Bangalore Literature Festival 2013 – Day 1

This was the first time I went for this festival. I got to know only a few months ago that last year Gulzar Saab came to Bangalore, gave a public appearance, and I missed it. So this time I had decided to finally see him. Yep, that was the first and foremost reason for going to the literature festival.

Anyway, the reason told, here is some idea of what I saw on day one.

The day had to begin at ten in the morning, but I was a little early. Deliberately, though I had no plans as to what I’d do there. Things were slightly late too, and the opening ceremony began something around 1020-1030.

There, after the Dollukunita dance, Chandrashekhara Kambara, a Kannada poet-playwright presented a small good-wish speech, while Nabaneeta Dev Sen objected to the use of word ‘bhasha’ as just regional languages in India. Ramchandra Guha gave a little Tamil-in-Bangalore lesson and Ashok Vajpeyi tried to keep the mood light with his short-light talks. Finally when Christoph Bertrams was selling us some Seagull books after Vikram’s someone-even-postponed-his-wedding-for-this-event story, we decided to take a round of book stall, with my G-Mitra Mohit Kataria there too.

After finding and not finding some books, we sat for a few minutes to hear the panel discussion on ‘Vision for India’ but heard only some views of Mohandas Pai, before we were out for something again. And then around 1245 it was Sri Sri Ravi Shankar whose full session was watched. The session was okay, but some of the questions from the public were so ordinary that they made Sri Sri look like a genius there.

Farhan at BLrLitFestAround two, it was Bollywood time. Rakeysh Mehra, Prasoon Joshi and Farhan Akhtar were there for a session and Bhawana Somaaya had a good time talking to them, as did the audiences, where Rakeysh said Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was ‘not a true blue biopic’ but an inspired story. Prasoon talked about things that would have been as shown in the movie, had they been at all, taking the example of the scene where Divya Dutta wears Milkha’s India jacket, and Farhan even had to sing four not-so-sureelee lines with an to-the-core besuree audience. It was Rock On title song, if you must know.

Tata Docomo: 2+ Years, Benefits going, Network still missing

I bought a Tata Docomo connection the day it was launched in Bangalore. And probably in India as well, which makes me one of the first few thousand customers of Docomo. On that day, there was no reason not to buy it and since I had an extra phone, I went ahead and put the SIM on my secondary phone. And so lovely were the plans of Docomo that within a week, my Airtel SIM was on the secondary phone, and in almost two months, every provider was counting the benefits of one second pulse. And probably that’s the reason I love DoCoMo, besides because it’s a Tata thing.

At that time, Docomo was good mainly because of its plans. The network was not too great, but it was as good as one could expect from a company just launched. It was not there in basements, lifts, remote areas and in some buildings, for example Manipal Hospital was one place where it wasn’t there in almost half the places inside the building.

But things were manageable and with the speed Docomo was putting their towers, I had expected that maximum within a year they’d have network as good as Airtel or Vodafone.

Guess I was wrong.
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Skylight’s Shaan Live in Concert at Palace Grounds, Bangalore

Kal Shaam, it was Shaan. I have seen Shankar, Sonu, KK, Euphoria, and a few more before this, and this was probably not better than either of them, but then, it wasn’t much less than most of them, and after this long, it was a treat to watch that concert.

The show started at eight. First there was June Bannerjee for a couple songs and then Shaan came in with Behti Hawa sa tha woh, to merge it soon into Don title track. The next song happened to be Jab se tere naina and then, it was good old Shaan for some time, from Tune Mujhe Pehchana Nahin to Woh Pehli baar and then even to a much newer Hum jo chalne lage hain from Jab We Met.

At the time, things were going really good as a nostalgic feeling goes with those good old Shaan songs, but then he jumped to Main Aisa kyun hoon, which was, disappointingly, badly sung, with some mixed-up lyrics and less-than-perfect-for-the-song band. Things again got a bit better when Shaan started singing Chanda Mama so gaye in the mid of main aisa kyun hoon and went on to sing one love, followed by some songs of Sajid-Wajid (Partner n Welcome title) and Rahman composed Humdum Suniyo re.

