amajaniac:spirit of a Janehead  

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The spirit of motherjane

AMAJANIAC- Its a word that symbolises many things. A collective spirit. A sense of belonging. A sense of being part of something big, but which is at the same time small, when compared to what it will become in the near future. An amalgamation of several minds who happen to be swayed by the same magiC, the spell of which is more powerful than the heaviest drug in the world. Its the magic of timeless music fron five unassuming gentlemen, collectively called motherjane. And when each of us in the audience scream 'AMAJANIAC', we just mean, 'am a die hard motherjane fan'.

It was the idea of Navi, the youngest Janiac amongst us, to come up with a T shirt that screamed to the world how much we love this band. And with his artistic cousin Raja, they set out the plan. Me and Nikhil joined in the plot. We had half portion of our faces painted in the Kathakali colours signifying the half human- half spirit idea of motherjane. After almost a day of painstaking painting, most of which was done by Raja, all of it was photographed individually. Then we had it printed on black T shirts. The backside had the chorus part of the new motherjane song, 'Amajaniac'.
Painting...all concentration..

When we went mad posing...

All of it was a top secret operation. We planned well to reveal it as a surprise during the motherjane concert in Hard rock cafe,Bangalore. On the rainy working day, we set out to HRC with normal shirts worn over our prized T shirts. Me and Nikhil reached there after doing a submarine trip on my bike through the half submerged Bangalore roads. Both of us were behaving like stoned idiots as we kept on laughing on our journey wading through water, splashing it head high. HRC is an awesomely designed place with rock memorabilia all around, though we had our own doubts about their authenticity. The majestic stone structure used to be a church.
posing with motherjane wearing our printed Tees

So it was time for our surprise. We called all 5 of them from motherjane together. Then we removed our shirts in a flash revealing our face painted T shirts. The look on their faces was priceless. Surprise, joy, everything was on view. And we were happy too at the success of our perfectly planne doperation. They put up an awesome show as usual winning over new fans in the process. The icing on the cake was when Suraj chettan specially mentioned us diehard fans in between the show. Other similar diehard janeheads were present, like the guy who listened to the 'maktub' album for 65 days staright and the guy who bought the first copy of motherjane's first album 'Insane biography'. This concert also happened to be the anniversary of the release of 'maktub'.
Motherjane rocking HRC

Baiju..ripping it apart..

The rocking day ended with a triples trp on my bike with Nikhil and Raja on the Bangalore roads infested with 'bribe hungry' lawmakers. And we almost got caught as a check point. Thankfully Raja did the escape act before the police noticed. Though later we had a hard time running for food all around Bangalore, this will surely go down among the list of 'best days of my life'.

Adding some lines from the new motherjane song, 'amajaniac', which also appears at the back of our T shirts.

"Who am I?" is still what I am.
But now I have a name
As part of something that grows
And embraces that refrain.
Here,let me say that again.
I'm a bloody janiac, come sunshine or rain...

PS- Do checkout the awesome poem written by Navi, which will be posted in his blog pretty soon. He sure is the biggest motherjane fan I've seen.

your crusader Praveen

Austere India  

Posted by Praveen in ,

In economics, austerity is when a national government reduces its spending, to pay back creditors. Austerity is usually required when a government's fiscal deficit spending is felt to be unsustainable.

Its the season of austerity. The Government's austerity drive is being promoted to the hilt that I doubt if the promotion campaign for the same might have eaten up atleast a few crores. And the drive itself is said to be a costly affair, an example being the Italian holy cow's economy air travel costing crores of rupees for extra special security. So, to make up for this extra expense which is needed to support the austerity drive, there ought to be some measures to balance it all out. So, the axe falls obviously on the common man. What might be the possible measures that wll transform India to an 'Auster India'? Lets take a look.

1. All government run schools should be moved out of its present buildings into unused farmhouses. The classes here will be henceforth known as 'cattle classes'. This measure will reduce the un necessary current and water charges incurred at the present buildings.

2. The films division documentary team should be revamped. Unnecessary clothing should be avoided. Same has to be done with the state run Doordarshan. This will reduce the spending on luxurious clothing and also bring in more revenues because of the resultant adult content.

