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no, that’s not the point.

Point is Awry and that’s the

beauty

Faculty of Literally Outlandish Practices

of it

its always

awry August 2009

startup somewhere


H

v T

mmmmm...

so cool that we decide what’s cool

Hardcore TELEVISION

ISSUE

H

Tv

mmmmm...

T h i s i s s u e i s s p o n s o r e d b y

Hardcore TELEVISION


editorial

Boffin Excerpt from The Galarama (The Encyclopaedia Galactica for the Peoples of the Universe), Page 123456, Section 1A, Entry: FLOP) It is a planet with a most singular beginning. But first briefly about the birth of the planets. The Galaxy of Gods sits once every deon (a dozen eons) to conceive a planet to serve a purpose. A hegod and a shegod, who are well matched to produce an offspring that would fulfil the purpose, are chosen from the Galaxy along with a brain and quarantined to a special mating environ. The brain is just a special programme for mating, an artistic commingling of bodily fluids. They mate torridly for an eon. The paroxysms of orgasms sometimes caused violent death of planets. Promiscuous sex also took place between the hegods and shegods, which led to birth of illegitimate planets called the rogue planets that are left to fend for themselves. The birth of Earth was a galactic example. Now to the birth of FLOP. The Galaxy of Gods met in the Deon 2005 to solve a pressing problem, to eradicate a pandemic plague called the The-SwineThat-Stifled-Creativity. The prime victims of it were the planetary artists. It clogged their outlets for creativity leading to their asphyxiating deaths. Artists on Earth took desperate measures. They consumed unearthly amounts of earthly substances such as mud, alcohol, coffees, teas, and drugs. They smoked sumptuously, swore scurrilously, and copulated copiously. But relief was elusive. So the gods picked The Beauty and The Beast and a brain codenamed Sansability. They were ceremoniously sent to environ called Alka, renowned for its spectacular landscapes, intoxicating aroma and mellifluous sounds, to produce a special baby, a planet that would provide succour to the artists. After an eon of volcanic coition, it was born and the gods called it FLOP. Now to the peculiar constitution of FLOP. The life forms on FLOP are the works of Galactic artists. Every two galactic months, FLOP galacasts the elitist of these life forms to entertain the galaxies. Special themes are devised to cater to multifarious interests of multi-formed audiences from multiple parts of the universe. These elite life forms are meticulously and judiciously chosen from the best works of Galactic artists. They were results of extreme hardship and extraordinary sacrifices. For instance, there was a tragic case of an artist from Earth recorded in the Cosmic Manual of Mishaps. He wrote on a long roll of tissue; he would then eat it and would then shit a colourful ball; he would then flatten the ball and would improve his work on it. After such a lengthy cycle of eatings and shittings, he succumbed to an excruciatingly painful eviction yielding a work bathed in blood and garnished with guts. It turned out to be his life time contribution and a FLOPUS, a FLOP magnum opus.

Each galacast comes in many forms, for instance, a readable form for the people of Earth although they used it sometimes as an energy supplement, an aphrodisiac, a toy and in some cases as ludicrous as a love letter and as bizarre as a bait to catch Salmon. These galacasts battled the plagues and the inner demons that afflicted the artists; they were the mojo of creativity. A gist of the galacast for the month of August and year 2009 follows. The evergreen genres, Poetry and Short Stories, in Literature predictably enjoyed huge fervour. The selections Argentum Abaddon's Wall, Perspective, and The Game best exemplified the spirit of the themes, Flash Fiction and Fillip of the Finger. They were short short but deep deep. Graphic Design featured cartoons and caricatures with intelligent humour. One cleverly eavesdropped on the conversation of complaining bulbous planets. The Photography section

outshone all the others in terms of the number of submissions as well as the number of selections. The images featured diverse topics, sundry situations, plenitude of planetary places, and appealing, imaginative, and humorous titles. One capture of a perfect reflection of a prickly galaxy required the capturer to masterfully manoeuvre a block of black holes and a tunnel of time warps whereas one shamelessly snapped slow death of a smouldering star. Although main emphasis was placed on the capture, caption did play a cameo role. A special feature also appeared which talked about an interesting human phenomenon that took place in the Earth city of Mumbai. The residents of the city came out one fine day and started painting the walls. There were many explanations given to rationalize this behaviour, one was that the wall works contained stern coded messages to the goons of the galaxy.


or anywhere else


everywhere all the time define us refine us align us we are they for them they are they for us


photography

open theme Buddha found it under a tree, Krishna was born with it, Gandhi acquired it through stubbornness. No, we are not talking about nirvana or wisdom, but a persistent thought or a view point one leads ones life by.

street art

We, all of us, without exception, have one when it comes to view points and if you please to allow, so does your camera. The way it looks at things is the way you want it to and that is why an eye piece is a piece of your mind and a snap is a snap of the backwaters in the gray land of unknown territories inside your head. So we thought always and so we think now. And so we decided to let you play with your camera and the world around. Photographs that follow are not only a reflection of the way we look at things but also a sneak peek through the aperture you permitted us‌

nightlife


slow burn

Canal Grande (The Grand Canal)

Wait for this Moment and let it Pass ..rest are memories


dead muscle

nail


drophere


irony


mycotal obeisance


black and white photography

If doors of perception be subjected to extreme prejudice everything appears as you want it to be; Black & White. Here are a few snaps we have picked for you from amongst the ones submitted under Black And White Photography, why we picked them should be an explanation given best by these photographs themselves...

serenity at the back

drowning in debt


crowded


stroll

seclusion


the capillaries of zeus


article

Alpana

The City and its Walls

Mumbai,

the city of dreams and deceptions.

A city whose people are accused of resorting to a claim whenever they are under attack, a people who are blamed of wrapping helplessness with the excuse of having a “spirit�. As a people, their warmth and helpful nature would disarm you and at times their indifference would leave you to bleed on the streets alone. What happens when this city wakes up to the 63rd Independence Day, and instead of sticking to the humdrum of unfurling flags and national anthem being sung, chooses to reclaim the city walls?


Starting from Mahim on a Saturday morning and stretching till Matunga station on Sunday evening, there were heroes, there were messages, there was beautiful unabashed art and there was the city, all coming together for a whole of two days, slogging out in the hard sun and the downpour, turning out masterpieces from statesponsored graffiti. From parodying Swine Flu scare and Bollywood movie lines to leaving not so subtle hints about safe sex, from proclaiming the love for Mumbai to doing their own crazy art work, people had let their imagination run loose and do all the talking for the city. They were old, they were young, they were posh and sophisticated, they were street urchins, they were professional artists, they were amateurs trying their hand and they were the people. People who came from places that didn't officially fall under Mumbai and some who came from the heart of Mumbai. People who splashed their art on the walls and lent their colors and shades to anyone who asked, people who for once didn't care whether you came in a Skoda or by the locals. It was like a clichĂŠ being lived and you didn't mind it when people spouted philosophy about art and the city.


