Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Shakira – your hips really do lie after all

There are memories back from school days that stick to my head just as those elephants that you might have seen in Fevicol(a super quick drying glue in India) ads. Jokes apart, I am filled with terror  as I remember the massive invigilation that was executed with pin-point precision by the school principal and his ‘Dream Team’ as they were out patrolling the aisles. Then the really strict one,  would holler at the top of her voice – “Don’t Cheat or you will be punished”.

That sent shivers down our timid, frail minds.  So encapsulated in fear were we that this fact remains dissolved my blood till this very day!  Without getting all that carried away, talk of Plagiarism and one name strikes your mind at an instant , yes the legendary Pritam. Who hasn’t remarked at this gentleman and his subtle qualities. Or the ridiculously sly manner in which  the initial refrain was cut and pasted in the title track of Ishqiya being Dil to bachcha hai ji’. We call it plagiarism, the industry calls it getting inspired.

Getting inspired? I was inspired by father into studying into late hours before exams. Pritam was inspired my some X into lifting the melody into his composition. He gets awards and I don’t even find a mention of my work in the obituary section of the newspaper! I mean I really don’t get it.

Plagiarism has found a really new meaning at this year’s  FIFA World Cup. People lift lyrics, some package an old melody into some new bottle You all must have seen Shakira shaking her hips with some African ladies in the ‘Waka Waka’ song. She has by far gained more popularity than any other personality this millenium, eclipsed perhaps Michael Jackson’s popularity post death. A sight for sore-eyes during the World-Cup.

We all must agree  that the rhythm to this song is really catchy. It has fresh zing to it.  But what you did not know is that it is a reckless and gross act of plagiarism.  It is hard to digest that the entire song has been lifted, the lyrics inclusive.

The song has a very uncanny resemblance  to a song by a band from the Dominican Republic – Les Chicas Del Can from the early nineties. The pelvic movements may sway you away into netherland, but we are of the opinion that one must be thorough with ones facts. Do hear this song  on the following URL and observe the resemblance.

As I had mentioned earlier, Plagiarism obtained a new definition and well I extend this extend this discussion on. You see Plagiarism got an even broader definition. Apparently, the previous song was lifted straight out of a song by a Cameroon Band by the same name. It is supposedly a tune that was popular in the Army in World wars 1 and 2.

Do get this song and listen to it for yourself.

It is apparent that all three songs are similar, and chronologically too all the songs have evolved in a rather similar fashion. It is a shame that the efforts of one are reaped as fame, laurels and popularity by the other. Shakira- well your hips do really lie after all.


Kandisa – Yesterday,Today, Forever


“Kandisa Alahaye, Kandisa Esana Kandisa Alahaye, Kandisa Esana

Aalam Balam Aalam, Aamenu Aamen

Sliha Mar Yose, Almaduba Kudisa

Aangen Dhanusa, Nehave Dukharana

Aalam Balam Aalam, Aamenu Aamen

Sliha Mar Yose, Almaduba Kudisa

Aangen Dhanusa, Nehave Dukharana

Kandisa Alaha, Kandisa Esana,

Kandisa La Ma Yosa Isaraha Malem”

What is fact, is always beyond fiction. What is truth- is beyond resurrection. The pundits today take a surprising spritual turn. Not out of compulsion, or misery,no. It was the omnipresent symphony within the melancholy, the voices – the sheer resplendence within it.

One must have heard of Indian Ocean – a name synonymous with college fests throughout the country. The band has taken the country by storm, and has been riding the waves of fame since the early 1990’s. Their unique blend of rock with indo-centric tunes, give them a very subtle and soulful appeal. I was lured into this song through another album of the “Bandeh” fame.

The jive within their voices made this pundit yearn for more. The next step was procuring the album – Kandisa. I was startled from the early softness and mellowness. The language was Greek to me. But as the saying goes- Music has always triumphed over barriers of language. The percussion followed – very steady, yet soft. The guitars were beyond comprehension – hats off to Susmit Sen and Rahul Ram.

