face without
thinking about the consequences.

16. Your worst fear: Being cheated by someone I trust, a close friend or relative.

17. The one thing you’ll like to do before you die: Play a concert at the 'Rock in Rio' fest in Brazil.

18. The first thing you’ll buy if you get $1,000,000: A recording studio alongwith somebody who knows how to make use of it.

Not tagging anyone in particular. Anyone who reads this is free to take up this tag.

Your crusader Praveen