Graffiti Graffiti and graffito are from the Italian word graffiato ("scratched"). The Greek infinitive ãñÜöåéí graphein - meaning "to write," is from the same root. The term graffiti referred to the inscriptions, figure drawings, etc., found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins, as in the Catacombs of Rome or at Pompeii. -The earliest forms of graffiti date back to 30,000 BCE in the form of prehistoric cave paintings and pictographs using tools such as animal bones and pigments. -The first known example of "modern day Turkey). Local guides say it is the graffiti shows a handprint that believed to indicate that a brothel

style" graffiti survives in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus (in modernan advertisement for prostitution. Located near a mosaic and stone walkway, vaguely resembles a heart, along with a footprint and a number. This is was nearby, with the handprint symbolizing payment.


crooRadiohead i a b m u m if you be my c r o o k s R a d i o h e a d k pi ok comnepuvsteerrminc 10.000 days d rpio kaminneeybodveygu d rminard y e o n i y m e on ce a n i k k 10.000 days m a k d I can be ur n i s m r e v e n ok com office of strategic influence office now goneinfluence allof strategic

pi

porcupine tree piano lessons Sympathy for gance mr vesoncalled friend

everything dies it does

porcupine tr piano lessonese

porcupine tree

if you be my bodyguard I can be ur

r Sympathy longfo lost pal mr vengance

p u t e r w oo dy lon g lost pal p o d r c n i u pine tree neverm

if you be my bodyguard I can be ur long lost pal

of ice of strategic influence

r o f y h t e a p m y c pi oknaSmpiineyonce mumbai e c n a g n e v r mi a b m unevermincddraoeohoidkaaRminey m10.000 daysok c ktrsee o m p e u n t i e r p u wo od pi c y r o p d n i m r e v e n ok computer

uence of ice of stratoefgiceinoflusenctraetegic itinfldoes

so called friend

10.000 days

For once, without being under duress from terrorists or flooding rains, Mumbai had come together and risen to the occasion. And when you walked along the walls on a balmy midnight and saw what the city had to say, you silently swelled with pride, saluted the city “spirit� and laughed off the detractors, chuckling under the graffitized lamppost.

office of strategic influence all gone now

everything dies

of ice of strategic influence

gnihtyreve seid

so called friend dneirf dellac os

d n i m r e v e

if you be my bodyguard I can be ur long lost pal


photo feature

Just Imagine

zorbatheindian

Hollow Man

Photography is fun! and so, was shooting this feature during my stay at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK.


Kamasutra

no parking

headweight


Heating booster

I am back

I decided to take my camera out and have some fun clicking some mundane objects while letting my mind work on its own to imagine something unimmaginable and f u n n y . Juxtapositioning two completely different objects into a third meaning can be achieved visually, or thats what I learnt in my college and I hope, you all can see that it works. Have fun!

going down


mummy


cartoons and caricatures

could have laughed


shot in broad day light

Can you imagine, the guy shot me broad day light. A light bulb shot in broad day light and even without being focused at properly

In my case he couldn’t even look me in the eye, wore sun glasses damn it!

Yeah, but at least your photographer would have looked fashionable, the one who shot me, wore pyjamas for god’s sake

lost


Eulogy for the weak and strong For all they need For all they seek For all they plead For all the greed Eulogy for the dead and gone For all they knew For all they made For all they left For all they took Eulogy for the right and wrong For all the morality For all the polarity For all the perplexity For all that should be


Poetry

flight of the milkweed

sagarb

She felt so glued Doomed and marooned Upon the plant she grew This meager seed Of milkweed Was a curse that angels threw. No color, no smell. This didn't go well With the seed that felt so low No wasp, no bee No lovers had she Amidst swans she was a crow! Until that day When blew her way A breeze that defied all law And off she flew Like bubbles do From kids with soap and straw. She soar and flew To places new For she was light and dry And then it hit All that deficit Was so that she could fly!

Glossary Milkweed - A plant species that grows its seeds in follicles. Follicles contain soft filaments attached to individual seeds. When the follicle ripens, the seeds are blown by the wind, each carried by several filaments. Also known as "????????" (Mhatari) in Marathi.


santosh

Will'-o'-the-wisp lie asunder

Every smile was spent on a tiny piece of death someone's little something will always be lost and that, Daduf, will lead to me. And my smile. Every word of pity seeks a reason and importance of words, of you, in me and that, Daduf,will lead to he. who still smiles. You squat before the fireplace and feel the heat when you seek warmth. of all that gives you enough and no more. And that, Daduf, will plead to me. for a smile. so Daduf, save your name and yourself for one final run to the hedge there clouds beyond as I hold you close, up close closer still to the stench closer still to your picture in my mind. yes, in my mind. Lie asunder. Daduf, till then.


sutirtha

Will'-o'-the-wisp

I The crimson sunset just before dark Lazy pebbles scattered wilily in front of the bungalow Eccentric smell of petrol from my hour silenced jeep Makes my indolent afternoons more irreversible II I am drifting away and away From bonfires and stakes, wine and polka dots Into dark woods with dimly lit highway of stars Pinned to languid midnight blue. III There she flickers a sly tango Shiny dance floor of the lazy bog Allures my perennial weariness To unveil, to submit, to surrender.

