Friday, June 18, 2004

Okay. Important work first!
First of all, a hearti\y (and long overdue!) Happy Birthday to Nisheeth, who splits his pants with farts! Enjoy this year, may you have great fun. We went for his birthday to watch the Day after Tommorow, a very weird and implausible movie. We also saw the promos for another movie, which I shall not name, for fear of offending your delicate sensitivities. but which me and PC have planned to watch.
Next, and as important. A happy and joyous birthday to Vrinda Maheshwari. May she never have to feast upon Papayas! Her birthday celebrations will be held on the coming monday, so you shall be told about them then. Congratulations on her SAT score of 1600 are also due, and are forthcoming.
PC's got a 1550 in HIS SAT. Here's looking at you. kid! I have been blessed with a lowly 1400. so you will excuse me for not commenting more about it. PC,Vrinda, Karan, Gyan. Ankush, Please accept my heartiest. though somewhat subdued congratulations.

My Verbal has severely disappointed me again. Will someone please give me tuitions in English?

Moving on to pleasanter topics, today I had a very enjoyable lunch at Anant Dang's place, with Nazneen and Puja Sen for company, where I watched the godfather, and ate wonderful pizza and
spaghetti with meatballs made by Anuradha ma'am, his mother. The movie was one of the best I have ever seen. and I would appreciate someone lending the book to me. The weather in Delhi now sucks, and books are appreciated!

Bhavya has gone to Kerala, a hellhole of the highest order, which has temperatures in the early 30s throughout the year. Though its food, I must admit, is good, the spices make for not-quite-enjoyable mornings-after, and is more suitable for a cool climate. Beaches and backwaters don't appeal to me. Give me hills anytime. Or Calcutta!

The whole world seems to hate Calcutta, on account of it being filthy, and decaying. While the accusations are quite wellfounded, I'd like to know which city in India is not filthy. Decaying it may be, but it has wonderful food, specially Maachher Jhol, and Ilish Paabda. Say whatever about the Bengali, their food is wonderful.

Its also an extremely historical city, specially to one who is obsessed with the Rah, and reflects the grandeur of the Raj quite adequately. Call me an ass, I much prefer Chowringhee or Park Street or the Victoria Memorial to any of the buildings in Lutyen's Delhi, which always seems to be an anachroism. A hodgepodge of Indo-Saracenic-Gothic architecture. A city that is so out-of-touch with the rest of Delhi that it seems a deliberate affront to India. New Delhi has been betrayed by the rest of the city, which is a mess in comparison. People who talk about planning and good roads should see Connaught Place (Or whatever its called in Politicalese) on sunday Rush-hour.

Calcutta also has cheap food! Who in New Delhi could dream of eating Kathi rolls for Rs. 16?
Or authentic Hakka chinese for Rs. 890. with 16 people eating? The second-hand books one gets are amazing, and are sold for something like 6-25 Rs., a throwaway. Try buying books this cheap anywhere in Delhi.

The trams are another lovely feature of the city. A non-polluting, and rapid (for calcutta, rapid!) means of transport which has unfortunately been starved of cash. For those who wish to go at more than 19 kmph, Calcutta also has the metro of sorts, supposedly fully dug by hand, which is rather bad, as compared to those of the world, and Delhi.

A NON Commie, non Momotadi government, run with men like E. Shreedharan. could make Calcutta into a wonderful place to live in within 3 years. The trouble is that Bengalis seem to lack all initiative.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Compte à rebours pour le Columban
Le 'Columban open' ; est d'après les informations reçues le jeu le plus dur en Inde du nord. A traditionnellement tenu chaque année, en août, à l'ecole de St. Columba's, Delhi, avec le quizmaster qui est un Anglo-Indien, M. Francis Grosser.

Notre école, le DPS R.K.Puram a participé à ce jeu depuis le temps immémorial et est uniformément venue d'abord ou deuxième du temps. En 2002, l'équipe d'école, menée par Bongo, qui était le président du 'quiz Club' ; soyez venu d'abord en cela, et l'année dernière nous sommes venus en deuxieme lieu.

C'est notre année dernière à l'école, qui le rend neccessary pour que nous gagnent la chose damnée cette année. Pas Deuxième Position. Victoire. V-I-C-T-O-I-R-E !. À cet effet, les efforts ont déjà commencé. J'ai dévoré les 10 premiers jeux du Mastermind India, ecrit par M. Siddharth Basu, dont la famille Bhavya adore.
Espérer gagner
Cette article est en francais pour une professeur de notre ecole, une Mme. Dasgupta.

Friday, June 04, 2004

My blog shall no longer discuss teachers, or the school. All schoolstuff shall wither come on a new blog, or shall be emailed to all those that want it.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I m making an effort to write now. I shall write about Shamshad Begum.

Very few people born after 1980 even know who she is, which is very sad considering she earnt a cool Rs. 1000 per song as early as 1946, and was one of the first singers to be given the epithet of 'legend' in their lifetime,. Even Saigal, whose voice seems to hold some peculiar fascination for all the buddhhas, was honoured with this title (for wholly unexplained reasons!) after he died.

Shamshad Begum has sung all kinds of songs- from the weepy, as epitomised by her 'Hum Dard Ka Afsaana, duniya ko suna denge' (Dard, 1947), to her 'Chhod Baabul Ka Ghar', a lovely song from Babul, 1950, to the romantic (Meri Neendon mein tum, mere khwaabon mein tum, Naya Andaz, 1956). But what nobody has talked about is her silly songs, which truly are a treat, if only for their immense stupidity. She was the female forerunner, and later equivalent to Kishore Kumar. Consider some of her songs. I m quoting her
SHAMSHAD: Humse nain milaana, BA pass Kar ke
Humse preet lagaana BA pass kar ke
Jee BA pass karke, ho BA paas kar ke
BA pass Karke, mohe digri dikhaavo, ji mohe digri dikhaave
Male: Yeh hai BA ki digri, gori gusse me na aavo
Shamshad: Apni yeh char sau bees, kisi aur pe chalaavo
Jaao Yeh hai jhooti digei, isko Koode mein phenk aavo

Has anyone heard stupider songs, which manage to be quite so humourously silly without being cheap? And thats not all, she also has a "Yeh duniya roop ki chor" in which she sings lines in Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati and Marathi, in different styles. It may be funny, but singing that one song, in the pitch she managed, is not at all an easy thing to do. I know, because I've tried copying the pitch many times. Even for a female, it'd be very tough. 'Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon', which is now such a majorly cliched song that its sung everywhere old singers are being parodied, is also one of hers.

And before the advent of Lata Mangeshkar, she had no competition. Geeta Dutt couldn't manage the nasal singing well, and nasal singing was all that was desired then. Even after Lata, she, along with Geeta Dutt, was one of the only singers to survive the Mangeshkar onslaught well into the 1960s.

Sung two years after she officially retired, Kajra Muhobbatwala (Kismat, 1968) still remains evergreen, as do most of her songs. How many other singers of the 40s have had their songs remixed (and utterly ruined, too, but thats quite another matter) by slutty ultra-modern teenyboppers? For those of you who don't know, Saiyan dil mein aana re was a nice, peppy Shamshad number before those whores ruined it.

This article has been written after I discovered that Shamshad is not, as I originally supposed, dead, but alive and comfortably ensconsed at a suburban flat in Mumbai. Anyone who knoews more about her, please tell me.