One day I will…..

116I was standing there on the top of some mountain in Cape Town. The view around me was absolutely stunning. So instead of just cocking up and just enjoying the breeze and having a beer, I pulled out my phone and started taking pictures. I pointed it…framed it and took a picture. Then moved it a few millimeters here and there and took another picture. Then walked a few millimeters ahead and took a picture. And a few millimeters behind and took another picture. Then i scanned all the pictures to see which was the best. They were all good, but which was the best? I couldn’t tell. Then I thought to myself, suppose I were to take a print of this, which of these 4 would I take a print of? Maybe I should see it on a larger screen and then decide. So I kept all 4 of them, so that ONE DAY…ill go through all of them and decide on which one is the best and then send it to make a big print. And then get it framed and put it in a room. A room of a house which I will buy, ONE DAY. And then put this picture there….actually not just this picture. Infact Ill create a wall of nostalgia….ONE DAY and frame many such pictures of stuff that I have taken all my life.

b7d14f843407ccb1ed2f09ef15f7e907I remember, suddenly ONE DAY, I took my camera and went to this adda of mine many many years ago, and clicked pictures, random pictures of all the assholes who I hung around with, and wrote notes behind these photographs, and thought to myself, ONE DAY, when I’m doing nothing spectacular, I’ll pull out all these pictures and stare at them, and read all these stupid notes, pour myself a drink and think about these bums. Just for the fuck of it.

ONE DAY, many years ago, I walked into blossoms ( a bookstore in Bangalore, that gives you this feeling of ONE DAY…I’ll sit and read all these books), and stumbled upon some Amar Chitra Katha Comics. I saw one comic ‘Kesari, the flying thief’. I knew I had read this. Like ‘oh fuck-Kesari the flying thief…like Kesari the flying thief’ kind of reaction. I had forgotten the story of the comic that I returned to the library with a fine of 2 rupees, after 2 weeks. And I had forgotten the story. This was not on. I picked it up immediately to quickly recover from this severe amnesia. And what I do I see below it…”Chittarandan Das’. Ya….I think I remember him too. Was it the comic or was it my history book? Anyway, it was seriously sad that I did not know Chittarandan Das’ story…someone important in our history and noone even wants to make a cool movie on him. OK…Chittarnadan Das..I wont let you down. I wont let you remain unforgotten. Rani of Jhansi..shit….what was this now? I remember a school teacher of mine had dressed up like her in a school play of mine with background music like ‘woh toh jhaansi waali rani thi…’ I need to know more. Oh no…Tales of Shiva, Gandhari, The fool and his disciples, Tyagaraja, Birbal the just, Tenali Raman….no. I cannot exist without remembering these stories. I needed to read all of them. Again. Why? Why..because maybe there are many mini mini ads in them that I can whack…or make full blown stories….remix them and make them unrecognizable and do some feature film. Fuck the purpose…I took all of them. Some 300 of them, so that ONE DAY, I can sit and read them all at one go…and become a super improved version of myself.

I had preserved the ticket of the Metallica concert that I attended. A bit torn …but so what. Why? Dude, it’s Metallica…and I need to profess my absolute love for them. This is not a ticket…it’s the ticket of the first rock band that I truly fell in love with. I head banged alone at home, playing their tapes every afternoon, on the loudest speakers that mankind had invented (ahuja). These tickets need to framed and mounted with 10 inches of white space all around them and hung on that same nostalgic wall of mine in that room of that house that I am going to buy…ONE DAY.metallica

I had by now accumulated several of these ONE DAY items.

ONE DAY..I’ll plant these seeds of this special Cactii (that I picked up in that trip to Rajasthan…or was it Himachal…or no no..it was Soul Santhe) that brings peace into the house.

ONE DAY…I’ll restore these vinyls that I had inherited from my father-in-law.

ONE DAY…I’ll visit these restaurants bookmarked on my Zomato

ONE DAY…all these recipes my mother had handwritten taking notes from my grandmother on this special pink book.