to noone who bothers to read


mutnegrA mutnegrA mutnegrA t h g u o h t n o d a b b A thguoht nodabbA sih gnivah naht rehto yoj on wenk eH .tra eht dna yhpargotohp fo dlrow eht thguoht nodabbA mutnegrA .tra eht dna yhpargotohp fo dlrow eht thguoht nodabbA mutnegrA thguoht nodabbA eH .lufthgiled dna gnimrahc os ,stcejbus etirovaf sih erew elpoeP .sevil demarf fo esrevinu elttil nwo demarf fo esrevinu elttil nwo sih gnivah naht rehto yoj on wenk eH fo dlrow eht fo dlrow eht fo dlrow eht dna gnimrahc os ,stcejbus etirovaf sih erew elpoeP .sevil erew yeht taht wenk osla eH .elpoep fo ytitne lautca eht naht erom elpoep fo aedi eht dekil eh wenk dna yhpargotohp dna yhpargotohp dna yhpargotohp e h t naht erom elpoep fo aedi eht dekil eh wenk eH .lufthgiled g n i t e e m , y l t n e u q e r f d e l l e v a r t e H . r e p a p n o m e h t e z o r f s l a c i m e h c d n a t h g i l n e h w t n e m o m t a h t n i t s e b wenk eH .tra eht wenk eH .tra eht wenk eH .tra eht t a h t n i tseb erew yeht taht wenk osla eH .elpoep fo ytitne lautca eht ni saw eh yadoT .aremac sih rof esop ot deerga yeht llit meht wonk ot gnitteg dna elpoep naht rehto yoj on naht rehto yoj on naht rehto yoj on eH .repap no meht ezorf slacimehc dna thgil nehw tnemom .sremotsuc sih rof gnitiaw ,edisyrtnuoc nwo sih gnivah nwo sih gnivah nwo sih gnivah l l i t m e ht wonk ot gnitteg dna elpoep gniteem ,yltneuqerf dellevart abaddon ‘s wall Will'-o'-the-wisp evah ot edisyrtnuoc eht gnitisiv )god eht dedulcni taht( evif fo ylimaf yppah nabru ruoY .devirra yehT fo esrevinu elttil fo esrevinu elttil fo esrevinu elttil eht ni saw eh yadoT .aremac sih rof esop ot deerga yeht .sevil demarf dna dnah eno ni deldarc ybab eht htiw doots nam ehT .pordkcab cinecs eht tsniaga tohs sevlesmeht .sevil demarf .sevil demarf .sremotsuc sih rof gnitiaw ,edisyrtnuoc sih erew elpoeP sih erew elpoeP sih erew elpoeP a fo tnaig eht htiw seenk reh no saw lrig dlo raey xis ehT .redluohs s'efiw sih dnuora depparw rehto eht eht dedulcni taht( evif fo ylimaf yppah nabru ruoY .devirra yehT .tcefrep saw enecs ehT .thgil tfos eht ni nedlog gnimaelg ruf sih ,god ,stcejbus etirovaf ,stcejbus etirovaf ,stcejbus etirovaf dna gnimrahc os dna gnimrahc os dna gnimrahc os sih dehctiwt god eht dna denway ybab eht ,drow-c eht dias lrig dna efiw ,nam ehT .drow-c eht dias eH eht tsniaga tohs sevlesmeht evah ot edisyrtnuoc eht gnitisiv )god yadnuS.kcilC .eseeh eH .lufthgiled eH .lufthgiled eH .lufthgiled .noonretfa yadnuS.kcilC .eseehC .eson e h t d e k i l e h w e n k e h t d e k i l e h w e n k eht dekil eh wenk sih gnivah naht rehto yoj on wenk eH .tra eht dna yhpargotohp fo dlrow eht thguoht nodabbA mutnegrA eht tsniaga tohs sevlesmeht evah ot edisyrtnuoc eht gnitisiv )god elpoep fo aedi elpoep fo aedi elpoep fo aedi yadnuS.kcilC .eseeh eH .lufthgiled dna gnimrahc os ,stcejbus etirovaf sih erew elpoeP .sevil demarf fo esrevinu elttil nwo eht naht erom eht naht erom eht naht erom erew yeht taht wenk osla eH .elpoep fo ytitne lautca eht naht erom elpoep fo aedi eht dekil eh wenk eht tsniaga tohs sevlesmeht evah ot edisyrtnuoc eht gnitisiv )god fo ytitne lautca fo ytitne lautca fo ytitne lautca yadnuS.kcilC .eseehC .eson sih dehctiwt god eht dna denway ybab eht ,drow-c eht dias lrig dna efiw yadnuS.kcilC .eseeh osla eH .elpoep osla eH .elpoep osla eH .elpoep yeht taht wenk yeht taht wenk yeht taht wenk mutnegrA Argentum Abbadon thought the world of photography and the art. He knew no joy fo dlrow eht thguoht nodabbA mutnegrA taht ni tseb erew taht ni tseb erew taht ni tseb erew thguoht nodabbA other than having his own little universe of framed lives. People were his favorite yoj on wenk eH .tra eht dna yhpargotohp nehw tnemom nehw tnemom nehw tnemom fo dlrow eht subjects, so charming and delightful. He knew he liked the idea of people more than the fo esrevinu elttil nwo sih gnivah naht rehto d n a t h g i l dna thgil dna thgil dna yhpargotohp actual entity of people. He also knew that they were best in that moment when light and etirovaf sih erew elpoeP .sevil demarf ezorf slacimehc ezorf slacimehc ezorf slacimehc wenk eH .tra eht chemicals froze them on paper. He travelled frequently, meeting people and getting to eH .lufthgiled dna gnimrahc os ,stcejbus .repap no meht .repap no meht .repap no meht naht rehto yoj on know them till they agreed to pose for his camera. Today he was in the countryside, naht erom elpoep fo aedi eht dekil eh wenk dellevart eH dellevart eH dellevart eH nwo sih gnivah taht wenk osla eH .elpoep fo ytitne lautca eht ,yltneuqerf ,yltneuqerf ,yltneuqerf fo esrevinu elttil waiting for his customers. dna thgil nehw tnemom taht ni tseb erew yeht elpoep gniteem elpoep gniteem elpoep gniteem .sevil demarf They arrived. Your urban happy family of five (that included the dog) visiting the dellevart eH .repap no meht ezorf slacimehc ot gnitteg dna ot gnitteg dna ot gnitteg dna sih erew elpoeP countryside to have themselves shot against the scenic backdrop. The man stood with ot gnitteg dna elpoep gniteem ,yltneuqerf llit meht wonk llit meht wonk llit meht wonk ,stcejbus etirovaf sih rof esop ot deerga yeht llit meht wonk ot deerga yeht ot deerga yeht ot deerga yeht dna gnimrahc os the baby cradled in one hand and the other wrapped around his wife's shoulder. The six ,edisyrtnuoc eht ni saw eh yadoT .aremac s i h r o f e s o p s i h r o f e s o p sih rof esop eH .lufthgiled year old girl was on her knees with the giant of a dog, his fur gleaming golden in the soft .sremotsuc sih rof gnitiaw eh yadoT .aremac eh yadoT .aremaceh yadoT .aremac eht dekil eh wenk light. The scene was perfect. evif fo ylimaf yppah nabru ruoY .devirra yehT eht ni saw eht ni saw eht ni saw elpoep fo aedi eht gnitisiv )god eht dedulcni taht( He said the c-word. The man, wife and girl said the c-word, the baby yawned and the dog , e d i s y r t n u o c , e d i s y r t n u o c ,edisyrtnuoc eht naht erom t s n i a g a t o h s sevlesmeht evah ot edisyrtnuoc sih rof gnitiaw sih rof gnitiaw sih rof gnitiaw fo ytitne lautca twitched his nose. Cheese. Click. eht htiw doots nam ehT .pordkcab cinecs eht .noonretf .noonretf .noonretf osla eH .elpoep Out came the photograph. The baby started whimpering and the dog was barking rehto eht dna dnah eno ni deldarc ybab yeht taht wenk yeht taht wenk yeht taht wenk yeht taht wenk loudly. The man came forward but couldn't walk beyond an invisible barrier. His xis ehT .redluohs s'efiw sih dnuora depparw taht ni tseb erew taht ni tseb erew taht ni tseb erew taht ni tseb erew tnaig eht htiw seenk reh no saw lrig dlo raey nehw tnemom nehw tnemom nehw tnemom nehw tnemom expression turned into worry and anger and disbelief. He knew these reactions. Most tfos eht ni nedlog gnimaelg ruf sih ,god a fo dna thgil dna thgil dna thgil dna thgil people behaved this way in the beginning. They got used to it in time. They have no .tcefrep saw enecs ehT .thgil e z o r f s l a c i m e h c e z o r f s l a c i m e h c ezorf slacimehc ezorf slacimehc other option, and besides, they have so much for company. .repap no meht .repap no meht .repap no meht lrig dna efiw ,nam ehT .drow-c eht dias eH .repap no meht He took the photo and hung it on its assigned space on the wall. He needed a happy d e l l e v a r t e H d e l l e v a r t e H eht dna denway ybab eht ,drow-c eht dias dellevart eH dellevart eH family next to the sorrowful young woman. The old couple could also do with some ,yltneuqerf y a d nuS.kcilC .eseehC .eson sih dehctiwt god ,yltneuqerf ,yltneuqerf ,yltneuqerf e l p o e p g n i t e e m e l p o e p g n i t e e m company. This was his treasure, his collection of people, their smiles, their laughs, their .tcefrep saw enecs ehT .thgilnoonretfa elpoep gniteem elpoep gniteem ot gnitteg dna ot gnitteg dna ot gnitteg dna ot gnitteg dna expressions and their lies. He didn't capture mere memories, he captured their lives. rig dna efiw ,nam ehT .drow-c eht dias eH llit meht wonk llit meht wonk llit meht wonk llit meht wonk The wall full of portraits and people, smiling, staring vacantly, sitting glum, weeping, .eson sih dehctiwt god eht dna denway ybab ot deerga yeht ot deerga yeht ot deerga yeht ot deerga yeht laughing deliriously.. so charming and delightful. dnuS.kcilC .eseehC sih rof esop sih rof esop sih rof esop sih rof esop eh yadoT .aremac In an ignored column on the seventh page of The Times, one found the news of a family eh yadoT .aremac eh yadoT .aremaceh yadoT .aremac eht ni saw eht ni saw of four and their dog gone missing since Sunday afternoon. eht ni saw eht ni saw eht dna denway ybab eht ,drow-c eht dias l , e d i s y r t n u o c , e d i s y r t n u o c , e d isyrtnuoc ,edisyrtnuoc yadnuS.kcilC .eseehC .eson sih dehctiwt god sih rof gnitiaw sih rof gnitiaw sih rof gnitiaw sih rof gnitiaw .noonretfa .noonretf . n o o n r e t f . n o o n r e t f .noonretf ot deerga yeht ot deerga yeht ot deerga yeht etirovaf sih erew elpoeP .sevil demarf fo esrevinu elttil nwo sih gnivah naht rehto yoj on wenk eH .tra eht dna yhpargotohp fo dlrow eht thguoht nodabbA mutnegrA sih rof esop sih rof esop sih rof esop nehw tnemom taht ni tseb erew yeht taht wenk osla eH .elpoep fo ytitne lautca eht naht erom elpoep fo aedi eht dekil eh wenk eH .lufthgiled dna gnimrahc os ,stcejbus eh yadoT .aremac eh yadoT .aremaceh yadoT .aremac eht ni saw eh yadoT .aremac sih rof esop ot deerga yeht llit meht wonk ot gnitteg dna elpoep gniteem ,yltneuqerf dellevart eH .repap no meht ezorf slacimehc dna thgil eht ni saw eht ni saw eht ni saw .noonretf sih rof gnitiaw ,edisyrtnuoc , e d i s y r t n u o c ,edisyrtnuoc ,edisyrtnuoc yeht llit meht wonk ot gnitteg dna elpoep gniteem ,yltneuqerf dellevart eH .repap no meht ezorf slacimehc dna thgil nehw tnemom taht ni tseb erew yeht taht wenk sih rof gnitiaw sih rof gnitiaw sih rof gnitiaw .noonretf sih rof gnitiaw ,edisyrtnuoc eht ni saw eh yadoT .aremac sih rof esop ot deerga .noonretf .noonretf .noonretf .noonretf sih rof gnitiaw ,edisyrtnuoc eht ni saw eh yadoT .aremac sih rof esop ot deerga yeht

