Double Negative there, but that don't make it no more positive
It's monsoon again, as is obvious from my drowsy-sleepy-lethargic state of mind, which in turn, is obvious in this post. Also by the sea of black umbrellas that dot the picturescape of NITK.
I lost my black umbrella. I didn't find it mainly coz I couldn't describe it [I was so very attached to it, I was afraid my description would be biased in favour of the smooth silky black octagon, with not one rib missing, not one pin out of place... you get the picture].
And the lethargy that spreads along with other epidemics during the rains got to me, and made me too lazy to get a new one. And getting over the old one was bad enough, without having to worry about a new one. I remained umbrella-less. Until recently.
'Recently' was a week back, when I noticed a silver-black umbrella outside my room. It'd been there for more than a week then, and I had been eyeing it since the day someone carelessly plonked it on the corridor.
So mine it became. Who'd want to abandon a big, comfy umbrella like this one, I wondered. I even considered putting up a notice, but then I'd started to like this one. For once, something was going right, sans strings attached.
Monday morning. Downpour yet again. On other days, I'd be huddling with someone else under their anti-rain gear, but this time, it was Different. Yes it was.
I took My Umbrella and started off to class. Reached the Main building all dry.
I had to fold the parasol before entering through the narrow door. Which I tried to. And, with some difficulty, did.
Suddenly, I realized I'd forgotten my notes and stepped back to open the umbrella. Open, it did, but its components flew in three different directions: the octagonal cloth going forwards before crashing on the wall, the narrow rod narrowly missing the girl next to me, and the handle which, following N3L, rebounded in my palm, causing me some agony.
Some loser couldn't handle an umbrella and abandoned it on a corridor, causing someone else a morning of embarassment and agony.
Long ago, I'd read 'You Can Win' by Shiv Khera, where I found this among his many idiotic 'illustrative' stories:
'Once there was a king. He called all the scholars of his kingdom, and asked them to compile all the wisdom gathered through the ages. They worked for days on end, and came up with a large sheaf of scrolls.
The king found this too long to comfortably read, and asked them to contract it. It came to a thick book.
The king found this still too long to read, coz he'd given up reading in favor of more kingly pursuits, and asked them to compress it further. It came down to a thin book.
At this point, it transpires that the king was dyslexic, and the pundits were asked to compress the contents further.
It came down to a page, which was, as you guessed, asked to be compressed further, and they came up with a single sentence.
Which was "THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH".No free anti-rain gear either.
The story is on the borders of idiocy, but I felt the same agony while the umbrella split into three as I did when reading the story. I picked the pieces up, reassembled them, and carried the contraption to another corridor and left it there.
When I came back that way an hour later, the umbrella wasn't there any more. Finders Weepers? You betcha!
Aside: Karthik Narayan sends me his analysis of why umbrellas are octagonal. Kudos to this guy for being inquisitive enough to actually derive all this stuff.
"We are going to determine the polygon which suites the position of an umbrella the best(including the cost factor)..the last part is a bit vague and common sensical..anyways..
Consider that we are talking about a fixed circle say with a radius of 1m..inside which a general polygon of n sides is inscibed..firstly,we remove the odd sided polygons due to lack of symmetry.(to look good..!!).
so then we have n=2,4,6,8,10….the area of the polygon is clearly
A = n/2 * sin(2*pi/n)
Now the cost factor..notice that the area of the circle is pi..and for most of the polygons, the cost due to the cloth ain't an issue..(the cost for clothing a 45 sided and 90 sided would almost be same..).but the cost mainly lies in the rods(or spikes) which require to be put to hold the cloth..now, this causes a significant difference..assume that the cost of a rod is Rs 20 per metre.so the cost for a n sided polygon is..
C = 20*n
..(cost difference between a 45 sided and 90 sided will get to 900 bucks..!!).
Now, I evaluated the the above two for n=4,6,8,10…and I've put the area of the polygon as a percentage of the circle's area(A/pi *100)..And i give you a choice to buy any one..tell me..which on will you choose..?
4 sided : Area : 63 % Cost : Rs 80
6 sided: Area : 82 % Cost : Rs 120
8 sided: Area: 90 % Cost : Rs 160
10 sided: Area: 93 % Cost : Rs 200
12 sided: Area: 95 % Cost : Rs 240.
20 sided: Area: 98% Cost: Rs 400..!
