Yearly Archives: 2003

bang, bang, bangalore!

On my last day in Bangalore (December 12th), I attended a fusion music show that was a part of the Bangalore Habba (a festival to celebrate the city), held at the very impressive Palace Grounds. I am especially fond of live fusion music and this one featured Taufiq Qureshi (a brilliant percussionist), Niladri Kumar (an absolutely amazing sitarist), Parthasarthy (mridangam), Karl Peters (bass guitar) and Louis Banks (keyboards).

Against the backdrop of the tudor style building in the middle of the grounds, the stage was all lit-up for the occasion. The performance started with a few songs and then a recital by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. We were doubly thrilled when he ended with a Bengali song and a Bihu folk tune.

There were about three power trips (Bangalore living up to its reputation!) during the show. Thankfully, it was fixed and though the performance started late, we were in for a real treat. I’ve watched Zakir Hussain, but this was my first time watching his brother Qureshi. And I must say he was amazing – the sounds he produced (and without any instruments) left the audience speechless. Niladri Kumar was an absolute treat (do watch him live if you get the chance). And some electrifying music they created together. The thing about live fusion music is the spontaneous jamming and the camaderie that these musicians share. And when translated into notes and melodies, it is sheer joy to watch and listen.

And to think we nearly missed the show. Despite being Bangaloreans, both Pallavi and her husband Rocky were blissfully unaware of the festival. So I had to literally holler and shout and until they took me seriously. Pallavi managed to wrangle three passes (bless her resourcefulness). We dropped our other plans happily. And with no regrets!

Initially, we were at the very back of the open air seating arrangement. Being rather short, both Pallavi and I had a really hard time seeing anything on the stage. Later, thanks to the ingenuity of a couple of other guys who were with us, we managed to get into the VIP section. And by the time, Qureshi and his team were on stage, we were in the front row. It couldn’t get more up close and personal!

By the time we left it was about 1.00 am and a Sufi music session was still going on. But I had a flight to catch the same morning so we decided to make our way home.

There ended my Bangalore trip, and on a rather high note!

(Pallavi went on to watch and enjoy more shows on December 13th and 14th!)

The big read

The top 100 from BBC’s search for UK’s best-loved novel. Of course, we Indians will have a totally different list, but since we don’t as of now, here it is:

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer | Live chat
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

I’ve read 34 out of the 100. Most of the classics were during school and college days and I find it increasingly taxing to read them now. But, it looks like I have a lot of catching up to do! All the more reason to get myself a library membership quickly. Stop watching movies and read more instead! Hope you’ve scored a little better than I have!

[Link via Aashish]

A tale of two cities

My last day in Bangalore. Tomorrow morning, I leave for Hyderabad to catch up with good friend, Rukshana. I’m hoping to see a few sights around the city.

A few snapshots from my trip to Guwahati and Calcutta.


The Brahmaputra river in the evening. The sun is just setting.


I got my brother-in-law to stop the car and made my way to the water’s edge to take this picture. A boat is getting ready for an evening cruise.



A view of the Victoria Memorial, Calcutta.

More pictures from my trip are here. Two weddings I attended and a few pictures of Calcutta and Guwahati. There’s more, which I hope to upload over the next few days.

Shameless plug

[The Indibloggies 2003]I started it in June 2002, when I couldn’t find too many Indian bloggers online.

It has grown and grown over the space of one and a half years. And led others to create more sophisticated lists and search engines based on it.

I’ve spent countless hours updating, finding new blogs, replying to bloggers, apologising for delays. And though it’s taken quite a lot of time, it’s also been quite a satisfying experience. I’m hoping to do something more (jazzy/flashy/hi-tech?!) with the list once I get back to Mumbai this time (plans, plans!). So look out for the new look ;)

But, meanwhile, the list has been nominated for the Best IndiBlogs directory and if you vote for it, I might just be inspired to work a little harder on it. And give you a small bribe (uh, you didn’t catch that on tape, did you?). So go there, what are you waiting for?!