sikanzabeen

Fillip F he Finger

t


Perspective, A part of a series.

And it went on, the breathing fell and rose. She gasped, in bursts--shrieking out dryly. If she could have she would have rather drowned in ice waters instead of bearing the pain that wrecked her. He watched, helpless, slightly indifferent, yet hurting. He tried to find a place for that feeling, for the person in front of him. It rained heavily around them, she was growing pale and the woods looked a dark slithery green. Like velvet moss. The sky above was like the ocean, white clouds foaming and churning. The picture was silent, heavy with dry ache. There was a storm halfway, the needles swaying to the right. There was golden light around them. The frame was intricate, heavy with gold and wood. The door opened and she peeped in. A hesitant smile on her face, enquiring. He looked back, eyes laden with exhaustion. As if he had stared at the sun for hours from under the sea. Something was getting in his way and he was going blind. She closed the door behind, gave one last look, waiting for a nod, or a blink, but none came and after a while he could only see her back from the corner of his eye. He got up with sudden rage, and threw whatever he had been holding at the wall. He ripped the sheets out and tore them. He peeled off the posters stuck to the wall. As he reached the windows, he pulled the curtains down and shook the grilles. He seemed to be trying to bend the bars and go after something. Something flying, just outside. He screamed threateningly at the sky outside. The music that blared from within the room sounded like a war cry heralding the arrival of the bravest armies. The music rose higher, and he recoiled, as if stung by hot light. He was retreating, and rays seemed to be feasting on him, fraying him.

sikanzabeen

He was falling, lightly, as if through space, with a small cry just hanging over his face. His eyes seemed to roll back into his head. He was disappearing into the golden light and silence fell, like dust on furniture. The gilded frame kept the light trapped on its borders. The sky was violent, like a woman in labor. It poured on, making the canvas look as if someone had splashed water on it in delirious anger. The tall trees seemed to be blurring at the edges. That blur seen enveloping ghosts. She lay there on his knees, her legs spread at an odd angle on the ground. Her face was a mirror reflecting some horrible poison's flow through her. His head was bent, an indecipherable expression on his face marked by the creases on his forehead. His hand held her neck delicately while his other hand is on her face. Her hands were clutching on to his brown shirt. They were locked in that hush of time.


The game

circa_infinity

She is a strong, confident woman, yet gentle and feminine. He grew up in the neighbourhood, a tough environment, and still he has a certain warmth - a sensitive man. They are both ugly, the kind of intentional ugliness which wants itself a statement, a display of detachment and superiority, the same as blind people who pride on the accuracy of their other senses. Do you see the irony? Nobody believes them, but they cannot be contradicted - the eternal paradox of the cliques. She picks a wild flower without stopping and smells it: she sees past the obvious beauty, in the very heart of things. She carelessly throws the flower on the pavement and the man looks at her, smiling comprehensibly. The society game continues, growing while gathering more and more details - they both look around while holding hands; a kind and condescending smile forms on their lips. How deep in the sty of ignorance we are, and how high they fly, floating around cosmic wonders! They are both skilled players, no room for amateur insecurities. On the surface it's the perfect session, no mistakes, maximum score‌ I can see a slight change in his expression, though: something does not sit well with him. He knew he should have worn the black, artsy shirt. Maybe the woman could have been more beautiful and less obvious, too. He makes a mental note to plan the details more carefully from now on. But he can't back down, it's too late, the show must go on. The woman stops in front of a jewellery store and he shrugs, resigned: women! He sees me and takes a moment to re-adjust his attitude, like an actor before going on stage. I walk past and he winks libidinously - he chose to be a player. I leave them behind and I am left wondering: how does the woman fit into the new scenario? Will she be able to keep up, adjust, or will she break down? I think she will manage - she looked like a fighter.


boffin

The Three Messengers The calamitous events of the past few years and the current economic recession induced many to believe that the end of the world is fast approaching. Our own country has witnessed three extraordinary events that have led the god-fearing, gullible and the irrational to read them as stern warnings from the Lord Almighty. The gist of the communication from the Supreme Being is that unless we undertake desperate measures to redress the imbalances, we are doomed. One wondered how this communication is intended only for humans. The reason put forward is that the All-merciful has chosen his favorite birds and beasts instead of his most accomplished creation to deliver these messages. These events have been aptly called the curious cases of a pig, a monkey and a pigeon.

The curious case of the pietistic pig Special Correspondent The Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple in the sleepy village of Siddhantham in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh was the site of a curious incident that happened on the Sunday, December 14, 2008. Early in the morning, a piglet was seen trying to gain entry into the temple and was rebuffed by the devotees. But the sedulous swine made an inconspicuous entry and began to do parikrama around the dhwaja stamba. The stupefied villagers abandoned their chores and thronged the temple to watch the circumambulation of the pig. Minutes stretched to hours until the rotation of the indefatigable orbiter ceased at 6 in the evening. The exercise lasted an unearthly 8 hours. There was nothing extraordinary about the physical makeup of the animal entertainer. It had everything in place a genus of even-toed ungulates within the family Suidae should have. A stout for a nose, a pair of small eyes, a kinked tail, a thick body, short legs, bristly hair, a full set of tusks, four toes on each foot, with the two large middle toes used for walking, and sociability and intelligence that is probably far exceeding many of the rustics of the village. What ensued the next day plunged the whole village into a maelstrom. Early next morning, the piglet returned. This time, instead of going directly to the temple, it ambled to the Godavari river nearby and took a bath! Then it went into the temple and resumed its rounds. This was typically what a methodical devotee did. The media was notified and soon the temple teemed with the press. Very soon there were three concentric circles of activity. The innermost circle resulted from the circling of the pig. The prying press and the stunned spectators formed the second and third outer circles respectively. Few journalists stood closely holding water bottles but had no idea how it would request for one to quench its thirst. The steely sow went about its rounds unperturbed by the surrounding commotion until it collapsed out of fatigue around the afternoon. A few concerned villagers rushed forward and nursed it. A few minutes later, the rejuvenated runt resumed its routine. But it collapsed once more and a doctor was called. He diagnosed the piglet to be suffering from Encephalomeningitis - an inflammation in the brain and meninges. He pronounced it would meet its maker in two days. The doctor was then asked if one of the symptoms of the affliction caused the afflicted to go round in circles, which he vehemently refuted. The widespread belief was that the piglet was the Varaha avatar of Lord Vishnu. The chief priest of the temple requested experts in animal linguistics to analyse the grunts of the runt, for he believed that the porky prophet may have a message for the accursed times. The experts after having analysed the grunts using their sophisticated machinery concluded that the messages were all the same, which was “I'm in pain�. The rationalists, however, pooh-poohed the belief. A noted veterinary surgeon, who followed the event on television channels, said it appeared to be a case of stereotyped behavior triggered by neurological disorder due to stress and strain. He added further that confinement of animals in congested places could lead to such behavior. However, nobody was sure from where the divine porcine messenger materialized into the uneventful existence of the settlers of Siddhantham. He also pointed out that the hog's head was tilted to a side indicating it was under some pain or discomfort and that its behavior could be an acquired habit to counter the discomfort. But it is still a mystery why it chose to counter this discomfort around the dhwaja stumba of the temple.