ONE DAY…I’ll repaint all these cashew tin boxes that I have collected from Indigo Airlines, with quotes from Bruce Lee and Gandhi and Bob Marley and make them into cool looking visiting card holders. Ok..ONE DAY I’ll have a cooler visiting card and that ONE DAY…I’ll learn how to paint…and then ONE DAY..I’ll learn how to take off the paint from tin boxes and repaint on them. I have Youtube videos saved in ‘watch later’ for that.

My pop sent me to this cricket coaching camp conducted by Syed Kirmani. I sucked big time. Bowling was pathetic. batting was okay. So all they made me do was fielding. I was good at fielding…but who cares if you field well. Its assumed that you are supposed to field well. And then I see Rajyavardhan Rathore pick up gold at the Olympics for shooting. Fucking shit…maybe I am damn good at shooting. Ya…that’s my calling. How would I know, if I have never shot from a rifle ever. So…ONE DAY…I’m going to just try my hand at Shooting. Or rowing. Or squash. Ok…shooting it is…you dont need to move around too much. So ONE DAY..I’m going to go and try shooting…or maybe Archery? Fuck…why did my school not have anything to do with Archery.

I have recorded this program on my Tata Sky Plus….’Trading with the stocks for beginners’. Maybe, ONE DAY, I’ll watch it and figure out how to make more money than the chaps at Infosys, who just overnight got a 200% increase in their salaries. And then they print their figures in dollars, so that you can take out your calculator and multiply it by 62 or whatever….I mean its great that they are doing this. But why publish it? For what joy? OK…so ONE DAY..I’ll watch this program and figure out how to become a multi millionaire.

one dayONE DAY…I’ll assemble this 6000 piece Lego Fire Station, that I picked up ONE DAY.

ONE DAY…I’ll go to the racecourse to figure out what the fuck exactly happens there.

ONE DAY…I’ll try this cocktail that I have saved on my evernote.

ONE DAY…I’ll open all these apps that I have saved on my cellphone and give them a good shot.

ONE DAY..I’ll do a movie marathon of all these dvds that I have filled half my house with.

ONE DAY…I’ll attend this heritage Bangalore walk at 6:30 am to figure out what is this heritage that I dont know about?

ONE DAY…I’ll open this 3000 page book on ‘How things work?’, a book a salesman sold to me 12 years back because he wanted to pay his college fees with the commission he earns from these sales.

ONE DAY…I want to know what the fuck happens at Bangalore Theosophical Society?

ONE DAY..I want to google and figure out what is exactly asafetida….a salt, a mineral, a fruit or a vegetable?

Then ONE DAY….I saw this article, in Times of India supplement, yes, that glossy supplement with aloe vera and power yoga and new trending stuff articles.

Staycation.

That was one new article.

A vacation where you just stay at home. Don’t go anywhere and just sit at home and do stuff that you always wanted to do…..ONE DAY.

So…I decided to take off for 20 days and dedicate it to this sole purpose.

‘THE ONE DAY I’LL DO THIS….STAYCATION’

Did it work?

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Halli daariyalli….evening hothinalli

It happens often. And it can drive you crazy. Atleast it happens to me. You suddenly remember a song, and then you want it badly. So badly that it can drive you insane.

It happened to me again.

From somewhere out of the blue, an old kannada song called ‘halli daariyalli’, started to haunt me. A song that I vaguely remember seeing Kokila Mohan dancing in some jazzy dinchak outfit. A song that had made my new ‘Dyanora’ color tv proud, some years back.

I kept tossing and turning last night in my sleep, trying to remember the song fully. I woke up singing the same tune. I could not take it any longer. I needed it. And needed it really bad.

I tried googling it with no luck.

Then I youtubed it. And i found this interesting clip. Though it isn’t the original, I must admit that the dude out here has done quite a brilliant job of it. So watch it to get an idea of what this post is all about.

I had no clue which movie it belonged to. But I could bet that SPB was the singer. 

So, with this limited knowledge I first went to the neighboring music stores, Planet M, Music World, Calypso and a few others. Unfortunately, noone knew what I was talking about.

And then I remembered this unique tiny shop called Totalkannada.com located in the basement opposite Pai Vihar, Jayanagara, a shop completely dedicated to kannada movies, music, books and other “Jai Karnataka Maate’ paraphernalia. 