3. Austerity need not be in monetary terms alone. Its applicable for spermitary matters too. Anyone having more than 5 kids(post 2008) should be made to operate a public condom vending machine in front of his house.

4. The loss making Air India be exchanged with Vijay Mallya for a carton of Kingfisher strong. Its a profit making deal for the government, mind you.

5. There's no need for streetlights. A packet of happydent white should be supplied to all families through ration shops. With this, every person will become a travelling light source.

6. Reduce the amount of veg and non veg items in the Indian railway meals. Right now, we are getting the luxury of a quarter leg in chickn curry, half a vegetable in sambhar and eggless egg bhurjis. Instead of giving coffee in cups, its better to pour it straight into the passenger's cupped hands, just like in olden times.

7. Free all the terrorists in Indian jails. There's no point in spending so much money on luxuries for them if you dont have any plans of killing them.

your crusader Praveen

Bathroom Graffiti:World's greatest artists  

Posted by Praveen in ,

This is a literal translation of the post in my malaylam blog

If you ask me who's the world's greatest artist, I would never say the names of Picasso, Ravi Varma or Michaelangelo. Because all of them might have spent months or even years to create their masterpieces. They spent a better part of their lifetimes using high quality canvas and paints in pursuit of this art. There are some other type of artists who create masterpieces on any surface with any object they can get hold of, that too in a very short span of time. Most of the artists of this kind lets their imagination fly only in the confines of public toilets or inside the 'cleanly' toilets in trains. Just as We call those who sing only in the bathroom as bathroom singers, we can call these elite group 'bathroom artists'. Most of us think only of somehow getting outside fast when we enter the horrible public toilets. We must salute these guys who think and draw up amazing lines and jaw dropping artwork inside this place. Now, wherever I go, one of my hobbies is to read and observe all the graffiti in the public toilets. Afterall, you gotta have something to make yourself happy when you are doing something so boring.

The number of people who use the maximum of 5 minutes that we get in a public toilet to create world class art work is increasing day by day. If you have any doubts, just get into one of those filthy looking toilets. Both in trains and public places, the bathroom walls are now so artistically decorated that there's a shortage of space for new artists. Drawings which rival M.F.Hussein's in perversion to female drawings matching Ravi Varma's in artistic brilliance can be seen here nowadays. There are some who get philosophical on seeing the toilet. They scribble an one line poem or a world shattering truth on the walls before leaving. Recently, I saw something written in the opposite wall while I was busy using the closet- "India's future is now in your hands." On seeing thiss, I suddenly raised both my hands as if someone was pointing a gun at me. Guess the sudden thought on India's future made me do this.

There are some big time fools too among these artists. These are those who scribble mushy romantic lines for their sweet hearts. Some examples-
"Oh my dear Thankam"
"I love you kamalaakashi"
"You are my fire, but here am smelling bad air"

And the guy who wrote his and his lover's name inside a heart symbol takes the cake for ultimate stupidity. I donnow whether these romantic fools had any notion of their sweethearts getting into a gents bathroom to read all these lines. Also, only God knows which 'kamalakshi' is going to read it all.

In this 4x4 cube called the toilet, we can also see exchange of dialogues between strangers. There are some who scribble replies to some lines written by others. And yet another will give a reply to both of them. Recently I saw something like this in a public toilet in Alappuzha. Someone had written almost a long winded essay in malayalam on life's unpredictability and the vastness of the world. Just below that someone has scribbled- "Stop the gibberish, do your task and get out idiot"[translated from the original line in malayalam]. Someone else had written in english-"When you have the gun, shoot, don't speak", obviously a brilliant inspiration from the famous line in 'The Good, the bad and the ugly". There are some others who find out the mistakes in such lines, correct it and award marks and grades. People don't even spare toilet ceilings- "Stop sitting there and staring at the sky. You better start shitting and get out", is a line I saw in a train toilet. I wanted to tell this guy that I was just pointing my nose upwards to escape from the unbearable smell that is common in our public toilets.

I've seen some writings in hindi too. This one's my favourite- 'Philip ke dick'.[People who know the author Philip.K.Dick and have a basic knowledge in Hindi and english will understand the brilliance and wittiness of this simple line].