Don't mess with the monkey Special Correspondent On January 30, 2009, a bizarre incident took place on a National Highway in the Kolar region in Karnataka. A monkey emerged as the lone saviour to protect a Lord Hanuman shrine from demolition. The shrine was built on the side of the highway catering to the spiritual needs of the drivers, travellers, and villagers.

A member of an organization working to inculcate scientific temper and rational outlook to root out superstitions, said any animal could be trained in one particular activity but 'it was not right to assume it as some divine miracle'. These statements were echoed by a veterinary doctor who said it was possible technically to train any animal including a pig to behave in a particular way. It led the temple authorities to believe that the pig could well be a welltrained pet. When she was asked why would anybody train a pet, let alone a pig, to go around in circles, she quipped that maybe the conceited owner wanted to be a center of the pet's attention. A sprawling photograph of the piglet hogged the headlines of all the leading national dailies the following day. This led to a flood of visitors claiming ownership. There were many who did not know the difference between a dog and a pig and a cat and a pig.

When the local authorities were trying to demolish the shrine to widen the highway, the monkey stood at the entrance to the shrine threatening the demolition squad from coming close with its intimidating screeches. Locals said the monkey has been a long-living resident of the shrine and is a pacifist but surprisingly turned belligerent towards the officials who came to dismantle the shrine.

The authorities investigating this curious case did not rule out foul play. One authority suspected the four-legged miracle may have been trained and foisted in the temple by pagans and iconoclasts to interrupt the daily rituals. Explanations for this miraculous episode reached absurd lengths when a noted scientist opined that global warming could be the cause. He said, “Global warming is having a significant impact on hundreds of plant and animal species around the world. Birds are laying eggs earlier than usual, plants are flowering earlier and mammals are breaking hibernation sooner. Some of the species being dramatically impacted are Adelie Penguins, Caribou, Monarch Butterflies, Migratory Songbirds, Polar Bears, Trout, Coral Reefs, Arctic Foxes… Nothing could be more dramatic than a pig going round in circles.” The piglet was soon installed in the house of the diety where the devotees offered milk and flowers to it. The district administration stationed a police posse at the site to control the daily surging crowds travelling from near and far to have darshan of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Its popularity peaked when a political party was formed in the state with it as the mascot and with the accompanying campaign slogan “pigs would be put before people”. It would sweep the state assembly elections by a landslide.

“This monkey is fighting alone to save the shrine. It pleaded with the official initially to refrain from demolishing the shrine. But when the official ignored its supplication and ventured to destroy the house of the Lord, it attacked him,” said a local resident. When asked how did the primate plead with the official, he said, “It joined its palms together like in a Namaskaram and cried.” When asked to specify the details of the attack, he said, “The simian sprang on the official and bit his ear.” The temple priest said, “This monkey has not hurt any one till now. Except the people who came to demolish the temple. It is a divine messenger sent by the Almighty to revive the dying faith of the masses during these bleak times.” According to a local legend, the shrine was built around 20 years ago and a dead monkey was buried beneath the idol of Lord Hanuman. The locals were not sure if the interred monkey is related to the infuriated ape.


The pigeon among the chicks

Special Correspondent On February 3, 2009, a farmer in a nondescript village of Veripalem buried somewhere in the middle of South found to his alarm that one of his chicken eggs hatched a pigeon. He had incubated five eggs under the warm belly of one of his broody hens. Four of them yielded chicks naturally but the fifth miraculously produced a pretty, bouncing pigeon of most enchanting iridescent plumage. The farmer went berserk and ran amok through the village hailing this miracle at the top of his voice waking up the living and the dead.

The misbehaving monkey was not found to be under any pernicious influence of narcotics or alcoholic libations or poisoned food. Nobody knew certainly how it differentiated a devotee from a demolition man. One very intelligent, perspicuous, and rationalistic man reckoned it discriminated on the basis of the food offered to it. He said, “Therefore a swift solution to this laughable melodrama is to disguise a bomb as a luscious banana and offer it.” One builder proposed an ambitious but achievable plan. He said, “ Scoop a block of land with the shrine in the middle and transport it to a location that does not hinder the expansion work on the highway. This should be done as meticulously as possible so that the monkey would not know that it is being displaced on a mobile piece of land. We should make sure that if we move the block to the right, all the things in the ape's view must be moved to the left so that relatively it feels no change. Care must also be taken not to exhume the entombed ape.” After the monkey assumed his role as “protector”, devotees overwhelmed the shrine offering prayers to him, taking him to be an incarnation of Lord Hanuman. This created choking traffic jams on the highway causing lengthy tailbacks, which at one point competed with the queues of the devotees. The thorny situation in Kolar irked the builders who were committed to widen the highway at any cost on both the sides. Looking desperately for a solution, they approached the priest and requested him to speak to the monkey and convince it that a new temple of its Lord would be built very closeby. When the priest advanced towards it to convey the appeasement plan, the irreverential primate urinated on the holy man. When the priest was asked if he understood the significance of this disrespectful act, he said that the Lord was telling him indirectly to mind his business. Finally, the authorities, bereft of any options for amicable settlement, barbed the baboon with a tranquilizer dart and transported it to a cell for primates in the city zoo.

It would be worthwhile at this juncture to acquaint the readers the antiquated process of natural incubation that is still predominantly followed in most of the villages in this country. A rooster is first introduced to the hens for mating purposes. They are only needed to fertilize the eggs. These eggs become fertile about four days after the introduction. The hens lay one egg a day. The farmer then prepares the incubation nest. It is a hand-woven bamboo basket with customary dimensions of length of 25cm, height of 18cm, and width of 40cm half filled with ashes. Over the ashes, fine soft straws were placed and pressed down to make a hollow for placing the eggs. He places the eggs in the nest. He would then select a broody hen large enough to cover the clutch of eggs and keep it warm. A large hollow hemispherical bamboo basket, called the broody box, with good ventilation is then placed over the incubation nest containing the broody hen and the eggs. This is to prevent the hen from attending to distractions and jeopardizing the incubation process. The temperature is maintained at 37C (99F) for 21 days. The eggs were turned at least three times a day for the first 18 days, and lay untouched for the last 3 days. He releases the broody hen for sometime during the day to feed, drink and defecate. There are many similarities with the incubation process for pigeon eggs. The incubation period for pigeon eggs is 17 days. The incubation temperature is 99.5-100.5 F and the final day of egg rotation is day 15. Returning to the miracle, the news of it rapidly engulfed the neighboring villages, towns and the cities. It attracted intense media attention as well as the cunning eye of the noted pet detective, Dr. A. S. E. Venkatram, who wasted no time to unravel the mystery behind this curious case. He immediately set about his business by requesting the bamboozled admirers of the newborn to stay away from the premises until he had finished his investigations. He scoured the surroundings to study the avian life. There were all kinds of birds including the pigeons. He then perused the chicken farm of the farmer. Finally, he interrogated the farmer.


