Saturday, March 29, 2008

Back on The Road

It’s been like forever that I got on to my bike. A couple of weeks ago I finally took it out of the garage, gave it a complete wash down and then spent a good amount of time bringing the beast to life. I had not ridden it in months and the battery was down and I had to kick and kick and kick to start the bike. The electric start wouldn’t work after such a long break. I finally did manage to get it to fire up and it spewed black smoke from the exhaust. A bit of sputtering and it was lifeless again. Another couple of kicks on the peddle and I managed to fire it up again. I twisted the throttle and kept it there, pushed down into first gear and just let her go. I made sure that I wouldn’t let up on the accelerator lest the bike shuts down again. I rode like that to a petrol pump filled some gas and again spent time kicking it back to life.

The next stop was the workshop. Mallu Motors where I left it for some major servicing and cleaning. The next day I picked up my bike all shining like new. It even sounded so nice when I kicked it to life. That muted rumbling was music to my ears. So I rode off home. The battery needed to be changed, but that was something I’d do later. I could use the exercise kick starting my bike whenever I rode it. Well so I thought. Well it was going to be one kick start to many as I realised when the bike suddenly stopped on the way. Was it the fuel, well maybe I need to get some filled? So while I was on the way there, the bike stopped several times in the midst of peak evening traffic. Anyway I managed to get to the Petrol pump on The R.B. Connector and treated the Kazi to a full tank of Indian Oil Xtra Premium Petrol.

Once out the problem persisted and it was quite painful to get back home with constant stopping. I found the problem finally when I got back home. The Spark Plug connector was shorting with the engine body and I guessed electricity wasn’t passing smoothly. Anyway I took it back to Mallu Motors today and to my surprise they didn’t have the spare part. So one of the mechanics used some black electrical tape and did a temporary fix which worked just fine. Back on my bike, it was now running smoothly and flying into fifth gear in a jiffy.

I’m so glad to be back on my Karizma. Yippie!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

My New Toy

FIREFOX ALL TERRAIN 26" - Tempest

18" Alloy ATB frame
Suspension Fork
Shimano 6 speed gears
V-Brakes, Alloy rims & Crank
Color: Red


Need I say any more?

Saturday Night Blues goes with SAL

Saturday Night after listening to “Disco Nights” on Friends 91.9 FM, the mood had been set to go out partying and where better than good old Some Place Else. Once there I bumped into my good old friend from Delhi, Mr. Batra, well more popularly known as RJ Pratap in Delhi. The music started, well the live music that is and Saturday Night Blues Band was at their better best. They kicked off with an apt song “Strange Brew” and then that whining guitar just took over. I enjoyed some great slide work by Jayanta and alternating lead riffs with Chuku. Stuie on Bass was superb when he broke out singing into some rock n roll. Arnima popped in and out on the vocals when that powerful female voice was required and did some great back up vocals too when Jayanta was singing. Jeff on the drums in the back tapping away on his drums also lent his voice once in a while.

After they wound up their act half past midnight with “Mustang Sally”, I waited on for the next band to come on. They were called SAL. “Shut up And Listen” was their name and aptly so I did for all of two numbers after a prolonged sound check which lasted about half an hour. Then I just left. They were just too loud for me. I should’ve guessed they would be loud because DJ Austin and DJ Sumit kind of set it up with some real head-banging stuff while they were setting up.

Band: Saturday Night Blues Band
Jayanta – Guitars / Vocals
Chuku – Guitars / Vocals
Stuie – Bass / Vocals
Jeffrey – Drums / Vocals
Arnima - Vocals

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Colourful Music this Holi

It was the festival of colours and I had for probably the first time not stepped out of the house. In fact I spent the entire day indoors and spent the afternoon watching a hilarious movie for the millionth time. A Peter Sellers classic "The Party" which never fails to make me laugh. I was just making the most of the Flat screen LCD I had invested in. Stay home and watch movies in style.

