Sunday, July 31, 2011

Janasheen: Music review

When Stella send me an email appreciating the blog and asking about the possibility to review the album Janasheen by Nickk, which they are publicizing currently, I was a bit worried. I like hearing music and even passing comments on songs. But to review songs... it is out of my forte. So to keep the authenticity of the site intact (I admit that was a trumpet blowing..) I approached my good friend Andrews Lijoy, a wonderful singer and composer with a great music sense, who readily agreed to help this friend in distress and make a guest post on Conscientious Reflections for reviewing Janasheen by Nickk... On to Lijoy.... 

Nickk is the latest musician to hit the already populated Indian pop music field. A singer, composer and lyricist, he has just released his debut album- Janasheen released by Beatfactory music. 

The album has five tracks, if the remix version is considered as a separate track. The first one is Janasheen, the song with a video. Janasheen has a very feel good effect to it, but I don't think it will linger in the mind for long. The song is devoid of any special magic to it. The strength of the song lies in the soothing voice of Nickk. The strings and beats at the start reminds me of a slower version of Ashlee Simpson's "I am me", but it still gives an "ear candy" effect.

The second song, Guzaarish Rock is actually not a rock version. Any song won't fall into a rock song category by having some heavy string portion added to it. An attempt to modify it to a rock version actually kind of disturbed the feel of the song. 

The melody of the pack is the track called Jaane Kyun. Here the singer takes advantage of his voice and the orchestra backs it up very well. A slow and smooth song which is easy on ears. 

Iqteza is a typical club song. It has nothing special that can throw you on the dance floor right away. 

Guzaarish Dance version- Only adding certain extra beat does not make a dance version of a song. 

Overall Janasheen is not a ground breaking pop album, but not a bad one either. Songs are quite okay, but treads the usual path of pop songs that are being released now a days. With a voice like that he could have surely done a much better work. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to be a successful blogger a la Govind Tiwari...

I was checking news today when I came upon this Indian blog that hit the bull's eye by becoming an overnight sensation on Twitter and Facebook. He is even featured on leading newspapers as a human interest story. So how did Govind Tiwari managed to be a mini celebrity? What are the techniques adopted by this blogger to get an enormous traffic hike in just days?

For answers have a look at his blog and you will come to know that for getting attention in today's world you need not do any hard work. What you need is a blog with a really freaky template, some of your crazy, in literal sense, photos, basic knowledge in photoshop to screw them up, a demo version video making software, an absence of imagination or a sense of aesthetics and lot of love, for yourself...!

I have been wasting my time, thinking of interesting topics to write in this space, of new words and of making situations just to show them off, of how to promote it so that some unsuspecting reader finds me and read what I have to say. This guy, like that Brahman, who challenged the circus performer, who jumped through a ring of fire, to jump without ring or even fire like he did, became the winning horse on whom no one cared to bet.

Wishing Govind Tiwari best of luck in future endeavors and a happy blogging life...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Treadmill: A Never Ending Run

Treadmill is a Hindi play written by Sandeep Shikhar and directed by Abhishek Majumdar.  It is a comedy about the futility and emptiness experienced on the run for survival in the modern world. Treadmill is a metaphor used throughout the play for depicting the never ending run without any aim. After a session on treadmill you realize that you have not reached any where, you are on the starting point itself. 

Four characters enact all the characters. The play starts with a couple deciding to part. Then the hero meets a guy to whom he tells his story. How he meets the girl, falls in love and manages to marry her. From then onwards it is a downward spiral. Days and months passes by when their life gets into the prison of routine, work, communication by SMS. Slowly different characters from different walks of life emerges on the stage. The common point that binds them all is their never ending search, one which does not get them any where unfortunately. Finally the guy who hears the story becomes a part of it. He claims that the story is his. In the end audience realizes that what they just saw was an episode from their life. 

Great acting and superb direction. The plot is a bit confusing initially, but slowly gets engaging. What would have been a monotonous grey depiction of a married couple's life gets its colors from many interesting sub characters coming on stage at various points of play with their existential burdens on the shoulders. All in all a good watch...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Height of Irresponsibility...

After suffering for decades from terrorist attacks, across the border, from inside the country and from beyond the oceans, finally the common man can make the sigh of relief. Things could have been worse. You thought a handful of terrorists keeping our financial capital as hostage for days together was bad? Or a series of blast in metro trains is terrible? Or terrorists striking three cities across the nation at the same time was a shame on our intelligence department? You are wrong...! Worse could have happened...!

So says our Yuvaraaj...  and how can we deny the words of him?.. the future of our nation.. According to the young Gandhi, government was successful in thwarting 99% of possible terror strikes. Of course just like Sachin cannot hit a century in every Cricket match, during some unlucky times sad things happen. And yesterday was one such day. But do not worry! He and his government is hell bent on stealing the victory from terrorists in coming days. He assures us a hundred percent result soon. 

So as per Rahul Gandhi, 99% of terror attacks are foiled "Due to effective vigilance and surveillance...", and " is difficult to stop every terror incident even though the country has improved by leaps and bounds in combating the menace." Just imagine, if the government was not as successful as Mr Gandhi claims, what would be the condition of our nation! Not too good if you take the case of latest blast in Mumbai. Every three days there will be another bomb blast. Simple maths, if this attempt is among the 1% of attacks government could not prevent, surely there should be minimum 99 other attacks which were foiled. Otherwise the claim is wrong. So to prevent any one to accuse him of telling lies, let Mr Amul G keep the proof on table. Of 99 possible attacks prevented by the intelligence agencies. Or at least a handful of them. If that is also difficult can we see at least the proof of one incident that was prevented by the intervention of agencies. 

I doubt, Juniorji would be capable to do this... 