The pet detective then prepared a 100 page report on his findings and publicized it. It could easily be passed off as an authentic authoritative record of the rural life of Veripalem. The voluminous report is condensed into this summary: ASE: First of all, are you sure the broody hen is not a pigeon? Farmer: I'm sure it is not a pigeon. ASE: Were all the eggs that you gathered for incubation the same size? Farmer: Yes. More or less the same size. ASE: Can you differentiate between a pigeon egg and a chicken egg? Farmer: Most certainly. ASE: Are you sure all the eggs were chicken eggs? Farmer: I'm sure. I have been doing this for years. My parents have been doing this for years. My ancestors did this for ages. I could never be mistaken. ASE: Can you explain without leaving any detail how you released the broody hen? Farmer: First, I would remove the enclosing broody box and lay it by the side. I lift the hen from the incubation nest and place it on the floor to wander around. I then turn the eggs sequentially. I would then restore the box to its former position. After sometime, I would restore the broody hen over the incubation nest. ASE: Can you go through with me patiently how you restored the broody hen? Farmer: First, I would find the broody hen. I hold it in my left hand. I remove the broody box using my right hand and lay it by the side. I then place the broody hen on the clutch and restore the box to its former position. ASE: During the 21 days, did you find the box in a location different from the one the preceding night? Farmer: No. ASE: Was there any change in the number of eggs during the 21 days of your incubation process? Farmer: No. ASE: Was there any change in the size or color of eggs during the 21 days of your incubation process? Farmer: No. ASE: Is it possible that the broody hen may have accidentally taken an egg along with it and replaced it with some other egg? Farmer: Are you out of your mind? ASE: No. Let me rephrase my question. Is it possible that an egg may have stuck to the warm underside of the broody hen and got carried away? The underside of hen could be sticky. Farmer: Unlikely. I count the number of eggs before and after I release the hen. ASE: During the 21 days, have you noticed pigeons perching anytime on the broody box? Farmer: No, I have not. They may have perched. But what do you have in mind? (Although the farmer wanted to ask him first if he had a mind) ASE: I was thinking that maybe the pigeon may have slipped its egg into the clutch from the top of the box. Laws governing this universe permit this possibility. Farmer: I have to disagree with you. The egg of a pigeon will not fit into the ventilating holes of the box. However, there is one possibility. The pigeon may have made a large hole sufficient for it to get inside and descend to the clutch. We will assume here for the sake of simplicity that the broody hen is fast asleep. It then replaced one of the eggs with its own. It then flew out and stitched back the hole. Does our laws of universe permit this scenario? ASE: Finally, do you have any enemies? Humans or animals or birds? Preferably pigeons? Farmer: What are you suggesting? ASE: I'm merely suggesting that you may have been a victim of a vicious prank. Farmer: Are you suggesting that a pigeon may have played this prank? ASE: It is possible. Are you superstitious? Are you religious? Farmer: I am superstitious as well as religious. But I'm not stupid.

Having studied the lives of the birds in the neighbourhood, the environment of the chicken farm and the domesticity of the farmer, this seemingly preternatural occurrence does indeed have a rational explanation. It is unthinkable that a hen has given birth to a pigeon. We may have to wait for a few centuries for such an event. At the same time, I can say definitely, as night follows day, as sure as eggs is eggs, on the basis of pukka results from my infallible unconventional techniques of detection, that the farmer has not deceived us by painting one of his chicks to look like a pigeon. I have no doubt as to his sanity. He showed remarkable equanimity under a barrage of preposterous questions. He knows his business. There are two ways the pigeon egg may have come about into the clutch. First, it could have been mistakenly collected during the creation of the clutch. There are numerous ways how a pigeon egg could have got displaced and could have entered the habitat of the rooster and the hens. Second, it may have been inserted surreptitiously into the clutch during the incubation period. But having more intimate knowledge of the domestic situation of the farmer, I have no doubt that he was a victim of a clever but well-intentioned plan. You see the farmer and his wife have been trying unsuccessfully to have children for many years and as a result, unhappiness reigned in his household. Although I have not questioned his relatives or his neighbors, I firmly believe that they have colluded and smuggled the pigeon egg into the clutch just to bring cheer in his distressing life. I visited the family a week later and it gives me great pleasure to say that the result has been very favorable, for the farmer and his wife are extremely happy. They sincerely believe that the Lord has answered their prayers and sent the pigeon from his abode to be their child. They have wholeheartedly embraced it as their baby.


boffin The air-pump man My tennis lessons started at 7 every morning in the Gymkhana with a break on Sunday. There are many routes from my home to it. At that traffic-free time, they all took more or less the same time in my car. There are many futile petrol stations on these routes; futile for they were all closed at that time. Many of these have air-pump centers that were also closed except for one. The air-pump man who operated that pump never missed a day during the six months he filled my car before my brief sojourn abroad. Not even the Sundays. Although he filled my car once a week, I would without fail observe him on my way to the Gymkhana. He would be either sitting on a stool next to the airpump or servicing his customers. There were queues at that time too but not so lengthy as the ones during the later hours of the day. His dedication suggested a singular purpose in life. The filling routine was unvarying. I slowly manoeuvred my car into position in front of the airpump. The air-pump was simple but artistic. It consisted of a circular meter, which filled the hole of a small moped tyre. The tyre was fitted into a wooden box; the box was attached to a wall like a wall-clock; the wall faced and lined the road. The meter had a white dial with a black rectangular panel in the centre on which the pressure reading was shown in red; below the panel were up and down arrow buttons to set the reading. A tube carrying the air emanated from the right ear if one was to consider the wooden box as a face. The pump shrieked when the set pressure level was reached. A simple device providing an efficient operation. The words NO and TIP were painted in white on the highest point and the lowest points of the tyre. The sign was for the customers who bought petrol from the station. Nobody was sure if it was intended to be a command forbidding the customers to tip the air-pump man or a request; it ended up as a sign merely decorating the tyre; it was like the ubiquitous signs PUSH and PULL on the doors. He would set the dial to 31. He took the tube around from the front and filled the tyre on the driver's side. Then the two back tyres and finally the other front tyre. I would then lower the window and offer him the money. The first time he filled my car, I didn't pay any particular attention to him. I gave him 20Rs and lowered my head to switch on the engine. That was a serious mistake on my part in the transaction. By the time I looked up, he had moved on to the next customer. I didn't ask him for the change. But what this mistake did was it made him give preferential treatment to me the next time I came for filling. Why I went for filling to the same person? It was to right the wrong that I had committed. I was determined to give him only 5Rs this time and re-establish the rate of the transaction. But what ensued was altogether different. There were two queues; one for the two-wheelers and the other for the cars. There were many two-wheelers ahead of me when I arrived in the car queue. He bypassed all of them, much to their bewilderment, and signaled me to lock into position before the air-pump. I obliged; he then set the reading on the meter to 31 and filled the tyres. I lowered my window and gave him 20Rs.. He was a magician, I was his prop; he was a puppeteer, I was his puppet. I became his loyal customer and he became my premium service provider. My loyalty and his premium service was a perfect exponent of microeconomics in the macro business world. He must have earned a lot from the tips. There could be many victims of his trapped like me. He could be living in a nice apartment in the heart of the city. Appearances can be deceptive. Much later, I felt ashamed. Many questions tortured me. Was I corrupting him? Was I abetting his crimes? Was he using my money to get drunk?