If I was asked to choose, I would take the 8 sided one..obvious,it seems the most advantageous taking the cost and area..hmmm..what say..?
The recent rains have been anything but uplifting. My very mood for the past few days has been ranging from drowsy to sleepy [as is obvious from this bo-o-ring post]. So when I discovered that I have three tests this week, I tried hard to keep awake [iced tea, cold water baths...] and would’ve almost failed, if it hadn’t been for my collection of tapes and that miserable excuse for a walkman I possess.
It was then that I came across one of my oldest tapes: [V] Jammin!. It brought back memories of a long time back, when subcontinental rock[a term coined to describe the desi 'rock' bands]was my religion and reality shows hadn’t yet gotten big.
This collection is a unique concept indeed[haven't heard of any like this so far]. Channel [V] brought together 20 of the Subcontinent biggest pop artistes to jam together and create 10 absolutely great-sounding songs. The whole thing was telecast on [V] on the show [V] Jammin!; the whole process of making music, right from the concept stage to the songwriting to the recording.
It was telecast once a week, Monday 10 pm, and didn’t enjoy a mass viewership as such, for that slot was primarily dominated by Kyunki… The artistes in themselves weren’t all that well known, save a few like Euphoria, Strings, Shankar Mahadevan or Usha Uthup. The show, in the end, was not a phenomenon as such, but it did inspire a whole new inclination to indipop.
The tracks are in both English and Hindi, and are mostly upbeat ones, the likes of which haven’t really been heard before.
‘Rhythm ‘n’ Blues’ by Usha Uthup and Parikrama fuses reggae and rock. The keyboard and mouth-organ[Sonam Sherpa presumably at his best] combined with the powerful voices of Nitin Malik and Usha Uthup give the song a whole new feel, which has the listener up ‘n’ rockin’ in no time [I guess Tu will vouch for that]. ‘Todenge Phodenge’ by Abbey and Vedic Chant is a rebellious-sounding track sung mainly by the strong-voiced Abbey[aka Jayanto Pathak, who we haven't seen since the neck-twisting Aye Sanam]. The lyrics leave a lot to be desired here, though the beat is good and the instrumentals give it a dancy feel.
Undoubtedly, the most popular track in the collection is ‘Hum’ by Euphoria and Mehnaz. It was one of the theme tracks for India’s Cricket World Cup campaign. It has Euphoria’s signature all over it, be it the lyrics or the tune, which is racy and reminds you vaguely of ‘Keep on movin’ by Five.
But my personal fave’s got to be ‘Tide’ sung by Vasundhara Das and composed by Smoke [the same guys who composed 'tumse hi pyaar' for Aasma]. The video for this, shot on a rocky beach, matches the song perfectly, and for once, is a music video that has some semblence to the lyrics of the song.
Alms for Shanti and Taufiq Qureshi give percussions a whole new interpretation with ‘Superbol’. It has you headbanging to the tabla and the bols… something new to me.
The show wasn’t badly shot, but it kinda shocks you when you see how your favorite singers look sans makeup and nice clothes. The VJs were kind of retreated to the background and the technicians took over[notably the sound engineer Vijay Benegal, who worked the sessions to a slick mix]. Except in one episode with Jassi [of Dil lagi kudi gujrat di fame, this was long before the eponymous soapstar] and Ehsaan-Loy where Ranvir Shorey had to act as moderator and stop the trio from swearing and coming to blows. That song never got recorded, and the episode is the only one that went awry.
It was refreshing to see Usha Uthup just chillin’ with the boys of Parikrama. The band themselves amaze you with their always-full reservoir of energy [more on this later... they performed at NITK not so long ago] and bad-boy jokes, which is a far cry from the PJs-only humor of Silk Route or Euphoria.
All said and done, it was a great concept. Pity there was no follow-up-of-sorts to it. The only thing that went on to happen was that reality tv went big with Popstars I and II and umpteen other contests. If only it had been publicized on a much bigger scale, it maybe would have been the start of a new era in indipop [but then, one swallow does not a summer make.]. Maybe it would have checked the remix-brigade’s domination of the music scene, which happened a couple of years later. It didn’t give the momentum to indipop it should have, maybe due to the relative anonymity of the musicians.
Yeah, maybe [V] Jammin! doesnt deserve to be the phenomenon I make it out to be… but it also deserves better than to be an unknown show recalled faintly by only indipop aficionados.