Toilet is the only place where man shows his real face outside. Its where he becomes himself. (Adding, 'she becomes herself' also to avoid the feminist wrath). And its the only place where the creativity that is sleeping inside him is out in full flow. People who are scared of proving themselves in front of the whole world become 'creative' inside the toilets, sometimes even forgetting themselves. When I conducted more studies on this, I also stumbled upon a site called 'Bathroom graffiti'. Its a collective effort to collect all the bathroom graffiti around the world. So lets keep our eyes glued to the public toilets[pun intended], where some of the dead artists resurrected themselves. Maybe, the next Ravi Varma might be born in one of these toilets. I love the art of these unknown artists than the craps worth crores of rupees churned out by the pervert M.F.Hussein.

Checkout the malayalam version here
your crusader Praveen

The extras  

Posted by Praveen in

Take a movie that you watched recently or just think about one of your favourite movies. What comes to your mind? The lead actors? The director? The script? The cinematography? I bet not one of you thought about those beings called the 'extras'. Yes, the ones who does the bit roles, the blink and miss ones. The watchman who had just one line in the whole movie, the lady serving tea at the restaurant, the gardener who delivers roses for the romantic lead lady, the cleaner who gives a smile and 'good morning' to the lead guy, the guy setting up the funeral pyre of a main character, the driver who takes the villain to the climatic scene- not one of them must have come into your memory right now. No, It won't come into mine too. Because they are just the 'extras', just like the embellishments to a wonderful jewellery, the index pages of a classic book, the cotton cloth used to clean a precision camera or just plainly they are people to fill up the screen so that the protagonist can shine delivering his punchlines.

But, are there 'extras' in real life? You, the greatest person in the world(make no mistake about it, most of us think so about ourselves...yes, I do), sees so many of them around you as extras. Whatever you might be, self-centric, eccentric, poly-centric or centreless, you must've seen atleast a few people that you came across in your life as 'bit players' or 'extras'. The old lady to whom you asked the way to an obscure location is an extra for you, a tool to know the direction. The driver of the volvo bus you travelled last week is another extra. Same with the guy selling popcorn on the roadside or the cobbler stitching your worn out sports shoe. They are just the bit actors that you need so that you can dazzle the life's stage as the lead actor.

One moment, before you go into the self congratulatory excercise of being the lead actor on world's stage. Think for one moment from the shoes of one of those extras that were mentioned above. Where do you see yourself? Don't you see an 'extra' in you? The lady, the driver or the cobbler is the lead actor now. You have just an one minute screen space in the movie of their life. From the heights of being the lead actor, you are being relegated into a faceless, nameless bit player. You are just one of the 100 men who stitched their shoes at the cobbler's shop today. You are just one of the thousands whom the volvo bus driver drove from one place to another. You are just a passing nuisance asking for directions, while the old lady was busy enacting the climax of her life. So, who really is the extra and who is the lead actor now?

The fact is that there are no extras in real life. Each one of us is a lead actor, including the plain faced inconsequential characters that you meet in your everyday life. Each one of them is enacting the role of a lifetime. Even the people who plays the 'extras' in films play the lead role in their lives. And, when it comes to these extras's life, Kamal Haasan, Mohanlal or Al Pacino is just an extra. So, there are now 6.781 billion(the world's population as of yesterday) lead actors around the world acting in an equal number of movies. The real good ones go on to win the oscars for lifetime achievement and the real bad ones covet for themselves the razzies for utter failure. Whatever it is, its unimportant. The only important fact is that there is not a single unimportant person on earth. Go and play the lad role of your lives. Put in the performance of your lifetime and make Al Pacino an extra in your life. Also, give me an 'extra' role too. :)

Inspired from a dialogue in the movie 'Synecdoche, New York' by the brilliant Charlie Kauffman(about whom am planning to write a big tribute). The dialogue goes somewhat like this- "I know how to do this play now. There are nearly 13 million people in this world. I mean, can you imagine that many people? And none of those people is an extra. They're all leads in their own stories. And they've to be given their due."

Image courtesy-

your crusader Praveen