He also sang two lines of Life bahot simple hai from Stanley ka Dabba before starting a lovely Bum bum bole, but couldn’t sing a third line of the former. Then there was a fast paced, remix version of Musu Musu and a well-subhanallah-ed Chand Sifarish.

After this he was joined by June for some duets that included a not-so-beautiful Hey Shona followed by a train of apna har din – gazab bhayo rama – u r my love – aa khushi se khudkushi karle, after which June broke into a exceptionally well sung Beedi. Exceptionally well sung cuz June wasn’t performing too good and more than that I didn’t expect anyone other than Sunidhi to sound well in that song. She later made things worse with Desi girl and I once again felt that she probably sounded more unconvincing than ever when it came to singing English words.

Anyway, as June left the stage around 9:40, Shaan went on to sing a new series of songs that went like rock n roll soniye – dus bahane – deewangi (OSO) – rock the dance floor – bindass – koi kahe and all is well.

Then Shaan went all emotional about a song that would probably be remembered even when he was gone (this was the time people were shouting for Bhool ja and Tanha dil) and started singing Behti Hawa sa Tha Woh. I was a bit irritated when he mixed up a few lyrics in that one as well, after saying so much about the song. If you are reading this by any chance, Shaan, please remember that song well, if u think it will be remembered well after you’re gone.

After this, when it was almost ten, or probably a few minutes past that, he started singing Tanha dil, and with every note I knew this was what I was waiting for, and I guess the response from the public was quite the same. The disappointment came when I realized after the first para that he wasn’t going to complete the song because of the time restrictions. Then he sang some lines of Bhool ja as well, after which I started walking, applauding the band members whose names I unfortunately don’t remember now. And while out of sight, I realized he was playing Where’s the party tonight to end the show.

In all, the show was good and though there were a few negatives like his not too wide range (as compared to Sonu Nigam and Shankar, I’d say) and some mixed-up lyrics, I did enjoy the show and if you were there, I hope you did enjoy as well.

PS: Somewhere in between, he also sang a para of Eno Onthara, which made a pop corn seller sit down in an empty chair n watch the show for a minute, instead of roaming around and selling. 🙂

iBangalorean: In-City, Out-Law

Petrol prices are up. So are fares of buses, and cabs, and autos. Well, bus fares have gone Rs 1 up on every ticket, be it Rs 3 or Rs 11. Not a very good ratio but still OK. Cabs have raised their fares too. And now the autowallahs also are trying to get the price raised, and frankly, I do not mind if they do get that, if only they were charging meter fares.
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Atif Concert in Bangalore Kinda #Fail

Yesterday’s Atif show at Palace Grounds Bangalore wasn’t what I had expected from it to be. Neither there was good arrangement nor a show by Atif with standards I had expected. After this show, I’d say that Atif is a huge, but still quite a raw talent.

The show, called Tu Jaane Na, had to start at 7 and 7:20 I reached there with 3 of my friends, two girls among them. The first problem was that my friends were searching rest rooms and there were none available for people with Rs 850 tickets. The lowest one, that is. That is something I have never faced in any concerts anywhere. We were unable to use a restroom even after trying to talk to at least 5-6 people in various teams making arrangements for the show.