This was my last resort. I was going half mad. And I hoped and prayed that I find it there.

As I entered, a salesgirl was sitting at the counter. A simple young kannadiga girl, who was almost dozing off to some old kannada melody on the speakers that was apt for a sleepy afternoon like this. There was another lone customer loitering around and messing up the alphabetically arranged Vcds. 

One look at her and I was convinced that she would have no clue either. 

With full anxiety, I leaned over the counter and whispered adding the customary ‘maydam’ before every sentence to sound as authentically kannada as possible….

“Maydam, ondhu haadu hudukutha iddini…..(I’m searching for a song) …….halli daariyalli”

She turned down the volume of the speakers that was playing ‘Namoora mandaara hoove’.

I repeated my request ‘Maydam…halli daariyalli’, with an irritating eagerness that I didn’t care to hold back.

She turned the volume further down and closed her eyes to concentrate on getting the tune of my request.

I impatiently waited for that one customer to clear the field, and then cleared my throat.

“Maydam …haadla..(can i sing it?)”

She nodded impatiently.

I looked around and broke into the song accompanied by a half-hearted jig, to add some excitement to her memory jogging process…..”Halli daariyalli……tan ta daan ta da taan ta da taan…” and abruptly stopped, wishing that her imagination would take over with this cryptic clue.

She gave me a look as if to say “Go on…don’t stop, it’s coming …it’s coming in my head…keep it going”.

So I took a good look around and continued….

“Halli Daariyalli……tan ta daan ta da taan ta da taan…

Thampu breezinalli…tan ta daan ta da taan ta da taan…

hmmmm hmmmmm hmmmmmm…something something and 

ooru inda bandanu Mr Maraaanu”

She showed me symptoms of having heard it before. Her eyes lit up and she started mouthing the words to herself. She closed her eyes and transported herself back to her ‘Dyanora or Solidaire TV’ days. 

I encouraged her further by again repeating all that I knew.

She jumped “Correct. howdu….ivaga nyaapka barthaayide…..Englishu Kannada mix maadi ondu haadu” (Ya…now I remember, it’s a song that mixes up English and Kannada words)

I was thrilled to bits and continued…’ya ya, haaruthide love birdsugalu…..’ and was promptly interrupted by some fool who walked in wanting some Darshan hits.

The imagination that we had built up till now was drowned the minute she slipped in the ‘Darshan Hits’ CD to test it. The sepia toned imagery floating in the air was ruthlessly spoilt by the garish garbage that belted out of the speakers.  

I casually asked that customer “Saar Halli daariyalli haadu yaav picturu antha goththa?” (Sir, do you know which movie is ‘Halli Daariyalli’ from?)

He meditated for a while and said with supreme confidence “Halli Daari alla adu…halli meshtru…..Ravichandran picture” (No …it’s called halli meshtru..a Ravichandran film).

I controlled all my urges to slap him. And let him groove to the irritating tune of his latest purchase that was blaring from the speakers.

Thankfully, the guy was happy with what he was hearing, and he soon exited leaving us alone to resume our exciting search.

And the salesgirl promptly returned. 

I took off from where we left.

“Correctu madam….English Kannada mix…haaruthide love birdsu galu…oduthide cowsugalu..”(love birds are flying and cows are running)

“Hero yaaru gotha?’ She asked frowning hard.

“Seriyaagi nyaapka illa madam…Kokila Mohan anusoththe” (Cannot remember clearly….I think it is Kokila Mohan)

“Haan…” she jumped in excitement and promptly returned with a Vcd of the movie ‘Kokila’.

We quickly poured over its contents.The Vcd also contained a listing of all the songs. But no, this number did not feature.

She was visibly dissappointed with her ineffeciency. And I was visibly happy that she was taking such a keen interest in this.

We both agreed that it could only be SPB who could have sung this song.

She kept humming the tune to herself, as she rummaged through dozens of SPB hits looking for this number.

I picked up a bunch of illayaraja hits hoping that I’d find it in them. I always felt it had a very ‘Illayaraja’ flavour to it.

But we both failed in our searches.

She then picked up a big fat book, a kannada cinema encyclopedia and began searching for it. 