Of course by evening I was itching to do something productive and the best thing to do is head out to Some Place Else, drink some beer and listen to some great music. We got there a bit before the band was ready to go and sat around listening to some amazing chatter about schools and exams and stuff like that by some paranoid parents. Ok just kidding, but the conversation really makes you wonder what the state of schools is today. I'll delve into that subject some day. But for now, the band was up on stage and ready to play. Hip Pocket started off with a Clapton track and then the rest of the two hours they were there played some really different stuff. Of course Pink Floyd is part of their staple diet and they fed the audience some of that too before calling it a night just a bit past midnight.

Band: Hip Pocket
Samidh – Bass / Vocals
Sumit – Guitar
Rishi – Guitar / Vocals
Shom – Keyboard
Nondon Bagchi – Drums / Vocals

DJ Austin and Sumit took over from there and tried keeping the crowd, but it just seems Urban Reflection has no takers. I remember on my last visit even I pushed off after they played a couple of tracks, but tonight I was going to sit it out. I wanted to know what this band was all about and vaguely remember them playing one night a long time ago when I was knocking back quite a few so the music really didn't matter and just served as a droning buzz in the background. Well not tonight. I was here to listen to the Band. They started with their signature song "Let that Guitar Ring". These guys had me glued for the rest of the night and did covers of a whole lot of popular rock and heavy rock songs from Metallica to Guns n Roses and Doobie Brothers to Phil Collins. I especially liked the part where the Guitarist broke a string and so that they didn't have to keep the audience waiting till he got one back on, the y played "Susudio". Really neat band and they've got the "Funk" in their music. I even made the effort of getting their names and here goes:

Band: URBAN REFLEKTION
Vocals: Sat
Guitar: Dabbu
Bass: Panku
Keyboard: Deba
Drums: Debu

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stupidest Movie ever

People, I purchased a DVD of EPIC MOVIE and watched it a couple of days ago. Its sales pitch was that it was from the makers of the all so famous movie series called SCARY MOVIE. Along those lines the movie just had a dig at every movie from Chronicles of Narnia to Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter to X-men, Pirates of the Carribean to Star Wars. Oh and not to forget Harry & Kumar got to Whitecastle and Snakes on a Plane among others. Its quite a laugh riot only if you've seen all these other movies to understand which part of the plot or which character they are tearing apart.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Urban Reflection after Gary goes with Hip Pocket

It’s been a while since I hit my favourite haunt, Some Place Else at the Park Hotel. I got there just in the nick of time to and caught Gary Lawyer jamming with Hip Pocket. The man has a golden voice and to hear him belt out old rock ’n roll track from yesteryears is great fun. renditions of CCR and the Doors peppered with some of his original tracks is just what people keep coming back for every time he lands in Kolkata.

He also performed a track from his new yet to be released album for which he's signed up with Virgin records. Am sure it'll have a lot of takers once it hits music stores. His stage presence and the way he engages the audience is just phenomenal egging them on to join in on the chorus. The best part is that he's performed with Hip Pocket on so many occasions that he doesn't even need to rehearse. He just walks in and starts off.

These are the two blokes who don't really get seen but keep the crowd busy in anticipation till the next band comes on. DJ Austin has been player here forever and his young apprentice DJ Sumit is also quite accomplished at dishing out a well sequenced session of rock music.

Anyway that said, Urban Reflection took stage and were their usual best with some funky number.