This experience was not peculiar. It happened to me with an auto-rickshaw man. When I gave my car for servicing, I used to take auto-rickshaw from the stand close to my apartments. The charge to the Gymkhana was 70Rs. One day, I did not have the exact amount and so I gave two fifty-rupee notes. He returned one of the fifties and told me to give the remaining amount the next day. I, by agreeing to this arrangement, had to take his rick the next day. He now waited for me every day. I could not avoid him and thus became his eternal loyal customer. Again many questions rankled me. Was I unfairly favouring him over the others? The appearance of the air-pump man was unremarkable. He looked no different from any petrol station attendant. He was dressed in blue greasy overalls; he had greasy hands, a greasy face, greasy black and white hair on the top and a faint greasy moustache. He had a vermilion dot between his greasy eyebrows. If one concentrated on this dot and the brows, they resembled a bird in flight. Did he pray that early in the morning? But before one prayed, one bathed. His greasy appearance belied any such hint of a bath. I thought no number of baths could have removed the grease from his body. It had become an integral part of his makeup. His face wore a look of constant worry. His eyes were red and he had a massive belly, which only meant he got drunk every night. It was not uncommon for low-salaried workers to drink every night. Their labour was hard work; theirs was a life of survival; alcohol soothed their nerves and melted their worries. My relationship with him was defined by just two numbers; the tyre pressure of 31 and my charge of 20Rs. He was like an ATM, a coke or a chocolate machine. He was just an extension of the airpump. My car had erected a barrier between us; the window of the car was the barrier which I lowered before handing over the sum. I was sure riders of two-wheelers would know more about him than I do. But was there anything to know about him? I thought there was, especially in this country where each one of us has a different story to tell. It is one of the defining aspects of its diversity. Then I asked myself what he thought of me. Would he think of me as a machine too? Maybe a car with a cash dispenser. The only difference was that a glass window rolled down in my case popping out the cash compared to the metal shutters that flipped back in the ATMs. Six months had thus passed. If I arranged my life into a series of time events, his time event was that five-minute slot in one of the mornings of the week. He would not appear anywhere later. Not even in my thoughts. Life can be divided into two categories. Routines and unexpected events. If I ordered my routines on the basis of time and priority, his was insignicant. This insignificance was also the result of the simplicity of the relationship. It had only two variables; just two numbers, constants I should say. The ones on the top of the priority list had many variables. Much time was spent solving those variables thereby fulfilling the routines. The purity of the interaction is also determined by the number of constants or variables.The fewer the number, the lesser the terms of the relationship are. The fewer the number, the purer the relationship is. Take those two numbers and the five-minute slot when he filled the car. At the end of it, we both are satisfied; but most importantly at the end of it, we depart as strangers and don't think of each other. Our minds are uncluttered. There are no attachments. There are no responsibilities. We are therefore free individuals. There are parallels too with intercourse with prostitutes. It is a purest form of love. Though the thrill may come partly from the fact that it is forbidden love, it is pure because there are again just a couple of constants defining the relationship; the money and the time of intercourse. At the end, the needs of both the parties are satisfied; the man's physical need, the woman's financial

need. There is no emotional give and take during or even later on. During the act, the souls are not disturbed by thoughts of what would follow after the act, what to say after the act, what sacrifices to make, and what responsibilities to fulfil for this investment of emotions. Therefore during the act, the soul of the person is completely united with the body with the sole purpose of satisfying the body thereby ensuring its complete fulfilment. At the end, the man and the woman part with their freedom intact. I then left the country to work abroad for a month, returned eventually and resumed my morning routine. This time there was a young man in his place. It felt as enough I had travelled back in time. It was as though the air-pump man had always been there, that he came into this world along with the air-pump. But was it possible the young man was the air-pump man? He was very good-looking; dusky, square-jawed, thick-set, and supremely fit. The only common thing in the appearance was the grease. Could the young man possibly age into the air-pump man? Life can be a bitch. One can change and be transformed into someone completely different within a matter of a few years. Few years of extreme hardship can put many years on your appearance and make you look tired, older and uglier. Somehow his disappearance seemed like a betrayal to me. There could be many reasons due to which he may have left. None to do with me, I was sure. But it was a betrayal from my side too. I didn't tell him; he didn't tell me. But he was the other main lead in the play made of those morning slots in those six months of my life. It would be a shame if I were to recapture this past by just two numbers. A human relationship is much more than that. I wanted some solidity for those six months. I had to know the ending. Ours was an incomplete story. A story with a bizarre beginning, the beginning with him ensnaring me into a virtually eternal lopsided relationship; a story with a boring middle, the six months of those routines in the morning. Somehow I felt this vanishing act made those six months of my life incomplete. Was I a stickler for details? I had to know where he had gone. So I asked the young man, “What happened to the man who worked here before you?” He said, “He is no more. It is a long story. He started work here a year ago. He had sold his property in the village and had come to the city with his daughter. She had a hole in her heart. He started working overtime at this pump to save money for her operation. She got operated but died of complications a week later. He was inconsolable. He passed away soon after from a massive heart stroke.”


reviews

Future music with past intact.

mayank

Definitive OSI album. One which will pave way for future progressive alt.

Song Title: BLOOD Artist: OSI Year of Release: 2009

OSI’s third studio effort Blood, a recent release is probably the most distinct and truest OSI sound yet. Taking over drumming duties this time around is Gavin Harrison (of Porcupine Tree) and he makes sure that no one misses Portony. Album starts with ‘The Escape Artist’ and the intro of this track itself gives you a fair idea of what to expect from this album i.e. catchy guitar tones, tight drums, groovy bass and textured samples. The track goes heavier and has lot of melody in it for people to be humming it and playing it over and again. Signature Gavin Harrison double kicks and subtle high hat work is quite exceptional. Second track ‘Terminal’ is based more on textured keyboard patterns and has a deep, haunting sound. Kevin Moore’s vocal quality is the highlight of this track. Also you cant help but fall for the production quality. ‘False Start’ is the third and probably the heaviest track of this album, possibly heaviest of all OSI’s music till date. A truly incredible piece of music. Lot of variations, great melody and insane riffing. The track seems to be breaking in between and that’s when you realize the kind of control Gavin has over drums. As for the lyrics-- ‘I was feeling like a product placement’….chew on that. ‘We came undone’ is again a pretty down tempo track mostly sampling laced with Moore providing a dark overtone with his vocals and arrangement. This is probably the most defining track of the album concept i.e. the war between technology and humans. ‘Radiolouge’ is my favorite track from this album. A perfect mix of aggressiveness and spaced out synth work. Everything in track fits in perfectly. It evokes the feeling of a comfortable hopelessness. This is where you start thinking inclusion of Gavin actually helped OSI in getting their identity. Not that Portonay was bad in previous albums but here drumming just seems to be more planned out and intone. ‘Cant go on, Cant go back’…cant just stop playing this track. ‘Stockholm’ is one of the most talked about tracks this year. Afterall it’s not everyday that Moore, Jim Matheos, Gavin Harrison come together with Mikael Åkerfeldt(from OPETH). As expected we see the melodious avatar of Mikael here. It takes time to grow on you and then it stays. No disappointment here. ‘Microblast alert’ moves in a rock solid groove and controlled guitars. Opening minute of this track reminds you of the post gong space rock. Like Ozrics, it takes you deeper into trace with total ease. A very tight composition and infinitely listenable. ‘Blood’ starts with an ominous synth in a way you would expect next generation music to be. A perfect mix of melody, structured synth, great guitar tones and tight cymbal work. They manage to make a perfect hybrid of technically perfect and yet catchy music here which manages to pass its warmth on the listener. Ambient music at its best.