After about 20 minutes of pouring into it, she lifted her head and looked at me strangely.

She studied me carefully.

Obviously there was something running in her head.

And then she said in a nervous whisper “Actually nam bossige gothirathe. Andre ivaaga nidde maadtha irthaare!” (Actually my boss would know. But he’ll be sleeping right now).

She was mentally weighing the worth of this deal. Even if she did identify the cd, it couldn’t be costing more than 30 Rs. Was it worthy enough to spend a phone call? Or risk disturbing the owner at such an untimely hour?

I could sense the dilemma going on in her head. 

I put on the most desperate face I could. 

She pondered for a while and thankfully decided that it was more important to please me than worry about the deal and her boss.

She hesitantly picked up the phone and punched the buttons.

I could see the tension on her face.  

“Sorry sir…..ondhu customer bandidhaare…halli daariyalli bekanthe…yaavu piccharru antha goththa nimmage?” (There is a customer searching for halli daariyalli song here. Do you know which movie it belongs to?)

There was a pregnant pause. She made unpleasant faces at me, imitating her boss’ mood at that time. 

She tried to sound her polite best as she responded to him “..’Muniyana maadri’…..andre adralli Shankar Nag alva…haaan….correctu…….Kokila Mohanu idaane…thumba thanks sir” (Oh Muniyana Maadri…but isn’t that Shankar Nag!….oh ya right….even Kokila Mohan is in that one. Thank you sir)

She hung up and bit her tongue feeling happy that she was done with the difficult part. She rushed and reached out for that Vcd. And ran through the listings.

Yes. The song did feature.

She handed over the vcd to me and said “Boss kopuskondru…parvaagilla….nimmage haadu sikkthalla!” (Boss was wild. But it’s ok. Atleast you found your song).

I grabbed it and was all set to rush back and listen to it. 

But she held me back for a few minutes, frantically rummaging through a few other Cds. I was getting impatient. I had dug out the exact number of notes needed for the transaction, to make it as speedy as possible.

She finally returned with a compile of SPB and held it out to me.   

“Saar. MP3 nu sikkthu…beka? Beri 25 Rupayee!!” (I also got an MP3 of it. Do you want it? It’s only 25 Rs!!’)

I knew that she was doing this only to justify the deal in her own head.

And I could have paid anything for such sincerity.

halli

 

 

 

 

So here it is……I later found it in on youtube….Now that i know which movie it belongs to.

 

Thanks to someone, who’s so passionate about their job.

Dog is a DJ – Part 2

It was about 4 months. The shine on the DJ badge had begun to dull, and this cool pastime started seeming like a job. I could spot the cracks in the mahogany around. I knew which waiter was putting on an accent. I knew half the cocktail recipes. I could see a face and guess the tracks that he or she would trip on. I knew who spends, who doesn’t. I knew which person would be footing the bill at any table. I knew the cats at snooker. I knew the bartenders. I knew the chefs. I knew the marksmen. I knew the cleaners in the loo. I also which CD belonged to which cover. I knew which CD had a scratch. I knew at which second the track in that CD would jump.

I started hating the songs that I used to love, and starting loving the ones I always hated. By the end of that, I could appreciate just about any genre of music under the sun. I had mastered the art of changing moods. I knew which song I could use to shift from hip-hop to rock or from a romantic song to a dance track.

I also knew that I played a big part in determining the waiter’s tip. I had often seen waiters fighting for the requests that came from their table. Great service would earn them a handsome tip. But a request that was played could just triple that amount.

I also realised that it’s important to keep the women happy. If the women returned, the men will simply follow.

I pulled along learning something new everyday.

But the hunger pangs was something that I just couldn’t bear. After many experiments, I narrowed down on one long track that could give me the needed escape to go grab half a plate of egg noodles at ‘Bob’s Chinees Cart’ right outside the pub.

An extended remix of George Michael’s ‘Fast Love’, that went on for 16 minutes and 42 seconds.

