Sunday, April 20, 2008


It's not often that I put up a post on music, though it runs through my blood. However, some things just beg for whole-hearted appreciation, there's no denying that. This post is solely dedicated to one such endeavor.

A couple of weeks before, I was asked to take a look at the site blackstratblues. It's a website put up by a bloke named Warren Mendonsa, whom many of you having interest in music/bands based out of India might have already heard of. He's the guitarist of the band 'Zero' and though I've never heard them play, I just can't wait to see them play live as soon as I get back from DC.

Well, this site is for his first (and hopefully not last) solo album called 'Nights in Shining Karma'. It consists of eight tracks (all instrumental) and each one is unique. The album starts of with the track 'Incense', that sounds so pure and gripping. You feel the track just crying out - 'You're listening to something special. Don't tune out, there's more magic yet to come.' The next track is 'Soar the sky' which is again beautiful and keeps you hooked on.

Then come the masterpieces. The next two tracks are my personal favorites - 'Anuva's sky' and 'Blues for Gary'. All I can say is - Just go listen to it! Anuva's sky is obviously written for a loved one, and the feel you get from the song is just brilliant. It just throws you into this realm of positive energy and hope. Blues for Gary is Gilmorish jazz (if I can use that word) and is another beautiful creation. Honestly, I've run out of superlatives so I'm gonna stop. The last song in the album is 'Bombay Rain' which is powerful and delivers a punch throughout.

The best part about this whole thing is that the album is available for free download on the site. I ain't joking - I've been listening to this album atleast once everyday for the last two weeks, it's almost like a ritual now! Don't wait for another second, just go to the site and listen to the album (it plays automatically) or download it (192kbps) and enjoy!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

My first random celebrity sighting!

Most people have never had the thrill of randomly sighting a celebrity. It's just too rare an experience, unless you live in Hollywood which ofcourse multiplies your chances by a factor of seven. (Again, a very random number chosen by me.) When I say random, I guess "by chance" would be the more meaningful term. That wouldn't include going for a cricket match and seeing Sachin. Or going to a film award show and seeing Shah Rukh. That would mean you see someone like Brad Pitt in a bar, or maybe Sharapova at the Gucci store. Something along those lines. Wishful thinking I know..but forgive me, I was just trying to drive the definition home! :)

Oh by the way, Shrek met Fardeen Khan at Mumbai aiport a few months ago. He was smoking away and some guy asked him for a light. He turned around and it was Fardeen! heh. Anyway, I finally had my chance yesterday, and the most weird thing about it would be the fact that I didn't even know he was a celebrity, let alone recognize him! Let me elaborate further. This is how the events unfolded...

Me, Shrek and Nick were in Chinatown yesterday at 4am, cos we were hungry after a night of partying. In fact, Chinatown is where most club-goers head to for dinner, since they're open at odd hours and are in close vicinity to downtown DC too. We'd just reached there and the place was jam-packed with a very tipsy crowd. So we were patiently waiting for a table along with two other Chinese guys who were around our age. Suddenly, one of the guys were like, "Hey, doesn't that guy look like A.D.?" and his friend was like "Yeah, kidding". I looked in the direction he was pointing, and I saw a pretty well-built afro-american guy with his friend. At the mention of the word "A.D.", he looked up and glanced over at our side, and turned suddenly back to his food.

You should have seen the look on the Chinese dude's face. There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there's MasterCard. You got it, priceless. He was like, "Oh..Oh..dudeeee..IT IS A.D.!!" And his friend too went wide-mouthed, and was like "Oh myyy Godddd". The Chinese guy almost started jumping with excitement non-stop..up and down..up and down. At this point I could not take it any longer, so I asked him, "Hey dude, who the hell is A.D.?" Again the look? Priceless. He looked at for me dumbstruck for two secs as if I were from a different planet. Then he went, "Dudeeeee!!! You don't know who A.D. is???? He..he...he's like the greatest footballer currently!!!!"

Alright, intermission. Let me give you some insight about our footballer in context. The guy was Adrian Peterson, running-back of the NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings. He just burst onto the scene last year, and won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the year award. He also won the MVP award for the Pro-Bowl game (something similar to an All-Stars NBA game). Now, that is pretty impressive. Alas, I only got all this info googling about him after I got home yesterday night, so at that time, he didn't make any impression on me.

Okay, back to the Chinese restaurant now. We finally got our table (4-5 tables away from A.D.) and the two Chinese guys got the table next to ours, and by this time, around 4-5 more of their friends had arrived too, along with their girlfriends. All of them were going gaga and stealing glances at him. The girls tried to coax the guys to go take a picture with him, but they were just too shy. Finally one of the girls had enough, and decided to go over to him. She went and said something and then he stood up and had his picture taken with her. All hell broke loose after that. Her friends rushed over too...and soon almost every single gal and guy in that place wanted to shake his hand, have their picture taken with him etc. I have to admit, he was very patient and amiable as well. After around 10 minutes, he decided to leave though and had his dinner boxed. Our next-table Chinese friends came back to their seats and couldn't stop gushing over him. "Duude...wowww...check out this pic!" and all that. We had an excellent time watching these events unfold, while polishing off our dinner of Singapore noodles, Kung-pow chicken and spicy fried squid.

In hindsight, I think it was a good idea heading to Chinatown for dinner.

The cost value? Great.
The entertainment value? Priceless :)

PS: Nick took some pics from where we were sitting, so when I get them, I'll post those later as an update.