Friday, March 14, 2008

FAME get Michael Clayton

If you like thrillers and movies that keep you guessing till the end and make you think of what's going to happen next in the plot, Michael Clayton is worth a watch. A bit of a serious movie but very interesting. George Clooney with his pepper hair and swagger is sheer brilliant in his role as the protagonist of this movie. This time I watched the movie as I had wanted to, sitting in those huge plush leather seats that you can sink into in the last row at FAME.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Flames Illuminate The Night Sky

You're wondering why I have a heading such as I have and pictures of trees and skyline. Well that's how my evening had begun. I stepped out onto the balcony and was amazed by the colour of the leaves of the tree outside the balcony. Well I had stayed there for so long but had never noticed how beautiful the colour of freshly sprouted leaves could be, well especially on this tree. So I dashed in for my camera and started clicking. The light was perfect. It was just a little after the sun had set and would soon turn dark. As it did my focus suddenly shifted to the bright red hoarding in the background amongst that clutter of outdoor signages. It was like a jungle out there and this was like the Lion among them beckoning readers to the land of Gold, Dubai.

Well much later when I had left and driven half way home I come upon the catastrophe that was visible from a distance. There were flames leaping into the sky behind some buildings and people running up the bridge with their belongings, some weeping, some with children in their arms as I descended the bridge. The closer I got the more evident it got that the shanty village behind the buildings was under siege by the raging fire billowing thick black smoke into the sky. An occasional explosion could be heard as traffic had come to a near standstill. Once near the site of the fire a manic crowd had taken control of the road and the police in the background standing behind the barricades on the road were just mere silent bystanders. The rowdy crowd were diverting traffic back, so we followed their direction and took a u-turn and headed back in the same direction we had come from towards Science City. I shouldn’t speculate, but the oddity of the scene makes me wonder, a fire that had engulfed such a huge area and looked menacing endangering lives of people and materials had yet not got the attention of the Fire Services? Just makes me wonder if there was some vested interested in the razing of all that “prime real estate”?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Friends 91.9 FM Music Festival

The third and final day of the Friends 91.9 FM Music Festival kicked off with the upcoming Bangla Band Eldorado. The stage crowded with speakers came alive with the screaming vocalist and screeching guitars. It was Rock time baby and Kolkata was ready to be blown away.

The next band was Chandrabindoo, not into screaming and shouting but melodious music, this band was well received and applauded during their performance. As their final gesture to the platform they had been given to perform at, they called upon all the Friends 91.9 FM RJs to join them on stage for their last song and sing along. As gracious hosts, the RJs appeased the request and finally got a standing ovation from the crowd.

Phoenix was the next act upon stage and this 7 year old band gave a performance that was commendable. Not only did they have the crowd cheering them all the way, but were able to stave off all requests for the next band to come on stage very eloquently.

Fossils were up next and did their usual gimmicky loud music with much fanfare. Their lead vocalist had the crowd dancing to his tunes.

The grand finale of the evening and the three day musical extravaganza was Bikram Ghosh’s Rythmscape which included Pt. S Sekhar, Sanjay Das, Pulak Sarkar, Chiro, V Suresh and Supratik. The performance had the audience captivated and up and cheering till 10 pm.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Friends 91.9 FM Music Festival

Last evening's musical extravaganza at Nazrul Mancha was beyond comparison to any Music program I have attended in my life. The line up of artists, the precision of execution, transition from one artist's performance to the next and most of all the well mannered and cultured audience should go down in the pages of Nazrul Mancha as the best show organised there.

The show was kicked off with Raghab Chattopadhyay who had to pacify the crowd a bit with respect to the speakers that were blocking the crowd’s vision. That problem solved he was followed by Subhamita who ended her performance with “Bondhu Tomar Jonyo…”.

Manomay took Centre-Stage shortly and was followed by Rupankar. His presence on stage was then taken by Lopamudra Mitra who enchanted the audience with her voice. Meanwhile Nackikrta who in turn pleased the audience with a good performance followed Srikanto Acharya. That marked the end of the Adhunik Bngla part of the event for the evening.

Kaushiki took the stage at 11.30pm and captivated people with her ragas. Tejendra Narayan Mazumbdar followed her performance. The Grand Finale of the Evening (which turned out to behomin was Morning was Rashid Khan He got requests and crowd played till nearly 5.20 am this morning,