So everyday, at about 8 PM, I’d quietly slip in this CD and dash out. Bob had programmed himself to break an egg into the wok, the minute he saw my shadow elongate from a distance. By the end of the meal, I’d rush back just in time, with about 30 seconds of the track left and pass by dozens of dizzy drunks, who’d be in a motionless state of trance with George Michael running out of breath and words…..

..’looking for some fast love….looking for some fast love….looking for some fast love…….looking for some fast love….looking for some fast love……………..’

and dive to reach the cross faders…’all aboard…..the night train’…

..and settle down sucking the last string of noodle dangling from my mouth.
djmonkey

I had managed to keep the manager in the dark about my vanishing act. I also knew exactly when he was around. I had developed a code language with the waiters to find out the auspicious occasions of when he was missing. I knew which request evoked what kind of a response. So I’d hold on to the risky ones and play them only when I was sure that the tiger was not on prowl.

By now, I had started identifying customers by their favorite songs and their eccentricities.

There was the ‘Cocojumbo’ man, an old weary loner who’d walk in at the same time everyday, wearing the same hat, and sit on the same bar stool and order the same drink and lift his glass in my direction gesturing me to play the same song again. Cocojumbo. The minute the track began, he’d shut his eyes and listen to it till his Bloody Mary bled with pathos. And balance his head on the counter, by holding the bridge of his nose. I’d never seen so much melancholy in reggae before in my life.

Then there was the ‘Scatman troop’, a bunch of teeny Cottonians disguised in cool sweat shirts and jackets that unconvincingly concealed their uniforms beneath. They’d chuck their school bags to an obscure corner, split that everlasting pitcher and then their fingers to make a ‘Pepsi Can’ pose and try keeping pace with Scatman. They’d scat all the possible gibberish, scattering all the beer they’re holding and end in a dramatic fashion by knocking their fists and finishing together “Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop”. And do a quick scan from the corner of their eyes, to spot any prospective female fan of their do.

Then was the Nirvana chick. A short-haired, seven earring sporting wild feline. She’d wear tees that had huge hand painted logos of ‘Metallica’, ‘Megadeth’ and ‘Maiden’. She’d only request for numbers which had a minimum decibel level of a rocket launch, with lyrics penned by sadistic undertakers.

Can you play ‘Countdown to extinction?’
“No”
“Symphony of destruction”
“No”
“Skin of my teeth”
“No”
“Corporeal Jigsore Quandary”
“No”

After her initial requests of morbid head rupturing cacophonies, she’d unsettlingly tune down her ear drums to Nirvana’s ‘Smells like teen spirit’. And break into a headbang that had an unpredictable radius. She’d continue this war dance clearing the field around inaudibly questioning the machismo of the men around. They’d surrender by replacing their sissy pint beers with an extra-large of the hardest liquor in the house.

Then was the ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ dude. A young chap who wore shiny shirts with hypnotising patterns and tight denims. He’d simply lean over a pillar with a drink in his hand, watching a snooker game in progress. No song mattered to him. The only song that deserved a response from his limbs was “Kung Fu…”. Everytime the track changed, he’d get into position, hoping that the initial beats would mysteriously blend into his favorite request. And when it finally did, he’d make partners with the pillar, and slip into his role of Bruce Lee making drunken monkey, crazy horse, flying cobra and other Shaolin poses.

And of course, the strangest was this curly haired guy from Mauritius. He’d walk-in with this break-dance step that universally suited any tune that I was playing. And wink at me from his corner. A gesture that’s suppose to mean ‘bring my favorite track on’.

“Every breath you take”.

(He’d corrected the request after I goofed up the first time by playing Sting’s version of it. He scribbled specifically ‘By Puff Daddy’, the next time.)

The minute the track was played, he’d enact a Mauritian national dance to this tune. A step where he’d first vibrate his feet which then electrifyingly travelled to his head reaching every body part during the journey. This was followed by a random spin. He’d then freeze for a few moments and smile at whoever he was facing. He’d continue with this step, in a loop. By the time the song ended, he’d have staggered all over the place, displacing the maximum audience possible. And at the end of it, he’d crumple a paper napkin into a ball and chuck it at me. The first time, I was annoyed with his style of thanksgiving. But when this practice continued religiously, I dismissed it as an Mauritian way of showing appreciation.

To be contd……