Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saddam executed on "Vaikunta Ekadasi" day

Yesterday was the holy day of "Vaikunta Ekadasi". Hindus believe that the gates of Heaven are opened on this day and people who die on earth on this day ascend to Heaven. Saddam Hussein was executed yesterday.

How cruel the world is! Even people who were against Saddam must have felt for the man yesterday when video clippings of his last moments prior to his execution flashed across T.V's the world over and the Internet. Saddam seemed so calm, clutching the Holy Kuran in his hand. When the executioners were explaining things to him he was looking at things as though he was visiting some exhibition were things were being explained to him. When the black collar was placed under his neck he patiently complied as though his waiter was adjusting his suit. It was difficult to watch the proceedings. I wonder what was in his mind in those last moments. I really felt for the man yesterday.

I am not trying to justify the things Saddam did in his life but haven't people who committed more heinous crimes got away with them, many still at large and many even living free. Several of the Khmer Rouge seniors are still alive and free, having massacared thousands. Several other criminals who indulged in genocide live and die even without going on trial.

Unfortunately America today has earned more of the wrath, this time of the supporters of Saddam by initiating the incidents that has lead to Saddam's death. America's war casualties in Iraq now number in excess of the lives that were lost in the 911 incidents. Who is going to be tried for these American deaths in Iraq?

Asianet the Malayalam T.V channel also telecast a short special about one Mr. xxxx.Nair who served as a cook for Saddam Hussein and his guests for 7 years. Saddam had personally given him a watch with his image inside it, a certificate and posed for photographs together with Mr. Nair. Mr. Nair was choking and hardly could speak on camera about the execution that took place yesterday.

May Saddam's soul rest in peace.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Last Sunday this time...

I and Binny are in the Cathedral School ground where "Deep Purple" is playing their final songs of their 2 hour concert. The concert is loud. As I stand close to the stage some 30 metres away leaving Binny seated behind on the grounds, I can feel the pound of Ian's Bass drum on my heart. I am screaming for some of their big hits "Smoke on the Water" and "Black Night" which was their concluding song. So was it a big concert? Yes, because watching them live was a great feeling but the sound was too loud to enjoy the music. And since all the instruments sounded as loud as the Gillan on lead vocal the music wasn't clean as it sound on my home stereo. Some may argue that the home stereo is not real live music but then I prefer the home stereo in this scenario where I can control the aspects of music that sound best. Certainly some equaliser work by the sound engineers would have made a big difference. The original guys have aged. Ian Pace has a small tummy, Glover looks more like the french guy from "Godzilla" and "The Hitman" and Gillan lacked a presence. By the time DP went on stage it was 8.00 P.M but the crowd was waiting for them. It was DP's second visit to the city. The last time they came here John Lord, their original keyboardist was with them. But the replacement Don Airey was good too. On his solos he even played some classical and the theme from Star Wars perfectly. Glover bass solo and Ian's drum solos might have been brief but Steve Morse compensated for all that with a great solo that includes pieces from Led Zepp's "Heartbreaker", ACDC's "Back in Black" and GNR's "Sweet Child O' mine". None of the paper's reported this the next day but DP even played a song they had written for Kalpana Chawla who was a big fan of DP. Gillan introduced the song mentioning her name. It is sad no one got it or did someone? Kalpana incidentally had taken Deep Purple's CD's with her when she had gone "space trucking". What I missed was taking a photograph with Binny with the concert as a backdrop on Binny's Nokia. How dumb?

The lonely trip to Central station on 16'th Saturday was also very nostalgic. Once in a while a trip like that (instead of taking the auto) helps expand your consciousness. Guindy station where I used to park my bicycle to go to college has undergone so much change. How different the electric train looked from the trains of the late 80's. I was reminded of the late nights returning from M.C.C with friends. I also remembered the very first day at college in 1985 when our seniors welcomed us and we joined them in the late night journey home by train. I also recalled vividly the day when we returned from the convocation three years later. All those lovely days when we were so young. The silence of the cool night's journey is broken abruptly by the ringtones of mobile phones. At 9.00 P.M there are very few talkers. I also recalled the trips to ITC at Thiruvottiyur where I worked for about 10 months in 1995 when I used to take 2 trains and a bus one way to the place....

The day after the concert I visited my principal again with her favourite flowers. A shorter trip but worth it. Princy told me about P.P Girish, my classmate who had visited her with his family. I am yet to call him.

...David, thanks for pushing me to get this post out...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Just one more day to Go

I can't believe I'll be watching Paice, Gillan, Glover and Steve Morse in just over 24 hours from now in Bangalore. Only praying that Binny can make it which I am sure he will. The Euphoria is so high that I don't think many will be missing the belligerent Ritchie Blackmore and John Lord. Over the years Steve Morse has replaced and covered the ace guitarist very well. Time to check out how the keyboardist does too. If you haven't purchased tickets yet I think they are still up for grabs due to the price. But then can you miss them...the one and only "Deep Purple".

Monday, December 04, 2006

Shakti is here in Chennai...

Guys, if you missed them before, they are here again. John McLaughlin, one of the guitar greats of all time, Zakir Hussain, U.Srinivas and Selva Ganesh. Although the violin will be missed let us see how Srinivas's mandolin can replace it. Selva Ganesh replaces his father on the Ghatam. Be there guys. Shakti re-incarnated as "Remembering Shakti" plays at Karamaraj Auditorium on December the 7'th.