Anyway, after a wait of almost an hour Atif was there, in white T-shirt and a brown hat. The guy started singing Bakhuda tum hi ho of Kismat Konnection and got a huge applause. He made a few improvisations in the song and tried more melody, which was likable. Then he went on to sing meri humjoliyaan kuch yahan kuch wahan, ehsaas (main ek fard hoon), Mahi ve, Tera Hone Laga hoon, Doorie, Meri Kahani, Kinara, Parandey, wo lamhe, mahiya ve soniya ve, kuch is tarah, mera piya ghar aaya, allah hu, tere bin, hum kis gali ja rahe hain, pehli nazar mein, sajna tere bina, tu jaane na, Aadat, mostly the Jal band version of it and some more. Besides his own and Jal songs, songs also included some popular numbers of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and probably some of Abida Parveen too. He added lines from Ae Zindagi Gale Laga le while singing ehsaas and sang some lines of Gulabi aankhen too. Expectedly, that was loved by all.
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Atif Aslam Concert in Bangalore

Yes, Atif is coming to Bangalore on 13th February, 2010. Venue: as usual, Palace Grounds. There is report that the show, called Tu Janne Na, will be supporting Kids who have AIDS.

The ticket prices for the show start from Rs 850, and go to 1250 and 2000 for Level 2 and Level 1 respectively.

The tickets for the show can be booked from TicketFlare or BookMyShow.

iBangalorean: BMTC Vajra, One More Incident

It was one of my regular trips. In fact the most regular one. From the whitefield bus stop to my office, ITPL. As I saw a 333P coming, I waved to the bus and since the bus had to drop people there, it anyway stopped. I got into the bus and sat in the front seats. The conductor, who was in the seat right behind the driver’s, did not move. The small journey was about to end and the bus was at its last stop, ITPL (yeah, like common man, BMTC also calls International Tech Park Bangalore/ITPB by its old name ITPL only). The conductor in his bored mood asked me if I had pass. I clearly gave him a ‘No’. He started talking in Kannada as he was clear that I wasn’t a native Kannada speaker. Now, this is a standard observation that whenever the local conductors want an edge, MOST of them start talking in Kannnada to non-natives which generally results in them getting money as people just want to leave.
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iBangalorean: Public Utility

Bangalore, or Bengaluru now, is one of the best cities I have seen. But still there are things that need to be worked upon, in large measure. This time, I have some pictures of Mota Royal Arcade that speak for themselves. A mall at one of the best locations possible in Bangalore, provides you paid toilets, and their condition.
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Bangalore Screenwriting Workshop

Ever had a great story in your head that you thought could be made into a film but never knew how to do it? Do you have a penchant for telling stories? Sitting in your office cubicle, your bed, bathroom or the neighborhood park and wondering how to turn your story into a screenplay and then on to the screen? Here is an opportunity for you to realize that dream.

Saurabh Shukla. Ruchi Narayan. Manish Gupta. Devika Bhagat. And finally, Rajat Kapoor. Screenplay writers for Satya, Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi, Sarkar, Manorama 6 Feet Under, and Mithya.

It’s a bit difficult to believe, but finally it’s coming true. The Bangalore Screenwriting Workshop is here. With the biggies named here as mentors.

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Ranbir Kapoor at Forum, Bangalore

It was the first time I got to see a movie celebrity. And it happened to be Ranbir Kapoor, who had come to Forum Value Mall at Whitefield here for the promotion of Rocket Singh. When I entered the mall at 3.30, the mall was already full of fans.

Forum administration had set a small stage in the center and were passing the time with random acts till the star arrived. During that time even I got some share of stage and sang a few lines. While a young-at-heart telecom called Raja stole the show with a wonderful rendering of kora kagaz tha ye man mera.

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Pizza, Pasta, me

It seems I am very much inspired by Shashi Tharoor’s Elephant, Tiger and Cellphone. That could be the only explanation of my every fourth blog post title being in three words. Anyways, this time it’s about Domino’s Pizza delivery services and me and since I could not think of anything else, I titled the post on Pizza, Pasta and me, the main three chracters of this story, as I do not know the name of the guy at the Domino’s.

Well, it’s been some time since Domino’s has been giving tempting advertisements on their newly found product, Domino’s pastas. Of course, they have tried to make the advertisements such that if you are hungry (or even if you’re not, do they care), you just pick up the phone, dial their number, and order a Pasta.

But if you actually do that, the answer would be “Sorry Sir, we do not deliver side orders”, or something like that.

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