If he is our future... then we, as a united, independent nation will soon be history...  

Another interesting comment came from Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray. He was lambasting Congress government on its inability to protect citizens. " Why should innocent people suffer? Who will take the responsibility?" This coming from a person who wants to throw out every non Maratha out of Mumbai... who tries to expel them out by violence... 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Being an Iconoclast...

An iconoclast is someone who lives against the conventions of society. Someone who breaks the icons.... They do things differently, creating new ideas from existing situations, which never occurred to others. In his book Iconoclast, Gregory Berns, a neuro surgeon, describes the biological specialties of an iconoclast that helps him in perceiving reality differently from others.

Brain uses certain shortcuts to analyse the information gathered by sensory organs to make its work easy. These shortcuts cause us to ignore or overlook certain aspects of things. But certain people tend to notice these aspects and some of them uses it to their advantage. They are iconoclasts...

According to the author anyone can train the mind to behave like an iconoclast, there by achieving creative success. The book has lot of examples of iconoclasts, successful and not, who changed the world against all odds.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Debates: Past and present...

In olden times, people who did not have any work used to pass their time by debating!... What they do is, they select a verse or a stanza of a poem written by some no-good jobless poet, usually in Sanskrit and debate on that. The first assumption made by these pseudo pundits is that this worthless piece of poem deals with the existential perils of mankind and contains a deep meaning and can cure the world of all its troubles...  So each of them interprets it, finds the meaning and try to assert that, their view, which no one in the group follows, is correct. Verbal fights occur among the participants, each of whom equipped with ideas of their own, to claim that they are right. The poor poet delights in all the unwanted attention that his useless  poem receives. 

Last few days, I am standing on the pedestal of the poet. I was told to make a financial statement of my department. As I am just 6 months old there, and the management wanted to show the expenses ridiculously low and the time alloted to  make it was less and I had many other urgent duties to attend, (add any other excuses that you can think of), I made an extensive report without researching, mostly out of my own imagination...! 

After getting my emailed report, the finance manager never bothered to look into it let even correct and forwarded it, as it is, to the auditors. Auditors, who could not make the head and tail of it, asked the manager to put some sense into it. Baffled manager interpreted it as per his limited knowledge and needless to say, the interpretation was bull. Auditors got further confused.  They wanted to clarify it from the person who made the report. Manager asked my boss to make some sense out of it. My boss who made an equally imaginary report last year, added his inputs, further complicating the matters. The auditors came with hundred objections. Meetings after meetings, where all of us auditors, finance manager, my boss and me debated on and on taking different points to suit our individual requirements. We decided to maintain our stand, with blessing from our big boss. More lies were added to the whirlpool by making many more imaginary, ridiculous reports... Tomorrow, finally the tired auditors want to close the audit. I have just made two more reports containing the details which they have asked and am hoping to end the trauma once and for all. 

Pray for me.. :)

On other news, I watcher Transformers 3 last week. And boy, it was the most tiring movie that I ever watched. The humor was inane, acting bad and the CGI was too long. The climax was so long and pointless that, I felt it was longer than the actual movie.. And I also watched X Men: First Class, which compared to the inane Transformers installment was first class. Another watch was a Thai Action comedy called Saturday Killer, which I will recommend to any avid movie watchers not to watch... Most ridiculous comedy I have watched in a while, cringe worthy is an under statement... 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Turn Petrol Price Hike to Your Advantage..

Gas price is increasing sky high and along with it the price of anything and everything remotely involving transportation. The common man's already stooped spine is now looking like a rainbow with a single color- Black. But as you know Conscientious Reflections always advocates optimism in any pitch black circumstances. And to follow up with this tradition, I am putting up this post to show some ways in which you can turn the hike to advantage. 

One good thing about this hike is that gasoline products- Petrol, LPG and Kerosene will totally get eliminated from households,  thereby reducing the domestic violence against daughter in laws considerably. If you cannot even afford LPG for frying potatoes, it does not make sense to make a scheme for frying your Bahu! If we are lucky, may be there will be a truce between Saas and Bahus, till the petrol price comes down or the unlucky son's/husband's income increases drastically to accommodate the above said products in the kitchen again, though both the options seems unlikely in the prevailing situations. And there is an additional bonus being the stoppage to Saas- Bahu tele serials, causing the whole family audience, right from kids to grant parents, to enrich their vocabulary and cultural background by watching reality shows where young no-good teen agers and non existent celebrities abuse each other mentally, verbally and physically.   

To prevent the nation from going back to bullock cart days, the petrol barons of India can lead the way by introducing new schemes for tempting and promoting people to buy petrol. Ambani's Reliance can be the front runner in this venture as already they have made such a revolution 10 years back by offering mobile phones for 500 Rs, thereby making the most ordinary of the citizens vulnerable to prostate cancer and depression. Give the customer a vehicle free of cost, or with a minimum down payment ensuring they will buy the fuel from you for a stipulated period of time. Giving out Hummers will be the most profitable thing to do. 

Get a Nano for just Rs 500, if you buy it through your nearby Bharath petroleum gas station*.     Conditions Apply...

Financiers can start loaning money against petrol, like Muthoot financiers and Manappuram do using gold. You can go to the nearest office with a can of petrol, diesel or kerosene or a cylinder of LPG and get a loan for that. All this within 5 minutes. 

The Ad will look  something like this:
Muthoot Finance introduces Muthoot Petrol Loan. Loan within 15 minutes.. 
Manappuram stands for you... or drives...

On a serious note, at least now if we start curbing the dependency on fossil fuels and look out for more green energy sources, we can make earth a better place. 

I already started the endeavor with my new solar water heater. It does not work on cloudy days and early mornings, when I really need hot water to bath, but it is at least a start.