‘Be the Hero’ starts with about a one minute hushed up intro and then really blasts off before slipping in a few seconds of textured synth silence. Its only after this strange opening that the main riff kicks in and when it does, it just blows you away. Instantly likeable music which follows lot of traditional technical aspects. Overall an excellent progressive metal album, not to be missed out by any fan of this genre and a good start if you haven’t heard OSI before. Rest assured that if you haven’t plugged in OSI yet then you haven’t heard anything like it before.


mayank Good time to be walking alone.

No scope of any disappointment for any progressive music fan.

Album Title: Insurgents. Artist: Steven Wilson. Year of Release: 2009


Porcupine Tree, over the last decade and half, has made this reputation of being truly unique and the masters of progressive music (even though they hate to be tagged under any banner). Now that the soul of PT, Steven Wilson has released his solo project expectations had to be sky rocketing. As expected from Wilson, he delivers with an absolute masterpiece. No scope of any disappointment for any progressive music fan. A must have for all PT fans and it deserves a much wider audience as well. Lot of diversity from space rock to psychedelic to powerful metal riffs and subtle melodies, all woven together in this dream like journey Wilson takes you through. This album was recorded in various countries and there is reflection of that in the music as well, as it is varied from each previous track. Yet when it’s all put together it woks fantastically and doesn’t give you any moments to get out of frame. The sound of this album is not something drastically different from that of Porcupine Tree but you can notice a definite shift here. It’s dark, depressing, melodious and distinctly progressive like Porcupine Tree but there is lot more of individual expression and mood definers here. It has tons of minor key vocal harmonies and unexpected shifts in key. Some of the tracks on this album could have been on PT album and no one would have noticed but some of the other tracks can be easily disguised as those of Radiohead’s. That doesn’t mean that Wilson was, so to say, inspired by any other music outfit but just stressing the fact this album has PT and more to offer without losing its own unique identity. Though comparisons between PT and Insurgents are inevitable, this album stands on its own. Although this whole album is a unique experience and it’s difficult to pin point the standout tracks here but some tracks like "No Twilight within the Courts of the Sun" deserve a special mention. It is a pretty exceptional song which starts with a tight blues/jazz jam among Wilson and guest musicians. Top notch stuff and one of the best jams you will ever get to hear. Equally mesmerizing for musicians and audience. The song breaks midway all of a sudden and transforms into this melancholic profound mood and continues with various progressions before erupting out insanely in its last minute. One of its kind music piece. “Other Child” is another outstanding song in this album. Simple four by four count which is unlike most of Wilson’s work and presumably too simplistic for his taste but it works amazingly. It is like Wilson is doing Radiohead better then Radiohead here. Excellent production combined with some solid drumming pattern.

Scary music with deep melody. “Abandoner” is the track which is most distinctly non-Wilson. A sampled drumming pattern which could have fitted in hip-hop as well is well mixed with strange sound effects, empty fills, radio static and bells. By the time this track nears its ending it turns into a demonic distortion which can really send shivers up your spine. Deluxe edition of this album comes with a bonus disk which has 5 extra tracks. In a strange way the bonus music on this album makes it more complete then the regular disk. If you are planning to buy this album, which in my opinion you should, then go for the deluxe edition. It has some immensely memorable music lined up for you. Now if I have to deconstruct this album to its basic theme then it would be a task almost as tough as interpreting David Lynch movies. The album doesn’t follow a particular theme but it does have something which keeps it together. What is that thing? You probably need to pop in LSD and then figure it out for yourself. It’s abstract to say the least and still very direct at places. How did Wilson even came up this infinitely layered pattern is always going to be obscure.


The night and the morning after

Solo B

Indie boys, at their best!! Album Title: Tonight

Alex Kapranos, Bob Hardy, Nick McCarthy and Paul Thomas joined forces to give birth to Franz Ferdinand, one of the most popular and successful Indie bands in 2002. In 2004, they came up with their first album, Franz Ferdinand, which amongst many awards, won the MTV award for the year. Their next album rapidly followed in 2005. You Could Have it so Much Better, produced in association with Rick Costey earned gold and platinum accolades in the USA and received a whole lot of good reviews. Then came the long break. Characteristic to many musicians’ careers. Fans waited impatiently as producer Erol Alkan aborted mission. After almost half a decade of wait, the quartet from Glasgow released to the world Tonight. An undeniably Franz Ferdinand album, Tonight has all that is oh-so-characteristic to the band. The lyrics with the sexual undertones, Kapranos’s characteristic voice, the groovy feel… The album starts off with “Ulysees”, an awesome track. About a lost young man, who decides that crying about the situation won’t help and jumps headlong into the adventure! The sounds remind us of the “Michael” days. Kapranos’ voice works magic, and like he states in many interviews, the opening song of the album, gives the fans a taste of the nocturnal life FF begins to explore in this one. The first time, the chorus reaches your ears, you possibly will think back to their previous opening numbers and shake your heads and possibly wonder how someone can list the track as “awesome”, but by the time the band launches into the chorus the second time, you shall start singing with them and by the third, you will positively love the song. Sitting out of the action for almost half a decade, FF, introduces to their fans, hints of Afrobeats and Kapranos actually does indeed manage to sound rather vampirish like he claimed before being labeled as brilliant by the Vampire Weekend. “Send him Away” is one such song that actually makes the third album tick. “No you girls” perhaps what FF actually set out as. The sharpness, the foot-tapping beats that make you want to dance, the sexy voice of Kapranos. It has it all. Its an unmistakable hit of the album. The ballad, “Katherine Kiss Me”, with similar lyrics about flicking cigarettes is a more personal song that depicts vulnerability and sweet memories about a first kiss. Though both songs are about the same deal… a much desired first kiss, FF does an incredibly good job dealing with both. In ways that make fans incredibly proud. “Bite Hard”, “Live Alone”, the sassy “Turn it on”, “What she came for” all have a new beat to it. Something not all will notice. The guitars are choppier, the drums are being hit harder. Maybe, like all other bands trying to make a mark, FF is indeed trying to usher in a new era of music that will prove them to be less of a pop-star act as many consider them to be. However, with the disappointments of the year, Kings of Leon and many other bad music releases, FF’s newest album remains one of the best the ears could hear so far this year. It’s genuinely jazzy and funky. The hint of sexiness makes it sell even more. FF fans, this is a must have. Those who are listening to FF for the first time, its reason enough to download their past albums and wait impatiently for the next one.

Artist: Franz Ferdinand Year of Release: 2009


Photography Black and white

contributors Photography open theme Street Art-

Serenity At the Back-

chikin

Seclusion-

Kyunbit

Stroll-

Mayank

The Capillaries Of Zeus-

riya27

Drowning In Debt-

riya27

Crowded-

Mayank

circa_infinity

Nightlife-

solo177

Wait for this moment and let let it pass..rest are memories-

viveka

Canal Grand (The Grand Canal)-

xaeroman

Slow Burn-

solo177

Irony-

ashindore

Mycotal Obeisance-

riya27

Nail-

Mayank

Drophere-

Mayank

Photo feature Just imagine-

Zorbatheindian

Cartoons and caricatures

Writings Air Pump Man-

Boffin

The Three Messengers-

Boffin

Perspective, A Part Of a Series-

Sikanzabeen

Abaddon ‘s wall-

Sikanzabeen

The game -

circa_infinity

Could have Laughed-

Santosh

Shot In Broad Daylight-

Santosh

Lost-

Sylvia

Poetry Flight of the milkweed-

Sutirtha

Will'-o'-the-wisp-

Sagarb

Lie Asunder-

Santosh


This Magazine is a great platform for platformers. You must believe it primarily cause I say so. I know everything. By the Way- What have you ever done in Your life???

H

v T

mmmmm...

Hardcore TELEVISION

Ragdu Creative Head- Hmmmmm.. TV, SAHDY’ S

*He is right. FLOP


Flop August 2009