Kandisa was much more than an engineering college fest anthem as I found out after further reading. It is an ancient prayer in Aramic- a language that traces its roots from the Babylonian yore. It kicks off with an invocation to the Strong Powerful one above- at whose feet one falls humbly. This actually lays solid ground to the fact that civilizations have shared an eternal bond with God. He has forever been the powerful one – across all faiths and religions. The prayer proceeds stating that this fact shall forever be in memory. And so it has for thousands of years.

The prayer concludes with a simple invocation of the Holy immortal One to be merciful. The prayer may be a simple invocation. But as humans, i forever wonder as a mute spectator- have we not modified this wisdom to suit our devilish needs. The requirement of a recent Indian film requiring the defence of a certain faith in very fragile fabric of our contemporary, is a brute hypocrisy of how high our society has sunk to has sunk to. Kandisa may be a mere invocation- but the truths that lay interwoven within its syllables- carries its burden of communal tolerance and harmony.

Some have gone on to ridicule Indian Ocean for having defaced the original syllables of the incantation. However, the passive pundits here not only congratulate them but see them as Pundits within their own right. Messengers of God – is what suits them better. Kandisa, just like Aramic might have been reduced to the sands of time. However, its discovery in benevolent tunes – sung to the greater glory of mankind; is what will keep it aliver for eternity.

Riders Of The Storm: The IIIT Rock Show Reviewed

Its not everyday that one of the most recognizable Indian bands in the world comes down to Hyderabad for a gig. So when I heard that Motherjane was going to headline the rock show at IIIT’s fest “Felicity 2k10”, I didn’t need a second invitation.

The show was supposed to begin at 7 PM “sharp”, but as things go here there was an “unavoidable” one and a half hour delay and by the time each competing band for the Battle of the Bands event was done with their sound checks, we had already finished our can of Coke and were on the brink of our You Suck chants. Fortunately though the first band “Almost September” did eventually take the stage and belted out the Porcupine Tree hit “Blackest Eyes” followed by a few of their original compositions which I must say were very well written and played. The crowd too swayed to the reps of “Frieda come take me away!” suggesting the growing popularity of this open-genre band.

Metal ruled the roost for most of the remainder of the show with bands covering Iron Maiden, Metallica et al. A special mention of the band Anarchy whose covers of “Fear of the Dark” and “Noble Eyes” really pepped up the crowd and had them asking for more. Other bands who competed were Cerebral Assasins and Skrypt, about whom I cannot comment much because I never did and never will understand Death Metal. But yes there was this chick guitarist who seemed to be hitting all the right notes both with her instruments and with the crowd too!

The local bands of the college Apotheosys and Karmic Blend (If I’m not wrong) also did their one song performances but the crowd seemed to agree that they would rather they hadn’t! One of them covered Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing in the name of” so horribly that at one point the vocalist was squealing so bad that it seemed like he was about to give birth or puke, or both at once. The second band who had…. wait for it… a male-female duo of vocalists, were a little more kind to the crowd when they covered “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, but it had little to do with their music though I must say!

Cut to 11:30 PM and it was Motherjane’s turn to turn up the volume. What took me by surprise was the fact that their arrival was preceded by a well organized, almost perfect drill by the roadie crew. A sign of  their growing reputation as a global yet Indian band. Then when the half painted faces of the 5-piece band did come into view, the crowd went berserk. The band played their most famous songs from their hit album “Maktub”. Songs like “Mindstreet”, “Chasing the Sun”, “Blood in the apple” and quite possibly  their greatest hit yet, “Fields of Sound”. Interspersed in between was a beautiful guitar solo of the Indian patriotic song “Vande Mataram” which left the crowd in complete awe of their unmatchable genius. Their new single on the topic Peace, as given to each representative band of a country by Amnesty International, was also well received.The insanely rhythmic yet Indian riffs of Baiju and Deepu, the hard and well rounded bass notes of Clyde, the heart thumping drumming of John and the melodic yet rockworthy vocals of Suraj, left the crowd in a trance as we swayed and headbanged into the night. The sore throat and the pain in the neck that followed the next day was completely worth the experience and even though this was my second time watching them live, I cannot wait to hear them again and be rocked by the phenomenon that is Motherjane.

(For complete set of pics:

Credits: Omar Parkhi)